The striking flower with three names is now blooming on a hillside somewhere near you….. The blossoms are huge, about 6″ across. The plant itself can get huge also, according to one nursery, “to 8′ tall and ‘forever’ wide”, meaning that once they get established, they can spread indefinitely and be invasive, or at least too big for a modest sized yard. Although they are not always easy to establish, once they take off, they need nothing whatsoever provided to them, no water aside from rain (little though there is here in Southern California), no fertilizer, no mulch, no attention of any kind. They go completely dormant in summer and come raging back again the next spring. They are feisty, independent, persistent, not always well-behaved, beautiful and outlandish. Thus, they share the same characteristics of some of my favorite people which is why I’m always happy to run into them again.
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