Wednesday, February 18, 2009

HOW could I have been so deluded?!?

For the last two years, I have greatly appreciated the happy milkweed volunteers that pop up in my garden and bring a few butterflies along with them to nibble.

And I just assumed this was another kind of milkweed until this evening when, scrolling through milkweed pictures in Picasa (yes, just dying to get growing already!) this picture jumped out at me.

It's not a milkweed.

It's nothing like a milkweed.

It's PHLOX.
I have no idea how I could not have known that from the start, but to just go on assuming it's a milkweed when it looks nothing like milkweed.
Well... you can see how it's turned my whole world topsy-turvy.

Its Latin name is Phlox divaricata, and if you click the link, you'll see dozens of other pictures of the exact same plant in the exact same colour.

I think this page says it best when it describes the flowers as "Corolla lavender to purple, with tube to 2cm long, glabrous. Corolla lobes 5, spreading, spatulate to obovate, to 2cm long, 1cm wide. Stamens 5, unequal in corolla tube. Calyx tube to 3mm long, densely pubescent to glabrous. Calyx lobes 5, to +3mm long. "

OK, maybe a bit too technical. And mine isn't quite so hairy... which I think is called "pubescent", in fancy horticulture words. Oh, yes. Mine is more GLABROUS. The opposite of PUBESCENT. Our beloved plants teach us so much!
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