Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stachyurus praecox

I absolutely love it when you are walking around some hidden corner of a botanical garden and discover a new plant - it's like finding a twenty dollar bill in recently-unpacked summer clothes. I saw this from afar and was intrigued. The hanging racemes almost looked like little beaded curtains.


Turns out this plant is Stachyurus praecox or spike-tail. It's a Japanese native with beautiful, creamy white flowers in racemes that are easily 6" long. Evidently the spring foliage is a bright chartreuse, however the fall color is unremarkable.



Stachy- means 'spike' and oura means 'tail'. Thus the genus name and common name both refer to the flowers. Praecox derives from the Latin word praecoquere which means 'early,' 'preripened' or 'unseasonable.' We can even break that word down further: prae means 'before' and coquere means 'to cook' or 'boil'.


These blossoms should last a bit longer, so if you check out the Orchid Show before it closes this Sunday, walk around to the south side of the conservatory and visit this hidden treasure.

7 comments:

PhiNight said...

Beautiful! Looks like it's draped with hundreds of pearl necklaces. Love those happy surprises!

Todd Haiman said...

Racemes seem remind me of another early blooming Japanese native -- Pieris, though not as long

How It Grows said...

Very interesting plant! I've never seen it before.

Caterpillarlady said...

This plant looks a bit different than the one at the UC Botanical Garden. Maybe the flowers are a bit further along in your pics than in mine.

Invertir en oro said...

Thanks for interesting post. I'm from the subtropics and not overly familiar with these two species in the Rosaceae family

Buy Cialis said...

Beautiful pictures, nature is always full of surprises.

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