Friday, June 01, 2007

Papaver Strip-teaseuse

After a long day of steady rain yesterday, it looks like we're in for another round today ... Now, I'm usually not one to complain about rain, being the gardening soul that I am, but we're really in need of a break right now. The ground is more than saturated, and we're looking at a serious chance of flash flooding Friday. Though our neighborhood is in no imminent danger, the Raccoon River (infamous from the 93 flood) has been at, or over flood stage at Fleur Drive for a few days now, so it looks like a wet weekend coming up.

We're way behind in the spring planting and we have veggies, perennials and seeds screaming to be put in the ground! So, I'm taking a much-needed week of vacation away from work this coming week and there's way more than I think I can do, but somehow, we always manage to pull it together. Wish us luck in the coming days!

The Dragon Arum featured yesterday continues to wow us and everyone else who sees it, and I can report today that the rotten roadkill stench has largely dissipated already. We're almost disappointed about that, but at least we don't have to worry about keeping the dining room windows open! In an interesting development, the maroon/red cowl has morphed into a deep shade of purple now and we're seeing more changes down near the base of the bloom, where it has lightened up a bit in coulour. It is indeed an amazing plant that continues to make us marvel each day at its complexity ... I'll have more of it to show very soon, though today looks like it will be a bad day for getting any new photos.

So ... today's treat is one of our Papaver species we have planted in the back garden. This is a specimen of Papaver orientalis (Oriental poppy), though I've long forgotten the variety we planted. It's a spectacular large blooming perennial poppy that produces several brilliant orange flowers each year who, unfortunately, usually suffer the same fate as peonies... just as it bursts into bloom, rains come to strip the petals away post haste ... so we savor this one quickly because it never lasts long.

So, in honor of my dear friend Olivia (who needs a bit of cheering up due to recent Stanley Cup losses), I thought I'd put up a poppy "striptease." This series begins with this shy beauty's chaste, fan-like pose in the breeze ... only to progress to a bit more of the "tease" part as she warms to the gaze of the camera ... then undulates right up to her shameless exhibitionist pose of her delicious, yet guarded, inner bits.

Funny thing, isn't it, that for these flowers, it's all about the sex? And how each species approaches the reproductive deed in different ways, employing diverse ruses to attract just the right insects to make sure that they can endure in future seasons ... bees are more than happy to oblige most species, but for others (such as the Arum) nothing less than a carrion fly will do. Not that I lie awake at night pondering the sex lives of flowers, but it has always been a source of wonder for me to contemplate all the various tactics flowers use to make sure they retain their place in the garden they call home.

Photos courtesy of Fernymoss, taken on May 30, 2007.


olivia said...

Wowie zowie! Those are fantastic photos fernymoss ... and the perfect post title IVG ... lol.

These poppies are just loaded w/ pollen ... and the colour is dark and rich. Purple and orange, what a combination.

And I'm happy to hear that you're taking a much needed break. I hope you get good weather so you can spend the time in the garden!

Family Man said...


I agree with Olivia and talk about X-rated flower reviews. :)

I also agree that I'm glad you're taking a much needed break. I hope you enjoy yourself and do what ever you want to. Of course, slacking should be part of it. :~)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there Olivia and FM ... I'm a bit surprised you didn't bring chocolate into your description of the IBs, Olivia! To me they just scream a tasty shade of cocoa, but any way you look at them, these poppies are outstanding members of the garden!

Thx FM, and glad you like the innocently salacious nature of these beauties ... As for slacking, oh yes, that's on the agenda. Today was pretty rainy off and on so it was a prime day to slack, so I did. As a result, you're going to have to come up and mow the yard, hehe. Our snakes are nice ones though and don't bite.

Family Man said...

Hey they can be the nicest snakes in the world, but I don't want to have anything to do with them. :)

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