Monday, July 07, 2008

Meadow Beauty, Rhexia virginica aka Handsome Harry blooms for the first time!

I saw a photo of the Meadow Beauty in my tiny Wildflowers in Color book by Arthur Stupka. Since I first saw the photo about 15 years ago, I always wanted a plant. The background colors look a bit strange because I corrected the color of the petals from a purplish pink. Unusual anthers, no??

I mail ordered a Meadow Beauty plant last year from an online nursery. I was a bit disappointed when the plant arrived because it was such a puny thing in a 3" pot. I knew it wouldn't bloom the first year and just hoped it would survive the winter despite it's rather small size. Survive it did and the first flower has just opened.

There are clusters of buds so I hope all they will all bloom in succession. The plant is rather small, not even a foot tall although in favorable conditions, they apparently grow to be about 18" tall. I see the leaves show a bit of chlorosis so I'll have to ameliorate that condition.

It seems our nasty cat has rubbed up against the flower leaving behind a few hairs on the plant. If you click on the photos to enlarge them you can see the tell tale multicolored hair that's characteristic of his fur.

And here's a picture of "Evil" the killer of numerous mice, voles, shrews, birds, rabbits, rats, and attacker of foxes, tormentor of our dog.


Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

Handsome Harry is indeed very handsome and I love those anthers!

Evil? Who are you calling evil? The cat? Really, that can't be right. Look at its friendly face, its soft and gentle eyes, surely no one could be evil that looked like that. Nope, you'd better re-christen it Innocence! ;-)

7:21 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Yolanda Elizabet,
The cat's name is actually Max, short for Mad Max. He is rather schizophrenic or has dual personality disorder, probably stemming from almost being killed and severely mauled by the dominant neighborhood tom when he was a kit. He's learned to be feisty.

He can be contentedly napping on your lap being petted then suddenly claw you in the legs and if you don't stop petting immediately he'll turn and grab your arm with both front and rear legs with claws bared and teeth sunk in some part of your hand. He's drawn blood on several occasions of which I was the recipient of his diabolical nature.

Only his comical antics keep him from being put "out to pasture".

5:50 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Those flowers are sooooo interesting. You must be treating them very well - that looks like a nice-sized plant coming from a 3-in. pot. I think most of the wild ones growing here are about 12" tall - closer to 12 than to 18 anyhow.

I just noticed some pale-flowered ones blooming here last week, but I couldn't find them yesterday (when the camera was at hand).

6:04 AM  
Blogger Ki said...


Isn't that always the case, no camera when an interesting opportunity presents itself ;(

Wow, you have wild ones growing on your property? I have never seen any growing in the wild. The anthers are more prominent than I expected. I'm glad I finally bought a plant.

I also planted some Corydalis from seed and they are just about ready to bloom. I thought they would be a difficult plant to grow from seed but almost all the seeds germinated. And, I'm almost getting 100% germination from the Bhut Jolokia peppers. I was wrong, they sent me 14 seeds and so far 12 have sent up sprouts. Since they seem to be slow growers, I wonder if I'll get any peppers before it starts to turn cold?

8:47 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Ki, I could have sworn I posted something about the Rhexia last year, but now I can't find it. I'll try to take some more pictures this weekend.

I think the Bhut Jolokias do need a longer season than some other peppers. Maybe you could dig one up in the fall and try it as a houseplant? I've heard of people doing that but never tried it myself. My Thai peppers haven't bloomed yet and seem to be growing slowly, but we're only halfway through the summer so I remain hopeful.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

More of the Rhexia buds have opened now so I too will take more pictures.

The first seed opened about a week ago but the Bhut Jolokia seedlings only have their first two rudimentary leaves. It looks as if this will take forever to see any peppers. I grew them in pots so we can bring the plants indoors if it gets unseasonably cold early.

I just heard on the radio that they were selling the world's hottest food in UK. A curry hamburger with Naag? peppers. I heard Naag but it probably is the Naga Jolokia a relative or different name for Bhut Jolokia? Apparently it was so hot the reporter almost fainted after eating a bite. :)

8:01 AM  

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