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Results tagged “april-24”

Apr 24, 2013: Limnanthes douglasii subsp. douglasii

Limnanthes douglasii subsp. douglasii

Bryant DeRoy is the author of today's entry. He is going to work on a series on liverworts to conclude his time as a work-learn student with Botany Photo of the Day, to be featured next week.

Today's photograph is again from James Gaither (aka J.G. in S.F.@Flickr). In the previous entry featuring his photography, commenter Wendy Cutler pointed out that Jim passed away last year. I visited some of Jim's favourite sites to photograph while I was on vacation, and thought of him quite often -- he truly excelled at combining artistry with technique.

Jim photographed today's image of Limnanthes douglasii subsp. douglasii at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. The image was submitted via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool.

Bryant writes:

Limnanthes douglasii subsp. douglasii is commonly known as the poached egg plant or yellow and white Douglas' meadowfoam. This annual species is a member of the Limnanthaceae, or meadowfoam family. This species is native to both California and Oregon, and is often found in moist to wet grassy meadow environments and/or near vernal pools. Although it seems to prefer well-drained soils, it can tolerate poorly-drained soils as well (e.g., those of claypan vernal pools). It self-seeds very efficiently and tends to naturalize given the right conditions; in some cases this can cause unwanted naturalization in lawns.

This species is known to attract hoverflies, and therefore can be useful in mitigating aphids. The Royal Horticulture Society has also given this species its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Apr 24, 2012: Cissus verticillata

The display of the aerial roots of Cissus verticillata (syn. Cissus sicyoides) makes for an iconic photograph in Atlanta Botanical Garden's Fuqua Conservatory. Easily ranked as one of the most impressive conservatories I've visited, it helped our recent trip start on a very positive note.

Known by a number of common names, including princess vine, millionaire vine and (with an appropriate adjective) curtain ivy, Cissus verticillata is native to much of the tropical Americas. I've not been able to track down any proven reasons why the species would evolve such extensive aerial roots, though some speculation can be made. One suggestion is access to additional water resources; please see the article "A Curtain of Roots" on page 27 of Gardenwise (Vol. 36, PDF), the magazine of the Singapore Botanical Garden. Whatever the reason(s), the aerial roots are also intriguing in terms of their high growth rate, measured under seemingly ideal conditions at about 8mm/hr (about an inch every 3 hours or so).

Additional photos of this grape relative, including images of leaves and fruit, are available from the Plants of Hawaii site (where the plant is non-native): Cissus verticillata.


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