Don't you just love a plant that makes you smile? Is a plant ever funny? I think so. Ready for a smile or two? I am not making these up. You will fall in love with these unusual plants.
Many plants are delightful. Some are so unique that I smile because of their beautiful, unusual colors or patterns. Others make me laugh because they resemble cute or interesting animals or objects. Enjoy this tour as we smile and laugh over some of the most beautiful, fun and crazy plants in the world.
None of these are made up; these are all real plants and are listed in Dave's Garden PlantFiles. You can find more information about any of these by clicking on the PlantFiles link above and searching by the common or scientific name. This is the second part of this article; see Part I for many other wonderful plants and pictures.
The photo on the right was taken by DG member LawrenceM. This plant appears to be enjoying a great joke; it is Calceolaria 'Walter Shrimpton'.
Butterfly Bush, Oxford Bush, Cambridge Bush 'Ugandense' Rotheca myricoides
Do you see what I see? A gingerbread man!
Another bottle brush; more dishes need to be washed. Actually, the bright colors are so pretty I decided to show you both the red (see Part I article) and the pink.
Who let the butterflies out? This swarm of blue butterflies is beautiful.
1 Photo Credit: Copyright annaphylaxis
2 Photo Credit: Copyright ladyannne
3 Photo Credit: Copyright bootandall
Corkscrew Vine Vigna caracalla
Hummingbird Sage, Texas Sage, Scarlet Sage 'Brenthurst' Salvia coccinea
Chinese Lantern Lily, Christmas Bells Sandersonia aurantiaca
This corkscrew vine looks like snails and trumpets combined together for a Dr. Seuss book. I will try my hand at Dr. Seuss style; "Oh, they trumpeted fine, until each little vine curled cream and yellow and purple".
How can you resist this? I had to look twice to be sure these were not plastic hummers glued onto the plant. Seriously, I must have this plant.
The Chinese lantern lily flowers are adorable; their bright orange blooms are a happy, almost playful color.
From the notes on Dave's Garden PlantFiles, I learned that this plant is rare and "may be considered a protected species". Do not remove it from its native habitat. Can you believe its graceful beauty?
Silent parrots in a tree. How many parrots do you see? The colors and shape of these flowers are just incredible.
This is the secret place where bunnies go to get new tails; the re-tail store. Okay, bad joke but cute plant. This plant would look great planted around a circle of pampas grass.
1 Photo Credit: Copyright Thaumaturgist
2 Photo Credit: Copyright Thaumaturgist
Star Fruit Averrhoa carambola
Star Fruit Averrhoa carambola
1 and 2 above are both Star Fruit. I included this plant because when it is cut, the stars are incredible. Although the fruit does not seem to be very tasty, the shape is wonderful. My mother, a teacher in an at-risk school, bought some of these and took them to class so her elementary students could enjoy the shape.
1 Photo Credit: Copyright Happenstance
2 Photo Credit: Copyright thistlesifter
3 Photo Credit: Copyright poppysue
Three Bird Toadflax Linaria triornithophora
Spiral Aloe Aloe polyphylla
Cuphea 'Summer Medley' Cuphea
Can you see the birds on this plant? Look at the side of the bloom on the right hand side, in the middle. It is a bird in flight. However, I see more than three birds.
This lovely Aloe is perfect. Does anyone remember the punch cards used to program computers in the early 1970s? Due to the lack of security concerns and the integrity of the general populace, those punch cards were often recycled into wreaths. We made many wreaths for gifts one Christmas; it took a lot of work but cash was short and we had presents. This beautiful pattern reminds me of those wreaths.
Here is another Cuphea. This one was called 'Bunny Ears' on a site where these were being sold. Funny bunny, where is your cereal and chocolate milk?
1 Photo Credit: Copyright LilyLover_UT
2 Photo Credit: Copyright cousy2
Mimbres Figwort, New Mexico Figwort, Redbirds in a Tree Scrophularia macrantha
Although it may be hard to see the Redbirds in this photo, this was the picture that started this article because a Dave's Garden member mentioned this plant on a thread. My curiosity was piqued and I added another plant to my wish list. These buds look just like baby red birds enjoying a nap on a tree.
I left this plant for last because it is an image that will stay with you. Frankly, I think it is totally (toad-ally) wonderful. From the notes on Dave's Garden PlantFiles, I learned that this plant is rare. It "may be considered a protected species" and should never be removed from its native habitat.
As I mentioned in Part I of this series, I would love to grow all of these plants, although a greenhouse would be needed. Of course, I would not bother the two plants above that are noted as protected. Please look at Part I for a link to articles about inexpensive greenhouses.
Even if I only grow a couple of these unusual plants, my garden would be enriched by their whimsy. In a world full of crazy things, where everyone could get trampled on the floor, every happy moment should be treasured. These plants make me smile and I imagine that some of you shared a smile with me. I hope that these articles provide you with joy today and that they inspire the young and young at heart to garden.
Are you familiar with any other unusual plants or do you have a comment? Please feel free to add a note below.
The garden in my head is better than the one in my yard. However, I plant at least one tree every year and have left every home with a little more green than it had before. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I enjoy writing them.
Editor's note: Aunt_A passed away on 12-06-2010. We will miss her greatly and are thankful for her legacy of wonderful articles.