Friday, July 21, 2006

Mystery flowers strike again!

Next week we have not one but two different mulberries to explore. What is their true identity? Ha! We may never know; but explore them we shall.

Today, I just could not resist sharing this unique, beautiful flower which sprang up almost over night in my little flower bed. I have not clue as to what this is, and I cannot find it growing anywhere else.

It appears to have emerged from a towering mass of white morning glories (yes, I know that they are “weeds” and I have them happily growing along with my carefully cultivated dandelions, thank you!).

You can see how it’s opened up over the last few days in these three shots. Each successive layer adds another uni-petal to the spindle of flowerets. I believe that those palmate-looking leaves are what belongs to this plant, but I am completely at a loss as to its identity.

I’ve got to get me an herbaceous identification book to compliment my tree identification books! Suggestions and theories are all welcome. Have a great weekend everyone! Hug a tree. :)

Update: Mystery solved - what we have here is cleome! Thanks Xris for your help! (For details, see the comments).


  1. Aren't those surprises fun? It's very exotic looking; I'll be interested to find out what it is.

    P.S. I also have white morning glory happily climbing my fence and I'm doing nothing to discourage it. :)

  2. Cleome. They're annuals.

    If you like them, let them go to seed. They'll self-sow. Or collect the seed yourself and scatter it where you want them to grow next year.

  3. Awesome! Thank you so much xris!! So, so, to seed they shall go!!

  4. Forgot to add: The common name for Cleome is Spider Flower. It's an old-fashioned garden annual. The flower color is variable, from white to deep rose, almost red, depending on the seed strain.

    I have some growing in my garden for the first time this year from seeds given to me by a family friend a couple of years ago from his garden out on Long Island. The first one to bloom is a medium pink. We'll see how the others turn out!

  5. Thanks again Chris - I'm so excited! Incidentally, there was another "mystery flower" which also sprouted up about six inches away last month.

    That one looked decidedly different than these beauties, but I believe it may be called "spider wort." I'll get a picture up in the next post, perhaps you'll be able to confirm it's identity?

    So glad you paid us a visit Xris!

  6. Cleome! And if you let them go to seed, you will have cleome forever!

  7. This is just beautiful. So delicate and I love the soft colors. Looks like my new desktop background has arrived!!!

    Have a great SAt.

    BFN, G

  8. I just love cleome; it is different and doesn't need to be deadheaded, it just keeps blooming!

  9. These 'arachniflorals' are a treat -- I've never seen anything like them before.

    Although cleome isn't a very popular choice in florists' bouquets on this side of the Atlantic these days, it was no stranger in Victorian arrangements: in floriography, a spider flower symbolises a request to elope.

    Thanks for the link to Pollen Nation, and for the daily nature bites, which make great reading over morning coffee (the upside of timezones).

  10. I have to ditto Pollen Nation in thanking you for your "daily nature bites" - delicious! - :)

  11. testing! wftpie

  12. testing, testing!

  13. A great way to recognize these before they flower is by the smell - reminds me of skunk! Wonder if that's why they're not popular with florists.


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