Myself, in Botanical Form
As many of you know, I love to garden. More to the point, perhaps, I love plants. This has led to many hours spent pouring over books, websites, and catalogues filled with botanical descriptions of familiar and unfamiliar plants alike.
I love these descriptions—so terse and yet elegant in their way, with a wealth of information in a minimum of words, predictable in form but not at all in content. Besides, they are paragons of accuracy while still leaving a great deal to the imagination of the grower!
Well, the other day I jotted out a sort of parody, a selfie version of these verbal gems, if you will. Thus…
Myersia amyii is a medium-sized shrub or very small tree to about 5 ft tall and somewhat narrower in width. Bloom is decidedly sporadic but most abundant when weather is warm. Flowers rarely open before mid-morning and close only late at night. Foliage is a typical brown, slightly darker in winter.
Reliably hardy only to about 25 F, and will sulk whenever temperatures drop below 55 F. USDA zones 9-10, possibly 11.
M. amyii thrives in clay soil but is also known to enjoy rocky locations so long as it can root deeply.
Full sun is imperative for this species; light shade is acceptable only when growing under desert conditions. Water deeply occasionally but do not allow soil to remain moist over extended periods or in cold weather, otherwise drastic wilting may occur.
Occasional liquid applications of caffeine and corn syrup are recommended for best results.
Native range extends from California to Arizona. Has been observed growing far north and east of this region, but do not expect success in cold or wet climates.
Combines well with native Salvias and many Mediterranean plants, particularly Lavandula. Also has a symbiotic relationship with roses and should always be grown with at least two or three planted in its vicinity. Attracts bees and hummingbirds. Has been suspected to attract mosquitoes, but this is unproven.