Venus Looking Glass

Jupiter had a terrible headache and lay down. Venus sprang from his head dressed in armor.

Venus was supposed to be very beautiful in Roman mythology. In Greek mythology she was called Artemis.

I don’t know why this wildflower came to be called Venus Looking Glass but it is a fitting tribute to a lovely goddess. The flower’s beauty is a striking surprise.

Venus Looking Glass plant

The triangular leaves with flower buds resting on them make Venus’ Looking Glass an easy plant to spot. In sunny moist spots the stalk can be two feet tall.

The plant doesn’t look like much. It is a single rather spindly stalk up to two feet tall. Small triangular leaves clasp the stalk alternately on the way up.

At the base of each leaf is a flower bud. It doesn’t look like much as the plant grows up.

Venus Looking Glass flower

The pistil sticking out in the center over a ring of small stamens mark this wildflower as belonging to the family Campanulaceae.

I watch the stalks gaining height tucked under other more robust plants. Venus Looking Glass prefers sunny moist areas along the roadside but does grow in the grassy area on a hill.

One day my patience is rewarded with a glowing purple flower. These first ones are hard to spot as they are tucked at the base of the stalk.

two Venus Looking Glass flowers

Generally I see two Venus Looking Glass flowers open at a time with the buds above them getting ready to open the next day.

Most of the plants I see open one or two buds at a time. Sometimes three will open. The lowest buds are the first then the flowers begin a march up the stalk.

trio of Venus Looking Glass flowers

When in the sunlight, Venus’ Looking Glass flowers lose their blue tint and show their reddish purple.

Each flower has five long purple petals. This is a royal purple but glows. It catches the eye and holds my attention begging to be admired.

All too soon the top flowers open swaying in the breezes as though waving good bye. Then the flowers are gone for another year leaving the spindly stalk standing long enough to set seed.

Venus Looking Glass flowers

Starting at the bottom the flowers open one by one. This is sad in one way as blooming time is over when the top bud opens. It does make spotting the flowers easier as the flowers are above the plant tangle around them.

The wait begins for the next spring when the spindly stalks will again begin their struggle upward into the light. Venus Looking Glass will again delight the eyes of those who seek it.