Oct 24 2012

Mystery Flora: Campus Beautification

I know, I know – two domesticated species within a week, where’s the wildflowers, right? But we’ve been doing the OSU geotour, might as well do the campus flowers too, amirite? And these are quite wonderful.

For one thing, they are trees:

Mystery Flora I

Mystery Flora I

I do love a purple flowering tree, although the last time I gave you a purple flowering tree, you told me it was a horrible invasive species. If these are, too, I’ll despair.

Mystery Flora II

Mystery Flora II

Something tells me these trees (or very tall flowering bushes) are deeply confused – they’re just barely bursting into bloom, there are unopened buds all over the place, and it is October in the Pacific Northwest. First week of, granted, but really, things typically don’t bloom so late. Not domesticated things – I think there may be a few flowers that thrive this late, but not many.

Mystery Flora III

Mystery Flora III

This is what happens when we have an unusually late summer – things get weird. Completely weird. But beautifully weird.

Mystery Flora IV

Mystery Flora IV

There’s something very Zen about a tree blooming, and even more so when it blooms out of season. Don’t ask me why, but it reminds me not only of cherry blossoms, but of that poor dude hanging by his fingertips from a vine, nothing but a sheer drop below and a tiger above, who notices a strawberry growing out of the cliff in front of him. He plucks and eats it – delicious! That’s something I like about Zen: how practical it is. The cherry blossoms are beautiful, fleeting – don’t try to hold on, just savor their moments. Life is short, and death certain – but in this moment, strawberries! And it’s the same with flowers blooming out of season: they’re certain to perish, and they may be a sign that we’ve fucked up our atmosphere to the point of doom – but in this moment, they are lovely.

Mystery Flora V

Mystery Flora V



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  1. 1

    It’s a Lagerstroemia (crepe myrtle). Not sure sure as to species though.

  2. 2
    The Phytophactor

    It’s your basic crepe myrtle (also seen is spelled “crape”), Lagerstroemia indica. It’s a pretty ubiquitous ornamental in warmer climates. Not sure about the variety; there are lots. Always thought the crepe refered to the crinkly petals and their crepe paper appearance.

  3. 3

    It’s a crape (or crepe) myrtle, Lagerstroemia , although I’m not sure which species. Not native.

  4. 4

    Sorry, got kicked off the computer for a moment. Here was a nice link about the linguistic origins of the name:

  5. 5

    Beautiful pics!

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