But when i opened my laptop, there was the evening primrose photo i took late Monday afternoon, a careful slice down the side so i could peel the petals around and expose the structure of the pollen bearing bits (anthers and stamens) and the seed creating bits (stigma, style). "Look at how the evening primrose gets it on," i'd said to Christine (who'd responded with a perplexed look). "Wild partier!"
I was curious about the strings of pollen, characteristic of the whole Onagraceae family, so found the following comments:
"'Strings of pollen ... result from physical linkage of pollen grains in Oenothera via hook-like structures on the pollen grain wall." -- http://botany.csdl.tamu.edu/FLORA/Wilson/tfp/ros/onapage2.htm
"Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a string of pollen grains from the evening primrose flower, Oenothera biennis. The grains are triangular in shape and are not shed individually, but in strings which are glued together by a series of sticky threads. All insect pollinated flowers (in comparison to wind pollinated plants) produce pollen grains that are oily and sticky. It is not known why the evening primrose goes a step further with sticky strings, but one suggestion has to do with the type of pollinating insects: small beetles with smooth bodies and no specialised hairs for attachment. Magnification: x35 at 6x4.5cm size." -- http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/32977/enlarge
I've not posted the photo yet out of disappointment. I identified the flower a few years ago when i most likely to do a search: What evening primrose live in Santa Clara county? That's not a bad way to go about it, but it's not the scientific way. And i've been "bit" by the variability of some flowers and the failure for one photo to sum up the characteristics that distinguish plant a from cousin plant b.
So, looked at the key and found the key features were the measures of particular parts and the seeds. Data i don't have on me.
In writing this and reading the key, i'm a little more convinced that my ID is not far off base.
So here's my photo. Maybe tonight i'll make progress on the Meeting responsibilities.
(Also: lovely response from the seaweed author -- huzzah!)