Six on Saturday – Reds and Purples

Another Saturday morning tour of my garden featuring six items of interest to join the SOS crowd at http://www.thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com. Follow the link to see more posts.

I have a lot of hot colors in my garden and fall is no exception. The red and purple flowers and foliage are out in force.

The Aechmea blanchetiana Bromeliads are in full bloom. These are almost five feet tall and last for months. A neighbor gave me a start of these and said “the flowers last so long you get tired of them.” I enjoy them!

The Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana). This is a very happy plant and flowers a lot. One of my favorite old reliables and a gift from a neighbor.

The Roselles (Hibiscus sabdaiffa) have reached five and a half feet in height and are setting flower buds. Eventually I will pick the red calyx of the flower to make tea or holiday cocktails. I planted the seed in April. Most of the plant is edible.

Purple Queen or Setcresea appears randomly in the garden. I prefer to call it Purple Queen, Setcresea sounds like a skin disease.

A new container I put together this week. The Bromeliads are cuttings from existing plants in my garden. In red, Fireball Neoregelia, varigated, Bossa Nova Neoregelia. Draped over the side is a Fish Hook Senecio and the plant in back is a Cardboard Palm (Zamia furfuracea). The Bromeliads should spill over the sides eventually.

The Milkweed devoured by Monarch butterfly caterpillars is making a remarkable comeback. I was amazed at the amount of foliage they ate – all of it and about one third of the stem.

That is my Six for this Saturday.

Happy Gardening!!

21 comments on “Six on Saturday – Reds and Purples

  1. That’s a nice collection of purples and reds. I have some of those along with the Cardboard Palm. The first time I saw the palm (which I found out was not a palm) I had to have one. I have kept it alive for quite a few years, but it does not seem to increase in size.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fredgardener says:

    Purple Queen is a tradescantia pallida , right?
    Nice to see how the roselles flowers look like. Are they full open in your pic? And is it the right time according to your photo to pick them? ( just to know for next year if I succeed my next seedlings)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think so. There are a few varities here now striped and such and they keep changing the name. The birds eat the seed here and they pop up under trees. Those are Roselle buds, the flowers are single white Hibiscus, much like Okra. The flowers die and seeds start to form then the calyx are harvested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • fredgardener says:

        So we use the dried calyx after the harvesting seeds? You have to wait a bit to pick them , a few days

        Liked by 1 person

      • No, the calyx gets 2 or 3 times bigger as the flower grows and opens, and falls off, when the seed starts to ripen the calyx opens and then you harvest them, they are not dry – celery is the only thing that is comparable in texture to the calyx. You take the seed pod out and let it dry then collect the seeds. The calyxes are cut off (they look like sepals) – the part that is eaten can be frozen or dried. I think I collected them the first week of November last year. It is a weird plant, can’t think of a likeness, took me a bit to figure it out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • fredgardener says:

        It’s really technical! thank you for the details. I can’t wait to see the evolution ( maybe in another Six around the end of November )

        Liked by 1 person

      • Farming at its oddest. I think these are relatively common in Australia. I will post some pictures of the flowers, it is a pretty plant and almost entirely edible. I have a feeling they are very easy to overwater, my neighbor killed all of hers with moisture holding crystals.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Roselle is really interesting and so interesting to read your discussion with Fred above!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tonytomeo says:

    That is some nice roselle. It seems to have become popular only in the past several years. However, I have not seen it perform very well here. It likely prefers more humid warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, not sure how popular these are one of the local organic farms grows them and sells jam – the only ones I have ever seen before last year when a neighbor gave me some plants.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Although I do not see the jelly for sale, I see other roselle products, such as tea. Seed is now commonly available, even in the limited seed rack at the supermarket.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is interesting, still kind of a cult thing here. I have never seen any seed for sale. California, so horticulturally progressive!

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Progressive?! Oh my! Roselle has been popular in other regions for a long time. Horticulture here involves too many fads. It would be nice if some of the simple old fashioned fruits and vegetables could become more popular, such as cranberries, elderberries, muscadines, pawpaws and pecans. Acai berries, wolfberries and kale get tiresome. Roselle is one of the few fads that I ‘sort of’ appreciate, only because it was already familiar to those from Southeastern Asia and Central America before becoming a fad.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, I hate kale. Missed wolfberries entirely. Roselles are kind of a Florida weirdness. I thought.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        Weirdness is certainly not exclusive to Florida. Neither are the cultural influences that initiate some of these fads.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Roguegarden says:

    The bromeliad blooms are splendid, and your new pot looks quite promising. I am intrigued by the mutiple culinary uses of the Hibiscus you mentioned.

    Liked by 1 person

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