Wednesday, July 6, 2011

botanical mysteries

by Carola Dunn

There are a couple of botanical mystery series I have enjoyed: John Sherwood's Celia Grant books in particular; also Anthony Eglin's series; and Mary Freeman's, set in the Columbia Gorge. There are others I'm less familiar with. In fact, when I searched Amazon for Gardening Mysteries, my own Winter Garden Mystery popped up!

But recently, I've been getting some real plant mysteries solved, taking pictures and posting them on FB with a request for identification. This modest flower, for instance, grows down by the Willamette, where I walk every day:

This one grows nearby:

This one is a volunteer in my garden:

But this monstrosity is in the San Diego Botanic Garden. When I first saw it, I thought someone had dressed it up with Christmas ornaments, but it's all natural. It had a label, of course, which I didn't take note of (of course).

And this is a zoological mystery:

How many goslings--and how does she cope?


Jean Henry Mead said...

I'm a plant lover, Carola, but I'm afraid I can't identify any of your pictures. Some of the strangest and most beautiful plants I've ever seen inhabit Arizona.

Carola said...

I can't remember whether I ever did identify the really strange one--the one that, from a distance, I thought had been decorated unseasonably for xmas. I could send my d-in-law and the kids back to the gardens to find it and write down what it says on the label! The other two were identified by Facebook friends--yellow parentucillia and hare'sfoot clover. My granddaughter and I each count 27 goslings. As to how mama goose copes, that remains a mystery.

Carola said...

and the one in my garden is tentatively identified as some kind of honeysuckle

Jaden Terrell said...

I've always wanted to be one of those people who can look at any plant and identify it, but alas, I don't seem to have the knack. I think I've memorized the sycamore leaf about 100 times and still don't recognize it when I see it in the wild. I love your photos, though--especially the one with the goslings. I'm sure they're a handful for mama, but they sure are cute.

Mark W. Danielson said...

I saw an amazing array of plants in Anchorage recently, many standing over six feet tall and having massive leaves. I'm sure they all have names, but I just admired them as I walked.

Carola said...

I don't know why it is that mankind finds it necessary to name everything, but judging by Genesis it's a very old urge. I guess I'm a bit obsessive about it--birds and plants, anyway.