I Don’t See Mint *OR* A Spring, Part II: Some Viney Things, Some Goopy Things, and … Stuff

There aren’t just little sand-lovers here.  There are some good vines for climbing and swinging.

The Alabama supplejack (who names this stuff?!  Whoever it is has been imbibing/sniffing/snorting something!)  has smooth bark and pretty leaves.

berchemia

It’s also called “rattan vine,” which is profoundly misleading, since it has absolutely nothing to do with splintery patio furniture.   The little green flowers on this vine aren’t very showy.

No, for showy, you need this one–coral honeysuckle:

nativehoneysuckle

Three guesses why Sigyn likes it so much.  We have met this plant before, when Sigyn proved conclusively that sometimes the red flowers are orange inside.  Today she seems content just to dangle.  I don’t blame her.  It is spring, after all.

Coral honeysuckle is native, well-behaved, and attractive to hummingbirds.  (Sigyn would like to pet a hummingbird.  I keep trying to tell her they’re vicious, stabby little beggars, but she doesn’t believe me.)

I, on the other hand, prefer the exotic Japanese honeysuckle.

japhoneysuckle

It has weird one-sided flowers that open out of crooked buds.  It’s highly aggressive, choking out anything that crosses its path.  The human female is allergic to its nectar, and she once spent all night barfing after sampling just a few flowers’ worth.

I plan to plant a dozen or so in her backyard.

Sigyn, what have you got over there?

Idunn’s little green apples, what on earth are those?

milkweed

Let’s see:  five sepals, five weird green petals, five purple

Five purple what?  And what is that tall bit in the center of each blossom?  And what’s with the goopy, milky sap?  Sigyn, I think you should get down from there–I’m not sure this one is actually from this planet.  There’s no telling where it’s been!

Or what who it might have for dinner.

Whew!  I’m sure this plant is much safer.  Sigyn, let the human female boost you up so that you can smell the flowers.  What’s that?  Sweet, but a little onion-y?  I wonder why?

onion

Sigyn’s not really interested in digging one up to see if they really are onions.  She just likes the way they come in every shade from white to purple.

Ooo!  Be careful of this next one!  It has spiky, spiny foliage and the enormous flower head is crawling with bees!

thistle

Upon closer observation, however, I can see that those aren’t bees but big, bumbling beetles just gorging themselves on pollen!

Speaking of gorging, I do believe it is dinner time!  Let’s head for home and see what we can rustle up.  We can always come back another day.

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