Tucked away in North County on Quail Gardens Drive, far from other San Diego gems such as Balboa Park and the Zoo, are the 35 acres of the San Diego Botanical Gardens and one of my favorite places to shoot. While I do not favor the vistas of the waterfall and adjacent ranch that draw many photographers, the variety of flora that springs forth each month is ideal for my "photographic" paintings.
Last week I foraged around on Sunday afternoon and discovered that while many of the plants are not blooming this month, there were a few that lent their texture and color to my canvas. Most notably the Celosia (C. argentia "cristata") or Chinese Wool Flower. I am particularly drawn to the texture and shape of the Celosia as it reminds me of coral. And, as a SCUBA instructor, anything that reminds me of the ocean is fair game. I was able to get a few shots of the blooms closest to the footpath and plan on heading back this week hoping there are more accessible buds.
Celosia (C. argentia "cristata") is a tropical plant that is often considered a weed in China and India. On the converse, in parts of Africa it is often used to control another parasitic plant called Striga. It is also sometimes used in soap.