While gazing at my lemon tree and dreaming up lemony recipes I thought I must be experiencing a mild hallucination as I could see two different flowers are growing off the same branch!
On closer inspection I was completely thrilled to discover that I had a Tapinanthus growing on the lemon tree (and slightly relieved that I wasn’t losing the plot).
Tapinanthus are partially parasitic plants from the mistletoe family. Birds usually deposit seed by scraping their beaks on the branches of the host plant. It then produces ‘suckers’ that penetrate the host and absorb water and nutrients.
Why am I happy? This plant (in addition to being beautiful) is very desired by birds for its nectar and fruit and a host to butterflies. I can’t tell you which butterflies – though its likely to be Saphires and or Borders – because I’m not 100% sure which Tapinanthus this is. Can anyone help?