June 13, 2021

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Chojyu-ji

As if to suggest that the rainy season will arrive here soon, coinciding with the spectacular blooming of the Ajisai (hydrangea) flowers, the star-shaped purple flowers of "Iwatabako" begin to appear stealthily on the shady rock-surfaces of "Kamakura-ishi" (Kamakura rock) like the quiet hermits who wish to hide from the world and the sun.

Kamakura-ishi is the green-coloured tuff typical of the Kamakura region and was commonly used for the landscape-gardening of the old Zen temples in this area.

The perennial plant called "Iwatabako" (which means the tabacco plant growing on rock) grows on wet rock surface in the shade where water always oozes out. 

The short root-stalks usually produces one or two large leaves. These leaves are 10-20 cm long, 5-10 cm wide, and have an elliptic wrinkled shape. 

The flower stalks extend 10 to 20 cm long from the leaf-axils and bear two or three purple flowers about 1.5 cm in diameter.

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