From “Some Remarks on the Nature of Contrast” in Lantana Lane by Eleanor Dark:
“And how it grows! Nature — so neat and ingenious at devising forms, patterns and routines — seems here to have become bored with one of her creations; to have informed it with life, and then left it to its own devices. The result — as one might expect — is frightful.
“Other plants and weeds, endowed with a master plan providing that the growth of one part shall contribute, in conjunction with that of others, to a final harmony of shape and function, understand exactly what is expected of them, and address themselves without pause or hesitation to the achievement of their task. But a glance is enough to betray the sad fact that one stem of the lantana knows not what the others are doing; each sprouts upwards, downward or sideways at will, guided only by an eager, blundering vitality, a fervent, planless exuberance, a kind of anarchic zeal….
“Does this shrub… consist of a great many stems and no branches, or a great many branches and no stem? A stem — so we understand — is the ascending axis of a plant in contradistinction to its descending axis, or root; and a branch — if we have been properly informed — is that part which grows out of the stem. This definition may enable us to identify those stems which, having emerged from the earth directly above their descending axis, steadily and without further ado concentrate upon the business of ascent, putting forth boughs and branches as they go; but it is no help at all with lantana….
“For although lantana certainly ascends (and to prodigious heights), it can hardly be said to grow upwards. It achieves, rather, what we might at first be tempted to describe as an act of levitation….
“One’s sensations, while crawling into the lantana’s nether layers must markedly resemble those of a psychiatrist groping his way into the twilight of the unconscious, Great Heavens, what a mess!”
For this post, I took a few of the lantana flowers from the previous post (see Lantana, Wild and Tame), shot them into space with my Garden Rocket, then took their pictures once they reached a black hole.
This may or may not be true. But they do look like they’re floating somewhere out in the universe, don’t they?
Thanks for looking!
That Eleanor Dark is pretty exuberant herself in her writing, looks like an interesting book, and these flowers-in-space look great!
Dark’s writing style really is something — “exuberant” is the right word. To think I had never heard of her until a few days ago when I was scrabbling around the web looking for something to post about lantana. And she wrote a whole book about it!
She reminds me of Shirley Jackson a little, with two or three extra cranks of intensity. The Kindle book is on sale right now for $3.99 if you’re interested; it was ten bucks a couple of days ago.
Thanks for the comment!
Beautiful !! I love lantanas but I have never seen one with these colors.
Thank you! The colors of this variety are pretty neat; and as the flower ages, more and more pink (or magenta) accompanies the yellow and white. So it almost looks like two different plants — but it isn’t!
I love the smell of the leafs.
It’s very unusual… at first I thought it was weird but then got used to it, and now I like it!