Oct. 10th, 2016

lblanchard: (swannfountain)
[This is another in what has now become an almost-weekly series of postings inspired by Abigail Rorer, Mimpish Squinnies: Reginald Farrer's Short Guide to Worthless Plants. Rorer's book includes prints of fourteen plants Farrer considered worthless-- an interesting hybrid of botanically accurate and...different. You can see her work, including all fourteen mimpish squinnies, here: http://www.theloneoakpress.com/prints/newer.html ]

For today's mimpery, we return to Rorer's book and pull from its pages Opuntia polyacantha, a ferocious cactus of the western United States. Farrer does not care for the Opuntia. In fact, the genus and its friends whip him up into great frothy word-torrents of magnificent opprobrium. He did not mention O. polyacantha specifically, but Rorer's illustration takes its cue from Farrer's general comment about the Opuntia's flowers, "looking as if they had been freakishly pinned there by a thorn." And, YAY! Abigail Rorer has just given me permission to use her illustrations, with a back link. So here's the freakishly-pinned O. polyacathana ! I can hardly wait to go back and retrofit the others. Click the photo to reach her website homepage.

Here is Farrer at his most splenetic on the genus, and here is a photo of O. polyacantha,. More photos and a little more commentary behind the cut tag.

Opuntia polyacantha, the more usual yellow variety
By Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA (Opuntia polyacantha Uploaded by uleli)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Farrer on Opuntia, plus some more photos )

(As always, I am grateful to the Internet Archive for providing a pdf of Farrer's opus, The English Rock-Garden, so that I could just grab the text rather than keyboarding it.)


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