Mystery Flora: I Am Flower, Hear Me Roar


I think these flowers might be monkeying around. Then again, flora isn’t my forte – which is why I’m grateful to have you lot. I can traipse around in the wild (or domestic) looking for pretty plants to photograph, and then come back to my experts.

I love you guys.

There aren’t so many flowers in late September, but these were happily blooming along the Iron Goat Trail.

Mystery Flora I

These look like little purple lions to me, roaring in the face of impending winter. Life is harder up here than it is in the Puget Lowland. It snows deep and often. Everything erupts in the short summer, taking advantage of every second of sunlight.

Mystery Flora II

Several of these were busy getting their bloom-time in while they could. Absolutely lovely.

Mystery Flora III

I’m so glad evolution headed in the direction of flowers. Regular plants are beautiful and all, and some of them can be quite fascinating, but there’s nothing quite so showy as flowers.

Makes you wonder what it’s been up to on other worlds, eh?

 

Comments

  1. Adrian says

    It’s a species of Labiate (it means lipped)probably one of the deadnettles.I’m not sure which ones you get in your area.

    In Europe I would have said it was the wonderfully named “Black Horehound”, Ballota nigra. The leaves seem to be pointed which rules out Red Deadnettle, I think.

    The labiates are a very large family and , as usual, I could be very wrong.

  2. rq says

    I’m going to say red hemp nettle (or at least a hemp nettle of some kind – Galeopsis). Same group as the horehound, but the leaves are less hairy and look more suited to this one. Besides, flower colour is a brighter pink; I think the black horehound is actually more purply-blue in colour. If it’s not that, it is the horehound – it seems to be spread rather widely.
    http://www.griffons.com/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=2753 (#3; loved the drawing)
    And I’m not sure, but I think it’s not a native species (the hemp-nettle). They’re all useful in all kinds of herbal remedies, at any rate, and nettles in this part of Europe are known as anti-inflammatories, astringents, and also good in soups. Never tried it myself, but apparently the common stinging nettle is especially delicious.

    Also, the title of your post seems especially interesting to me – the lion bit, because it makes me think of snapdragons, which in Latvian are called ‘lion’s mouths’, except due to a quirk of the language, when I was little, I always thought they were ‘fairy mouths’. They’re all Lamiales, anyway…
    And for this reason, the Labiata designation seems especially appropriate. Mouths, lips, lions, fairies and dragons…

  3. says

    It’s a dead nettle. Alive, but “dead” because it doesn’t sting.

    Probably purple, possibly spotted. Lamium sp., maybe L. maculata, maybe L. purpurea. These are common around here in the Fraser valley, in wetlands, ditch edges, creek sides, etc. Look for them in the spring, when the new shoots are almost as vividly coloured as the flowers.

    • Adrian says

      Hi Susannah

      How late do your deadnettles flower?

      One of the reasons I went with Horehound is that it flowers late into September, our deadnettles are usually over by then.

  4. says

    Our seasons are all off this year. It’s ‘way too warm and dry, and many of my plants that should have shut down long ago are still blooming. Even the spring-flowering bleeding hearts were still in bloom last week.

  5. Achrachno says

    It’s clearly a Stachys, not a Lamium or anything like that. But, it’s some Pac. NW species that I don’t know. My best guess is S. chamissonis, based on the treatment in Abrams Illustr. Flora of the Pacific States (1951), but that’s pretty old and revisions have doubtless been made. There’s one called S. cooleyae (or something like that, IIRC) that has large purple fls. like those seen here, but it’s not even mentioned by Abrams.

  6. Mal Adapted says

    Dana,

    I agree it’s probably Stachys cooleyae (or S. chamissonis var. cooleyae if you’re a splitter). When crushed it smells like cucumbers, at least to me.

    Now that you’re an Oregonian, let me introduce you to the Native Plant Society of Oregon, a great resource in its own right and a sponsor of the Oregon Flora Project. Try looking up Stachys cooleyae, family Lamiaceae, in the OFP photo album.