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!