Magic Wand Flower

There are not too many garden flowers that linger into October, but one of my favorites is wand flower. I planted this at my first home many years ago when I lived in central North Carolina, and have enjoyed it in many gardens since. In its native home in Mexico and Texas it can grow to 5 feet, but of course everything is big in Texas and in my gardens my cultivars have never grown more than 3 feet.
My favorite variety is ‘Whirling Butterflies’, named for the way the flowers seem to float above the foliage like a small cloud of butterflies as they sway and lilt back and forth in the breeze. The four petaled flowers that fancifully resemble wings start as pink buds and turn white before fading again to pink after they bloom.
Photographing these flowers in constant motion requires much the same patience and fast reflexes as photographing butterflies. This photo was taken at 1/1000 of a second, not a shutter speed I usually need for flower photography. In spite of the challenge, I think of them as magic wand flowers, with blossoms that transform into fluttering butterflies with the slightest hint of wind.