Rebecca & The Local FloraSunday, August 13, 2006
Morelia and its environs has been a botanical revelation for us. The frustration is that when we ask the name of a plant they give us the local ones which are not always correct. We have admired three oleanders growing together. One of them is the usual green one, a second one has gold edged leaves and the third is a startling yellow/gold. I asked the hotel gardener for their name and I was told it was a laurel. While the leaf may look like a laurel, I learned a long time ago as a boy scout, that every part of an oleander is deadly. In the evening and early in the morning the hotel swirls with the scent of the brugmansia or datura, which is sometimes called Angel´s Trumpet. The gardener told me it was a "florifundio". He was close, but not correct. When I first saw this magical (some say it is poisonous, others that it is psychedelic) plant it was in 1990 in the Lima garden of Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. It was he who told me it was a floripondio. I have a brugmansia in my garden (it goes inside for our Vancouver winters). It is an exotic pink but I heve never seen the double form (there are three in the hotel) before. Now Rebecca keeps pointing at plants and asks me if they are poisonous.
I have seen blue agaves growing next to red adobe walls of Michoacan towns. I have photographed Rebecca next to many of them. Would you be able to guess that this picture is of Rebecca in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver?