Apologies for the few entries, everyone--chipping away at this app takes a fair bit of time. Taisha wrote today's entry:
Nemastylis geminiflora (original image) is commonly known as prairie celestial, prairie pleatleaf, or, occasionally, the celestial lily. This lovely photo was taken by frequent BPotD contributor Monceau@Flickr on March 23rd in San Antonio, Texas. Thanks Monceau!
A member of the Iridaceae or iris family, Nemastylis geminiflora is distributed from Tennessee and Mississippi west to Texas and north to Kansas and Missouri. Habitats include both grasslands (including pastures) and open woodlands. This perennial species grows from a bulb that is buried deep beneath the ground. Prairie celestial opens its blue tepals mid-morning. Bees, flies, and other insects only have a few hours to gather nectar and pollinate the flowers, as they wilt by the late afternoon or early evening.
Although Nemastylis geminiflora is occasionally called by the misnomer, the celestial lily, it is not a true lily. A quick way to separate the two groups: Iridaceae have three stamens and an inferior ovary, while the Liliaceae have 6 stamens and a superior ovary.