Would You Prefer Breakfast or Brunch?


One of the more amusing plant names I’ve come across belongs to Corydalis curvisiliqua, sometimes known as curvepod or curvepod fumewort. Once a member of the Fumariaceae, or fumewort family, it’s been moved into the poppy family, but its wonderful popular name still survives: scrambled eggs.

Given the every-which-way-ness of its blooms, the name makes sense. When I found the small colony that included this plant alongside the Willow City loop on February 25, the early blooming, deer-resistant plant looked for all the world like a plate of scrambled eggs. Even had I not known the popular name, I might have described the flowers in exactly that way.

An interesting feature of the flower is the way its two outer petals enclose two inner petals which often aren’t noticed. Here, they can be seen in the bottom bloom.

To be honest, I can’t help wishing we had a biscuit-bush and some slimleaf sausage to go with the scrambled eggs.


Comments always are welcome.


71 thoughts on “Would You Prefer Breakfast or Brunch?

    1. I heard the name long before I encountered the plant, and I was certain the name couldn’t reflect the plant’s appearance. I certainly was wrong.

      If the photos are satisfactory, I’ll have some nice birds for you in the next post. Man (and woman) doesn’t live by flowers alone!

  1. Well, that makes me think of what I’m going to eat for (a late) breakfast. Just now, I’m thinking of smoked salmon slices on toast with a fried egg on top.

    1. I’ll take my salmon with cream cheese on a bagel, but I hope you managed to put together something tasty and pleasing. The Sunflower Bakery in Galveston has a nice version of eggs Benedict, with the eggs atop crab cakes. It’s quite good — keep it in mind for your next trip.

      1. For yesterday’s breakfast I changed my mind and just had a pastrami sandwich. As to the salmon: the original recipe called for hash browns “baked” in a waffle iron. That sounds very intriguing to me, but I don’t have a waffle iron. Sometimes I do just regular hash browns as a bed.

    1. You’re welcome! There’s nothing more fun than coming across the new, the unexpected, and the slightly quirky all in one package. I’d say this flower qualifies.

  2. Oh, I don’t know. I think I’d rather have my scrambled eggs mixed with a small can of Gebhardt’s Chili, with some toasted home-made bread like my uncle used to make on the side, thank you. (Although some of my dad’s Bisquick biscuits would go down a treat, too.)

            1. Because I’ve disabled that option. Originally, I decided against ‘likes’ on posts or comments at The Task at Hand, but decided to offer ‘likes’ on posts here because a photography blog’s a little different. I still like comments best, though, so I didn’t enable ‘likes’ for comments.

            2. But it isn’t available to me for some reason. Deb was able to like my comments, I guess because she uses the reader on her phone, but I cannot leave them when responding via the email notifications on my desktop. I’ll try the reader and see if that’s different. I don’t reply using my iPhone because WP makes me sign in every single time no matter that I have already signed in once and said to remember me.

            3. It just occurred to me — you could have ‘liked’ Deb’s comment through the notifications tab. I don’t know if that shows up in apps, but it’s an option on a desktop.

            4. This just occurred to me: I had to approve your comment on this post. I figured you were using a different device that WP didn’t recognize, but it sounds like WP is being a pain for you some other way. You’ve reminded me that the past couple of weeks I’ve been unable to leave ‘likes’ on a few blogs. They just wouldn’t take, even though I was signed in and on my desktop. Who knows what goes on in the deep, dark corridors of this system?

            1. Yes. There it sits, poor WordPress; waiting ever so patiently for me to get it together. With my apologies, let’s just say that life has become complicated and taking up time for things I’d normally (rather) be doing…

    1. I was trying to figure out how I missed your post about the butter and eggs toadflax, and finally realized that must have been just before, or just around the time, that we ‘met.’ I do remember hearing about the process of having your new computer built, but I never saw that list of specs. The lifetime support is nice. I hope you haven’t needed it.

      ‘Butter and eggs’ reminds me of the old jazz standard, “Big Butter and Egg Man.” My dad was a jazz fan, so I heard it played from time to time, but the expression itself still was current in the 1950s — at least, among the old folks. Calling someone a big butter and egg man suggested the guy might be given to three card monte, or selling some disreputable product from the back of a jitney. It wasn’t a compliment, that’s for sure. The flowers are much nicer.

