Archive for August 7th, 2010

Fall Phlox – Phlox paniculata

Fall Phlox

When this plant first came to my attention, it was growing wild alongside the road. When we stopped to look at it, I found a multitude of butterflies on it, circling it, and just generally in love with it. I spent more than an hour just snapping away; thank Goddess for a digital camera, and no worries over film processing!

It has taken me about two (2) years to finally figure out what it is! Many of the plants we use in our gardens here in America came form the Old World, but the Phlox is one that was found growing wild here. It has since been put under cultivation. Now there are many different cultivars in different colors. The ones in the wild tend to be this pretty pink color, but white (although rare) is found.

The plant was widely used as a medicinal herb; the leaf extract was used as a laxative and for treating boils.

The butterfly seen here with the phlox is the Pipevine Swallowtail.

Advertisements

Bougainvillea – Bougainvillea glabra

BougainvillaBougainvilla Flower

 

When you read historical novels of the old South, you will invariably come across the Bougainville. It is a classic vine oft used to cover a trellis or pergola. The soft scent will gently drift around making a very romantic setting, indeed.

Having read my share of historic romances, when I saw this vine covering a 3 story wall in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens I was shocked to find it had thorns! It was used as a security barrier in the past, because of them and because it grows so fast.

The traditional practitioners in Mandsaur have used it to treat several illnesses. Diarrhea, cough, and sore throat are just a few examples. 

When you read historical novels of the old South, you will invariably come across the Bougainville. It is a classic vine oft used to cover a trellis or pergola. The soft scent will gently drift around making a very romantic setting, indeed.

 

Having read my share of historic romances, when I saw this vine covering a 3 story wall in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens I was shocked to find it had thorns! It was used as a security barrier in the past, because of them and because it grows so fast.

 

The traditional practitioners in Mandsaur have used it to treat several illnesses. Diarrhea, cough, and sore throat are just a few examples. 

Bird of Paradise – Strelitzia reginae

Bird of Paradise Flower

Have you ever seen the Bird-of-Paradise growing? I had never seen one except at the florist. When you see the flower peeking above the dark evergreen leaves you begin to understand why they are names for a bird. They look just like birds sitting at the top of this tall plant. This one is just one of the many plants that are in the Conservatory at the Longwood Gardens.

This beautiful flower was first introduced at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew in 1773. It has been named the official flower of Los Angels City, California.

Although this plant is listed as toxic it was used in herbal medicine to relieve itching and to treat swollen glands. If any mammal ingests this plant (leaves, flowers, seeds and fruit) the result will be nausea and vomiting.

A Trip to Nowhere – A Time for Rest

Cape May - Lewis Ferry

 

When you take a day trip, it is to get a change of scenery, a change of pace…just something, somehow dissimilar to the norm. Tuesday was no different. I also thought being on the Delaware Bay where is feeds into the Atlantic Ocean would be the last place in the world to find plant pictures to take! Okay I know there are aquatic plants below the water along the bottom of the bay and ocean…but I wasn’t scuba diving after all!

Tuesday we took a trip down to Lewes, Delaware where we boarded (by foot, not with the truck) the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. It is a 70-minute ride one direction. We had 2-3 foot swells, which made moving around hysterically funny to watch. Most people had a very drunken sailor pitch to their walk, swaying from side to side, and taking detours as the deck rolled under them.

As always I took my camera, and got some shots of the lighthouses that mark the ends of the breakwaters. I got a picture of the other ferry, passing us, and some of birds. When we got to the other side of the bay in Cape May, New Jersey we had about 1-½ hours to kill before the return trip. So we took a walk. Of course I found plants to take pictures of…grasses, beach plums, some berries I didn’t recognize, among other things.

Lighthouse marking end of breakwaterPartridge Pea