"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Leaf of the Day: Curly Croton

My second croton. (the earlier one is here.) This one I like better. Its not quite the corkscrew variety which twists the whole way up the stem but this one does have one full turn. To my mind the individual leaves are more attractive than the plant as a whole. Their beautiful shapes can get lost in all that exuberant colour...but then the colours and patterns are wonderful too.

The colour of this one is extraordinary. A red background with dark green patches bordered in a yellowy green. The back of the leaf is deep magenta. It's very beautiful. I will certainly return to these when I start working in colour. They are also known as Joseph's Coat and are definitely the Jackson Pollock of the plant world.
I have read that the name Croton comes from the Greek word "tick", because of the similarities of the seeds to dog ticks.. to be honest lots of seeds look like ticks to me! Its Latin name is Codiaeum Variegatum and it is part of the extensive Euphorbiaceam family apparently over 2000 varieties. I blanch at the prospect of all those leaves from just one genus. Some more information about them, if you are interested, is here from Waynes Word .
This one came from the shrubby borders of Park Avenue where I saw the squirrel yesterday. The council have kindly labeled some of the lovely trees which are planted at the roadside. .. but not the shrubs.

I had been to the Creadle School of Art today for my second ceramics class. I love working in clay but there is so much to learn. I´m on week two of the lumpen ashtray. I wont be sharing the results with you just yet.

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The Curly Croton