A couple of Sunday's ago I was curled up on the couch with a blanket, a mug of coffee and the (extremely thick) Sunday paper. Andrew came home from walking the dog and presented me with a leaf, and then drew me a map.
The leaf looked like these: And the map was to the treasure located on the Northwest corner of McMenamins Kennedy School. The plant is Ruscus aculeatus or Butcher's Broom and I’ve learned that isn’t really a leaf it’s a “cladode.” A cladode is a stem modified for photosynthesis that looks like a leaf. It is flat for increasing the surface area, thick for storing water and green for photosynthesis (definition found here)
Of course the most interesting thing about this plant and its leaf cladode is the little “about to flower” bit right in the middle. Here’s a better photo of the flower… (photo by Réginald Hulhoven, found on Wikimedia Commons)
And of the berry that comes later… (photo by Biopics, found on Wikimedia Commons)
Pretty cool huh? Naturally since I was at Kennedy School I wandered around a bit as there are always things to see, especially on sunny December afternoon. I wish you could have seen how the sun was lighting these auburn leaves, the light post peeking out from behind add to the mood. Last Monday I posted a photo of this same sedum in my garden. Theirs is much more colorful. This agave has powered through a couple of winters now, hopefully it will do the same again this year. This must be Melianthus major 'Purple Haze'…if my regular old Melianthus lives through another winter (this will be its second) maybe I’ll have to add this one to the garden. Love that purple blush!