The world of flowers is fascinating, filled not only with old familiar roses, daisies, pansies and daffodils, but with hundreds of flowers that make us smile because of their strange growing habits, weird aromas or unusual appearance. Many plants are distinctive simply because of their funny titles, and often, when you look at the flower, it's easy to understand the reason behind the name.
Love-in-a-Puff (Cardiospermum halicacabum) is a vine that grows so fast that it can be 10 feet long in just one year. The vines have a lacy appearance, and will bloom with masses of tiny, white flowers. Although the flowers are lovely, it's the seed pods that make love-in-a-puff especially fun. Each seed pod starts out as a puffy green pillow that will eventually turn brown in autumn. When the brown pod is squeezed, there will be three tiny, white heart shapes inside.
Ladies bedstraw, (Galium verum), is a low-growing, sprawling plant that will be densely covered with tiny, bright yellow blooms in July and August. Ladies bedstraw, also known as "yellow bedstraw," "maid's hair" and "pretty mugget," has a bitter taste, but releases a relaxing, new-mown hay smell when its dried, and is often used to fill herbal pillows. Ladies bedstraw is found growing wild in coastal sand dunes, in grasslands and meadows, and along roadsides. It also does well as a perennial in a flower bed or old-fashioned gardens.
Naked lady, (Lycoris squamigera), a native of Japan, is a rather awkward-looking flower that is related to the amaryllis. The large, pink, trumpet-shaped blooms grow can be as large as 7 inches in length, balanced on top of long, skinny, leafless stems. Naked Lady blooms in early spring, about the same time as daffodils, and will disappear when the weather warms up in late spring. Naked lady is also known as "surprise lily" and "magic lily."
Mouse Tail Plant
Mouse tail, (Arisarum proboscideum), is named for the tails that grow from the end of plump white and maroon, mouse-shaped blooms. The unusual blooms rise above a thick mass of shiny, arrow-shaped foliage. Mouse tail plants grow wild, but also do well in the home landscape where they will thrive in sun or partial shade, according to Spring Hill Nursery. The mousy blooms will be at their most prolific in mid-spring, but can often last until the beginning of summer.