Quantcast

«

»

Jan 08 2013

Mystery Flora: White Spray

This is one of those prequels that can stand on its own. Observe these wonderful sprays of white flowers and broad green leaves.

Mystery Flower I

Mystery Flower I

In a few days, I’ll be able to tell you what pollinates this flower. More precisely, I’ll be able to show you its pollinators and you can tell me what they are. But first, the flowers. This particular bush is growing up by North Creek, but I also found banks full of them when I went to play by the Snoqualmie River. There’s a tiny trail through them at Three Forks Natural Area, under the canopy of the trees.

Mystery Flower II

Mystery Flower II

They grow fairly tall, as far as bushes go.

Mystery Flower III

Mystery Flower III

If one cares to be fanciful (and one often does, alone in a quiet wood, on a peaceful late summer day), one can almost imagine the trees wearing fluttering green skirts liberally laced with diamonds and pearls. Of course, the designer was rather, shall we say, creative in terms of how things drape. One might almost guess there was no designer, and things have just grown up on their own, willy-nilly, with only a few billion years of evolution to guide matters.

Mystery Flower IV

Mystery Flower IV

I love these sprays of white against the vivid green. And upon further inspection, they’re even more lovely.

Mystery Flower V

Mystery Flower V

How nice is that? They look like something a fantasy artist would paint for a nice scene in Faerie. You could imagine Titania wearing a garland of them, were you prone to imagining such things. Which I rather am, having read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and The Books of Magic.

Mystery Flower VI

Mystery Flower VI

They seem to grow every which way – up, down, to the side. They put me in mind a bit of the sea, waves breaking on rocks in spurts of glittering spray, white against the sun. Even in the shade, these lovely flowers gleam.

Mystery Flower VII

Mystery Flower VII

And they’re so delicate and light that the slightest spider web will capture their blossoms. Fantastic.

All of this looks very disheveled and haphazard, but if you have a closer look at the plants, you’ll see the leaves are utterly orderly.

Mystery Flower VIII

Mystery Flower VIII

I can’t wait for summer again, when they’re leafed out and in bloom, and thanks to you I’ll know what they are. This is among the countless reasons why I love you, my darlings. You always come through. And once you’ve done so on these, we’ll have a delightful duet of pollinators.

9 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    harenaatria

    The flowers remind me of one plant (ligustrum) and the leaves/bush remind me of another (mock orange). Typical.

    1. 1.1
      rq

      Also, I now know that Harry Potter actually lives on Ligustrum Drive. ;)

  2. 2
    rq

    Hmm. Well, it certainly looks similar to Ligustrum, but since it seems to have spread rather comfortably in Dana’s corner of the world, I doubt it is… Closest I came was the pokeweed, but I can’t speciate and it’s not sitting too well.
    Although, Dana mentions pollinators, which means it’s probably either something totally awesome, or something tiny and absolutely adorable. So yes, I say pokeweed, because pokeweed pollinator.
    (What bothers me is those green pre-fruits in the centres of the white flowers in all internet photos. They’re not apparent in Dana’s photos, so I believe they’re a slightly later stage in the flowering of these plants. Then again, I could just be completely wrong!)

    1. 2.1
      heliconia

      I hope Dana is planning to show us hoverfly pictures like that one…I have some hoverfly tales to tell.

      1. rq

        Oooh, I can’t wait! Dana, it better be a hoverfly!

  3. 3
    heliconia

    Hmm, I’m stumped, but they are indeed pretty. Maybe I’ll have better luck with the pollinators.

  4. 4
    phytophactor

    Attactive? Yes. But a damnable invasive weed. This is Polygonum cuspidatum Japanese knotweed and it is a terrible thing. Cut it down. Rip it out. Nuke it. Definitely not pokeweed.

    1. 4.1
      rq

      I bet it has the same pollinator as pokeweed, though.
      But damn. So Dana’s all excited about invasive species again? :( Why is it so terrible? It’s puuurrrrrrtyyy…

  5. 5
    Susannah

    You found banks of them. You would.. It’s an aggressive, invasive, almost impossible to eradicate weed. Fine in its native territory (Eastern Asia), beautiful, even. But not here; it wipes out anything else that grows here.

    Japanese knotweed, as phytophactor said. Here it is on Wikipedia. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is edible, at least in the spring. A good rhubarb substitute. And with persistent cutting of every single solitary shoot over a period of about 5 years, I think (hope) I’ve been able to kill the one that took root in our shrubbery. It invaded even the pavement of the alley next to us; the stuff can force its way through concrete, travel 10 feet deep underground and come up on the opposite side of a paved road, sprout from a leftover inch of torn up root, eat babies for breakfast … (Well, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit on that last accusation.)

Comments have been disabled.