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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weird and Wonderful







Poke weed : : ???? : : Florida star anise : : Bracket fungus : :  Big fat bracket fungus

We've been enjoying lots of soft summer rain here lately, and it's bringing out all kinds of weird and wonderful things.  Poke weed is a poisonous plant that farmers hate, but it's pendulous clusters of alien looking berries on bright purplish red stalks make it an awesome thing to behold.  I have no idea what that extraordinary blossom is called.  It's on a vine that's growing on a brush pile.  Isn't it magnificent?  The Florida anise has a bright red flower which turns into this green seed pod which will eventually turn brown and look like its culinary cousin the star anise that is used a lot in Chinese and Indian cuisine.  I'm not sure if you could cook with this one.  The plant itself has a pungent herbal musk scent which some people say smells like a wet dog, but I have never thought so.  I think it is a more earthy-herbal scent.  And check out those fantastic lavender-tinged bracket fungi!!  Aren't they gorgeous?  They look like something out of Alice in Wonderland or Avatar.  And of course the big fat one.  From another angle, it looks like a pair of lips stuck on the side of the tree, but I chose to shoot it from a more flattering angle.  Would you like to see the lips? 

Pucker up, honey!


2 comments:

Emily said...

You live in some kind of fantasy land! The flowers here are so small and discreet compared to those you have.

Starr White said...

I really do feel like I live in a Wonderland, Emily. That big extraordinary blossom was a surprise even to me. I've never seen anything like it. I'm going to try to gather some seeds from it so I can be sure to have some more next year.