Friday, March 24, 2006

Curves and Curls

Another interesting feature of the local flora is the prevalence of curves and curls. All around the area I continue find corkscrew branch tips, curvaceous trunks, and curling creepers.

Some of these plants clearly use the strength of other plants, such as the self-supporting trees, to provide them with structure and footholds for growth. Other plants just seem to enjoy twisting!

I’m interested to learn whether some of these creeping plants are in fact stranglers, or if they live symbiotically with their supportive friends. For those who simply like to curl, I have to wonder: what inspires them to grow this way?


  1. I used to live near the American River in northern California and when I went for long rambles along the water I’d see many wild grape vines, some obviously very old, wrapping around tree trunks and curving through and connecting different branches. When their heavy clusters of grapes grew ripe, I’d wander through the woods with the sweet taste of the wild on my tongue.

    Your pictures brought back a flood of memories!

    P.S. I included a few pictures I took of the lovely wildflowers here in southern California with my latest post. Spring is already in full swing here because it's so warm all the time. I thought you'd enjoy seeing what's growing in other parts of the country, too. :)

  2. Mmm... thank you for sharing those memories JB! As a matter of fact, I was really enjoying those flowers on your blog this morning!

  3. That's a beautiful memory JB.

    I like the sculptural look of the vines spiraling around the tree trunks. When we bought our house, the brick chimney was covered with ivy. I loved the way it looked, but we had to tear it off because it's so destructive.

    Do you know yet what the vines in the first and third pictures are?

  4. That looks like grapevine in number 3. We don't have it up here (Northern Ontario), but I saw plenty of it in the Mississpi R. valley in MN. The stripa of delaminating bark is a giveaway. Noy sure about pic1.

  5. LilyB, unfortunately, I don't know what those vines are yet... but I I bet Eric is right on with grapevines. Wouldn't that totally rock? I don't think I've EVER had the experience of eating grapes off the vine! I think I've only had grapes from the grocery store.

    Eric, thanks for the input! I would really love the opportunity to explore the Mississippi River. I saw it for the first time on our trip across the continent, but we didn't have time to stop and explore. These vines are growing all around the farm here, and some (like the one in picture no. 3) have obviously been around for as long as the trees!


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