Friday, 15 January 2010

Cultivars and Cats!

Do you remember what a cultivar is? It is a cultivated plant variety produced by selective breeding -- a hybrid.

Tonight I am showing you a cultivar in the Amaryllis "family" by the name of Hippeastrum puniceum. While it is accepted that the genus for this plant is Hippeastrum, there is some question as to the family name. Most lists place it in the Family Amaryllidaceae where you would expect to find all the plants derived from the Amaryllis plant; however, I have also seen Hippeastrum puniceum placed in the Family Liliaceae which is where you find all the lilies. After all, one of the common names for this flower is "Red Lily".

While this is not a matter of great import to any one reading this blog, I just thought I would mention it. As for the Amaryllis family, of which Hippeastrum puniceum is a cultivar, it is native to South America -- particularly the Andean highlands -- but is now found growing throughout the Caribbean area. And, as you are well aware, it is also grown in homes throughout North American every Christmas and Easter.

I came across a description of the plant that is so deliciously written that I want to quote it in its entirety. "Hippeastrum puniceum has spectacular open, flaring, trumpet-shaped flowers that seem to hang slightly in an elegant, but relaxed fashion from the tops of sturdy, 24-inch flower stalks. The outer 2/3rds of petals are a light orange with slightly darker orange veins and is reminiscent of cool summer desserts like sherbets and popsicles. The central throat is a creamy white alternating with yellow-green. This species blooms in late spring or summer"

How about that for making you want some sherbet for dessert?!!

As usual, I tried the topographic software and the resulting image, while interesting, is not that attractive. I guess I should stop showing you these images until I come across one that is more appealing.

I am continuing, however, with the practice of showing you funny or interesting photos that I come across each week. The two that follow are of cats with unusual friends!

First, I want to show you a very unusual friendship between a deer and a cat. As you can see, they seem to be really fond of one another. This was one of a series of photos showing these two friends in various situations, but this was the only one in which they appear to be "kissing".

This second photograph is of a friendship which, if established when the kitten is young enough, will usually continue throughout the years ahead.

This was also one of a series of photos. In the first few photos, the kitten is stalking the bird. Finally, though, the kitten appears to grow tired of the chase and he and the bird settle down for a bit of snuggling and grooming. Hopefully, the kitten will not meet up with an adult cat who tells him what any self-respecting cat is supposed to do when he or she encounters a bird!!

May peace be with you and with all of God's creatures.

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