Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pretty picture: assorted blooming plants from work, Part 2 of 2

My camera is frustratingly unable to capture certain shades of purple accurately. The pictures may be crystal-clear and gorgeous, but all the red always gets sucked out of the purple. It's actually kind of a problem. Adding red with Irfanview doesn't help, because the red also gets added to everything else: it's no use getting the flower the right color if the clouds are pink and the leaves are yellow. It's frustrating, but I soldier bravely onward.

Daucus carota, Queen Anne's lace

There are some plants that people seem to love to hate. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), or perhaps kudzu (Pueraria lobata), for example. Queen Anne's lace seems to be sort of the opposite: it's the plant people kind of hate to love. It's not particularly practical -- you can't really eat it or make baskets out of it or repel insects with it -- but it is, undeniably, pretty in that Julia set kind of fractally way, and that appears to be enough.

We don't actually sell this at work, but I felt the post needed another picture, so it got in. (I'm actually a little surprised we don't; it wouldn't be our first invasive plant, see next picture.)

Eichhornia crassipes

This one actually disturbs me a little bit. We do sell water hyacinth, despite the fact that it's a known invasive and is very disruptive in the ecosystems to which it's been introduced (via blocking light from deeper water, starving the water of oxygen, displacing native plants, and so forth). Granted that it wouldn't be invasive here, since it's not able to survive freezes (though I haven't seen it definitely stated that the seeds, which are plentiful, couldn't overwinter), but it's not like a fair amount of damage couldn't be done in a single season, too, under the right circumstances. On the other hand, the flowers are quite pretty. There's a weird peacock sort of quality to the top petal that intrigues me.

Angelonia 'Serena Purple'

I actively dislike Angelonia, for unfair reasons. Our entire stock (four or five different varieties) got a bad spider mite infestation toward the end of the spring and couldn't really be snapped out of it, so we had to throw it out. Or at least we wound up throwing most of it out; I think the plant in this picture is one that we managed to salvage. It's an attractive plant when it's healthy, but it goes downhill so fast.

Salvia nemorosa 'Marcus'

This one's nice. I'm not really a fan of any of the millions of different Salvia smells, but this one is less offensive than most, and the blooms are a genuinely pretty color, and seem to last for a long time. So it's not so bad.

Delphinium 'Purple Passion'

This is the most shameful example of the camera not giving me the right color when it comes to blues and purples. The real thing is both darker and redder. I've not actually spent much time dealing with, or noticing, the Delphiniums, until the last couple weeks, so I don't have much to add to that. I suppose I could say that I like the word. Delphinium. It's nice.


Shibaguyz said...

Love all the purple. Isn't it interesting how an invasive weed has evolved to look so beautiful? Could it be that plants have evolved a sense of themselves and realize such a beautiful display would lure humans into aiding their propagation and, therefore, ensure their continues success? hhhmmm...

sheila said...

The sad thing about water hyacinth is that each bloom only lasts for one day.

I like them in my pond, although would never use them where they could be released into the wild. In my little landlocked pond, they do a great job filtering the water and starving out the algae.

Anonymous said...

Shibaguyz has a interesting opinion, it sounds pretty plausible to me.

perL said...

Yep, nice photos. I actually do like Queen Anne's lace and plan to grow it in the meadow planting I want to have in my front yard next year along with other plants that will encourage butterflies.
Thanks for all the great purple blooms.