Pale Vanilla-Lily

Pale Vanilla-lily: Arthropodium milleflorum

We’ve had Chocolate Lilies flowering for a few months now, so it was exciting to finally see some Pale Vanilla-Lilies.  I’ve seen photographs of the flowers in field guides, with their fluffy purple and white stamens.  They have fascinated me for months.

It turns out that the flowers are actually very small.  The field guide says they can be as large as 2 cm across, but I think ours were about 1 cm open. As such, they were difficult to photograph cleanly enough to see all of the details.  Our Pale Vanilla-Lilies are very pale mauve in colour, but apparently the colour can vary from white to lilac or pink.

The name comes from their perfume, which is supposed to smell like vanilla.  I confess, I could not detect this perfume, but I think that has more to do with my sense of smell.

Pale Vanilla-Lily
The flowers hang from a slender stalk, facing toward the ground.
Pale Vanilla_Lily
When flipped upside down you can see that the stamens are only fluffy on one side.
Pale Vanilla-Lily
Some flowers seem to be a slightly different colour.

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