Well, it’s almost the end of October and I thought I would share a few more flowers. This first one isn’t a flower but as it doesn’t flower I thought I would include it anyway because it is so pretty and I have always loved ferns.This is Lophosoria quadripinnata or in spanish palmilla- of the Dicksoniaceae fern family- it gets large – 4-5′ tall, and the fiddles unfurl this month for the new leaves. It is indigenous to Chile along with the Costilla de vaca fern which looks like cow ribs, hence the name.
This next shrub is in the Pea family- a legume. It is an invasive species introduced from Europe as fodder. It is known as Cytisus scoparius or Scotch Broom in the US. The fragrant yellow pea type blossoms produce a seed pod that is black and hairy and stays afixed to the plant for most of the season. I think it makes the plant look trashy and unattractive. These plants are found all over the countryside especially in vacant lots.
Below is the typical legume flower with the banner on the top which is a single petal with 2 lobes, the wings in the middle, which are 2 more petals, and the keel on the bottom which is 2 petals fused together.Like all members of the pea family these plants fix nitrogen on nodules on the roots. These plants can be poisonous if consumed as they contain an alkaloid which slows the heart.