You've probably asked a question like this before: What's that flower?
Unless you're botanically inclined, or have a friend who's horticulturally minded, it's often kind of hard to figure these things out... especially for wildflowers that are unrelated to anything you'd see in a domesticated garden.
As you might guess, this happens to me all the time.
This past March I was out for a leisurely hike at lat/long 37.1540, -121.4200 when I noticed a pretty blue flower. Here are a couple of pictures so you can get an idea of what I saw.
It was about 3 feet high and was growing in open grassland--nothing especially odd or strange about where it was growing. Just along the trail, sticking it's head up
To make your task slightly easier, I'll tell you that the flowers were blue, but that there were some variation in flower color between the plants. They were blue, blue-purple, or white. The flower tube was around 12–25 mm long, with the petals ranging from 8–20 mm in length. The flowers are cone-shaped and are made up of 6 petals that are fused together at the bottom. In the flower there are 6 stamens, 3-lobed stigma atop a single triple-chambered ovary. In the flower, filaments attached at 2 levels, and the anthers ranged from 2–5 mm. As you can see, individual flowers were arranged in clusters of 4 - 8 flowers at the end of longish stalk, roughly 100 mm long. The leaves are long and grass-like in appearance.
When I figured out what it was, I was surprised to discover was that its common name is the name of a weapon that's used by a particular angel! (Do angels normally carry weapons??)
Question: Can you figure out what the Latin and common names of this flower are?
For extra credit on this one--be sure to write down HOW you figured this one out, and how long it took you. I'm curious to see if you find this one hard or very simple. Let me know!