Saturday, April 19, 2008
Rare Hibispruce Discovered in Portland
Spring break in Portland, Oregon. That's what my 18-year old son Ben asked for. Well, not really. It was supposed to be 3 days at a surf beach in Mexico, then a bit of culture in Oaxaca for mom and dad. Imagine turning 18 in Mexico and having a legal beer. THAT'S spring break! Long story short - the timing didn't quite work, so he chose Portland. Surf sucks, no sun, but that was his second choice.
Airport, light rail, Pioneer Square. So after carrying our luggage 3 blocks through freezing rain, Lin (my wife), Ben and I headed out on the light rail to Washington Park. Destination - the Japanese Garden. We disembark, take the elevator up to ground level, and right there before us is the entrance to the Portland Zoo.
Perhaps I'm the first to discover this botanical wonder, but I'll be damned if the spruce tree (or whatever the hell that conifer is - they all look the same to this Santa Barbarian if they ain't palm trees) has this ginormous Hibiscus flower sprouting from it. Maybe it's a Hibispruce?
Hibiscus is a pretty familiar sight down our way, so imagine my surprise to see this image from someone's bad acid trip blooming in the light drizzle. I climbed the tree and took some pollen samples, so I'm pretty sure I can complete the taxonomic analysis and secure my place in botanical history. I'm guessing I'll get some kind of scientific recognition at the next Convocation of Brilliant Botanists when they convene in Stockholm next year.
I'll start packing.