Monday, February 27, 2012

More colours of spring - White

Every February we go hunting for snowdrops. This year, since we missed out on snow from the skies, the flowers are especially welcome.

They always remind me of a flock of white birds.

A front garden in Beach Grove

I didn't know this:
The flower has no petals: it consists of six tepals, the outer three being larger and more convex than the inner series. (from Wikipedia: Galanthus)
I had to look up tepals.
Tepals are elements of the perianth, or outer part of a flower, which include the petals or sepals. The term tepal is more often applied specifically when all segments of the perianth are of similar shape and color, or undifferentiated, which is called perigone. ...
Undifferentiated tepals are thought to be the ancestral condition in flowering plants. ... In typical modern flowers, the outer or enclosing whorl of organs forms sepals, specialised for protection of the flower bud as it develops, while the inner whorl forms petals, which attract pollinators.
In some plants the flowers have no petals, and all the tepals are sepals modified to look like petals. These organs are described as petaloid, e.g. the sepals of Hellebore.
Usage of the term 'tepal' is inconsistent - some authors refer to 'sepals and petals' where others use the word 'tepals' in the same context.
I'm always uncertain whether to call them petals or sepals. It's good to have a word that covers both.


  1. What beautiful signs of spring! I've been reading back through your posts I've missed, and got so caught up I nearly let the fire go out! :=}

    We have snowdrops in the front yard, and I look forward to their appearance in the spring ... they give me hope!

  2. I noted Indian Plum in bloom yesterday

    courage Friends, Spring in near


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