One of the unique wildflowers of the San Juan mountains (southwest Colorado) is the Corn Lily (Veratrum californicum), also called False Hellebore. These plants tend to grow in clumps, or colonies, with each plant growing from 3-6 feet tall. The Corn Lily grows at altitudes of 3500 feet to 11,000 feet. I also found that this is a poisonous plant, responsible for causing birth defects in animals that consumed the Corn Lily.
It is quite a photogenic plant when not in bloom. However, I was told that the “bloom” is very similar to a seed head, like many of our grasses, and is not nearly as photogenic. So I was glad to be able to find these guys before the seed head appeared:
Did you notice the little visitor on the above Corn Lily? I moved in closer and made this next image:
This is a Crane Fly and seem to be quite common among the Corn Lily wildflowers.
But looking down the plant, from above, a whole new photographic world comes forth:
The Corn Lily is not related to corn, but is often called that due to the similarities in the plant leaves. It is also not a lily … a good example of common names not being very accurate. But in any case, it can be a wonderful photographic subject in the field.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 5D Mark 3 body
- Canon EF180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
- Bogen 322a tripod with Graff Studioball SB-QR ballhead
- ISO 400 (top photo), ISO 800 (middle photo), ISO 100 (bottom photo)
- Aperture f/5.6 (top and bottom photos) and f/8 (middle photo)
- Shutter 1/320 sec. (top photo), Shutter 1/100 (middle photo), Shutter 1/10 sec. (bottom photo)