Friday, February 24, 2012

Mystery flora

Look at the ferny circlet of leaves with the scarlet tracery on the left.  I discovered it on my antiquing foray last week, out behind one of the antique malls, growing amid moss and the sort of weeds that commonly flourish on untended patches of dirt here.  But I've never seen anything like this before.  The rosy buds produce a small lavender bloom, and then notice the long chartreuse spikes that follow.  Because the red marking was not uniform – on some plants almost non-existent and on others so dense that it almost looked liked flocking, especially on the stems – I wondered if it could be some sort of a virus, like that which produced all the fantastical tulip varieties during the Dutch tulip craze of the 17th century.  Linda and I also speculated that it might have found its way here from some foreign land, clinging to some of the old garden statuary or antique oddities displayed around the space where it was growing.

I searched on the Internet but didn't find anything that looked like it, probably because I didn't know what I was looking for.  Does anyone have an idea of what it might be?



  1. I looked through the USDA website on noxious weeds but couldn't find anything definitive. We have this weed in our gravel parking area, and it is very difficult to eradicate. It has a very fleshy root. I'll be interested if you find a name.

  2. So it's not something exotic. I assumed it was a "weed," but you know that definition of a weed as a plant growing in the wrong place. It's so striking that I wouldn't mind having a potful of it, but, of course, it would probably escape, and then I'd be trying to eradicate it, too.