A fully open prairie crocus grows in Waterton Lakes National Park in Southern Alberta, Canada.
Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
Focal length:55 mm
Exposure:1/100 at f/7.1
The prairie crocus (Anemone patens), is the first plant to bloom on the prairie each year. The true harbinger of spring, its mauve petals dot the still drab prairie landscape, often before the last winter have melted. By blooming so early, the crocus assures itself of the complete attention of available pollinators – small bees and other insects. Its seeds can then ripen by early June and if moisture is available they will germinate right away. If the prairie is too dry the seeds will go dormant, then germinate the following spring. The price for this early flowering strategy is occasional failure of the seed crop. Severe frosts (-5 to -10C) during flowering can limit seed production.