Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Creepy Coleus and Caladium

 Plantings by house, backyard.

Are there things you have encountered that both attract you and repulse you at the same time?  There is no explanation for such phenomena, so one is not forthcoming.  Horror movies and Stephen King novels come to mind.  Suffice it to say that in my case, plant lover that I am, there are certain plants that affect me in just that way, and coleus is one of them.  I pretty much have the same reaction to caladium.

These, caladium and coleus, are strikingly gaudy plants, for the most part, beautiful, most people would say.  And the colors are fabulous.  But the plant expends its efforts in painting its leaves and when the flowers  finally appear, pffft they are nothing to look at, in the case of the coleus, at any rate. I find this disturbing; and yes, that is just me.

Oddly enough, I like the colors of the leaves on the trees in the fall, often go on excursions for the sole purpose of viewing the autumnal foliage.  But I cannot shake the feeling of unease, of something-is-just-not-quite-right, when I look at the coleus.  Perhaps to keep me off-balance, a bit unsettled, so to speak, the planners of downtown gorgeousness here in Perfect decided this year to install huge planters on the sidewalks throughout the city.  They are stunning, and many people have complimented the city on this effort.  Seventy-six pots in total, and well-tended.

One of the principal contents of the planters is coleus.

A few years ago, we spent a couple of months in Lake Placid, Florida which touts itself as The Caladium Capital.  Imagine my enjoyment.

The last of the Uncle Jeptha Tales
appeared here on September 25.    
Should you wish to read or reread 
any of them, They can be accessed 
via the “Short Stories” and “More 
Stories” tabs at the top of the   


Vee said...

Okay, now I will think about that when I see these plants. Up until now I have just admired the beautiful leaves.

Secondary Roads said...

I love coleus. Well, I have in the past now I'll be haunted by bizarre images of coleus--maybe even of from whence comes such gaudy colors.

(I'm glad I didn't read this just before going to bed.)

Grace said...

I never knew coleus produced flowers - I'm not sure what it is about either of these flower species that disturbs irrational off-putting?

vanilla said...

Vee, oh, please continue to enjoy the beautiful leaves. I would feel really badly should I think I stole your enjoyment.

Chuck, perhaps I should apologize for sharing this quirk of mine, for I surely would not want anyone to have nightmares because of it. Unfortunately, though, having seen this post, you cannot unsee it.

Grace, totally irrational. Even I have "chinks in my armor." The little lavender flowers are visible, barely, on the stalk in the second picture.

Sharkbytes said...

Sorry to hear of your phobia... I love them both.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, not really a phobia, but I do find them "unsettling" for some reason. Or lack of reason.

Lin said...

I don't like them either for some reason. I liken them to cheap whores--they wear just a little too much color and they get a little brassy for my taste. Not that I know about cheap whores. ;)

vanilla said...

Lin, exactly! I never thought of that imagery, but how apt it is. Not that I would know about brassy women, either.
Thanks for the laugh.