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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