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.
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.
These two images are indeed of Piano Key (Heliconius Melcomene) butterflies. Note the “piano keyboard” on the bottom wings. The previous post was of a butterfly closely related but as clearly marked as a Piano Key.
“Butter and Eggs” was the label given to this small pretty flower by a naturalist educating me on which plants in a field were native and which were weed. Butter and Egg was considered a weed; but the name stuck with me and held my curiosity. This particular cluster was alongside an abandoned railroad track. Disturbed land is a common habitat for this species also known as Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).
I prefer the nickname Butter and Egg as it reminds me of my grandmother’s scrambled eggs with butter. She was generous with butter and only partly scrambled the yolks with the egg whites, resulting in several shades of yellow in the final dish. I can only wonder what the founder of this plant was thinking when they chose the name for this plant.
Typical of many Eurasian weeds in the United States there are many common names in addition to Butter and Eggs associated with it according to Wikipedia.org:
- “Linaria acutiloba Fisch. ex Rchb. is a synonym. Because this plant grows as a weed, it has acquired a large number of local colloquial names, including brideweed, bridewort, butter and eggs (but see Lotus corniculatus), butter haycocks, bread and butter, bunny haycocks, bunny mouths, calf’s snout, Continental weed, dead men’s bones, devil’s flax, devil’s flower, doggies, dragon bushes, eggs and bacon (but see Lotus corniculatus), eggs and butter, false flax, flaxweed, fluellen (but see Kickxia), gallweed, gallwort, impudent lawyer, Jacob’s ladder (but see Polemonium), lion’s mouth, monkey flower (but see Mimulus), North American ramsted, rabbit flower, rancid, ransted, snapdragon (but see Antirrhinum), wild flax, wild snapdragon, wild tobacco (but see Nicotiana), yellow rod, yellow toadflax.“
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.
Flirty or shy,
dancing ladies or crew cut boys,
comforting friend or sheltering elder,
noisy and or tranquil,
Personification is not used by scientists to describe their observations of plants, but this naturalist can’t help herself. I may be speaking prematurely when I say that scientists don’t personify plants. Someone thought it resembled a sea urchin (Echinacea is Greek for sea urchin) when looking at its bristly seed head. Sea urchins aren’t “persons”, but this analogy is the only excuse I need to include personification in my descriptions of this species.
Its nickname, Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) makes me imagine that one of our forefathers (or mothers) traveled into the future and became a fan of SNL’s conehead family. Then, as they gazed on a field of Echinacea among the blue grasses, they couldn’t help but say, “Aha, purple coneheads, or rather purple coneflowers”. Probably not, but can’t help thinking these summer blooms have more personality than their name.