Thursday, 5 November 2009

Congo Cockatoo


Anyone who knows a bit about garden flowers will hear someone mention Impatiens and immediately think of something like the flowers pictured just below this text. These are Impatiens Timor (I have shown you this drawing previously).


However, there is a variety of Impatiens that is one of the most unusual members of the Genus and that is the type pictured at the top of this posting. Its name is Impatiens niamniamensis a.k.a. Congo Cockatoo or Parrot Plant.

This shrub, originally from tropical East Africa, is of the Family: Balsaminaceae; Genus: Impatiens and Species: niamniamensis. The origin of this plant has given rise to a third common name: African Queen.

The truly fantastic flowers produced are said to look like parrots. One commentator has said that they actually remind her more of candy corn! I think I agree with her!

The stems of this shrub can get so thick that after a while, the whole plant looks like a dark tropical tree. As I was researching this plant, I decided that it could have an additional common name of "Vampire Tree" as they only grow in full shade -- the sun burns their leaves!

Going from plants to people, I managed to bang my head today while working in the kitchen. In the process, I ended up with a small cut to my scalp which refuses to stop bleeding a small amount. Consequently, I decided to tie a clean rag around my head to prevent getting blood on anything. This has caused miz k.d. great consternation. She continues to sit and stare at me in an almost dog-like fashion. Turning her head first one way and then another before occasionally emitting a small, questioning meow. Nothing I say can convince her that everything is all right. I hope she gets tired soon and goes to sleep. Being starred at all the time can be disconcerting! Thank goodness I am not famous.

May peace be with you all.


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