Tag Archives: blue flower

King Tut Sweet Pea

Worth the Name

The news announcing the cause of King Tutankhamun’s death was published recently.   The new evidence of massive head trauma and multiple broken ribs fit a pattern consistent with falling out of and being run over by a chariot.  Presumably his own.  Hearing his name reminded me of a new plant I grew this past summer.  A Sweet Pea ‘King Tut’ (Lathyrus sativus).  I found this organic King Tut at my favorite stand in the Union Square farmer’s market.  I didn’t care  what the color of the flower would be.  I was drawn to the name and the story behind it.  As the legend goes; the seeds were found in King Tut’s tomb years ago and they continue to grow to this day (but perhaps not those in Tut’s tomb).  Whether it’s true or fantasy is another story.  But as archaeology is one of my areas of interest, Egyptian and Southeast Asian in particular, I’m just drawn to the name of the plant.  If someone came up with a plant named ‘King Suryavarman’ I would probably try growing it as well.

King Tut Sweet Pea is short, reaches only 1.5 to 2  feet tall.  It is much shorter than other variety of Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus).  I grew them in a pot and tied them to bamboo stalks for support.  The flowers, however, are exceptional in color.  It is a bright royal blue with a hint of pale pink in the center and at the petal’s edge.  It is the bluest of all sweet peas.  The blue fades to a pale blue before the petals drop.  I hope the seeds I keep will germinate next year and continue Tut’s ‘agri-lineage’.

Just opening up
Just opening up
Fully open
Fully open
Close up
Close up

Another spring blossom

Rock Garden Iris

Little blades, little flowers.

They have been pushing their leaves up above ground for a couple of weeks and finally opened up.  A beautiful deep blue with yellow blotches, an Iris called Harmony (I. reticulata Harmony) is another flower that blossoms in early spring, and this little beauty is only 4″ above ground.  Cute little thing.

I remember I bought a bag of little bulbs from one of the catalogs a couple of years ago.  Put the whole bag in the ground in fall but only a few came up the following spring.  Though, it is supposed to be a type of rock garden Iris that can do well with less water, I think the plot may be too dry since it is under the roof and only a quarter of it gets rain water.  But, it survives year after year among the Hyacinth, with the leaves just an inch above ground now, along with Columbine (self-sown, I swear).

By summer there will be no sign of the iris left.  It retires back under the ground to wait for next spring.

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