Monday, September 15, 2008

Bloom Day

Every month something has stopped me from participating in Bloom Day...thank goodness I shot these yesterday because this camera is acting up!

My lovely neighbor Regine gave me this plant that she said smelled "awful" but had an interesting flower...according to tradition I accepted it without a thank-you and said that I could put it out by the compost, and immediately began ignoring it. Who wants a stinky flower? Anyway, I rescued it mid-winter this past year, put it inside and still nothing happened. Two days ago I was doing the watering rounds and noticed that it had 14 buds, so I quickly got my camera. The next day I shot a few more as the buds were larger and turning pink. Yesterday they opened up. I did a search of "stinky flowers" and found "Wayne's World of Stinking Plants" and under carrion flowers was my girl...Stapelia gigantea, from Africa. It said that it attracted green bottle flies so I made a point to watch it throughout the day to see if the flies would show here in Austin and...they did! The flower is a member of the milkweed family and grows from 8-10 inches in diameter, mine was just under 8. Mid-afternoon I took a trip to Whole Foods to do my weekly shopping and right in the front door they were selling Aristolochia fimbriata, or Dutchman's Pipe...a native of Argentina, another carrion flower on the site...ohhhh I wanted one, until I checked the price!

This is a list of other things that are blooming in my garden today, but that I'm unable to capture:

Chocolate Plant
Rock Rose
Garlic Chive
Greg's Mistflower
Red Yucca
Purple and Yellow Lantana
Trumpet Vine
Crepe Myrtle
Fall Obedient Plant

What's blooming in your garden? Participating in Bloom Day is something that happens each month on the 15th. Garden Bloggers from all over the world leave a comment on Carol's May Dreams Gardens blog and that connects all of us soil lovin' flower fans. Check it out!!

Happy Gardening!


Leslie said...

So do you agree that it stinks? I've never seen that before and am curious HOW stinky it is?! I like your chains...made from bottle caps?

Carol said...

I recognized your flower right away, as it is one that Annie in Austin has had bloom and posted about, too. Like yours, hers is a passalong and I was very happy when she passed along a cutting to me this spring when I visited Austin. Mine will remain a house plant, with occasional 'vacations' outside in the summertime, here in Zone 5.

Thanks for joining in for Bloom Day!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

ConsciousGardener said...

Leslie, I don't think it stinks that bad,'s not hot right now. It's supposed to smell like rotting flesh, or flatulence (so pleasant.)

About the beer caps, my husband is a home brewer and I'm always trying to find fun things to do with the caps...I hate making trash so I also save cool bottles:)

Thanks for dropping by!

Lancashire rose said...

I think that is a gorgeous looking flower and something to boast/post about!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That is one freaky flower! It's buds are so strange & to have it smell bad too... wow.

Lee17 said...

That is the coolest. flower. ever. I always wanted a carrion flower of some type. I think their blossoms are alien-looking ;)

And are those bottlecap chains? 'Cause those are really nifty!

ConsciousGardener said...

Hey Lee, would you like a cutting? Lemme know...

Leslie, The blooms are spent, hanging and closed and they are super stinky! But you have to get really close to smell 'em!

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Robin,

I recognized our stinky mutual friend right away, too!
My starter Stapelia came from a dear but long-gone aunt more than 20 years ago. Yesterday, a baby that was on the laundry room windowsill popped a flower - too late for bloom day. It's nowhere near as large and showy as yours.

The Dutchman's pipe sounds interesting, too - one of those plants I've read about but not seen in person. Was the one at Whole Foods in bloom?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Annie in Austin said...

Oops - sorry I mistakenly called you Robin, ConsciousGardener.

Should we just call you Connie for short?


ConsciousGardener said...

Hi Annie,

The Dutchman's pipe was at the Whole Foods North off 360/183, and yes it was in bloom...otherwise I wouldn't have noticed it:) It's in a hanging basket right in the front door.


HappyMouffetard said...

What a stunning flower - very interesting & great photos of it.

lola said...

I have one of these lovely "ladies". I agree the bloom is unique. For the odor-I haven't noticed it, maybe because mine is outside & stays there all yr. It too is a pass along plant from a dear departed friend. I like to watch the bloom open.

spookydragonfly said...

Thank you for visiting my were the first on that blog..also have Wishnik Woods on the Blotanical site...I have to say that I just love this flower!!! Reminds me of a starfish!! Great photos!

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks spooky dragonfly...I like your name:)

Pomona Belvedere said...

I'm also a fan of the bottle-cap chains. What inspired them?

But let us not neglect to praise your pictures (and the actual growing) of Stapelia, something I'd seen only in catalogues before this. Amazing! Inspiring!

ConsciousGardener said...

I wish I could claim some sort of horticultural know how but I just hit it with the hose now and again. It's a super tough plant. The bottle cap folk art stuff is inspired by not wanting to create waste...I collect lots of "junque" and try to come up with unique and fun ways of playing with them in the garden:) Thanks!

Pomona Belvedere said...

I'm also a fan of the bottle-cap chains. What inspired them?

But let us not neglect to praise your pictures (and the actual growing) of Stapelia, something I'd seen only in catalogues before this. Amazing! Inspiring!

Forgive me if this posted twice, I'm not sure if I got this right the first time.

Sue Swift said...

Really interesting plant. It looks wonderful.

Nice blog. Found you on Blotanical.

Red Eyes said...

This is beautiful. I'm glad I found this blog. I am currently reading one of your favourite books, master and margarita and liking it! Did you enjoy it?

ConsciousGardener said...

I love M&Marg...the second half is magical, the history of the book is fascinating! Thanks for dropping by!

Linda Lunda said...

What a flower! Beautiful!
And the bottletopps.. that was a werry funny idea!
Please come and se me .... you have a great site here!
I do love the photo of the dog in your last post! It´s so sweet!

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks Linda, I love your site to. The dog is Romeo "Bud" Floyd and he is a total garden's my other little wild thing Dorothy that keeps escaping...

Horselip's Horse Sense said...

I finally read all the posts and am all caught up on your blog. You've inspired me to kill my television and get my butt out in the garden. I've got so much to do

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks for making me laugh first thing in the morning! My mom would be proud...she always said I was like a drill sargent! Now get out there! hahaha