Tuesday, November 15, 2011
A bee, a caudiciform, a self-satisfied cackle
I found a honey bee clinging to a flower in the middle of the day, appearing to be at the end of its last honey run. While a bit sad the scene was pretty with the bee glowing in the sunlight reflected off the flower that I was darned if I could remember the name of.
An iceplant (aizoaceae family); for sure. This one grows erect and shrubby, with typical iceplant leaves and of course the small orange flowers. So I searched on the internets for "shrubby iceplant orange flower" and scrolled down the page. Not Ruschia pulvinaris or mesembranthemum; not lampranthus of any kind but there toward the bottom of page one I found a promising entry: Mestoklema arboriforme at San Marcos Growers. No photo. Search for Mestoklema (no wonder I couldn't remember the name, it's hard to type and hard to say) and photos confirm this is the genus but my plant could be either M. arborifome (more likely to form a water-storing stem or caudix) or M. tuberosa. Still, I couldn't suppress a little gurgly cackle of self-satisfaction with my researching skills. You know how Gollum sounded when he caught a fish in the forbidden pool in Two Towers?
Anyway, next day I found the bee dead, its tarsi still clinging to the Mestoklema (I'm going with) arboriforme flower.