Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for....

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   Hope everyone had a Happy Easter yesterday. Here in Texas one of today's flowers played an important role at a lot of dinners. 

   Today I present the "Honey Mesquite" Prosopis glandulosa. I know it is more of a wild tree than flower but I couldn't resist. This is one of the best known plants of Texas. It ranges in size from small to large gnarly trees. Mesquite can found everywhere through out Texas, except in the far East part of the state. It is also a very versatile plant. Humans have been using Mesquite seeds for food, the flowers for honey and the extremely hard dark wood for floors and furniture. But of course one of the most popular uses of the wood is to smoke meat for bar-b-q. If you have never had brisket slow smoked over mesquite coals, you don't know what you are missing.
   The Honey Mesquite blooms from June to August.

Picture from University of Texas Plant Resource Guide

   I had to add this rare little beauty also.  "Half Flower"  Scaevola plumieri. This little plant is so rare in Texas now that most botanist have never seen it. There was once a large area of the plant on a barrier island off the Gulf coast but then Hurricane Carla came in 1961 and wiped it out. In some of the other tropical states of the U.S., this little jewel can still be found. The half flower blooms can be seen year round. So if you are at the beach watch out for this rare beauty, and consider yourself luck to have seen it.

Picture from University of Texas Plant Resource Guide


Laura Eno said...

I can smell the bbq now!
Very unusual-looking half flowers on that plant. It's too bad they're heading toward extinction.

nutschell said...

beautiful pictures. just the mention of the honey mesquite makes me crave some bbq.

Great A-Z post!

Sharkbytes said...

I love botany, so thanks for the info! I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

BBQ - now I'm hungry!