Monday, May 4, 2009

Blue, Pink or Purple?

There's lots of flowers whose colors change with lighting and age of flower -- not a trick of the camera but an actual change of visual perception. It's interesting to see them change throughout the day and from day to day.

Gulf Coast penstemon is what I would call a purplish pink. I was surprised to see how blue these new flowers looked in the morning light -- there was patches of an almost electric blue on them.

Here they are a few days later

looking very pink in direct sunlight.

Eastern Gray Beardtongue, which can appear ageratum blue at dusk and pink in full sun.

These Siberian iris started out a strong blue-violet, eventually fading to a lovely almost sky blue.

Jesse's Song is usually described as methyl violet, which I suppose is a medium lavender-purple. It looks much bluer in the evening than in the middle of the day.

'Veilchenblau' starts out a rosy purple and eventually turns slate-blue. These just opened up today.

Speaking of blue -- the blue grosbeaks returned a little while ago, and just when we were wondering why we hadn't heard any indigo buntings, we heard one singing yesterday. Today I counted 3 different males that had staked out territories.


  1. Isn't it fun to watch how the flowers change? I love penstemon and would love to find a blue/purple variety. Most of mine is just pink.
    Your iris are so pretty, I'm hoping mine will bloom this year.

  2. ooh, I hope those indigo buntings pose for a picture. I'd love to see them. Your blues/pinks are beauties. My iris & penstemons are still about a month from blooming.

  3. I like how Virginia bluebells and pulmonaria flowers both start pinkish and then turn blue, and how white trillium fades to lilac.

  4. Those buntings really do need to pose! I love seeing their flashy blue.

    I never noticed how the blues and purples and pinks change like this. Pretty neat. I like em all!

  5. Ooooooooooooo... How pretty! Those are Jamie's favorite colors! Those are fantastic shots Sweetbay!--Randy

  6. An Indigo Bunting is here now visiting the feeders. Stopping by on his way farther north. Hope I find a minute to try for a photo.

    I've never noticed my Siberian Iris fading. They never seem to last long enough here. I'll watch more carefully this year.

  7. Don't you love Veilchenbleu? It is one of my favorite roses.

  8. I particulary love the Penstemon and Eastern Gray Beardtongue.

    I think I'll have to find somewhere to plant Veilchemblau!


  9. I didn't notice before but Veilchenbleu should probably be Veilchenblau, meaning violet blue. The CH sound doesn't exist in Englisch, but the first syllable is approximately "vile" and "blau" rhymes with "cow." Sehr gut!

  10. Hi Sweetbay! I love your penstemons;-) and they do change they age and depending upon where they are planted! I think that you might be right! Penstamon X might be P smallii! But I am going to continue calling it X! Love the iris...they are stellar...can we ever have enough purples and blues! gail

  11. Thanks everybody for your comments! Monica you're right, it's Veilchenblau. Not only could I not say it, I can't spell it either! lol Thanks for the pronunciation.

    Gail Penstemon X is a good name. That's funny, I wonder if it could be P. smallii. Even within species there's a good deal of difference in moisture tolerance. Now that I think about it some of my P. smallii (which I thought were P. tenuis seedlings) ended up in fairly wet places and lived.

    lol, who knows? I'm glad I don't have to decide which species is which. :)

  12. If I hadn't been born in Germany, I wouldn't be able to make those sounds, either! :)

  13. Ooh, now I know how to say Veilchenblau, it is a very dramatic name and a very fine rose. It is just beginning here. I always thought that meant veil of blue. Too obvious, right? HA All of your blues are wonderful, the penstemons especially so. Great shots. :-)


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