Monday, May 23, 2011

Nioibanmatsuri: Heady Scent and Fading Flowers

I swear I do more than walk around taking pictures of flowers. Something about this spring, though, has me pursuing blossoms with a vengeance. More often than not I find myself pausing to set down my bags, pull out my camera, and begin searching for the best angle. Just beginning our third year here, I think I'm trying to capture all the things I've missed photographing the past two.

Located in the maze of small streets and near alleys between larger avenues, this little tree caught my eye as well as my nose. The purple and white blossoms stand in lovely contrast to the deep green of the leaves, and as I leaned in for a closer look the jasmine-like scent nearly knocked me over. Two women passing by stopped to admire it with me and told me the Japanese name: Nioibanmatsuri. They also pointed out it's other unique trait: flowering purple first the impatiens shaped flowers gradually fade with age to white. (Hence, it's common name of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. The Latin name, for good measure, is Brunfelsia australis.)

Like the yellow flag iris, Nioibanmatsuri is not native to Japan although it's clearly a favorite. An ornamental shrub native to South America, it seems quite happy in its new digs. Since sniffing this one last Friday evening they've been spotted large and small in tubs and planted free-range in gardens or in front of homes.

1 comment:

Anjuli said...

I know what you mean about spring drawing you to take pictures of flowers- I'm not even a picture taker but at this time year, I want to capture all the beautiful flowers I see.

Great pic- and I could almost smell the Jasmine type smell!! :)