      1. That was a new recording for me, although it sounds as if she likes the idea of having a “Butter and Egg Man” so maybe she likes scammers. :)

        I have needed support a couple of times. One valuable bit of help was this video. It really made a difference a few months ago when my computer got verynoisy. A little dust removal and all is good again. I’ve had the computer, obviously, for several years now and worry that I’ll have to replace it in the foreseeable future. All my image files are backed up multiple times if something bad happens but I’ve always been ahead of disaster. I hope to keep that streak alive.

        When I searched for that linked post I scrolled looking for you but, as you mention, it must have been before our friendship. Although we haven’t met in person, it’s easy to consider you a friend. I am sure many of us feel that way. :)

    1. I think ‘scrambled eggs’ is near the top of the funny names list. When we were kids we’d insult one another by saying “So-and-so has scrambled eggs for brains,” but we never imagined there was a plant called scrambled eggs. It is a pretty thing, though — I’m glad I finally came across it.

  3. Those sound like good ideas for the hybridizers to cook up. Orange juice trees and coffee bushes we’ve already got. And we have pignuts and hogweed, but no bacon bush.

    1. I’d never heard of pignuts. It seems the word can refer both to the pignut hickory tree here in the US, and to some sort of underground delight in the British Isles, where people dig for them like truffles (hence the pig reference). I’m not sure I’d want to add pignuts to the buffet table; they sound like they’re as difficult to crack as black walnuts, and aren’t nearly so tasty.

      1. Pignut hickory is bitter and and nasty, but shagbark hickory is delicious. The nuts are hard to crack, and tend to create sharp shards, so when you crack them, you really want to be careful picking through them, but the meat is sweet and delicious, definitely worth the trouble.

        1. They sound like black walnuts. A concrete floor and a hammer are the best tools to begin the cracking process with those things — and the stain takes forever to get off your hands.

  4. A “scrambled eggs” plant?? Only in Texas, Linda! I’ve never heard of this one, but somebody certainly gave it an appropriate name. Bet if you look hard enough, you might find that biscuit-bush and sausage, too!!

    1. Not only in Texas, Debbie. It’s native in parts of Illinois too. Believe it or not, a friend tipped me off to the fact that there’s a sort of sausage plant to go with the scrambled eggs: the slimjim bean (Phaseolus filiformis). The only thing we can’t decide is whether the slimjim bean’s named for the dry sausage stick, or for the thing they used to use to break into cars.

      1. Thanks, Linda — I didn’t know that! I’ve never seen any here, but maybe it was hiding or I wasn’t paying full attention!

          1. I had an uncle who had his own version of that saying, too, but I couldn’t remember what it was. I couldn’t call my aunt last night because she goes to bed really early, but I just called her, and as soon as she told me, I remembered him saying, “Great minds think alike, but fools never think.” Isn’t that just the truth?

    1. I had to laugh at this: “Recently botanists have moved the Linaria genus from the Figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family to the Plantain family.” That’s another thing scrambled eggs have in common with butter-and-eggs — they’re getting moved from pillar to post by the taxonomists.

      It’s interesting that the flowers have a spur, too. This is my first year to find our native larkspur. The article you linked called it a ‘nectar spur.’ That implies it’s not just decoration, but somehow plays into making its goodies available to the insects. More research is required.

  5. I’m thinking this plant must annoy those who prefer their life clearly ordered, whereas I love it’s cheeky attitude.
    If it was a colour other than yellow, I wonder what it would be called?

    1. Hmmm…If the flowers were green, they still could be scrambled eggs, thanks to Dr. Seuss and his Green Eggs and Ham. But other colors? I’m not so sure. I think we’d have to go in another direction than food.

      Neatly ordered, it isn’t. Some plants bloom so precisely they look as though someone with a slide rule and calipers put them together. This one looks like it was thrown together at the last minute — but it’s still lovely.

