Time for Some Lemony Sunshine

East Texas has another spring wildflower that’s as tiny as bluets.  Often they grow together, and I’ve seen at least one herbarium sheet that was a mixed collection (oops!)  Rather than purple, bluish, pink, or white, however, Golden Hedge-hyssop (Gratiola flava) has flowers that are a bright, clear lemon yellow.

Image result for gratiola flava



(Image from http://www.biosci.utexas.edu)





This little member of the Figwort family is tiny.  Written out, the common name is longer than the plants are tall!  Belly botany, for sure.   Texas’ other species of Gratiola are all much bigger.

Gratiola flava only grows in areas of loose sand and is endemic (found in a limited area) of East Texas and Louisiana.  I used to see them at Lick Creek Park all the time, when I was out there more often than I am now.  The paired leaves vary from oval to long-elliptic, and the tubular flowers are slightly curved. The petals are fused, with the corolla having four lobes—one of which is larger than the other three because it is actually two petals fused together.  The fruits are pointed-ovoid.

This is another plant I’ll have to draw twice or more life-sized to capture detail and then stitch over-one.

Here’s a pencil sketch.  Probably some of the leaves should be more oval and less linear, but I have flowers, a bud, and a couple of fruit.  (I know the leaves look like the ones I drew for the bluets, but both have sessile, paired, narrow, toothless leaves.  I promise not all of my plants will have such generic-skinny leaves!)


The pencil sketch, inked.  (I’m using a Sakura .01 Pigma pen, and my fancy paper here is a piece of scrap I pulled out of the recycle barrel at work.)


First approximation of a chart, with notations as to color.  I’ve started a color/symbol list for my charting program so that the same symbol will be the same color in any of my charts.  Fewer headaches that way!  I won’t have to rechart if I combine designs.


Again, the charting program doesn’t handle colors perfectly, particularly the yellowy greens.  I did the foliage in three different colorways.  I may adjust the colors of the flowers when I stitch, because there needs to be enough difference so that you can see the tube, the spread corolla, and the deeper-toned middle (deeper only because of shadow–the flowers really are just solid lemon–DMC 307).  The colors of floss I specified aren’t very different in the program.  I think they’ll be more distinct in actual floss.


And here is what the little plants would look like stitched on taupe.


Golden Hedge-hyssop isn’t familiar to many people, but I like to think that anyone who knows it would recognize it here.  Especially if it were stitched up life size:


Stitching will have to wait, because I want to do a group of different teeny-tinies all together and, depending on how I arrange them, I will probably need to shift the foliage colors around for balance.  Can’t have all the DMC 3346 ending up on one side of the work, now can we?