Monday, April 25, 2016

Asparagus densiflorus - Foxtail Fern

Asparagus densiflorus is commonly known as the Foxtail fern, Plume fern or Aparagus fern.  

This container of the plant provides a cool verdant contrast to the colourful Bougainvillea in the background.

This container has a niche spot by the side of a pond. It gets to enjoy the intermittent water spray from the fountain within.

After a eavy downpour, a tiny butterfly, Zizula hylax pygmaea (Pygmy Grass Blue) with a long name perched on an equally tiny leaf.

Each stem is arching and covered with many small needle-like leaves. Flower buds sprout from the lateral branches.

 Flowers are white and tiny.

This stem is smothered with masses of delicate flowers.

The fruits are shiny and eventually turn red.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Common Mormon Butterfly and Madagascar Periwinkles

The Common Mormon Butterfly (Papilio polytes) is a common swallow-tailed butterfly. This butterfly is known for the polymorphic forms (mimicry) displayed by its females which mimic the Red-bodied Swallowtails, considered to be inedible.
This is the Common Mormon female, form stichius. The females have numerous forms, thus the Mormon appelation, a reference to the community's polygamy practice. This female form of the Common Mormon closely mimics  the Common Rose (Atrophaneura aristolochiae). They have a fondness for Madagascar Periwinkles (Catharanthus roseus).

This large periwinkle bush is a volunteer plant thriving at the base of a container-bound Bougainvillea which was planted as a standard.

Madagascar Periwinkles - magenta petals with white centres

Madagascar Periwinkles - chilly red petals with white centre.

Madagascar Periwinkles - magenta petals with crimson centres.

The Lesser Gull butterfly (Cepora Nadina) can be seen surveying the spread of the feast laid out.

I was just wondering whether this caterpillar is dead or in the process of turning into a pupa. I forgot to follow up. It appears to be hung up to be dried off. Two ripe seed pods can be seen to the left of the caterpillar.

They are so ubiquitous that wherever the seeds fall, they self-seed.

Madagascar Periwinkles - uncomplicated with pure white petals. This is the type that has been popularly touted as having anti-cancer properties.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' - Tasmanian Flax Lily

Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' (Tasmanian Flax Lilygrows up to 2 foot tall. I plant it for its bold white striped leaves as it makes a nice accent as an edging plant. The local florist has often times used it in their bridal bouquet.

The Tasmanian Flax Lily has strappy green leaves edged with contrasting white stripes. It is thus grown primarily for its bold beautiful foliage.

ts a low-maintenance plant and can survive relatively long periods without watering. 

As it grows best in light shade I planted at the base of a Lipstick Palm Tree (Cyrtostachys renda)

The flowers are small, with alternating baby blue sepals and white striped green petals.  Dark blue berries may form after flowering.

I'm amazed that butterflies can find this tiny flowers interesting while there are many other bold and attractive flowers around.

On the left, a container of Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata' placed next to Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant)

Chlorophytum comosum thriving at the base of a Bougainvillea plant.

An Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis), perched on the rim of a container with the Tasmanian Flax Lily in the background.

Tasha looking bewildered when the Magpie-Robin flew off as she approached. She loves chasing birds and gets extremely vexed when her efforts were in vain.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Cute Baby Bulbul on Tecoma Stans

Tecoma stans never disappoints, producing lovely canary yellow blooms throughout the year, rain or shine.

Its a low maintenance plant, needing a slight pruning once in a while to keep it trim and neat.

This bush of Tecoma stans has played host to many bird nests, so its no wonder that fledglings are commonly seen on it.

I spied this solitary baby bird perched forlornly on a branch of Tecoma stans.

The Bird's nest fern below the branch seems the perfect foil for chilling out.

It perked up after a while and appeared ready to face  the world.

The striae leads the flower fly into its inner sanctum.
Having fully indulged, it crawled on the soft velvety petals to exit.


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