Monday, July 23, 2007

Fire escape beautification

Abutilon underplanted with coleus, Passiflora 'Lady Margaret' climbing the railing.




I dug this Salvia and the above Abutilon out of the front garden where their reds weren't mixing well. I accidentally cracked half of the plant off when I repotted it, but I think she'll do just fine! Shares a pot with some white blooming Browalia, a burgundy cascade geranium, Coleus 'Freckles' and....


Aristolochia, food for larvae of Swallowtail butterflies and known as birthworts, a large genus of plants with over 500 species. Aristolochia gigantea or Pelican flower, grows 8-10' over the summer and ought to bloom profusely and lemony. The guy at the farmer's mkt in Union Sq. could sense my weakness and told me it will be biennial (hmmm. really..?) and it had a single hypnotic bloom.
"Nevertheless, aristolochic acid is said to cure wounds or snakebites in a spectacular way. Decoctions of birthwort stimulate the production of white corpuscles and increase their activity. Furthermore, birthwort contains a disinfectant which drains off fluid from the wound. Birthwort was therefore highly regarded by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans."


"The flowers grow in the leaf axils. They are inflated and globose at the base, continuing as a long perianth tube, ending in a tongue-shaped, brightly colored lobe. There is no corolla. These flowers have a specialized pollination mechanism. The plants are aromatic and their strong scent attracts insects. The inner part of the perianth tube is covered with hairs, acting as a fly-trap. These hairs then wither to release the fly, covered with pollen. The appearance of the flowers gives rise to the genus' common name Dutchman's pipe."

4 comments:

Luke Pryjma said...

i smelll like meteor right novembrunt.

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