the gates of hell

the gates of hell
The Gates of Hell

Friday, May 29, 2015

yet another kin to the devil's apple (aka mayapple)

I am so enamored of Podophyllums, all of them! This is Podophyllum pleianthum, or Chinese mayapple. Makes a fabulous umbrella for my neighbor Totoro. Wide-eyed duck prefers to stay out in the rain. (These first two photos were taken in April showers, on April 1.)
The new leaves are unbelievably glossy! (Its not wet in these last two photos. The first was taken a week ago, the last was taken yesterday.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

dancing delavayi, anagram: Aya, dancing devil

Podophyllum delavayi, now nicknamed Aya (though I don't think that really takes the devil out of her), has been dancing since birth. Well, almost since birth; she started out looking more like a clutch of half-submerged brussels sprouts. First the emergence of the amazing leaves, toad-patterned parasols swaying to music, then the emergence of amazing red flowers reminiscent of ballgowns. And another surprise underneath; her yellow petticoats fluttered when she kicked up her heels in the heat today.
[she or they? I'm not sure]

Friday, May 8, 2015

catching flies

I have started a few patches of several varieties of wild ginger, which make a beautiful evergreen ground cover. I started with Asarum europaeum, which is dark green, low to the ground, and has quite unremarkable tiny hidden flowers. Asarum flowers lie nearly face down in the dirt, apparently because they are pollinated by flies and/or beetles.

Last fall I added Asarum speciosum 'Woodlanders Select.' The leaves are much taller with bright green variegation, almost lime-colored. The flowers are a little larger and much more dramatic, though they still take some effort to find and appreciate. They are so bizarre that I had to share. They started off looking rather, shall I say, male. Most have now cracked open and seem alternately ominous and gorgeous, depending on my mood.