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!


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.