Monday, May 11, 2009

Learning Curve

Maybe It's A Will O’ The Wisp

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON



Exactly a year ago, I spotted this plant in a public-access area and I scratched my head because I had no idea what it was. The other thing that caught my interest was the manner in which the main stem seemed to grow in a curve.

I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but I just assumed that the stem would probably straighten out as the plant continued to grow. I went back to the same spot a couple of weeks later and found that the stems had not produced blooms yet, but that the curve was now much longer and even more pronounced.


I also noticed the fine, fibrous tendrils on the lower part of the plant, Like wisps of angel hair, they would have been great to photograph in the late afternoon, because they would have caught the sunlight and would have stood out more clearly on any image.

As it happened, I had my standard 18-125mm lens on the camera, so I had to use an all-encompassing composition that showed the plant’s structure as well as the delicate white wisps. And to answer the question I know you are going to ask – no, I still don’t know what the plant is called. Any information will be gratefully accepted.


Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

34 comments:

Maggie May said...

Wish I could help you but we don't seem to have an equivalent.
Lovely looking flower though.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I love all the "fibrous tendrils" lots of great texture on this one :-) You have such interesting and photogenic plants in Australia, David!

richies said...

Whatever it is called, it is a beautiful plant, and beautifully photographed.

An Arkies Musings

Seamus said...

It looks similar to our red yucca but your plant's leaves are variegated and the yucca's aren't. Maybe this'll point you in the right direction.

Breeze said...

No idea...curious as to what this is now..great shots

Artist Unplugged said...

What an amazing plant, thanks for sharing it! Today I have honored my mom for Mother's Day, I know you have commented that you had great parents...thought you might enjoy it. Have a great day!

Sherry said...

Your pictures are beautiful. Good luck in getting the correct answer. Seamus mentioned the yucca. When I posted a picture with a query last week, yucca was the overwhelming response to guesses. Here's a link to what I learned about the yucca and its many varieties, along with some pictures. http://blondesherry.blogspot.com/2009/05/mystery-solved-its-not-yucky-its-yucca.html

ellen abbott said...

Definitely a variety of yucca.

lime said...

it's got a lovely bloom whatever it is. it looks a cross between hosta (which blooms) and diffenbachia (or mother-in-law's tongue but i don't know if it blooms) but i have no idea if it is related to either one.

Gaston Studio said...

Maybe a member of the agave family? Whatever, it's gorgeous!

Maria said...

What a cool flower! I'd love to know the colour of its blossom!

RuneE said...

You got the plant well covered, but my choice must be the first one.

Lola said...

I don't know the plant, but the first picture looks like an asparagus tip!

Love the fibrous tendrils. Agave, maybe, Aloe...?

Great images, David (so what else is new?).

Misty Dawn said...

It's beautiful - whatever it is. Like Just a Plane Ride Away, I love the "fibrous tendrils".

VALKYRIEN said...

I have no idea what that is - but the first shot is very beautiful!

Thumbelina said...

I have no idea what it is but it is a fascinating plant. You captured the curve and then the wisps of "hair" beautifully. Mine up in 5 mins.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Variegated Yucca (Yucca filamentosa), probably a cultivar like 'Gold Sword' or 'Gold Edge' or 'Color Guard'. You captured it nicely. The candelabra style flowers can be quite beautiful.

Leora said...

Wispy lovely thing, whatever it is called. I love how you have expressive words to describe the plant despite not knowing its name.

Jenn Jilks said...

It is glorious. What terrific foreshadowing! I have a plant in my garden like that. It's no where near flourishing in My Muskoka. Last night it was near to freezing!
I cannot find photos, but ours has the same colours.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

love the succulent look of the bud, and the tendrils like some wild girls hair in the wind...yes, and yes, I think Digital Flower Pictures nailed it.

ANNA-LYS said...

"Learning Curve"I loved the title when I saw the first photo ... tnx I needed that laugh today!

:-D

Cris said...

It is beautiful, now I am curious with the species. I am sorry I was late posting for Today's Flowers and I am the guest, shame on me, but my post is finally up on Country Patch. Take care.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

It's beautiful...the "flower" in its present state reminds me of asparagus...but I know it isn't that!!! Fantastic foto! Love the wispy tendrils...

Beth said...

I don't know what it is called other than beautiful!

You really have a gift with photography.

Willow said...

I agree that it might be a kind of yucca. Are those fibers used for spinning or weaving?

Arija said...

Your first shot looks like Nessie raising his sweet head. Nice post.

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Hi David
Always great photos!
Marvelous images very well taken!
Thanks for posting for TODAY´S FLOWERS.
Hope you have a nice week!

Luiz

Pastor Sharon said...

Hi David,
The plant is a Variagated Yucca Plant, also referred to as a Striped Yucca.
My grandmother used to have them at her house.
Great pictures.

Nihal said...

Fantastic plant! Sad to say but I'm into numbers' world, less informed on flora. Your eyes captured the most interesting angle of it, super shots indeed.

Shadow said...

ooooh, i dunno, but a beautiful intrigueing plant!

Hilary said...

Lovely flowers.. they kind of remind me of curved, pink asparagus spears.

Sherry said...

Several people mentioned yucca and several mentioned agave. They are related. In the research I did on the yucca, I found that some botanists think the yucca is a part of the agave family and some say the lily family. There's a banana yucca, a soapweed yucca and more.

Did you have a chance to look at the yucca pictures and info on my site? This might provide some answers: http://blondesherry.blogspot.com/2009/05/mystery-solved-its-not-yucky-its-yucca.html

Daryl said...

I am convinced its a variety of a yucca plant however as lovely as these shots are a shot of the entire plant might have made the guessing easier .. not as artistic but easier .. :-D

Corey~living and loving said...

what a cool plant. I hope you get it figured out. :)

have a happy day, David!