Ultraviolet Flowers

Eranthis hyemalis (L.)Salisb.

Eranthis hyemalis. Visible light

Visible light
Nikon D1H , UV-Nikkor 105 mm f/4.5, no flash

Eranthis hyemalis. UV light

UV light
Nikon D1H , UV-Nikkor 105 mm f/4.5 @800 ISO, FF filter + CC20C, SB-140
Both images
© Bjørn Rørslett/NN
This is one of the earliest flowering spring blossoms, and as might be expected, it has a strong UV reflectance of its bright yellow petals. The bull's-eye pattern is produced by the floral central area having quite strong UV absorbance.

In common with other spring-flowering species, such as Hepatica nobilis, in this family, E. hyemalis exhibits strong reflectance in near-IR. Together with the bowl-shaped petals, this might be a feature literally giving a "hot-spot" within the flower and thus making it attractive to visiting insects.

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Last Update 21 April, 2003