Thursday, April 21, 2011


Talk about “Nature from the minute to the infinite”…! How about these teeny-weeny, itty-bitty, can-they-possibly-get-any-smaller flowers?

There are at least four or more varieties of this basic model—basal rosette of leaves, some longer than this and with scroll-worked edges, 4-petal white flowers on a stalk—scattered around my place, but I’m not crazy enough to even wish to key them out.

Even if I had a book that would go into enough detail to do so. I do, however, know people who are crazy enough: the Cape May Brit and Jim McC—they’re all yours, boys… [Seed pods?! You want me to go back out there and try for seed pod photos? Sheesh.]

This one stood out for being so incredibly minute (the rest of the similar plants are at least twice this one’s size, maybe closer to three inches tall) as to be nigh-on invisible (I was stepping on the little patch of it before I realized it was there) and purple-leaved instead of green. And like the first one, it’s fuzzy.

I’ll jump on the blog bandwagon and assume they are all some kind of mustard. Mustards aren’t, apparently, limited to those tall (almost two feet! *lol*) yellow-flowered plants that also bloom this time of year.

It isn’t just mustards that come in miniature. Look at this little charmer:

This is it. All of it. Tiny-tiny-tiny... Needle-like, almost succulent, leaves.

It’s tough stuff, too: not only is this growing on (in?) my front walk, I took a broom to it before taking this shot. (The blossoms disappeared because they closed up when the sun went behind clouds. I hope.)

As if it isn’t cute enough, wait until you hear its common name…

UPDATE [April 5, 2012]: Pyxie!!! I kid you not. Proper name is Pyxidanthera barbulata. And—and—it’s a native. Likes our “sandy pine barrens”, so it’s no surprise that it showed up in the sand-filled spaces between the brick pavers here in southernmost New Jersey.  Okay, it pays to work with a horticulturalist. This is NOT Pyxie! This is... Pyxie is actually a rare native to the area and the plant folks are out looking for it.

These wee flowers are fascinating. Too bad getting up close and personal with them made me such an easy target for the ticks... ::scratch scratch scratch::