Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Daphne x houtteana, this can't possibly be normal

This photo was part of my last Bloomday post, when I discovered the first flowers on my Daphne x houtteana.

Then I noticed the buds along the (formerly) bare stem and thought "cool" it's replacing he leaves lost from winter's madness.

But a few days go by and now all sorts of craziness is happening.

Yep...

Virtually every stem has flowers, under the foliage.

I looked at this and thought "this can't possibly be normal" — Daphne flowers are supposed to be on top of the leaves!

Then I clicked over to plant lust to see if they had any photos of the flowers.

Turns out they do, and they were taken my me, back at Portland Nursery in 2010, and yes the flowers were on the stems, under the leaves. So this is normal? Kinda freaky if you ask me...

Oh and about that black foliage. It starts out green, and then fades to black.

The reverse of normal. Wait, is this a pattern?

Weather Diary, March 27: Hi 55, Low 45/ Precip .02"

All material © 2009-2017 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

21 comments:

  1. I don't know about normal (normal is over-rated), but it's pretty darn cool! And I bet it smells scrumptious.

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    1. "normal is over-rated"...so true Alison, so true.

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  2. Pretty awesome! I wonder what the advantage is of that, if any? Some protection for the blooms from frost?

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    1. Interesting idea, perhaps. Read Evan and Conrad's replies below for more.

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  3. Do you think it is a protective change in response to your wild weather? Or is it grafted in any way and reverting to that?

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    1. Evidently it's an inherited trait, see below...

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  4. I kinda thought those might be flower buds when you first showed that photo, but I wasn't sure. The way they were arranged, I thought it was weirder for them to be new foliage, but maybe I'm weird for seeing it that way. Anyway, both its parents, Daphne mezereum and D. laureola, bloom that way, even though it looks like most of the genus blooms at the tips of stems. I guess they're the oddballs.

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    1. Well there you have it! Thanks Evan.

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  5. Now the song "It's Not Unusual" is stuck in my head. However it blooms, this bud's for you.

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  6. Informative post on an 'it' plant; it's definitely got it! I like it. Sort of reminds me of the way redbuds bloom. I was looking at some IG photos of Daphne (perhaps the same species that Evan mentions) and I did do a double take at the tight arrangement of the flowers on the stems. Is it scented?

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    1. Lightly, it's not nearly as powerfully strong as one would think it to be.

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  7. Not having much experience with Daphnes, I can't say whether it's usual but it is odd - and strangely attractive.

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    1. "strangely attractive"...that's right up there with Alison's "normal is over-rated"...I like them both.

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  8. Fascinating stuff. I was thinking the same thing as tvojt. My Redbud sometimes blooms at the base of the stem or the trunk. Never a dull moment in the gardener's life. :)

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    1. Ha! Ain't that the truth. And to think some people get there entertainment watching television!

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  9. I think its parents are Daphne mezereum and D. laureola, which produces flowers along the stems and underneath the leaves like this, so it's just taking after its folks.

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  10. and I now realise that Evan Bean has already covered this information.

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    1. Thank you Conrad, hearing the same thing from more than one trusted source is always a good thing in my book.

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  11. An intriguing plant!

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  12. What would we do without Evan...and now Conrad?

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