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Euphorbia myrsinites [Myrtle Spurge]

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#1 Andrea B.

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 21:58

Blum, A.G. (2021) Euphorbia myrsinites L. (Euphorbiaceae) Myrtle Spurge. Flowers photographed in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. https://www.ultravio...-myrtle-spurge/

La Secuela, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
22 March 2020
Escaped cultivar growing wild

Other Common Names:
  • Blue Spurge
Comment:
Spurge flowers are the strangest things. These seem to be almost fractal in the way new ones with bracts open up within the old pair of bracts. You could see this going on to infinity but for the arrival of the first hard frost.

This particular spurge, E. myrsinites, is a non-native escapee which is not welcomed as a wild plant in the western US because it easily becomes invasive. I have to dig out straying clumps of it every spring to keep it from spreading out of control. But I keep a few plants because it is one of the earliest bloomers here in Santa Fe County, and it attracts scads of bees, spring butterflies and other insects at a time when not much else is blooming except for the Skunk Bush (also beloved by bees and butterflies.)

The UV signature of a spurge flower is, shall we say, subtle. Not much going on there except for some tiny bits of false blue and some UV-shininess on the nectary knobs. The flower and leaves are somewhat UV-absorbing but not enough to call it UV-black.

I made the following labels to remind myself of the parts of this unusual flower. However, I do not know what the little white-tipped appendages are around the stamen.
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_vis_sun_20200322laSecuela_18680pnLabels.jpg


Equipment [Nikon D610-broadband + Nikon 105mm f/4.5 UV-Nikkor]


Visible Light [f/11 for 1/500" @ ISO-400 in Sunlight with Baader UVIR-Block Filter]
This is a stack of two frames for increased depth of field and detail.
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_vis_sun_20200322laSecuela_18614-18comp.jpg


Ultraviolet Light [f/8 for 1/3" @ ISO-800 in Sunlight with BaaderU UV-Pass Filter]
This is a stack of two frames for increased depth of field and detail.
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_uvBaad_sun_20200322laSecuela_18635-58compResLogo.jpg



Visible Light [f/11 for 1/250" @ ISO-200 in Sunlight with Baader UVIR-Block Filter]
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_vis_sun_20200322laSecuela_18680pnRes.jpg


Ultraviolet Light [f/8 for 1/8" @ ISO-1250 in Sunlight with BaaderU UV-Pass Filter]
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_uvBaad_sun_20200322laSecuela_18689pnRes.jpg


Infrared Light [f/11 for 1/400" @ ISO-200 with Onboard Flash and B+W 093 IR-Pass Filter]
Attached Image: euphorbiaMyrsinites_or092_sun_20200322laSecuela_18672pnCrop.jpg
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#2 colinbm

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Posted 07 March 2021 - 03:27

Nice collection & examples Andrea

#3 Andrea B.

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 17:42

Thank you!

This is such a strange flower. I want to photograph it again this year when it blooms.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#4 nfoto

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 18:02

The description and terminology of the flower structure of these species is nearly a disseration in itself. I always have to consult my botanical literature before embarking on an Euphorbia.

#5 UlfW

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Posted 08 March 2021 - 20:21

I like the contrast of the visitor in the IR-version.
You see lots of interesting details when you go that close.
That is very nice.
Ulf Wilhelmson
Curious and trying to see the invisible.