Thursday, December 4, 2008

Purple flowers

My landscape could use more color right now. There are a lot of brown leaves all over the ground, and on top of the coniferous trees, and stuck in Stewie's fur, so this week I'm going back in time to when there were still flowers in bloom.

Clematis

13. Clematis
Already knew: Clematis is a climbing vine with purple five petaled flowers. It does much better in places that have a warmer summer. I remember being shocked at how big and healthy the Clematis at Steel's parent's house in Virginia was.
Recently learned: The Clematis is a Liana, which what they call woody vines. Caterpillars love to eat the leaves. The compounds in Clematis cause internal bleeding of the digestive tract if ingested. Despite it's toxicity, Native Americans (which ones Wikipedia? Be specific!) used small amounts to treat migraines and nervous disorders.
Dahlias

14. Dahlias
Already knew: (side note, these look really pink in this picture but they were more lavender in reality.)Dahlias are a flower. That and what they look like is all I really know about them.
Recently learned: In 1872 a box of Dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to the Netherlands. Only one plant survived the trip, but they still became a popular flower in Europe with thousands of cultivars. In Germany Dahlias were known as Georgines until recently. Dahlias are often grown for judged shows. Just like purebred dogs.

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