The Blue Potato Bush, native to Argentina and Paraguay, and growing in our back yard in California, has purple blooms all over it and seems to have enjoyed the recent rains.
Photo 1: Blue Potato Bush
The potato bush plant (Lycianthes rantonnetii) is closely related to potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants and although rather pretty to see it is a member of the Solanum family and is poisonous. Common names for this plant include blue potato bush, Paraguay nightshade and blue solanum shrub.
Nerium Oleander, another pretty flower on a toxic shrub. It is not as deadly as Angel’s Trumpets although ingestion can cause poisoning when someone sucks nectar from the flowers or chews leaves from the plant. Poisoning can also happen if you eat honey made by bees that used the oleander plant for nectar. Best to keep dogs and kids away from it.
Brugmansia, more commonly known as Angel’s Trumpets are well suited to their name and look positively angelic in the early morning light. Do not be deceived by their heavenly name and scent though as they are deadly poisonous so if you eat them you could meet your maker. This large shrub with it’s impressive blooms belongs to the Solanaceae family along with a plant called Deadly Nightshade for good reason, all parts of Brugmansia are poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous.
Some flowers bring back vivid memories of my childhood. Tecoma Capensis is one of them. We had a hedge growing opposite our bedroom window and the Tecoma blooms were a pleasure to see. It also provided lots of work for my Dad as it grows rather fast and required regular trimming. The plus side for the kids was sucking the sweet nectar from the base of the blooms – provided an ant didn’t get there first. It’s bright orange flowers have led to it also being called fire flower.
There are a number of these shrubs planted around our neighbourhood and at the moment they are starting colourful lavender displays. The rain however is rather heavy on their delicate petals and I stopped to snap a few after the rain. Rose of Sharon is a deciduous flowering shrub and is part of the hibiscus family.
I was intrigued by the name of the shrub and found that the word “Sharon” means a level place or plain in Hebrew. It is said that in the Song of Solomon 2:1, Solomon’s beloved bride calls herself the “rose of Sharon” and from this we can infer that it is a flattering term intended to express a certain beauty that the people of Solomon’s time would have recognized but that we can still appreciate in these flowers today.
A few flowers had caught my attention on the school run but I was always rushing so had no time to stop and appreciate them. So I decided to take my camera for a walk and left the kids with my hubby. This is what I found.
In our house I am the mondegreen queen which usually causes my husband distress but I see my son is prone to it too. The first time I heard Boy George singing ‘Karma Chameleon’ I was sure I heard ‘Come a Camellia’, nevertheless I do love Camellias so it worked for me. The Camellias are now blooming in rapid succession and deserve a song of their own.