Friday, November 29, 2013

Licuala Grandis - Ruffled Fan Palm

Licuala Grandis, is commonly known as the Ruffled Fan Palm. It can be grown indoors in containers or outdoors, preferably under partial shade. Its large circular leaves are regularly pleated and shiny. 

Thorns are found on the basal end of the leaf stalks.


Long heavy bunches of fruits are produced continuously.
With it's magnificient fan-like fronds, the Licuala grandis is a truly out-of-the ordinary palm.

Two branches of unripe green berries are straddled with fallen pine needles from the pine tree towering above.
 Though these  Licuala Grandis are beneath a huge Norfolk Island Pine, they thrive very well as they get filtered sunlight from the side.

The leaf fan out into a jagged edge.

A common garden snail unceremoniously extruded its bodily rejects on to a bougainvillea stem.

A prey in the throes of death as this tiny spider viciously dismembered it.

On another frond, an unidentified critter was basking in the sun, blissfully unawared of the carnage nearby

An empty triple nest of the potter wasp was attached on the under side of the leaf.

Although this Ruffled Fan Palm was planted from a small seedling in this small container, it grew into a lush specimen.

Many years ago, I started with just this solitary plant, but over the years, ...

 it had spawned many other plants from the fallen fruits.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Malvaviscus arboreus - Turk's Cap Hibiscus

Malvaviscus arboreus is known as Turk's Cap or Lipstick Hibiscus. The bright red flowers are showy and about 1 inch or more long. Its flowers do not open fully or flare back like the Hibiscus, hence the alternative moniker, 'Sleeping Hibiscus'.

 The petals are overlapping and swirl around a protruding column of pistil and stamens.

New buds can be seen in clusters behind every flower.

A new bud without the cheeky 'tongue'.

The bright red flowers last for several days.

Its prolific blooming habit helps attract birds, butterflies and other critters.
To be surrounded by so many nectar fountains ... definitely spoilt for choice.

A female sunbird sipped delicately from the base of the flower.

A drop of nectar can be seen at the tip of its curved beak.

With sated appetite, it took a breather and the view too.

Sparrows are frequent visitors too.

Even when there no nectar is available, they love to perch on the branches.

The other half of this pair have trouble keeping up ...

and appeared to be shrieked at by its impatient sparrow partner


Later the pair had some quality time together, though it didn't seem to be too cosy, after all the shrieking.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Jasminum multiflorum - Star Jasmine

Jasminum multiflorum or Downey Jasmine is a type of evergreen, branching vine that can be shaped as a shrub. The fast-growing plant can grow as high as 10 feet and does well in full sun to partial shade. 

 The white, clustered flowers which appear year-round are white.

 Unlike other jasmines, the fragrance is more subtle.

If allowed to sprawl, the vine will cascade down walls or over fences.

The grayish-green stems and leaves of this plant appear to be covered with fine hairs or down.

Young flower buds, still enveloped protectively.

Emerging buds

Some of the flowers have bloomed and dropped off, leaving behind the calyxes.

This stink bug had a field day sucking the juices from tender leaf buds. When disturbed, it emits a very foul odour. It can stay at the same spot for hours, blissfully infusing itself with the sap.

The dried and shrivelled leaves left from the nefarious activities of the stink bug is given a once over by this wasp or bee.

It later held on to the edge of the leaf and peered over.


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