a flower a week

The most unusual plant in my garden…

batplant-1

Ear like bracts stand at attention above the cat-like whiskers of this unusual plant.

batplant-2

The Tacca Chantrieiri has many common names: Bat Flower, Black Bat Flower, Cats Whiskers, Devil Flower, Bat Head Lily, Bat Plant, Devil’s Tongue, Black Tacca, Jews Beard, Voodoo Flower.

batplant-3

It is a native to tropical areas of Southeast Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and southern China: particularly Yunnan Province. Tucked away in a shady corner of my garden it bursts into spectacular flower at this time of the year as I slowly wilt in the heat and humidity that it thrives in.

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Categories: Bat Plant, photos | Tags: , , | 50 Comments

A Flower a Week : Silver Princess Gum

Princess gum

Princess gum

Buds

Buds

Close-up

Close-up

Gum trees or Eucalyptus are very common around Australia. The more than 700 species of eucalyptus are mostly native to Australia, only 15 species occur outside Australia, with just nine of these not occurring in Australia. One of the most spectacular is the Silver Princess Gum. Found in the wild in Central Western Australia. It is now cultivated and a very popular small tree for gardens. 

Eucalyptus caesia, commonly known as Caesia, Gungurru or Silver Princess, is a mallee of the Eucalyptus genus. It is endemic to the central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, where it is found on a small number of granite outcrops. The name “silver” refers to the white powder that covers the branches, flower buds and fruit. “Gungurru” comes from the name used by the indigenous Noongar people. (Wikipedia)

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere

Categories: a flower a week, flowersoverflowers, photos, Silver Princess Gum | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

A Flower a Week : #4 Sturt’s Desert Pea…

Sturt's Desert Pea

Sturt’s Desert Pea

This week I would like to introduce you to a strange-looking native Australian plant. Sturt’s desert pea (Swainsona Formosa) is one of Australia’s best known wildflowers.  Named after the early explorer, Charles Sturt, it is the floral emblem for South Australia. They are annuals and it is an exciting and thrilling experience to come across large areas of them setting the arid desert areas alight with their brilliant red flowers.

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere.

Categories: a flower a week, flowersoverflowers, photos | Tags: , , | 34 Comments

Signs of Spring.

Two days ago we had a night storm. Lightening flashed and lit up the sky, the thunder rumbled and crashed and 15 millimetres of rain soaked into the dry earth. Next morning the temperatures had risen to 27C, that is 5 above the average for August.

Now the sap is flowing. It is 4 days to the official start of spring, the buds are forming and once again the miracle of rebirth is taking place.

spring flowers aug-1

The bottle brush (Callistemon) is covered in new buds.

Look closely they look like Brussel sprouts. (“They” tell us that Brussel Sprouts are the new super food)

spring flowers aug-1-2

It is a grey and overcast day today and more rain is forecast.

I went for my walk around the garden and I will share what is happening in our patch of paradise.

spring flowers aug-2

This photo shows what a grey day it is, but look at all the Grevillea buds outlined high up against the sky. This is “Moonlight” a delightful soft yellow.

spring flowers aug-3

This Noisy Miner bird has found one of the Grevillea flowers already open and is tucking in to a feed of nectar. 

The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) is a bird in the honeyeater family, and is endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia. It is a notably aggressive bird, and chasing, pecking, fighting, scolding, and mobbing occur throughout the day, targeted at both intruders and colony members. They even attack and harass the Kookaburra. Since a colony has established in this area we, sadly, no longer have the beautiful native lorikeets and Rosella visit the garden.

spring flowers aug-5

Because I have been at home through the planting season for spring annuals I put a patch of Primula and lobelia along the roadside. I love the variety of colours, and can you see behind them?

The nasturtiums  self seed every year and their happy faces have colonized every bit of spare ground.

spring flowers aug-7

spring flowers aug-9

I’m not sure if this is a member of the caterpillar family, but there are large numbers of them that seem to be eating the fungus like growth on the kale. I think the kale has reached its use by date and will be going into the compost very soon.

spring flowers aug-10

The sweet perfume of this dwarf lemon wafts through the air as I walk by.  “Lot’s o’ Lemons” is a dwarf variety bred for pots and I have only had it for a short while and these are the first flowers it has had. In the past I have not had much luck growing traditional lemon trees so I am looking forward to seeing how this one survives.

Categories: Australia, garden, grevillia, photos, spring garden | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

A Flower a Week : #3 Heliconia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Here is another vibrant tropical flower from my garden, the Heliconia.

There are many different species of Heliconia, I have 3 different species in the garden. The leaves of this plant are paddle-shaped, and they are related to the ginger and banana families. Heliconia are sometimes called “lobster claws” or “parrot flowers” because of their beak-like “bracts” which can be orange, purple, red, yellow, pink, green or a combination of these. A bract is a leaf structure at the base of a flower. The Heliconia flowers are tiny and found inside these bracts, which are so large and colourful that they almost hide the flowers.

They are natives of the tropical Americas and over there they are pollinated by hummingbirds with beaks shaped to extend into the bracts and reach the flowers. I don’t know if they have pollinators here, but they spread rapidly and exuberantly by underground rhizomes and can soon dominate the garden beds.

The flowers last for many weeks and in the hot, humid months of summer make a vibrant show. They are very easy to grow and don’t appear to have any pests or diseases.

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere.

Categories: a flower a week, flowersoverflowers, photos | Tags: , , | 26 Comments

A Flower a Week #2 : Bat Plant

Batplant

Bat Plant

This week I have chosen to show you this spectacular Bat Plant. It is one of the most unusual  flowers in my garden and flowers during the hot tropical summer months, but as I won’t be home when it is flowering I am showing you one from last season.

Tacca chantrieri

Common Names: Bat Flower, Black Bat Flower, Cats Whiskers, Devil Flower, Bat Head Lily, Bat Plant, Devil’s Tongue, Black Tacca, Jews Beard, Voodoo Flower.

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Nalinki on “Angles and views” is hosting a weekly series called: “Flowersoverflowers”, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere.

Categories: a flower a week, Bat Plant, flowersoverflowers | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

A flower a week…

A new challenge has popped up and it is close to my heart. Nalinki on “Angles and views” has decided to make a weekly series called: Flowers over flowers, it will be posted every Tuesday. The idea is to bring some more colorful pics of nature into our blogosphere.

I know today is Thursday, but I noticed this new series over on Jude’s “Earth laughs in flowers” (pop over to see the beautiful flower portrait she has contributed.)

So this is my flower of the week.

flowers aperture priority pc 004_4000x3000

Not much flowering in my garden at the moment, but this Grevillia flowers all year and I can always rely on a few to brighten the garden up.

Categories: a flower a week, grevillia | Tags: , | 29 Comments

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