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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.


Susan said...

Hi - great posts about bugs! Helpful info, and nice photos. I was born in and grew up in Tustin, and miss it. Thanks for posting. Susan at

Unknown said...

Your photos are wonderful--I wish I had the ability to capture those images. Thanks for sharing! Happy GBBD!

vanessa cardui said...

Thanks for your nice comments! Happy gardening wherever you garden.

Steven Scott said...

Great blog! Thanks for sharing.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Great close up shots.
Nice blog work. I came across your blog while “blog surfing” using the Next Blog button on the Nav Bar located at the top of my site. I frequently just travel around looking for other blogs which exist on the Internet, and the various, creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.