On this morning’s hike, we were so pleased to be breathing such spring-fresh air after almost a week of rainstorms. Over that period we received nearly two inches (5cm) of welcome moisture. It allowed us to get some roadwork done, and certainly will be welcomed by the plants around here.
One plant that has been catching my attention for several weeks now is the Brodeia (bro-DEE-uh) because of its apparent lack of leaves. The stem just juts out of the ground and at the top is anywhere from one to nine blossoms. The picture above shows two plants, one with nine and the other with seven blossoms. Most common are plants with two or three flowers.
The plant comes from a bulb that’s pretty deep in the ground, compared to the overall height. Shown is one I dug up for science (well, pseudoscience). It is 18.5" overall, 47cm, from bulb to blossom. The arrow points to the ground line. Over one-third of the plant is underground. Its apparent lack of leaves, except for the minuscule tufts right where the flowers form at the top of the stem, has me baffled. How does a plant get the energy and food it needs with almost no leaves?
After a lot of searching on the Internet, I came up with nothing. Anyone out there in blog-reading land know the answer? Please let me know.