In a Vase on Monday – Juba – lation

My favorite cool season flowers are starting to show their colors. One is the Juba Bush (Iresine diffusa). I am jubilant that the Juba Bush has reappeared. I thought it was gone. This is a native wildflower that I mistook for Amaranthus and left it in the garden only to discover its wonderful chartreuse to creamy white flowers. Juba is the name of an African dance that was imported into the Caribbean where these wildflowers are also native. The dance involves a lot of hip movement and swaying – the plant’s movement in the wind reportedly mimics this?! I wish this grew under my Gumbo Limbo tree, that would be perfect.

The Juba Bush. It is the creamy white flower; ‘Lady Di’ Heliconia is in the background.

The other fall indicator is the red Nodding Hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus) at the base of the vase. This is another volunteer that I have embraced as I love the flowers. Like many Hibiscus (it is a relative and Mallow family member) the shrub is rangy and not particularly attractive. For me, the flowers make it worthwhile and I enjoy them all winter. It also needs no supplemental water and the leaf cutting bees love it.

The Nodding Hibiscus:

The rest of the vase:

The orange flower is a ‘Choconiana’ Heliconia (Heliconia psittacorum); white daisies are the native Spanish Needles (Bidens alba); ferns are the evil invasive, Asian Sword Ferns. I keep the Sword Ferns at bay by using them in vases.

Thanks to Cathy at for hosting IAVOM. Follow the link to see more vases.

Happy Gardening…


20 comments on “In a Vase on Monday – Juba – lation

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Graceful flowers, they are, and as always, I love the heliconia especially. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noelle says:

    Before I read the text of your post, I lingered over the flowers and dance and movement straight away came to mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Lovely selection Amy. I like your Juba Bush and ‘Choconiana’ is a nice accent among the other stars.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy says:

    Haha, I love the idea of the Juba and Gumbo Limbo dancing alongside each other! 🤣 What amazing blooms you have in your vase today – they may be cool season to you, but they look totally tropical to us pale-skinned Europeans! What an asset this hibiscus must be over ‘winter’, and what a lovely colour the Heliconia is 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kris P says:

    It’s always a boon when a plant surprises you as your Juba bush did. I usually associate Iresine with bright-colored foliage – does the Juba bush offer that too? I love the Heliconia and wish I could grow it but I think everything in that genus needs too much water to survive here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. Juba Bush is also called Bloodleaf, this one is in a fairly shady area so it is mostly green with a red tinge. I have to site the Heliconias carefully so they get enough water in the pure sand in my garden.


  6. tonytomeo says:

    Okay, so there are two Heliconia there. . . . but neither looks familiar. I just brought some Heliconia back from the Jungalow. I have no idea what they are, but I believe that they are red and yellow, with a more strict form. I suppose that I will not know until they bloom, if they can bloom in this climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you have some sort of H. rostrata, there are many cultivars. I have a hard time getting enough water on them for flowers but usually get a few. Those are H.psittacorum in the vase, really a short lived perennial.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tonytomeo says:

        No, those do not live here, or at least I have never seen them. They are rare even in the Los Angeles region. I asked Brent about them, and he said that they do not even grow in Pasadena (where I thought I had seen them years ago) because it gets a bit cooler there. Those that I brought back sort of resemble your Heliconia psittacorum, but with stricter form. They are red and yellow like McDonald’s. I have not seen one in bloom for many years, so I do not know for certain.


  7. Horticat says:

    Your Juba Bush looks like a useful flower for arrangements and I love the story behind the name!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathy says:

    I like all the details about the name of the Juba Bush, as well as the elegant flower stems themselves. But the thing I like most about your vase today is those pretty red hibiscus bells dangling over the edge. So lovely. And beautifully arranged! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The signs of seasonal change are so different in the South.

    Liked by 1 person

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