May 08 2013

Mystery Flora: Wayside Wonders

Lockwood and I are at the end of Day 2 of our trip, and I have a computer full of photos. Some of them are actually geology, but today, I’m throwing one of my dozens of mystery flora at you. I know what these are, but I’m hoping they pose a bit of a challenge.

Mystery Flora I

Mystery Flora I

Perhaps some hints are in order. Right: so these are on the coast of Oregon.

Mystery Flora II

Mystery Flora II

They like to get their feet wet.

Mystery Flora III

Mystery Flora III

The flowers look like little red hazelnuts and are quite attractive, but the plant itself is the most bizarre fucking thing you can imagine.

Mystery Flora IV

Mystery Flora IV

I’ve taken these flowers out of context, because you’d identify them in about one second flat if you could see the leaves.

I’ll have much more for you after the trip. I’m still in the too-exhausted-to-post phase when we reach the motel. But it’s fun, and I can’t wait to show you all the goodies!


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  1. 1

    Cobra lily! Darlingtonia californica, which has the delightful property of being very, very oddlooking and therefore exceedingly difficult to search for.
    Also, they swallow beetles (that clip needs a better soundtrack, more horror, less ambient).
    I almost didn’t finish this search because it was making me too homesick. Not the pitcher plant itself, mind you, but all the other familiar flowers showing up during the search. Lots of faces from childhood.

    1. 1.1

      PS It’s finally a native plant over which Dana can get super-excited. Not invasive at all! Just carnivorous and predatory. ;)

  2. 2
    Gregory in Seattle

    It took some digging — pictures of D. californica typically show the carnivorous parts of the plant, not the flowers — but rq has the right of it.

    1. 2.1
  3. 3

    Yeah, I was confused at first, because it looked correct, and then I opened other pages, and all it showed was the carnivorous leaves. *blank* Weird, that – you’d think the flower would be just as important to identify it, but I have to agree that the leaves look awesomely cool and weird and… alien.

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