In a Vase on Monday – Tropical to a Ti

The formation of the first subtropical storm of the season, Ana, heralds the run up to summer and the inevitable heat and humidity that follow. Summer brings some of the more tropical plants in my garden into their full glory. The plants, of course, know all this and start to flower. The white Frangipani, surprised me by flowering in earnest for the first time last week, despite virtually no rain for weeks.

The pink tinged foliage in the arrangement is a Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa). I avoided these for years as they tend to get burned by dry winds in the late spring and look awful for a long time with crispy, brown edged foliage. Having grown a big Tropical Hydrangea (Dombeya wallachii) that will block the wind, I added a couple of these popular plants to my tropical garden. There are many varieties of Cordyline, my favorite name ‘Twisted Sister’ – this one is plum with fuchsia markings and a bit much for me. I bought a few unnamed varieties, that look like tri-colors to me; green, cream and pink. Here it is:

A closer view of the vase:

The vase is a leftover from an arrangement someone sent us for long forgotten reasons. The flowers: in white, Frangipani (Plumeria spp.) these are from a rooted cutting I picked up at a Master Gardeners sale some years ago, finally reaching about six feet. Slow growing for a tropical tree, but the fragrance is worth the wait. Pink flowers are Shell Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet) making one of their sporadic appearances in the garden. The yellow flowers are Thryallis (Galphimia glauca); a shrub I have in the butterfly garden. The jury is out on the Thryallis, it seems hyped to me. Supposed to flower year round…not quite or, not yet.

Happy Monday and Happy Gardening. Thanks to Cathy at for hosting gardeners from around the world sharing vases. Follow the link to see more.


19 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Tropical to a Ti

  1. I can’t believe storms are starting up already and your tropical vase is just right for the (early) storm season. We have had rain for days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy says:

    What a delightfully balanced vase this is, with the foliage cleverly picking out the pink on the shell ginger, and the yellow blooms stopping it from looking too sugary 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Very pretty, I like the drape of shell ginger, along with the pure white plumeria. The starry yellow flowers pick up the yellow in their throat quite nicely!
    Seems early for hurricane season… but these days, anything goes. Wishing you a quiet rainfall instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kris P says:

    I’ve got some Cordyline but nothing as pretty nor as exuberant as your ‘Twisted Sister’. As always, I love your shell ginger. I hope Ana brings you some rain along with that humidity.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Ti plants of some sort used to be sold as souvenirs of Hawaii. I remember that many of those who vacationed there picked up bare stems of them while leaving the airport. It was common. The stems were wrapped in plastic like a Slim Jim, or a piece of sugar cane, which was another common purchase. Only a few survived, but those that did grew quite nicely. I sort of wonder how well the small rooted bits of redwood that were sold at the San Jose Airport did where they ended up. Anyway, yours is a lush as expected, and the frangipani is rad. It sort of looks like the common sort, but with less yellow at the center. My colleague has a straight white one that I really want a copy of. They do not perform well here at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember those at the Hawaii airports. I always bought the Gingers and killed them all. I think you want the Bridal Bouquet Plumeria. I have a pile of cuttings frying in my driveway..

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        The white plumeria that I want to eventually grow is completely white, without the yellow center. It does not branch much at all, so I get only a few cuttings from it. It does not need to be pruned, but I prune it to try to get it to branch more. The big plumeria tree at Brent’s garden is the common sort that is mostly white, but with a yellow center that is bigger than that of the Bridal Bouquet plumeria.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is a guy here who breeds Plumeria has some crazy colors.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Some of Brent’s are crazy also, but I prefer the simpler colors, and particularly his originals that he got from a neighbor when he was a kid. The others have no history.


  6. Cathy says:

    Pretty flowers but especially lovely foliage. The seasons pass so quickly don’t they.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Chloris says:

    Oh yes, this is lovely Amy. I tried growing frangipani once from those little sticks you can buy. But it was a vain attempt, of course it never bloomed here, even in the greenhouse.

    Liked by 1 person

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