|still on this series of square ink drawings, cryptanthemis.
1. on chasmogamy & cleistogamy
the flowers we know best are seductively hued and perfumed for their soulmate pollinators. salvia has apis mellifera. the mediterranean ophrys has eucera. the king of the angraecums has morgan’s sphinx. the bromeliad woos hummingbirds and bananaquits. now you and i as adults past a certain age know that relationships can get complicated. consult the dimorphic — we could say, two-faced — flowers, who open their painted floral faces to the world while hiding secret faces, undiscovered buds, in the shadow of the courtships of flashier flora and fauna. close to the soil hunch these “cryptic flowers” that never blossom. withdrawn and closed, excluded from the dance of the birds and the bees, they perform their own green magic: they self-pollinate. you see, even in the absence of love, life finds a way.
2. on heterotrophy & mycoheterophy
green, photosynthetic plants perform a sort of reverse alchemy, transmuting light into sugar — this, we’re taught in schoolrooms as adolescents. now we leave the classroom and explore the negative spaces of the woods. buried within withered debris and dry soil, white, larval-looking flowers germinate and creep in perpetual dark. they derive the energy to live not from the sun, but from the mycorrhizal fungus that dwells in their roots. the fungus steals and transfers nutrients from neighboring plants to their subterranean hosts. the relationship can be one-sided; the blackened fungus eventually dies within the orchid’s rhizome. though receiving no benefit from the affair, the fungus engages the orchid again and again, is drained and dessicated, dying, again and again. strange how a parasitic relationship repeats. strange and strangely hopeful how, even in the absence of light and beauty, life finds a way.
my life in my city, my love, my way.
something among the leaves i sought
posted by susie on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at 4:57 pm. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.