Botany Photo of the Day
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Armeria welwitschii

Armeria welwitschii

A sunset walk in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden always reveals some mottled patterns of light and shade on the plants, as the more westerly trees in other Garden areas cast different shadows each day. In today's photograph, the fading light still shone on the yellow-flowered broom in the background, while the thrift blossoms in the foreground were shaded and near-shadowless.

Armeria welwitschii bears no common name in English other than thrift, but in Portugal it is known as "Erva-divina" or "Raiz-divina" (divine-herb or divine-root). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find an explanation on why it is divine, other than Rosa's speculation at Blog de cheiros that it is because of its magnificent form and harsh environment: Armeria welwitschii. A Portuguese endemic, Armeria welwitschii is native to seaside dunes and cliffs, occurring no more than 250m from where the sea meets the land (link has additional photographs). I don't know if the species is legally-designated as being threatened, but the invasive Carpobrotus edulis has been observed to take over its habitat (ref: Armeria welwitschii at O Botânico Aprendiz na Terra dos Espantos).

For cultivation information, see Cal's Plant-of-the-Week: Armeria welwitschii.


What a sweet little plant, but what is it?
When I checked Cal's plant of the week ;Armeria welwitschii
the photo had pink, not blue flowers. Is your photo an
onion or is it another genus of Armeria. Thanks'

Marie, there'll be a blue colour-cast on the flowers from being in the shade -- I see pink with a hint of blue, but it is subtle and perhaps on some monitors will appear more blue than others. I could reprocess it to make it more pink, though.

Like so,

But my preference is the first photograph -- a bit more accurate of a representation of what was observed in terms of colour, and the colours are more complementary.

When I saw the species name of today's plant, my mind immediately leaped to Welwitschia mirabilis, most amazing plant, of Angola and Namibia. Was today's plant also named after the Austrian botanist Friedrich Welwitsch? Perhaps a profile of Welwitsch would be an interesting follow-up.

the first photo is my favorite its a romantic
rendering of the plant Daniel is becoming an
artist with his camera thank you Daniel and company

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