Friday, November 27, 2009

My Friday is so Blue


Duranta erecta
My blue Butterfly Pea, together with Autumn Belle's and Kanak's inspired me to post all blue flowers today. It also is Friday and i am very tired, so i would lessen my stress and worries by posting my blue flowers. Hopefully i will be revived and relieved after seeing the final outcome. I will be gathering what i just recently had, if i can still see them.

Blue flowers are really inspiring, whatever others equate them with. They evoke a certain mystical feeling in me and maybe they touch the soul. Tell me their effect with you. Will you please? Thanks. (By the way, with all these posting and thinking, my cup of coffee on my computer table just got cold, i forgot all about it! Whew!)

The above is just a single plant left to grow vigorously on its own, without fertilizer, only watering on sunny days. I let the stem grow about one meter without branches to give more emphasis on the elevated canopy. The small shoots arising from the main stem are pruned or pricked. Vigorous water sprouts are pruned as well.
This bunch is just one end of a stem from the above plant. My mother even got some of these for making flower arrangements to bring to the cemetery last All Saints' Day, as remembrance for my late father.

It went well with the yellow and red flowers with some Cycas fronds placed at the back for support and provide the greens!
The finished product was lovely, i would say!
Even the above left photo of the ground
where these cute, little flowers dropped, is also artistically nice. The Caladium on the above right seemed happy carrying the fallen flowers, and provided nice color contrast to them. (Will anybody please tell me what they think about them?)
The butterflies love this flower because they will not go distances to put their proboscis inside. That's the reason they also love Lantana, Ixora and all others of the same minute flowers bunched together.

I am sure you will agree with me that the butterflies love them, look at my photos. Aren't the butterflies happy with them?

The blue at the right is Ideopsis juventa manillana, while the red is Papilio romanzuvia, the black is Hypolimnas bolina.


And, another blue flower very often visited by the butterflies are weeds called Stachytarpheta jamaicensis. Don't be bothered by the difficult name, but i don't have a common name, so please bear with it.


As a Post Script to this post on blues, i added 2 more photos of the Stachytarpheta jamaicensis. Now i know the common name of this is porterweed, courtesy of Kanak. And i would also like to thank Kiki of Awake with Charm and Spirit for the post inspiration, and being a kindred spirit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Snowdrops


I really love these snowdrops. A snowdrop plant looks like three drops of milk hanging from a stem. This accounts for the Latin name Galanthus which means milk-white flowers. They said these Snowdrop bulbs, are originally from Britain but actually they came from the easterm Mediteranean countries specifically Asia Minor. They are scientifically called Galanthus and many species occupy the genus. So i must have pictured maybe endemic species because i got it from the wild below the snowcapped Taurus mountains of Ibradi in Antalya, Turkey. For a previous Slideshow of these flowers i placed it here. These are temperate flowers and i found mine at the rooftop of Mediteranean. They are the earliest flowering bulbs because they don't wait for the snowcaps to fully melt before they sprout.

The other flowers in my slideshow might not be snowdrops, but i took all photos of seemingly snowdrops from the site, they are very beautiful also. Please forgive me because this is the first time i came face to face with snowdrops. Please take a look at the slideshow, the other small flowers are enchanting also. There is a story behind my trip to the Snowdrop Festival.



The white flower is the snowdrop, the yellow at the side i don't know
A hybrid snowdrop photo from: http://www.copyright-free-photos.org.uk/ as used by http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=5003023115854661475&postID=1756033998119586665
More snowdrop links: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/wildflowers/snow-drop
I love their style of describing snowdrops here: http://www.broadleighbulbs.co.uk/months/january_snowdrops.htm

ID Quest Solved, Wisteria sp.


