Saturday, March 24, 2012

Torenia fournieri - Wish For A Star

Torenia fournieri is commonly known as the 'Wishbone flower'. The two anthers arch over and meet in the centre at the top part of the flower, forming a wishbone. Perhaps we could avail ourselves to fulfilling our deepest desires from these floral wishbones. These lovely self-sowing plants grow anywhere where the seeds land, displaying blooms of three bi-colours with a yellow 'tongue and throat'.

Sky blue on dark blue
White on pink
Pink on purple
The blooms are carried on delicate flower stems and they nod merrily in the breeze.
A mass of the 'pink and white' variety growing wildly like weeds in my garden
These blue and pink ones self-propagate in this pot of yellow palm.
Somewhere in the garden this purple variety unexpectedly make a delightful appearance 
Tasha at 8 weeks (chihuaha-terrier) trying her luck ... probably wishing for a juicy bone. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Portulaca grandiflora - Splendour in the Sun

A pot fully draped with portulaca grandiflora of the brazilian variety. Their blooms are large averaging about 2" in diameter compared to the usual ones.

Two varieties, the white & pink bicolour and the fuchsia grace the rim of a pot of bougainvillea

These are real eye candy. This intense fuschia colour is most attractive and would brighthen up any garden

 They are sun worshippers but will wilt if the heat gets too strong by late afternoon. The blooms last a day but they will always be a fresh crop the next day.

Curiously the stigma is positioned towards the side and bottom of the whole mass of stamens. Towards the later part of the day the pollen pods would burst and scatter its contents. However the easier and preferred method of propagating is by stem cuttings. Simply just nick some thick stems and push them into some rich soil. No rooting hormone is needed at all; they practically thrive like weeds. In about two days they'll look fine and dandy with sturdy blooms.
Delicate petals flutter with the softest of breeze

An unlikely mix of both types is seen on this particular flower

The double petal flowers are smaller

A swath of double petal blooms

 Portulaca are also commonly called moss rose or Japanese rose

the purest white 

powder pink

two toned variety of white and pink

peachy and pretty

orange ones grab the eyes

peach colour with blushes of pink

Fuchsia ones are the original portulaca colour 

Poopoo scoop for Tasha, my chihuahua mix-breed on a bed of Portulaca

Tasha sporting a portulaca bloom behind her ear 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lantana Camara - A berryful harvest

This cluster of lantana camara is of the 'spreading sunset' variety.


The lush foliage is borne on sturdy stems which are from the wild lantanas. Soft-stemmed types of various hues are then grafted onto them. I got this specimen from the nursery last year and it has never failed to disappoint.

They bloom profusely and almost non stop throughout the year. The only downside comes from our harsh tropical rain which washes the delicate tiny flowers off their petioles.

I love these pristine white flowers with canary yellow centres. They remind me of a plateful of fried eggs with sunny-side-up .

Pure yellow florets can also be expressed. They add warm summery tones to the whole assemble.

Solid white and solid yellow florets can be seen too. The solitary ant must have lots of fun wandering around; from bridal white to royal yellow floral chambers.
These clusters of pink-white and yellow-white in the same inflorescense showcase the diverse permutations of hues possible. Often called the lanatana camara 'ham n eggs'.
These are some of the unripe berries which I've harvested to be used for a casual flower arrangement on my kitchen windowsill. The berries formed as a result of missing them out during deadheading of spent flowers.
This arrangement consists of materials which are the flotsam and jetsam from trimmings in the garden; bird's nest fern (Asplenium nidus), Mother-in-law's tongue (Sanseveria Trifasciata), red Carphalea Kirondon and Lantana Camara berries. It is such sheer waste to merely cast them off.
After about 2 days in the vase, the berries ripen into luscious globes and take on a jet black shade which looks good enough to be eaten. The pale green cores remained when all the ripe berries have fallen.


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