Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pistol Packing Momma


Today I was out trying to take pictures in my garden in the wind using my macro lens and since the tulips are out, of course had to try for some close-ups. My best result is shown here and I thought it was a pretty pedestrian shot until I looked more closely and the following phrase began running through my mind: "Pistol packing momma with hot blue lips." Botanists and any one else who grew up learning mnemonic devices to remember basic scientific stuff ranging from cranial nerves to Mohl's hardness scale to flower parts will recognize the origin of this phrase.

In flowers, the part of the flower that the pollen sticks to is called the pistil and while the part of the flower that produces the pollen is the anther-part of the stamen. So to remember which is which, some one coined the phrase "pistol packing momma" to remind students that the pistil is part of the flower's "female" reproductive parts. In this image the pistil is the light 3 part structure in the center, the anthers are the rough elongate purple lipped structures that are round the pistil.

Hence "Pistol packing momma with hot blue lips." May you never look at tulips the same.
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