Nolana reichei

Eric La Fountaine, the garden’s accession technician, continues the series from his recent trip to South America (previous entry here). Thanks for the photograph and write-up, Eric! He writes:

This is a difficult flower to photograph. Nolana reichei is known as the flower of seven colours and I am pleased at how clearly this is illustrated by this photo. The yellow centres are surrounded by black with deep blue spots fading to grey and a white circle and rays ringed with pale blue and rich lavender.

The species was first described by Dr. Karl Friedrich Reiche, but appeared to belong to an existing species, so was not validly published at the time. Michael O. Dillon and Gina Arancio agreed with Dr. Reiche’s original assessment and published their description in Five new species of Nolana (Solanaceae-Nolaneae) from Chile (PDF), naming the species after Dr. Reiche.

The 89 named species of Nolana are native to the coastal deserts of Chile and Peru with one disjunct, endemic species from the Galapagos Islands.

Botany resource link (added by Daniel): The New England Wildflower Society has published an extensive set of Conservation and Research Plans for rare plants of northeast USA. I find it intriguing (and admirable) that these plans “[involve] over 140 authors and reviewers” and “represent the first time that a non-governmental organization has undertaken such extensive documentation of a region’s flora.” Very impressive work and kudos to them.

Nolana reichei

20 responses to “Nolana reichei”

  1. Ken

    Beautiful flower, congratulations to Eric on his photo.

  2. phillip

    difficult to duplicate our percived perception of colors on film…?
    for example…i can never get heavenly blue morning glory blossoms to look like the ones in my minds eye…why…?

  3. Sue Webster

    Wow, what a photo! The flowers jump out at you!

  4. Carole Miller

    WoW! Really sums it all up. Thank you.

  5. Bonnie

    They glow like neon lights!

  6. Laura

    Great Pic Uncle Eric,
    You sure find some very interesting flowers during your travels. Keep them coming!

  7. Earl Blackstock

    What a wonderful way to start the day by viewing
    and reading about this awesome flower. Thank you Eric and Daniel!!

  8. Sue Vargas

    This specie blows the socks off the plain old blue cultivated Nolana we normally see.

  9. annie morgan

    This is such a lovely way to start the day.

  10. bobknab

    Alas –
    the 4 noble truths
    any one can understand
    blessings *

  11. Trumpetmaster17

    This is a really great photo but do you know where i can buy the plant or seeds?

  12. John Murtaugh

    You have certainly done a great shot with these flowers!
    The photo has a real 3D quality. It must be due to all the colours against the background.
    I would also like to get some seeds.

  13. Millet

    Evidently from looking at the flowers coloration, Nolana reichei must have the ability to manufacture Rhodamine.

  14. Eric La Fountaine

    It is a beautiful flower. It was only recently named and officially described as a species, so I kind of doubt that seed would be very easy to find. (I would also like them, but that would have required more paper work than I was prepared for on this trip.) And while they are gorgeous, I don’t think the species is ready for general cultivation–the flowers wilt very, very quickly.

    Phillip, this one came very close to what I saw in my mind, but of course that already is different for each of us and no photographic process can capture images as well as our eyes and minds.

  15. elizabeth a airhart

    the picture just glows off the screen
    i found a link called chileflora
    where they sell seeds
    perhaps eric would about this site
    this picture eric is the best
    i could not find one that even
    comes close to yours thank you daniel

  16. Chris Barnett

    Wow! This is an incredible picture! Indeed a truly beautiful flower!!

  17. Mary Ann, in Toronto

    Thank you.

  18. Aida

    While the flower and photograph are gorgeous, I am disappointed that nothing was written of the site where this photo was captured: Bosque de Fray Jorge Ntl Park in Chile, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site and its distinction is that it’s an oasis in the middle of a dessert where it’s native plants & flowers survive solely by the moisture of coastal fog.

  19. Eric La Fountaine

    This is late, I did not have access to internet this weekend, but, Aida, I have written up a few more plants and I included a link to the Bosque de Fray Jorge in one of the others. This one just got posted first.

  20. Gene Mirro

    As of 2/2010, seeds are available on eBay from chileflora. They also have Tropaeolum polyphyllum.

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