Ghost flower

Earlier this summer, we cleared the backyard of the rampant growth of Japanese Knotwood that had taken over back there. Knotwood is a vile, pernicious invasive plant that has taken over many roadsides and vacant lots around here, so we felt no remorse in opening a can of herbicidical whoop-ass on it. Also, the method used was groovy and organic, so we can preen about that, too. It seems to have worked, and all summer long I’ve been poking around back there to see what opportunistic planty things will move in now that the big nasty weed is gone.

Not too long ago, I looked out my bedroom window and saw this. Oh my God this is the creepiest plant you will ever, ever see. For fun facts and historical lore about the corpse flower (as it is sometimes called), check this out.

The picture doesn’t even really do it justice; this plant is so skin-crawly and sickly that I thought I ws hallucinating it, or that maybe it was a brand-new plant that hadn’t yet fully evolved. For one thing, it has no chlorophyll, so it is waxy white, ghostly pale, sort of an albino orchid.

So yesterday I got my copy of Cape Cod Wildflowers: a Vanishing Heritage, because I’m all over planting native species in my wee yard, and there she is, my ghost flower. Turns out she’s a rare and prized little blossom! Might even be a protected species.

If only they were growing across the street, so I could stage a Save The Corpse Flower rally and stop construction on the truly evil McMansion being built over there.

Maybe I’ll get Save The Corpse Flower T-shirts printed up anyway. It just has a nice ring to it.

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