Drymonia coriacea

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  • Photographer: Leslie Brothers, copyright Smithsonian Institution
  • Grown by: Smithsonian Institution Greenhouses

Images copyright by the individual photographers or their institutions.

Note the distinction between what are apparently leafy calyces and the orange bract from which other buds are emerging at the axil. Calyces are part of the individual flower structure; bracts enclose one or more flower buds, sometimes providing additional display surfaces when the flowers are open, increasing the visibility of the flower to potential pollinators, and (to humans) the beauty of the flower.

Another example of this effect can be seen in D. coccinea in its various forms. D. alloplectoides, on the other hand, has a plain green calyx which while leafy serves to set off, rather than participate in, the beauty of the flower.

Another flower of D. coriacea can be seen here. A somewhat different form, growing at Selby Gardens in Florida, illustrates the variability of the species.