  6. We have our own butter and eggs out here, Linda. They are smaller flowers found in meadows. I laughed at your desire for sausage and biscuit flowers. –Curt

    1. I’d not heard of butter and eggs until today, and now you on the west coast and Steve on the east both have mentioned it — as well as Deb, who noted that it’s spread quite widely. It seems as though the butter and eggs is an introduced species, while our scrambled eggs are a true native. At least butter and eggs seems to be relatively well-behaved. It’s especially nice that this one blooms very early: as early as February. It may look funny and have a funny name, but it’s a tough one.

    1. I really enjoyed that linked article, Gerard. Not only is the flower beautiful, it has an interesting history.

      I noticed that a little over-picking by enthusiastic admirers was a problem for a time. When I was visiting Kansas, I learned about a white flower that was being plucked to extinction because of its beauty. Apparently it was a great favorite for bridal bouquets and wedding decorations: somewhere I read that it’s even called the “Kansas wedding flower” in some places.

      It’s not illegal to pick our bluebonnets, but people are encouraged to leave them — and all of the other wildflowers — where they’re found, so they can reseed and provide next year’s crop.

      Somehow, I never thought of kangaroos having paws. I spent a few minutes admiring the kangaroos, and now I’ve got a better fix on their paws, as well as your flower.

  7. I’m not surprised at the common name of scrambled eggs. The colour alone fits.

    I love the way the outer petals hide that lovely more delicate inner clasp of petal formation. A meadow filled with these cheerful coloured flowers would definitely be a worthy sight.

    1. When I was taking the photos, I didn’t notice the complexity of the flowers. It was only after I got home and was reading about them that I realized I’d captured those inner petals. I’ve often found such little details only after looking at the files on the computer. I know you’ve had the same experience. It happens often enough that I never, ever would do what a friend does and delete presumably bad images in camera. Granted, terribly over or underexposed images are easy to spot, but I still wait.

      The color is pretty, isn’t it? I didn’t realize that they bloom so early in the year. Next spring, I’ll start looking for them at the end of January.

    1. The little complexities are interesting, aren’t they? And it’s fun to see such a nice, spring-like yellow in a flower that doesn’t look at all like a sunflower or buttercup. The fact that they’re deer-resistant is another plus in their favor, and it seems that they arrive as early as the buttercups. They’re on my “to be looked for” list for next spring!

    1. It would be fun, wouldn’t it? When you take a close look at some of the scientific names, they often honor a person, or make reference to some quality of the plant, like thin leaves or lots of flowers. But common, popular names like ‘scrambled eggs’? They’re a lot more fun, and usually easier to remember — at least for us non-botanists.

  8. Scrambled eggs, biscuits, cream cheese/bagels, eggs Benedict, crab cakes – wow, reading this would make any ‘stuffed’ person become hungry again… and so many options that aren’t easily found in Ecuador! What about grits?

    1. No grits here, although cheese grits with shrimp seem to be the latest food fad here. I’ve never been able to develop a taste for them, despite trying. It seems as though I should like them, since I like both oatmeal and cream of wheat, but they just haven’t clicked with me. I do think they’re more ‘southern’ than ‘Texan,’ even though they’re usually on menus at every sort of establishment.

      1. At our bed and breakfast we often had ‘shrimp and grits’ or ‘grilliades and grits’ – but the grits were used more like rice than as an ‘aside.’ Those two specialty menu items were served on the top of the grits and mixed in – lots of flavor…

        1. Well, I’ve got some fresh off the boat shrimp tonight, and a recipe. I’m going to give shrimp and grits a try tomorrow night, just for grins. Tonight, I’m concentrating on the fresh peaches I picked this evening: yellow and white, both. It’s hard to believe it’s already peach-picking time in Texas, but so it is!

          1. ….. well…. Was ‘it’ worth the effort, or would the shrimp mescla have been better with rice? I think we put fresh mushrooms in it as well… so my curiosity will have to hold til next time on line – perhaps tomorrow! (am working on my visa renewal.)

    1. Isn’t that strange, that it’s in the poppy family? After I posted this photo, I came across some plants called butter and eggs, and some called bacon and eggs. I wonder if there are Belgian waffles growing anywhere?

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