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.Tom Chester: Nemacladus O…M…G…!
Anyway, the N. tenuis flowers in our design are oriented in the same way as our Nemacladus rubescens designTLB Nemacladus rubescens design, i.e., with the “wing” petals pointing down. According to our customer, the flower is resupinateResupination (or, as Jepson describes it invertedNemacladus 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 NemacladusFlora 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. 🙃