Friday, February 5, 2010

Iowa City Graffiti: Rose

Feeling kind of out of it again today (which is Thursday, even though you're reading this on Friday), but in this case I think I know why: we went to Iowa City on Wednesday and I wound up walking around outside for most of an hour. Not particularly horrible in itself (in fact I kind of liked it), but my body is not accustomed to me doing a whole lot of walking anywhere, and especially not when temperatures are in the 20s (F: this is -2 to -7C). So I'm paying for the walk today in the form of a slight headache and overall tiredness.

But I got to see this.


I'm not positive that this counts as a graffito, in the sense that I'm not positive it's unwanted (certainly it's been at this location for a while, and nobody's removed it, plus it's prettier than most of the other graffiti I've seen), but it's outside, on a building, in spray-paint, so I think it's close enough.

The only question remaining, then, is: what species is it? I'm inclined to go with a rose (even though the number of petals is wrong), because of the shape of the buds, but I think an argument could be made for Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus). Though the number of petals is still wrong, for Catharanthus.


14 comments:

Claude said...

dogwood?

David Nolan said...

Mr_S:

That flower almost makes me forget about all that white nasty stuff on the ground

- your friend in FL.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Claude, it reminded me of a pink Cornus florida, too. Not that the artist necessarily had any particular plant in mind that grows outside their imagination.

Don

lynn'sgarden said...

My first thought was 'cosmo' but the foliage don't match! I guess that's what's fun about an artist's imagination...chalk it up to just a pretty flower ;)
Hope you're feeling better today!

Anonymous said...

I'd give it the rose, on the basis of the leaves and buds, and ignore the fact that they've messed up on the number of petals. While that might match the Cornus flower somewhat (not the buds though) the leaves are totally not a dogwood. It just goes to show how even a familiar plant doesn't register right with someone not tuned in and observant to all their little nuances. Pretty though, and not the ego trip that most graffiti represents.

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous:

It just goes to show how even a familiar plant doesn't register right with someone not tuned in and observant to all their little nuances.

Seriously. And this person is practically a botanist compared to some people.

I was surprised, a lot, when I worked at the garden center by how really, really horrible people were at describing their plants. I had a lady come in one time because a plant that had been in her family for like thirty years had died on her, and she was looking for a replacement for it. But she didn't know a botanical name, didn't know a common name, didn't have a photo, and couldn't even tell me what it looked like, beyond its height (around 6 feet), color (green), and leaf shape ("ovalish:" she wouldn't even commit to "oval"). Which could have been anything. And even that limited amount of description took me fifteen minutes to drag out of her. I was like, you have got to be shitting me. You never in thirty years managed to give it a close look, but it's still so important to you that you have to replace it with the same exact thing?

I basically had to hold her hand and show her every plant we had in stock, one by one, until she found one that looked like her plant.

She eventually decided it was a Schefflera actinophylla, though she wasn't sure. I'm not positive, but I think she actually left without buying anything, too, after wasting my whole morning.

Not saying I would be able to describe everything in my world perfectly, either, if I had to. But sweet baby Jesus, I could do better than that.

Anonymous said...

I.C.? CRian here. What nursery do you work at? Noelridge is having their open house Sunday. I NEED to see some green for sure!

mr_subjunctive said...

Anonymous:

Well, um, I don't actually live or work in Iowa City anymore (still Johnson County). For various reasons, I've elected not to identify where I used to work, though in Iowa City there are only so many possibilities.

"Noelridge?" Not familiar with it.

Melanie said...

Hope you are feeling better, after your walk in sub zero temperatures. I think the flower is named something like flos ruber

Tina said...

Looks to me like they were trying for hibiscus, though if they were, they still got the petal count wrong...

Paul said...

Hmmm, a subzero jaunt should have wiped you out that badly -- perhaps a regular exercise regime would help? For starters, or perhaps as an early reward, there is an orchid show in your area you can go to this upcoming weekend. heh heh

I would go with 'rose' as well based on bud and foliage. Actually have seen a 4 petaled rose flower before. True it was the only such one I noticed on the bush but hey mutants happen......

mr_subjunctive said...

No, it shouldn't have, and I probably should work on exercising more, but between writing the blog and watering the plants, I'm honestly not sure when I would do it. Seriously. In terms of time spent, I have something like 1 1/2 full-time jobs.

Neither of which pay anything.

Also, if you're talking about the orchid show in Ames, that's not really in my area. (Google Maps says it's 2 hours and 40 minutes away to drive.) And we were going to go, but things have happened to where that's not really practical anymore. Which is fine. Orchids schmorkids.

phantom_tiger said...

Your story about the lady who can't describe a plant made me laugh. It reminds me of when I worked in a bookstore. Amazing how often the customer didn't know the author, didn't know the title, and when asked what it was about, didn't know that either. You have to wonder.

MrBrownThumb said...

The petal count is off but I thought it was one of those Nearly Wild Roses.