This is the kind of photo that keeps me taking pictures. A sharp eye will note that the image is just a touch out-of-focus. It’s acceptable for the web, but not useful for a print, as it is clearly out-of-focus at its original size (roughly 15x the area of this one). I’m going to have to try again next year.
Usually, if there’s no compelling reason to keep an out-of-focus photograph, I toss it. I had to make an exception for this one, because I think it is one of those uncommon photos that keeps the eye constantly in motion; my eye is initially drawn to the buds, then to the left and up following the flow of the leaflets; then back to the buds, and the cycle begins anew.
A few more Decaisnea insignis photographs can be seen on the forums, as well as a discussion about the name. Here is the text from the former interpretative sign that accompanied it:
Decaisnea insignis, popularly known as “dead man’s fingers” is a Chinese botanical oddity known for its tropical-looking, pinnately compound leaves and curious blue fruit.
Decaisnea is the only shrubby genus in Lardizabalaceae, a family of otherwise strictly woody climbers (lianas) from Asia and South America. Plants are monoecious (separate male and female flowers), exhibiting pistillate flowers at the base of drooping racemes of staminate flowers. In this garden, bunches of finger-sized, fleshy follicles regularly develop. These gradually turn blue, becoming crooked and distended when ripe (hence the common name). They eventually split open to expose watermelon-like seeds embedded in a viscous, edible pulp.