Dec. 27, 2021

Evening-primrose, Oenothera biennis

Here's my favorite image of one of my favorite flowers. The Oenothera biennis complex has always fascinated. Classification of them has been a centuries long contest between the splitters and the lumpers. The new volume of FNA comes out on the side of the splitters, as do most authorities these days. But then we learn that, "Oenothera biennis is a PTH species and usually forms a ring of 14 chromosomes or a ring of 12 and one bivalent in meiosis, and is self compatible and autogamous. It has plastome II and a BA or AB genome composition across different populations." Or, as in my case, you can read all that and not learn a thing. It may take a full semester class to turn reading into understanding. For now I will just marvel at the vision of those chromosomes all dancing in rings instead of lining up in rows. Picture a square dance circle, with partners changing in mysterious and random patterns.