Sunday, April 14, 2013

lavender paradox

See the tiny white flowers in the picture below?

They're lavender. The Spanish white lavender (Lavandula stoechas) I planted last spring. The word stoechas refers to the pineapple-shaped blossoms which are typical of Spanish lavenders, in contrast to the more familiar dentate blossoms of English and French lavenders..

See the lavender-and-white flowers in the picture above?

They're not lavender, except in color! They're freesias, displaying their relationship to irises by bearing their matte, pointed leaves parallel to each other and, for the most part, parallel to the ground.

See the little shriveled blue thing between two sprays of freesias near the lower left corner of the picture above. Up until last year I thought it was a Hyacinthus orientalis, but it's actually Hyacinthoides, a member of the asparagus family. Its leaves are the shiny ones -- longer and clumpier than freesia leaves.

I didn't think I was taking a picture of a hyacinthoid, but I'm glad it's there. I've been meaning to set the record straight on these delightful flowers, and on hyacinth beans, which turned out to be a colossal disappointment -- a woody-stemmed perennial that's almost as invasive as asparagus fern.

You can't see the pink or blue ("dilly, dilly") of any English, French, or Spanish lavenders in this picture, because they stand tall. Sometimes it's nice to focus on the beauties of the ground.
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License