Monday, February 14, 2011

Be my valentine, O! Hedeoma ciliolata!

I am always surprised florists don't do more on Valentine's day to sell flowers. I suppose they have enough trouble just fulfilling the demand that day, but I have always thought there would be a market for diminutive plants, like this wonderful Mexican treasure. You will find an even more startling image of this gem on the web taken on the gympsum barrens near Galeana where this is restricted to a very small area. Wouldn't this look imply stunning in a little pot? Wouldn't it be charming if we gave our loved ones endangered plants like this, with a label telling them about where they grow. Then, perhaps, they can even plant them out a few months later and they will continue to prosper...
Come to think of it, it would be good to see even a few more generic Cyclamen out there (with its heart shaped leaves, a natural for this holiday).
But this post is an excuse to show off this tiny mint...and let you know how nervous I am about it. I have planted it several places on my rock garden. The rock is granite, not gypsum. This winter has been quite cold: down to -20F just a few weeks ago (a lot colder than its lofty home in Nuevo Leon)....why would this little morsel be hardy and not Agave victoria-reginae that grows not far from it on the mountain nearby? Good questions, these. I will answer them in a few weeks or months. If it is not hardy this winter, you will have had a glimpse of it...if it turns out to be hardy, perhaps in a few years I can post a big hunker like the one Carlos photographed...Now THAT would be a kick!
Meanwhile, Happy Valentine's day!


  1. Yeah, but does the foliage smell like pennyroyal?

  2. I've never pinched it! I shall have to try when I get a chance. I don't believe these showy southern Hedeomas are as aromatic as their northern small flowered ones.

  3. Much showier than our native H. rubra.

  4. I collected a brick-red form in the gypsaceous desert north of Galeana on my trip with the Yucca-Do crew back in 1991, but do not remember a scent. The tiny shrubs from the southwest with lavender flowers like H. drummondii can come in three chemical races: mint, lemon, and anise, with some forms mixed. Mint, then anise, are the most commonly observed. Some of these should make nice plants (or even pleasant weeds) in a rock garden. On another trip to Texas, I observed one growing in a gravel bed of a mostly dried-out stream near Uvalde


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