Two in bloom

After yesterday’s picnic breakfast at the Gamble Garden in Palo Alto, two attractive plants noted blooming in the garden: Chrysopsis villosa and Amaryllis belladonna. Checking up on them led off into other stuff, rather surprisingly in the first case.

Chrysopsis villosa was labeled by the common name hairy golden star. When I searched on that name, I got only four hits, and three were for (straight) porn sites, most notably for the porn legend John Holmes! (Well, hairy and a star, though not golden.) The fourth led me to Chrysopsis villosa, whose most common common name turns out to be hairy golden aster.

Now, first on the plant, then on Holmes.

The plant:


On the variety “San Bruno Mountain”  (the mountain is south of San Francisco):

Choice accent plant for perennial borders. Tolerates moist or dry conditions, but looks best with periodic summer water. Fuzzy green leaves and yellow daisy-like flowers in spring and into summer. Easy to grow. (link)

On to Holmes:


From Wikipedia:

John Curtis Holmes (August 8, 1944 – March 13, 1988), better known as John C. Holmes or Johnny Wadd (after the lead character in a series of related films), was one of the most prolific male pornographic film actors of all time, appearing in about 2,500 adult loops and pornographic feature movies in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was best known for his exceptionally large penis, which was heavily promoted as being the longest, thickest and hardest in the porn industry, although no documented measurement of Holmes’ actual penis length, girth, or tumescence has ever been confirmed.

Holmes made a hell of a lot of porn flicks, but other men provided the lead penis for the three hit films made in the “brief period known as porno chic or the Golden Age of Porn” (link): Deep Throat, Behind the Green Door, The Devil in Miss Jones.

Amaryllis belladonna. In contrast to the low-growing Chrysopsis villosa, this flower stands tall and bold:


I know this plant as naked ladies or pink naked ladies. The appearance of the flowers is a sign of autumn, a sign that summer is coming to an end. I was familiar with it from Ohio, and hadn’t realized for some time that it grew around here as well, and on the same schedule. Its leaves appear in the spring and then die down, and the bulb lies dormant until late summer, when the leafless flower spikes appear.

The plant is a native of the Western Cape region of South Africa, and it follows this schedule there, allowing for the difference between the months of the seasons in the two hemispheres. (The photo happens to be from South Africa.)

On the genus, from Wikipedia, with more complexity about common and botanical names:

Amaryllis … is a small genus of flowering bulbs, with two species. The better known of the two, Amaryllis belladonna, is a native of the Western Cape region of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest area between the Olifants River Valley to Knysna. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name “amaryllis” is mainly used for cultivars of the genus Hippeastrum, widely sold in the winter months for their ability to bloom indoors. Plants of the genus Amaryllis are known as belladonna lily, Jersey lily, naked lady, amarillo, Easter lily in Southern Australia or, in South Africa, March lily due to its propensity to flower around March. This is one of numerous genera with the common name “lily” due to their flower shape and growth habit. However, they are only distantly related to the true lily, Lilium.

Lots of resembloid compounds there,

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