Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Monday, August 15, 2016
The beautiful sky blue Birdbill Dayflower (Comelina dianthifolia) stands out this week. Its common name is derived from both the physical characteristics and the time it blooms. Birdbill describes the shape of the envelope out of which the flower emerges. By late afternoon the flower has closed up, making morning and mid-day the best times to see the Birdbill Dayflower.
The three petals of the Birdbill Dayflower classify it as a monocot, it is related to lilies. All monocot flower parts come in threes and sixes. It is also closely related to spiderwort, which are found in White Rock Canyon by hiking down the Red Dot trail and following the stream a short ways to some sandy flats.
Birdbill Dayflower used to bloom in three known places on the Pajarito Plateau, but the drought seems to have eradicated it from two of these places. Luckily, the third place, the junction of Pajarito and Rendija Canyon trails, offers a dazzling display of perhaps a hundred blooms this year. As you plan your outings this week, I recommend a morning hike to witness this lovely display of Birdbill Dayflowers.