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Kapolei City Park

I love visiting places with O’Ceallaigh. From our first walk together at Red Rock in Las Vegas, to our most recent walk together at Kapolei City Park, he is ready, willing and able to point out and discuss every leaf and twig on every plant in a five mile radius. What he doesn’t already know, he comes home and researches on the internet, keeping leaf, flower and bud shape, color, and size all stored in his amazing memory. (Amazing because it never forgets a plant, seaweed or protozoa; but drops dates and appointments with ease.)

For weeks now I have been asking about the flower of a certain tree I’ve only seen in bud. O’Ceallaigh kept telling me, they only bloom at night. The tree is an Autograph Tree, so called because the heavy green leaves have an etch-able outer layer. One can scratch a message on a leaf and it will remain on the tree waving that message for weeks thereafter.

A long dead Autograph Tree blossom, and a new bud.

A wilting, leathery Autograph Blossom with it’s unique “jelly” center.
This was the closest I’d ever come to actually seeing a flower in bloom.

Then Friday, just before sunset, we stepped beneath an Autograph Tree and looked up. Several blossoms had already opened in anticipation of fast approaching night. OC told me to touch the flower. The petals are waxy and sticky-moist. The center quivers like soft-set jello, and sticks to the skin like rubber cement.

I recognized the sap crusted on some leaves as the same substance marring the back passenger-side quarter panel of my car. Once dried, the sap resembles dried varnish. However, finally identifying the substance made me feel a little better about attempting to remove it. My thumbnail, a little hot water and some soap concentrate did the trick.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Dr. John — sorry about the snow. Bundle up and go out and make snow lilies!

    Melli — exotic. That’s the word you were looking for. There are lots of exotic flowers here. You’d fit right in — even with that green Jello and whip cream on your face.

    Doug – O’Ceallaigh says
    that he is not a teacher,
    but is mistaken.

  2. Nice try, Quilly! These are obviously fake flowers.

    You’ve got to get up PRIT-tee early in the morning to put one over on ‘ole Gawpo!

  3. What an amazing flower! I will have to share this with my mom. She grew up in Hawaii and Midway Is. We always talk fun stories about her growing up but I never heard of a flower like this. I wonder if she ever saw it.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. it makes me think of a magnolia blossom in the color the petals turn in such a short time. I looked up the tree too and the seed pods dry into a really interesting shape.

  5. Tina — I was saving the seed pod story until I could find some to go with it. So far the seeds aren’t opening.

    Polona — I had never seen — or touched — anything like it before. It is incredible.

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog! Better even was visiting yours! OMG these pictures are gorgeous!

    Had me laughing at your aunt and stepmom story. I think as we get older, small things just don’t matter as much.

    Girl, I have tried to work with everyone on having my yard repaired. I’ve spoken quietly, cried, yelled and cussed! Unfortunately, we live in a world where some people only care about themselves.

    I’ll be back! Thanks again!

  7. Debbie — welcome to my blog. Come back often. There aren’t always photos. Often I have moments from my school day or personal life. Almost always I have something to make one laugh or sigh — and sometimes cry.

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