My previous posts in October about plants/ornamentals found in Antalya, Turkey were not fully identified. I am not so good in looking for IDs in the web, or maybe i need more time. There is this very beautiful plant with wonderfully hanging bunches of lavender flowers. Actually, i thought it is a tree but on the final analysis, it actually is a climbing tree-vine, depending on how old the plant is and how it was trained from planting. I am very glad i found the blogsite of The Galloping Gardener in Autumn Belle's My Nice Garden. She has wonderful awesome photos of gardens mostly in UK and great writing style, so i immediately put her in "My Favorite Links". Thank you very much Charlotte for identifying my unknown flower as Wisteria. Now my mind can rest happily and contented! The world is really full of generous-blessed people.
I realized Wisteria has around ten species, and it takes time to get the wonderful tree-vine to flower profusely. I remember in Svalov, Weibull AB in Lund, Sweden (where we stayed for one month in 2005), the old main building facade is fully covered by this vine. I just was not able to get a better photo.

I am reposting the photos from my previous post, and reiterating my thanks to Charlotte of The Galloping Gardener. The Wisteria sp. is a tribute to her. More power to you and best wishes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Friends or Foes!


I chanced upon these group of very busy red ants enclosing a soursoup (guyabano-Anona muricata) fruit. I wonder what they can be getting off from the unripe fruit. There is also a white netlike film they made around the fruit, which possibly served as their protection from the predators in the surrounding. I will visit it again next week to check if the open end, not yet enclosed with the net will already be closed. I also don't know what kind of food these ants eat. I will still be looking for an entomologist to ask for these ants' habits. What i am sure is they are really very busy, rain or shine, fulfilling the saying "as busy as the ants".

Below is the flower of the guyabano. It has thick sepals which enclose the more delicate flower parts. I seldom see guyabano flowers, so i really braved the ants just to get this photo. If i am lucky i can update this post with the newly developed fruit of the guyabano. Do you like guyabano fruits too?

There was this recent article circling the inboxes of email addresses, that guyabano plant parts especially the fruit has been found to cure or help increase the immunity of cancer patients. I wonder if you chanced upon that email also. It said that the study was conducted in the US but because it does not favor tissue disruption during analysis, the drug company was not able to extract its active ingredients and failed in separating it still in active form. It also said that one of the scientists squealed the secret and told many people about the health benefits from guyabano fruits.
You can check the internet about that, i've seen the internet source sometime, although now i cannot retrieve the links.

Weekend Flower Photos, Seemania sylvatica

Another flower i had the chance of getting a lot of photos, is the Seemania sylvatica. Before, i call this Gloxinia sylvatica, then i now found that they are of the same family called Gesneriads. Previously they are synonyms but now they found that the genus Seemania can stand on its own. The family includes the gloxinias and african violets. The leaves are often fleshy, hairy and often with purple coloration. Flowers are bell-shaped or tubular.
I like this plant because of its formal erect position. It is also easy to maintain and does not need exeptional caring and constant attention. They can also survive without much watering and still thrive even with some neglect. Just like the Chrysotemis pulchelia, they thrive best without too much attention.
Links: http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=WxW4Scq6kU8C&lpg=PA227&ots=8eDbAg6jhW&dq=seemania%20sylvatica&hl=en&pg=PA227#v=onepage&q=seemania%20sylvatica&f=false

Weekend Flower Photos, Chrysothemis pulchelia

I have a lot of flower photo collections in my files.

Never mind that i only have a Point and Shoot camera, it doesn't deter me from shooting a lot of pictures. Of course it frustrates me when i want to take some bird photos in their natural environment, or if i want to take macro photos of the creatures and flower morphology which are very delicate but beautiful. I also have a lot of butterflies, moths, spiders, and a lot of creatures i still don't know the names. Buying a good DSLR is still a frustration!

But first, i am trying to post some photos of flowers i took last weekend in the province. Copper leaf plant, Chrysothemis pulchelia, is an endearing plant. It is easy to grow by cuttings. Each portion of the stem can easily be propagated, it can just be left in the soil and even with just a little moisture will grow. But of course it must not be left directly under the sun, as any other newly planted ornamental should.

