Update to Nemacladus tenuis Hook Pattern Design

We aren’t botanists, but we strive for botanical accuracy in our flower designs. It’s a tricky business when you’re dealing with slightly obscure flowers. So imagine our delight/horror/gratitude when a customer DM’d us about an inaccuracy in one of our designs! [Gasp!] This lovely customer said she loved the Nemacladus tenuis Hook Pattern Design, but the flowers were oriented incorrectly. When I responded thanking her for her keen observation, she said her master’s thesis paper was on Nemacladus. On her committee was Nancy Morin, author of Flora of North America North of Mexico and THE expert on Nemacladus. Well, you don’t hear that every day!! Even Tom Chester’s page on Nemacladus features pictures taken by Nancy Morin.[1]Tom Chester: Nemacladus O…M…G…!

Anyway, the N. tenuis flowers in our design are oriented in the same way as our Nemacladus rubescens design[2]TLB Nemacladus rubescens design, i.e., with the “wing” petals pointing down. According to our customer, the flower is resupinate[3]Resupination (or, as Jepson describes it inverted[4]Nemacladus tenuis, Jepson). Essentially, the flower is upside down. She writes:

N. tenuis used to be considered a variant of N. rubescens, and is closely related.I n the past, determinations were made based on dried material… They didn’t know about the resupination, or inverted trait. This trait seems to have some phylogenetic importance, but has evolved numerous times in the genus.

I don’t understand what that all means, but it IS exciting. lol. Who knew botany could be so riveting? For all those non-botany fanatics out there, the Flora of North America is an on-going series of publications covering, uh, flowers north of Mexico. It started three decades ago and isn’t yet complete! I’m still waiting for Flora of North America, volume 18 because that’s the one with Nemacladus[5]Flora of North America website, volume guide

What this means for us is two things: 1) we now have a friend for life, and 2) we need to update the design to reflect the resupination of N. tenuis’s flowers. 🙃

You can find Nemacladus on apparel and decor in our Lazy Beetle Etsy shop!

By |2021-01-13T19:18:17-08:00January 13th, 2021|Categories: Botanical Identification, Flower Design, Stories|Comments Off on Update to Nemacladus tenuis Hook Pattern Design

Design: Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)

Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) is almost as ubiquitous as Creosote in the Colorado/Sonoran Desert. Their silvery leaves are instantly recognizable and, in the spring, fragrant golden yellow flowers emerge filling out the round, bushy plant.

Encelia farinosa was an interesting flower design to conceptualize. First, most people recognize Brittlebush by the shape of the plant and the color of its leaves. But it’s hard to depict on a, say, small logo. Plus, it was a great opportunity to illustrate a compound flower with ray and disc flowers!

By |2020-08-06T15:49:20-08:00May 18th, 2019|Categories: Flower Design|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Design: Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa)

Design: Fagonia laevis

The first flower design and the flower that started it all! Not only did we have a ton of pictures and videos of Fagonia laevis, but the more we (er, Geoff) looked at them, a pattern started to emerge. The way that the plant branched out, how flowers emerged from each branch, the number of stamens, the appearance of stipules, etc. And in creating the design, we learned about botany and the anatomy of flowers.

That was the beginning of the Flower Design series…

By |2020-08-06T15:49:20-08:00May 14th, 2019|Categories: Flower Design, Uncategorized|Tags: , |Comments Off on Design: Fagonia laevis

Design: Indigo Bush (Psorothamnus schottii)

The third botanical illustration features Indigo Bush, Psorothamnus schottii. This design was tricky in terms of color. It’s difficult to capture the blue-purple of the Indigo Bush flower. It’s even more difficult to print the color in CMYK! And depending on the paper, the colors appear either too dark or muddied.

Representing the androecium was also challenging (see our article on Indigo Bush details for a list of botanical terms). The artist was inspired by the lines of Erté in drawing the filaments.

By |2020-08-06T15:49:22-08:00November 27th, 2018|Categories: Botanical Identification, Flower Design|Tags: , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Design: Indigo Bush (Psorothamnus schottii)

Design: Nemacladus Rubescens

The second design in the botanical illustration series of desert flowers: Nemacladus rubescens. This tiny flower sure does pack a punch!

Nemacladus rubescens

Nemacladus rubescens

There is SO much going on with this little flower. Just check out the Jepson Herbarium’s description of Nemacladus Rubescens.

While they are not “rare,” due to their size, they are hard to find. A great resource for locating California native plants is Calflora, which shows the distribution of Nemacladus Rubescens based on observations.

For amazing macro shots of Nemacladus and illustrations of its anatomy, check out (the appropriately subtitled) Minute Beautiful Wildflowers That Are Difficult To Photograph. The same website provides a possible explanation of the “glistening cells” that are so distinctive to Nemcladus. Possibly to attract insects, as seen by these bees and wasps.

But wait, there’s more! More photographs from a different siting location, Henderson Canyon. And then there are watercolor botanical illustrations of three species of Nemacladus, including rubescens. And multiple species of Nemacladus on Tom Chester’s website.

Happy Nemacladus!

By |2019-07-19T09:41:54-08:00July 30th, 2018|Categories: Botanical Identification, Flower Design|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Design: Nemacladus Rubescens