Sunday, 11 June 2017

More Floral Repeats

"Mertensia paniculata - Tall Bluebells (Lungwort)", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Here are three more repeats -- in other words, three flowers I have featured during the past 10 years and of which I have now done new "drawings".

Below, for two of the drawings, I have used the information I posted previously; however, it appears that this first item, Mertensia paniculata, was published on an occasion when I was in a big rush so all I posted was the drawing itself.  

Hope you enjoy another trip down memory lane.


Mertensia paniculata, also known as tall bluebells, bluebell lungwort or northern bluebells, is a dwarf shrub with drooping bright-blue, bell-shaped flowers. A member of the Borage Family (Boraginaceae), it is native to north-western North America as well as the Great Lakes region. Mertensia paniculata occurs naturally in the temperate zone of North America and is known to thrive within boreal forests. 

The buds of Mertenia paniculata are purplish-blue and green, turning bright blue when the flower opens. The blue flowers are bell-shaped, hanging on slender stalks. Leaves are dark green with a long tapering tip and rounded base. 

Mertensia paniculata has been used for medicinal purposes throughout the centuries. The dried leaves of the plant would be made into an herbal tea to stimulate the respiratory system. Thus, the common name of bluebell lungwort. Externally, the leaves were used as poultices on cuts and wounds. 

The genus name of Mertensia honours Franz Karl Mertens, early 18th century German botanist and professor of Botany at Bremen. The species name, paniculata, is taken from the Latin, panus, diminutive panicula, which, in this case, means a loose, branching cluster of flowers.


"Convolvulus arvensis -- Field Bindweed", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

From salliesART posting May 30, 2010: 
Field Bindweed is considered to be a pest and nuisance throughout the world -- but even such a despised plant has its own beauty. I hope I have captured some of that beauty in my drawing. 

The proper name for this plant is Convovulus arvensis, known in English as Field Bindweed. It is a native of Europe and Asia that has spread throughout the world. It is considered to be a serious weed in 14 countries and a problem in 19 others, including Canada. The first observation of Field Bindweed in North America was in 1739 in what is now the State of Virginia. 

Field Bindweed is a twining perennial vine. Characteristics distinguishing it from other vines include arrowhead-shaped leaves, thin stems, pinkish petals fused into funnel-shaped flowers. These flowers only last for one day, while a single plant in a single season may produce up to 550 seeds! Stems, which usually attach themselves to objects, always twine around those objects in a counter-clockwise direction.

The genus name of Convolvo comes from the Latin, meaning "to entwine". The species name of arvens is Latin for a "cultivated field". 


"Erythrina bidwilii - Coral Tree", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

From salliesART February 24, 2012: 
Erythrina × bidwillii is the botanical name for two different hybrids (cultivars) produced from hybridizing Erythrina species at Camden Park Estate, New South Wales, Australia, in the early 1840s. 

Although the flowers of both cultivars are similar, the form of the plants is different - one is a small tree (Camdeni), commonly known as “Coral Tree”; while the other is a shrub (Blakei), commonly known as “Shrub Coral Tree”. The tree form, when protected from frost, can obtain the height of 20 feet. 

The genus name Erythrina comes from the Greek erythros meaning "red", both the flower and seed are bright red. They are members of the Fabaceae (legume) family. There are over 100 species of Erythrina that grow in warm, frost-free regions of the world. 

The wood of the Coral Tree is strong and lightweight with the buoyancy of balsa wood. The wood has been used for canoe out-rigging, fish net floats and surfboards. 

In Africa the tree was considered a royal tree and was planted on the graves of Zulu chiefs. When the tree began to flower, farmers knew it was time to plant their crops. Medicinal use suggests that species have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects (it is rumoured to also have narcotic effects). The seed is said to be a lucky charm. 

Much of the above text was taken from various Internet sources.


"Suki sitting on place-mat",
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014
Suki had to recently deal with another visit from the "monster" that comes to my apartment every so often and frightens her into her bedroom closet hidey-hole!  This time the "monster" was a workman with a big drill which he planned to use on my balcony in order to create a larger drainage hole for rainwater.  

When the workman, along with my building's maintenance supervisor, first knocked at my door, Suki bristled-up like a big, hairy puffball and growled menacingly. However, as soon as these folks entered, Suki decided that a full retreat was a better choice than trying to fight this particular "monster" and so she made a swift exit to the bedroom.  As I spoke with the maintenance supervisor, I could hear Suki frantically pushing open the bedroom closet door.  

It was an hour after the workman had finished his noisy job and left my apartment before Suki would come out of her hidey-hole.  After sniffing around a bit, she must have decided that the "monster" had well and truly gone and, thus, she then begin pestering me, indicating that she deserved an early lunch after her harrowing ordeal. 

Since then, things have been as they usually are in our home:  quiet and calm.  Of course, I have had a number of medical appointments over these past two weeks.  Visits with members of the medical profession have become the source of most of my social interactions these days!

Most of these visits are simply follow-up appointments -- just checking to make certain that the various conditions from which I suffer are still being managed properly by the medications prescribed.  

There is only one of these that is not being managed as well as hoped and that is the glaucoma which is in both eyes now. The ophthalmologist has been trying several different drops over these past months in an effort to bring down the pressure in my eyes, but so far nothing has worked.  I am now on something even stronger in the hope that it will finally do the trick.  I have to use it for the next four weeks before the doctor checks my eyes again. So, here's hoping!

Before my next posting, we will be celebrating the summer solstice here in the northern hemisphere (it will be the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere of course).  Although we humans have strayed far from our hunter/gatherer/agrarian roots, which kept us so aware of the changing of the seasons, I think most people still sense something, however vaguely, when their side of the earth is closest to the sun. 

I have often wished that I had travelled to someplace like the Canadian far north or the Shetland islands at midsummer when it never really gets dark at all. I understand from those who live in such places that it is very difficult to sleep during these weeks of "simmer din" (summer twilight in Shetlandic when, from mid-May to mid-July, the sun only dips below the northern horizon for a few hours), but I still wish I had taken the opportunity to experience it for myself.  Ah well, thank goodness for photos and videos.

Midsummer night on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides
Photo from BBC production "TWO Midsummer Live"


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