Friday, November 30, 2001

[11/30/2001 2:44:39 AM | Chris Corrigan]

Here is something I've been meaning to write about.

Ever since we arrived here on Bowen we have followed with interest the life cycle of the Western White Clematis, aka Virgin Bower (Clematis ligusticifolia). It's a native plant that climbs anything, sometimes reaching 10m or more. They grow all over the place, colonizing Douglas-firs and weaving around Ocean Spray and salmon berry bushes. They have a little white flower that blooms in July and stays bloomed until September at which time the seed heads form on long tendrils, tripling the size of the flower.

By this time of year the seed heads are mature and have grown fluffy and huge. They catch the sun and from a distance look like massive cherry blossoms. Right now this is the state they are in. There is a huge one growing up a tree on our neighbour's front yard which we can see from the living room window. For most of the day the sun shines through it lighting the whole thing up. Caitlin says they seem to take whatever light there is and multiply it, so that in the twilight they fairly glow.

Here is a photo of one in all it's seed head glory:

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