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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bloom Day May #2: Santolina

Santolina chamaecyparissus is a mouthful, so let's just call it Lavender cotton. As you can see the flowers are not purple, so I guess the moniker lavender comes from the leaves which are reminiscent of some lavandulas. My plant is growing in less than full sun, so the bloom is never full like you see in typical photos of this. Still, the plant has been in that spot for many years spilling over a big rusty pipe and encroaching on the Aloe brevifolia. In autumn, it's time to undercut this one to clear out the dead stuff and make room for healthy new growth, and to give the pipe and the aloe a chance, too.

Holy Herb! That's another colorful common name for S. chamaecyparissus but it's also what I exclaimed when I noticed the tiny green lynx spider (Peucetia viridens) with prey of some sort (looks like another tiny spider) right under a flower. Green lynx spiders of all ages and sizes hang out in the tops of flowering shrubs and perennials to exploit (!) the visitors to the flowers. This little one has chosen a plant and flower in scale with its own body size.


Cindy said...

Very lovely shots.

Hey, I've been wondering lately: What do these little spiders do between the time they hatch in late summer/fall and their mommas die and they all but disappear until late in the spring? Are they just dormant all that time, hiding somewhere?

vanessa cardui said...

That investigation into the winter doings of the green lynx is right near the top of my ToDo list, Cindy. It really is a mystery waiting to be solved.