Images #298-298 – An Orchid?

Coryanthus22015__0621___668Can you believe this provocative and somewhat off-putting image is an orchid?  To me it looks like an escapee from a set of Aliens but is actually a Coryanthes orchid.  It is otherwise known as a Bucket Orchid and the second view may explain why.


Coryanthus12015__0621___667Unlike a Venus Flytrap which lures insects to their deaths (thus feeding the plant) the Coryanthes uses insects to pollinate.  There are many kinds of Coryanthes orchids and my friend Bob, who has raised this orchid, has this one labeled Coryanthes macrantha.  Macrantha means “large flower” and that is certainly apt for this orchid which looks, to me, like a hanging slab of meat.

Is that part of the allure, the pretense of being a slab of meat?  I guess we’d need to ask the Stink Bugs and other flying insects that hovered around it. They, alas, are not talking. ❧

Images# 290-294 – Tulip Poplar

Tulip Poplar 2015 004Discoveries are common place on Fawn Hill.  I had always assumed the tall trees along the driveway were poplars but this year I have the good fortune to be here as they bloom and, as you can see, the blooms are lovely. I thought they must be tulip poplars which they are but now I have learned they are not poplars at all.

Liriodendron tulipifera, the tulip tree, is actually a member of the magnolia family and these two are prime specimens. Tulip Poplar 2015 002 Our friends at Wikipedia have once again provided a wealth of information.   I was relieved to learn they are not poplars which seem to have a nasty habit of becoming very tall and then rotting out from the inside.

But these are tulip trees and are prized lumber. They were used by the Indians for dugout canoes and its lumber has been called Canoewood.  According to Wikipedia it is one “of the largest and most valuable hardwoods of eastern North America.”  It can grow to a height of 190 feet!  Ours would seem to be about 60 feet. The average size is around 70 feet.  The birds enjoy their seeds and humans can fall in love with their blossoms.  ❧

Tulip Poplar 2015 001

Image #289 – Trillium


Trillium are part of the lily order but have their own family.  And that is no surprise because, as it happens, there are many different varieties that grow across the globe.  I was unfamiliar with it until we acquired the Fawn Hill property.  On our little strand of land we have dozens of pink trillium which, officially speaking, are Trillium catesbaei, or Catesby trillium.  There are quite a few more this year than I remember from the past two seasons that we have enjoyed this place.  Whether that is due to our clearing of overgrowth or perfect growing conditions I don’t know.

As a member of the lily order they grow from rhizomes.  This is great news since propagation will take care of itself. In the picture below you can count at least seven in a relatively small patch of land. Most of ours are pink although there are some white and one or two purple varities.

They are cheery beings and welcome on Fawn Hill. ✦