• Ultraviolet Photography

Lycoris radiata multispectral set

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#1 OlDoinyo


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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:57

These flowers bloom near the end of summer by the road near our home on long scapes. A sudden rain (such as the 20 centimeters dumped by Hurricane Irma in our area) can help trigger a synchronized bloom some days later. What I know is as follows:

Linnaean Name: Lycoris radiata var. radiata (L'Herb.)
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Other Linnaean names: Amaryllis radiata; Lycoris terraciani; Nerine japonica; Nerine radiata; Orexis radiata
Common names (English:) resurrection lily; red spider lily; red magic lily; hurricane lily (it isn't a lily!)
(other:) 曼珠沙華; 彼岸花
Lore: an old superstition has it that if you see someone whom you will not meet again, these flowers will bloom where that person has walked. Planted at gravesites as a tribute by Mahayana Buddhists.

All photos were taken with the Steinheil 50mm lens at f/16 and ISO 100. Display intent is BGR for the second and third photos. The photos were taken in the shade of a building outdoors with open sky above. Because I had little time, a proper non-distracting background could not be constructed.

Visible (Sony A99V, no filter:)
Attached Image: Lycoris radiata vis j small ex DSC00009.jpg
The characteristic long stamens are visible in this photo.

Ultraviolet (Sony A900, Baader U2 filter, 15 seconds' exposure:)
Attached Image: Lycoris radiata UV j small ex DSC00068.jpg

Most red objects are quite UV-dark, even black; very few are UV-bright. These flowers are one of those rare exceptions. I wonder if this has any significance regarding what pollinates this flower and what its vision properties are. There is a small dark stripe down the center of each petal in this view.

Infrared (Sony A900; Hoya R72 filter; 1/15 second exposure:)
Attached Image: Lycoris radiata IR j small ex DSC00071.jpg

This is perhaps the least interesting view, as everything is pretty much plain white. There may be a faint trace of a central stripe on the petals, but this could just be shadow texturing. No surprises here.

I am not set up to do fluorescence imaging at the moment, so you will see none of that here.

Edited by OlDoinyo, 24 September 2017 - 15:46.

#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 18:46

Clark, this is lovely. And also a flower which I have not yet seen in either UV or IR.

In UV the flower's reflectivity does stand out against the background and against its own stem. That would seem to indicate some kind of signaling to insect pollinators such as butterflies or bees (or other). Making a broad generalization from the red flowers in our database here, one could be tempted to conclude that the red UV-absorbing tubular flowers are usually of the type pollinated by hummingbirds. And these red UV-reflecting types with open structures are more easily accessed by insect. But pollination is an extraordinarily complex topic.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.