Asclepias tuberosa 2, butterfly-weed or Pleurisy root

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Detailed Description

Butterfly Weed. The orange trickster. Providing nectar, but instead of edible pollen for a nice bee to eat. Wham. it locks packets of pollen onto the legs of a bee or butterfly and if the bee is strong enough it pulls free to possibly fly off to maybe or maybe not insert those pollinia into another butterfly weed plant. We are in awe of the orangeness and the five-fold symmetry, the bubbling latex in the stems, to the constant visits of wasps, moths, butterflies, and bees. But to Asclepias tuberosa it is the simple continuation of the crafted dance that it and its pollinators have created. We are just spectators, attracted to the color, but missing the complexity and the point of this beauty ... the fact that we are surrounded by millions of examples of these crafted dances, all mocking our efforts at circuitry, nuclear bombs, and other blunt instruments of our technology. The dances of these plants still allows us, the ones who have stopped and diminished so many of these dances, to continue to live here within the thin thin envelope of air that surrounds a planet that sits in a vastness so utterly uninhabitable that none of the every so adaptable life forms here have colonized despite the uncounted natural experiments that put life in all the harsh corners of our world. Honor this flower not for its color but for what it represents, for the shade it casts on all our literature, art and accomplishments. Photograph and specimen by earthling Helen Lowe Metzman


Image Dimensions: 4208 x 3840

Date Taken: