tango flower spirit
dressed for night in red allure
skirted softness suspended
lantern sways invitingly
Bottlebrush Dancer is a variation from my usual haiku with a 31 syllable tanka (5-7-5-7-7) exploring personification of a bottle brush flower.
The photograph captures just one flower that was hanging over our neighbour’s fence with the bulk of the mature tree in the background.
For those interested in flowers, plants or gardening, Callistemon is a genus of 34 species of shrubs in the Myrtaceae family, all of which are endemic to Australia.
Callistemon species are usually slow growing shrubs or tree forms with cylindrical flowers that resemble those brushes that were traditionally used for cleaning bottles. The flower colours vary between species with most being red, although some are yellow, orange, green or white.
Each flower head produces a mass of triple-celled seed capsules around a stem which remain on the plant with the seeds enclosed until the capsule is stimulated to open when the plant dies or a bushfire causes the seeds to be released. Some species release their seeds annually.
Callistemons are found in the more temperate regions of Australia, mostly along the east coast and south-west, and typically favour moist conditions.<AJC>