Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Insights on the Sego lily

Some of you who read my Story Sparks know of my love of the Sago Lily and what it meant to me.  One reader said the story reminded her of theologian Frederick Buechner's "incarnate moments" when the Divine intersects with our everyday life. A good friend and wonderful writer, Susan Tweit sent me a note I wanted to share with you all: "the "sago" lily is more commonly spelled "sego" lily. It's also called mariposa lily, because those flowers on their near-leafless stalks are as surprising and beautiful as butterflies when they appear. I think the species in your photo is Calochortus macrocarpa, the sagebrush mariposa lily. Here's the entry on it from the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Research Center in Texas, one of the best databases of native plants around: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CAMA5  BTW, the plant's name in the language of science, Calochortus (kael-oh-COURT-us) means "beautiful feeding place" in Greek, a reference to the nectar glands at the base of each petal in that bowl-shaped flower, a beautiful place for pollinators like bees, beetles, ants, and even hummingbirds to feed."  Isn't that lovely? You can find more of Susan at http://susanjtweit.typepad.com/.  She is a nature writer and an insightful writer of the human spirit. I thank her for helping me find more about that Sego Lily...
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