Thursday, 9 July 2009

Fur Balls, Fishing Rods and a little bit of Passion

July has seen some more beautiful and unusual plants coming into flower. Gomphocarpus physocarpus, the Fur Ball (or Hairy Ball) plant, produces stems of insignificant white flowers which magically transform into unusual translucent, soft, spiny balloons. These balloons will eventually explode and release hundreds of fluffy seeds into the air. These can be seen in our tropical border.

Dierama pulcherrimum, Angel's Fishing Rod or Wand Flower, has long, arching spikes rising above grass like leaves and resembles a fishing rod, each spike drooping under the weight of its pendular pink bells. This can be seen up on the terrace in the front quadrangle.
Passiflora caerulea, the Common Passion Flower, also found on the front quad terrace, is said to have got its name from the early missionaries in South America. They thought they saw, in the parts of the flower, various signs of Christ's crucifixion. If you look closely, the Corona became the crown of thorns, the five Anthers represented five wounds and the three Styles the three nails.

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