I like the common name for this plant: ‘windflower.’ It seems a true naming: a flower conjured by the wind.
Somewhere nearby, the air must have picked up a delicate seed puff and brought it to a safe landing by our house. The seed survived all manner of peril: hot blasts of turbulence from passing traffic … hungry birds on the wing … the sizzling Texas pavement where roads actually melt and get gooey … even a solitary raindrop could have caused a crash landing. Yet, here it is.
I could call her Ariel — something light and airy — but I think her outward expression is misleading
Patience is a better descriptor of her true nature. She may have flew in on fluff and nonsense but unlike the annuals that come for a visit, she didn’t immediately explode into a flashy flower. She set to work on something more enduring. Some plants build delicate spiderwebs of roots; she began construction on a tuber. Tubers are solid and thick; they are like water and energy vaults. This is an effective survival strategy if you live in an untrustworthy environment.
It took her a couple of years before she was ready to present her first flower. You might see a weed but I see a tiny expression of hope.
The flower is nyctinastic. At night or in cloudy conditions the sepals close forming a kind of thimble shape. People have speculated on the purpose: to avoid freezing, to keep pollen dry, to avoid nocturnal pollinators in favor of diurnal creatures …
I like to think it is dreaming — or plotting global domination.
— edit —
Just learned that anemones are part of the Ranunculus (buttercup) family and that rānunculus means “little frog.” Frog? Why? It does seem to like a moist environment and will hide away once it gets dry in the summer. But I think the name comes from the deeply cut leaves. If you look sideways at them and squint a bit they could look like frog fingers ….