12 July 2006

Odd flowers


More pictures of pomegranate flowers. This one gives a good idea of the contrast between the fragile crinkly petals and the thick, shiny calyx. Kind of like a crepe petticoat emmerging from a leather corset, to abuse analogy. Sorry about that. A very singular flower (in fact, the internet told me that pomegranates have recently been moved from their own family with only one other genus to Lythraceae). Also see this smallish close-up of the interior.

This "lion's tail" or whatever it's called (supposedly Leonotis leonurus, but I read somewhere that this may be a misidentification) is ungainly and ridiculous, and it ranges from boring to ugly when it's not blooming. The shade of orange isn't so hot, either. But how can you not admire such a crazy flower? Hummingbirds love it too.



Blogger chuck b. said...

That's definitely Leonotis leonurus. There's a patch in a sidewalk planting on my street, and I like it. It's a nice-looking, tough, drought tolerant. What's not to like?

7/12/2006 11:05 PM  
Blogger mmw said...

Chuck, it's def. what we've been calling L. leonurus in this country, but something I read suggested that this plant is actually L. ocymi... folium? or something, I can't remember exactly. Google's no help, but that means nothing if this is a new revelation...

It is def. an interesting plant, but the overall effect can be a little coarse. Also, ours is pretty big for our yard.

7/13/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger mmw said...

Ah, I found it:

152. Leonotis ocymifolia (UCD): Lion's Tail; drought-tolerant shrub to 4' or more with typical whorls of orange flowers and small round leaves; nomenclature note: it looks like L. ocymifolia is the new name for L. leonurus, and this is definitely different from the well-known strap-shaped leaf form.

I'll try to get UCDA to clarify.

7/13/2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

I only know the name from its entries in Botanica and Sunset Western Garden. Botanica says there are 30 species in Leonotis.

And not to bother ourselves too much with this, but the one in your picture looks like it is the strap-shaped leaf form. As I understand it, the non-strap-shaped mint-leaf form is L. nepetifolia.

7/13/2006 7:35 PM  

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