Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tiptoe Through The Tulips: Dyckia tuberosa

This spiky plant with the bright orange flowers took me an inordinate amount of time to identify. See, someone had told me it was in the Puya family, but that turned out to be a dead end to go down, and had me waste a lot of time looking for a plant I don't have. The bloom has lasted a long time, so that helps with giving me more ways to look for this thing. The flower is on about a two- to three-foot stalk, and the ants really like the flowers, so that's what you see in this closeup. Being vaguely related to the pineapple, I guess it's sweet and tasty to them. Be careful if you're trying to weed near this plant, since the spiked leaves have additional spikes along the leaf edges, making it extra scary and cruel to gardening hands. I've gotten several cat-scratch-looking cuts from getting too close to this particular plant. Finally, I kinda like this out of focus look at the flower from above. No real reason, since you can't see anything to identify it from. But, it gives an idea of just how far the bloom ends up being from the spiky leaves at the bottom.

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