The Cantonese name for this tree is a fitting descriptor. Looking into the sky at this otherwise bare tree one sees it’s namesake flower, “gaai daan fa” meaning “egg yolk flower”. Plumeria is the more common name of this tropical favorite, named after a French botanist and explorer, Charles Plumber.
Who would think that the lovely Orchid (Orchidaceae) name is derived from the Anciet Greek name for testicle; noting the shape of the twin tubers of some speicies. (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchidaceae).
The beauty of this species brings forth other discriptors from viewers; at least from this viewer. This Orchid had been successfully attached to a tree in the quaint Lauderdale by the Sea Village retail area.
It is a prolific plant in Florida. Visitors are told that Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) is an invasive, choking pest, harming trees and other plants that it inhabits. Its dense clusters do seem to cover its hosts. The strange truth is that it is a member of the pineapple family; with tiny flowers that I have yet to see because to see them requires a microscope. I have tried zooming in on the photographs I’ve taken but have yet to find any flower; so perhaps my timing was off, and I did not capture them during their bloom time.
Truth is that Spanish Moss, aka Grandpa’s Beard, is an air plant getting its food and water from the atmosphere. Its host plants provide only a resting place though it has been known to be so dense that the host plant does not enough sunlight and therefore suffers. Folklore is that the plant, “The Meanest Man That Ever Lived”, was from an old man’s hair that grew very, very long and caught on the trees. Things are often not what they seem. But the stories are fun.
Swamp Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
is a perennial Hibiscus species native to Illinois. This is a rose with no thorns, no arresting fragrance, but a striking presence indeed.
These images look at the subject from the side and rear which draws attention to the patterns and details of this giant blossom.
This is a member of the lovely vining Morning Glory family, opening its blossoms as the morning light highlights its beauty. However, this species is one of those non-native, Eurasian varieties that is a dreaded invasive visitor in American gardens. Known as Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) I enjoyed taking its portrait during a morning bike ride along a Lake Michigan pathway in Lincoln Park, far from any cultivated gardens. They appeared a fair distance from a prairie restoration area and were isolated from the golf course by a stone wall making their appearance more tolerable to the native purist. This Bind Weed did emulate its name wrapping around other vegetation proliferating this informal, unplanned area of horticulture.
These Allium are ornamental yet apropos to be a statement in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. These Allium are a variety of onion. Chicago means “wild onion”, so fitting they are among the wild animals.
The single bright bloom is complemented by the just-past-prime flowers surrounding it, keeping attention on itself.
I’ve added a page, something that seemed to be missing from this blog. An explanation behind my blog’s chosen name. Check out the “What’s In A Name” tab on the left.
Best guess, is sometimes the best I can do when it comes to identifying a plant species. Snowfall challenges my abilities further. Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus L.) is my best guess for this common evergreen in our neighborhood. Most trees were planted in effort to provide green accents in newly built residential sites.
Though the 48 inches of January followed by yesterday’s 4 inches are trying the patience of the heartiest around here, the temperature was well above zero yesterday. We were a balmy 30 degrees (Fahrenheit), so I ventured out for an hour-long vigorous walk. Only half of our day’s snow total had landed, so I grabbed our waterproof Nikon Coolpix camera. I don’t mind walking in active snowfall; but I respect my lenses’ care needs. It seems that White Pine seeds prefer a moist environment, so I’m assuming their needs have been met this winter.
- For more details on Pine Tree types found in Illinois, check out: http://www.treesforme.com/il_pinus.html
- Check out this interesting blog/store http://www.pineconesplus.com/blog/2012/05/pine-cone-facts/
Detailed information on the Eastern White Pine: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/Volume_1/pinus/strobus.htm