The buds of Heliophila juncea are spaced in a sparse raceme on thin pedicels up the comparatively sturdy flower stalk.
Small green sepals, ovate with acutely pointed tips, perform protective duties for the developing petals and what is concealed inside them. The smallest buds are globular, elongating until the sepals reach their mature length; everything else that will be a flower still safely inside. The calyx slowly releases the corolla that starts off white even on these coloured flowers when the buds are really small.
The furled corolla starts to protrude increasingly beyond the tip of the calyx. A dark, blue-purple colour is assumed by the petals early during their elongation and retained to just before they reach their full length. This shade lightens gradually, giving way to a paler hue when floral maturity arrives. The corolla remains white just above the calyx for some time. The final phase of opening occurs when the petal blades separate and spread.
Buds start off in ascending, almost erect positions, beginning to nod once the corollas are fully developed and opening. Starting off in life on such a flimsy pedicel as foundation does catch up in gravity terms when body mass increases. Just enough mass is added in the mature flower to gain the tilt in the corolla that pleases the pollinators.
Selecting in favour of opportune outcomes may in nature appear so clever in an essentially brainless world. Evolution works in large numbers, many deaths and much time, making sense of and bringing meaning to all the destruction of the non-functional. No wonder it is sometimes so hard to grasp and accept in minds that cling to life (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Manning, 2007; iSpot).