A few new flowers in the garden

A quick post today about the plants that are making me happy. I’ve been enjoying the leaves of the pickle plant, Delosperma echinatum. One could almost say those leaves are giving me goosebumps if one had a terrible sense of humor. The mother plant had gotten all rangy and gross looking, so I stuck these cuttings a few weeks ago. Looks like they are rooting well.

Blooming for the first time in the greenhouse, Mammillaria spinosissima ‘El Pico’. It’s variety name roughly translates as ‘the beak’. Gosh, this is a gorgeous plant, so unusual to see a mammillaria with long spines. I almost doubted it was a mammillaria at all until I saw those characteristic little flowers.

At home in the perennial bed, the Erythronium revolutum hit its peak in mid-April. I managed to capture the intricate detail of the stigma and anthers from underneath. I hope it sets seed. Somewhere in the past I said I hated the combination of pink and yellow. This plant proves me wrong.

I thought the anthers of the Trillium kurabayashii deserved a closer look – very eyecatching with their yellow margin. I had forgotten I had planted a green flowered form about a dozen feet away, which came as a pleasant surprise!

My Viriginia bluebells (Mertensia viriginica) bloomed for the first time. I loved these as a kid growing up in Wisconsin and, to be honest, was a little disappointed that our native broadleaf bluebell (Mertensia subcordata) wasn’t as gloriously showy. The big disappointment, however, was how annoyingly floppy Virginia bluebells are in the rain. I finally propped them up on a Fatshedera stub to keep their little blue faces out of the muck and mulch.

Pausing to admire the emerging leaves of Paeonia obovata var. wilmottiae Oddly, the P. veitchii a few feet over hasn’t emerged yet. Keeping an eye on that situation.

In the back rock garden, some of my favorite, old standbys have started blooming. Ranunculus gramineus and Pacific iris hybrid ‘Tawny Meadow’.

My Thermopsis gracilis that I grew from seed back in 2021 is blooming for the first time. Three years of expectation and coddling all led to this tepid, lemony yellow flower instead of the vibrant golden yellow I had so fervently hoped for. I had a good laugh when it suddenly struck me how I can now look forward to a lifetime of disappointment, every spring, in perpetuity, forever… Oddly, that thought made me sort of like this plant again, in a twisted sort of way. I am going to give it a few more years. It’s hard to let go of something I poured so much energy and hope into.

Unexpected, interlocking flower buds at the top of a Bellevallia pycnantha flower spike.

And, last, I was thrilled to see my Magnolia laevifolia blooming for the first time. I’ve tried to grow this species several times, only to have it succumb to root rot, or to be nipped off at the base by a wood rat. The third (or fourth) time was the charm. Just out of frame is the hardware cloth enclosure keeping it protected. The flowers smell exactly like generic hand lotion.

As promised, this was a short post. I will leave you with a photo of Linnaeus going through his morning ritual of asking for tummy rubs. Will this be the morning that he stays lovey dovey? Or is it a trap and suddenly the claws and teeth will spring forth from all directions?

Oof! 80 degree weather heading our way next week!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Jane / MulchMaid

    Gorgeous PCI, and the M. laevefolia smelling “like generic hand lotion”, LOL! Linneaus is cute, but I’d be quite put off by claw action. I like my cat bellies soft and receptive!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Linnaeus is still young and I have hopes that he will mellow with age. I think it is just a matter of reinforcing the cuddly behavior we want and transferring the play/kill energy towards his toys.

  2. Kris P

    I’ve never seen a Delosperma with leaves like that – I love it! All your flowers would make me happy too, if I had the slightest chance of growing them in my climate. Linnaeus is a cutie! I’m sure he’ll mellow out – eventually 😉

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      It is an unusual Delosperma. Makes me wonder if it will get renamed by the taxonomists at some point. Definitely, Linnaeus should mellow with time. We are working with him and trying to redirect his kill murder destroy energy towards more appropriate targets. Our hands are mostly scratch free, so he is actually doing pretty good!

  3. Tracy

    Linnaeus is so cute, he’s doing his morning yoga. The delosperma reminds me of little cat tongues, I guess that’s probably gross.

    Lovely green flowered trillium, how pretty. The Bellevalia looks almost black? How dramatic. 80’s will feel nice!

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      Cat tongues, yes! Not gross at all. Now that you mention it, the Bellevalia is pretty dark. Definitely one of the darker flowers in the garden.

  4. danger garden

    I have yet to get any scent from my Magnolia laevifolia. Is it my nose, or the plant? So… give us an update, were there claws?

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      The scent isn’t very strong during cold weather. I can only smell it on a warm day or when I bring the flowers into the house. I had about 10 seconds of cuddle before the claws came out. Luckily, he’s not to violent and it is more of a slow reveal, giving plenty of warning that it is time to slowly back away from the kitty.

  5. Chavli

    Delosperma echinatum looks like a marine invertebrate Sea anemones… peculiarly beautiful.

    Pink and yellow aren’t my favorite combo either but on my monitor it shows as fuchsia and orange: reminiscent of childhood’s summer sorbet, which is quite good.

    It is really good to see your beautiful boy, Linnaeus, healed and happy, ready to play. I used to participate in “claws and teeth” game with my kitty while wearing a thick garden glove.

    1. Botanica Chaotica

      I like the sea anemone imagery as well as the reminiscence for a summer sorbet.
      When Linnaeus gets really prickly, we try to quickly pivot to his stuffed animals or to his mouse on a wand. That seems to work really well. His tiny little teeth and claws are sharp. I think the only glove that might keep those out would be an old baseball mitt!

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