Monday, November 17, 2008

name the mystery tree

OK. OK. I know this is not a blog about plants-that-do-not-necessarily-grow-in-Mexico. But the photograph I posted yesterday has raised some questions about what type of tree I have managed to discover. And everyone likes a good mystery.


As I mentioned, it blooms in three stages. The first stage is in the late Spring or early Summer. The flowers are white and very aromatic -- they almost smell like gardenias. Here is a photograph of the first stage.


The white flowers then fall off, and these pods -- looking almost like Chinese lanterns, form.


And during the late Fall, the lanterns open to display what appear to be star-shaped flowers, with a fruit in the center. In this photograph, the lantern is just opening up. The berry will true from green to a bluer shade.


Do any of you have any idea what this tree -- actually, it is more like a gangly shrub -- might be?

27 comments:

Christine said...

I don't know what it is--but I like it! Christine

Steve Cotton said...

I would take one of the "flowers" to a nursery. But -- they are closed until February.

Babs said...

Hi Steve - I have avidly gardened, belonged to garden clubs and even taken horticulture courses - I've NEVER seen anything like this - the first blooms, the white ones, look like the bloom of a fruit tree. But those glorious chinese lanterns and the ultimate bloom are magnificent. It must be native to your area.
You have definitely piqued my interest.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

very interesting....not a clue. I garden a lot and I can think of zip, I love the fruit part. How big is the fruit and what kind of leaves?
regards,
Theresa

Islaholic Trixie said...

When you find out, I would like to research them and find out if they would grow in our climate here in Minnesota.
Do you remember if you planted it or was it already there. Hopefully someone knows what it is.

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- I suspect it is not native to Oregon. We tend to sombre earth tones around here -- even in our flowers. The Oregon grape is a perfect example. This tree is as showy as a drag queen on Bourbon Street.

Theresa -- The fruit is about the size of a fingernail. The red flowers are no more than an inch or two across. Delicate, but gaudy. You can see the leaves in the first picture.

Brenda -- The tree is in a public park. I was thinking of checking at the Agriculture Building -- the closest building -- to see if anyone there has identified it. After all, they are in agriculture.

Cairelle said...

I don't know what it is either but I want one... although it would probably shrivel up and die in the heat and humidity of a NOLA summer...

I am curious as to what it is, so do post the name when you find out!

Islagringo said...

I don't know what it is either but it sure is interesting.

Islagringo said...

I have copied the photos and sent them off to the U of Minn Extension Service. See if they can figure it out. They are pretty good at this sort of thing.

Steve Cotton said...

Wayne -- Thanks. I should do the same thing. Oregon State University has a great extension program.

glorv1 said...

I couldn't find anything on it in my books. Your best bet is to take it to a nursery. It is beautiful. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- How Shakespearean of you: "Get thee to a nursery." Unfortunately, unlike the balmy latitudes of California, our nurseries are hibernating with the bears -- only to emerge in February.

Todd said...

Definitely looks like a Clematis, but the question is which one.

Todd

Cory said...

You could drive over to The Oregon Garden in Silverton. That tree/bush is growing near the Children's Garden, there is a sign designating the name of said tree/bush.

There is an admission charge, however. These beautiful clear days were very nice for walking thru the garden, it looks like those might be coming to an end soon, tho.

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- Clematis is a possibility. However, the ruit on most Clematis is a feathery seed pod.

Cory -- I have never been to the Oregon Garden. If the rain holds off, I may get up there this weekend. My memory, though, is that dogs are not allowed.

Cory said...

Give them a call, I think dogs are okay. There is even a small dog garden where they can play.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Cory. Will do. Now, watch it rain on Saturday. The fog is still so thick here, it may as well be raining.

aighmeigh said...

whatever it is, it's gorgeous! :)

Steve Cotton said...

Aighmeigh -- It is indeed. I would love to have oner in Mexico. It almost looks like a Christmas ornament,

Cory said...

Did you ever get the name of this curious shrubbery?

Todd said...

Well, you have had plenty of time to do your homework!
What is the name of the mysterious plant?

Todd

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- My cousin's son has given me a good lead: check with the Oregon Garden. He has seen one there. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get up to Silverton, and we are about to get our first (and perhaps only) snow storm.

Steve Cotton said...

Cory -- Interesting that you should ask. See Todd's comment. I will try to get up there -- after the snow.

Todd said...

S n o w
hmmmm, snow.

Sorry, doesnt ring a bell out in this neck of the woods.

Todd

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- It is a bit odd for us, as well. We get very little snow in the Willamette Vally. But it appears we will get our share this week.

Todd said...

Just came across this.

Now you will be prepared for next time!

http://www.myplantid.com/


Todd

Steve Cotton said...

Todd -- Great resource. I will keep it in mind -- if I can find it the next time I discover a mystery plant.