Grace, a plant-loving friend of mine, wrote to me today about seeing a white Geranium (Geranium caespitosum – Wild Geranium) which is usually a beautiful wine color.
She also saw a number of Long-tube ipomopsis plants (Ipomopsis tenuituba subsp. macrosiphon), each one with a different color.
When we see flowers in nature, we expect them always to be their own particular color, and for many wildflowers, that is pretty well true. There are some, like Richardson’s Geranium (Geranium richardsonii), that routinely come in white, pink or purple, and we come to expect that.
But when we go to the florist to buy flowers, we are pretty sure that many species will come in a variety of colors, like the roses I bought for my wife to celebrate her birthday.
As I have hiked trails in the mountains and valleys of Arizona, I have come to know many of the flowers. I usually can identify the plant by the color and shape of the flowers. And every now and again they fool me, and appear in the “wrong” color. In this case, the alternative color gives them a special attraction. I find the same when it comes to the skin colors of human beings.