Thursday, July 1, 2010

Callistemon and Beschorneria

Callistemon bloomingCallistemon just before blooming
Two blooms of note this year at Travelmarx headquarters are from a Callistemon and a Beschorneria plant. Callistemon usually goes by the common name of Bottlebrush because the flowers look as if you could clean a bottle with them. Since ours is red I’m sure now it’s Callistemon citrinus even though the tag that came with the plant said sieberi. We purchased it over a year ago and this is the first time blooming. The Callistemmon has a great form and presence all year round being evergreen; now with the feathery red flowers it’s even better. The genus name Callistemon means beautiful stamens from the Greek 'kalli' or good. The species name citrinus refers to the lemony scent of the leaves. The plant is native to Australia.

The other interesting bloomer this year is a Beschorneria septentrionalis x decosteriana – a soft-leaved agave relative from Mexico. (I’m guessing on the species because the tag that came with the plant read Beschorneria decosternum which doesn’t seem to exist and probably was a typo.) We’ve had it for about three years and it finally bloomed this year. The genus name honors Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Beschorner (1806- 1873), a 19th century German botanist. The species name septentrionalis means northern or belong to the north. In terms of the meaning of decosteriana the web would not reveal the answer so we'll have to let that be a mystery.
Beschorneria sending up stalkBeschorneria in bloom

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