The “Vieille Fille” – spinster if translated literally, is a shrub like plant with clusters of tiny little flowers that grows in most areas of Mauritius.
Lantana Camara, for its more scientific name, is not an endemic plant, and is actually an invasive species on the island – and in the world. They grow quite easily (which is probably why they invade everywhere!) in small bushes and they produce flowers of various colors: yellow, orange, red, pink, white & purple are the ones I’ve mostly seen.
Even though it is a plant environmentalists want to get rid of, I’ve always found this to be a beautiful tiny flower, although it has quite a strong distinctive smell.
I also have nice memories of the ‘Vieille Fille’ while going for outings when I was young as we would gather a bunch of them in different colors, some long thin wild grass and we would spend hours threading the little flowers on the pieces of grass.
During our holidays in Rodrigues, I showed the children how to do it as well, but I must say, it wasn’t too much of a hit with them… too many other wonderful things to discover probably!
What about you, do you know this flower? Does it grow in your area? Do you like its funny smell or is it too weird for you?