As the name implies, the leaves are a bit coppery, and a bit shiny. (The different colors in the photos are just changes in the camera settings). If they are newly growing in a rich soil (organic), the leaves are wide and really looking vigorous. As the branches begin to grow and multiply, then the leaves become smaller and the stem gets weaker.

The red-colored "flowers" are not really flowers but the enlarged sepals. The real flowers are actually the yellow little ones arising from the red sepals. If you are not into the plant sciences, but just a hobbyist, just look at the photo and don't bother with the terms. Up close, these yellow flowers are elongated with cup-like petals. The female and male parts of the flower are inside these yellow cups. Please forgive my not so hightech camera, but you can still see the parts i am describing, though not as big and dramatic as it should be.


I am trying to look for some newly formed fruits but i cannot see one. Maybe in the future i will be able to show these when already available.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flowers with Interesting Names

I was inspired by Autumn Belle's post to upload these flower photos. I intend it to be a rejoinder to her blog post about the wonderful blue color of the butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea). I actually know about the flower she posted and i thought it was not very common here in the Philippines. My first photo of that butterly pea is in River Kwai Resort, Thailand in 2007. Then i saw it again at the Honeybee Farm in Bohol, Philippines. However, i cannot easily locate its photo from my so many entangled photo files and folders. I am not a good organizer of files, and that means i am a mess. I take a long time looking for them when i want to! I confess it is not one of my most favored characteristics.

And i found this one, also blue taken in Thailand, the double petalled butterfly pea, Clitoria ternatea. (I agree with Autumn Belle who provided the link, thanks.)

The photos related to the Clitoria ternatea which is common in the Philippines is a weed. Although it is normally growing in marginal areas, i love to see its purple flowers along its vines, generously exposed to humans and the bees for pollination. This is called Centrosema pubescens. I am sure you will recognize its common relationship with Clitoria. Both are legumes, both are climbing herbs, blue or purple and most of all the scientific name denotes a "body part" as Autumn Belle said. Keep looking at these beautiful flowers and i am sure the name is obvious. In the first, it is the genus and in the 2nd flower it is in the species.



Centrosema's color is light purple, while the shape is almost the same as that of Clitoria. It is used also as feeds for livestock being source of protein like the other leguminous crops.

Although both are climbing vines, the morphology of vegetative plant parts like the leaves differ significantly. (Sorry with the blurry photo). By now you have deciphered the Clitoria and pubescens. Whew!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unknown plant found in Malaysia

This post is especially for the very special flowering plant i found in Malaysia. I specifically post it here so AutumnBelle or Jacq might be able to identify it. They are plant hobbyists from that country and if i am lucky enough, they might also have some friends who might help us identify it. According to my friend and generous host, Aminah, it is called 7 needles (Pereskia corrugata/bleo). It is obvious because of the 7 thick thorns arising from the same spot. She said it is a known medicinal plant there.

I've known Aminah since our CSIRO days in North Ryde, NSW, Australia. We stayed also in one flat during our last month in Chatswood.

We have lost touch for a while but after thorough internet search i was able to contact her. She gladly invited me and my travel buddy to stay in their big house for the whole duration of our KL vacation. They were so very busy in their academic works, but also very generous and accomodating that we were advised to feel at home, and we just cook and eat whenever we are left in the house. Their only daughter drove us around KL, Putrajaya and Genting Highlands. I was also asked to give a seminar on Intellectual Property Management at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia. It was attended by the university faculty, staff and graduate students.



This is the whole plant, already a bush

Flowers change color from yellowish orange
to orange-red during maturation

The unusual fruits are waxy and
seemingly cut into halves
a legume tree (Erythrina fusca/glauca) at the Petronas grounds


a different view of the Petronas
P.S.....
thank you very much Autum Belle for the flower IDs and classification (shown in the comments).

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