Leaf of the Day: Firecracker and Tornados

Yesterday evening a storm swept over Winter Park bringing with it ominous warnings from the weather man of possible “tornadic” activity. The rain was torrential and we had a spectacular display of thunder and lightening, so it’s quite apt that today’s leaf ( if you can spot one ) is from the Firecracker bush.

This untidy plant, russelia equisetiformis, flops over and through the railings near the pool and I have hesitated to draw it before as I couldn’t find the leaves. Well they are there.. but very tiny and referred to in one book as ‘scale like’. At regular intervals along the main stem there are 5 little leaves arranged in a whorled formation. 5 stems radiate from the leaf bases and these in turn bear two or three of the brilliant red tubular flowers which give this bush its name. My sample here was somewhat bedraggled after the storm and the plant is not looking its best, but new growth is starting with a very upright, thicker new main stem and with more pronounced leaves.

Tomorrow I am planning another leaf chart. I am keen to explore the word.. glabrescent; ie becoming glabrous in age.. I am sure you are too!

Firecracker Bush