Six on Saturday. Summer Tropicals

I decided to join the Six on Saturday meme at The Propagator’s blog this week. I live and blog in South Florida. Having been down here a while, I still think a lot of the flora is weird but cool. Here are six tropicals blooming in my garden this week:

Flaming Torch Bromeliad. A common and colorful addition to our late summer gardens.

Billbergia pyramidalis.

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Beautyberry, a native shrub with magnificent fruit.

Calliocarpa americana. 00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BUbeautyberry

One of my very favorite Bromeliads, reliable and so funky. And a great cut flower.

Aechmea miniata.

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Late summer brings Cattleya Orchids to the garden, the next ones will be huge, white and fragrant. These grow in my neighbor’s Hong Kong Orchid (Bauhinia) tree.00100lportrait_00100_burst20190710131119708_cover

Another common summer flowering Bromeliad. Little Harv.

Aechmea ‘Little Harv’

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More Florida funkness, this is a Jatropha – called Coral Plant usually and considered a novelty, flowering off and on all summer.

Jatropha multifida.

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Happy Gardening Saturday and thanks to The Propagator for hosting.

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Funky Florida Flora – Flaming Torch Bromeliad

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Right about the time the Hurricane season begins to peak, as in today! The Flaming Torch Bromeliads start to flower. Some people call these Hurricane Bromeliads for that reason. Most people call them Torch or Flaming Torch Bromeliads, the botanists call them Billbergia pyramidalis.

These are common passalong plants in Florida and possibly the most common Bromeliad in the landscape. Hardy to 20 degrees, reliable flowering and blooming in groups lasting for a couple of weeks in late summer makes this a good plant to gift a friend.

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Foliage is on the yellow side of light green, making a good contrast with the bright flowers. This plant is best sited in well-drained partial shade and will happily climb trees, converting from a terrestrial to an epiphytic plant.00100lportrait_00100_burst20190820135843791_cover.

In a Vase on Monday/ Not Hotel California

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Mirrors reflect the foyer ceiling

Pink Champagne bottle in Grandmas ice bucket

And she said, ‘we are all prisoners here of my Bromeliad vice’

Here is the real lyric verse from the song ‘Hotel California’ by 70s American Rock Band, The Eagles. I hope someone else remembers it.

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

I always thought Hotel California was a weird song, very evocative, but weird. This is another of my spa/hotel lobby arrangements.

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The pink flower is ‘Little Harv’ Bromeliad (Aechmea ‘Little Harv’) Little Harv was developed in South Florida in the 1970s and is a popular and easy to grow perennial. Ironically, Little Harv is relatively tall reaching about 3 feet. The Dwarf Pineapple (Ananas spp) is another Bromeliad I used in a vase a few months ago, it dried in this downward curve. The background is a Tropical Gardenia leaf (Tabernaemontana divaricata) and some Wild Asparagus fern. The pink bottle is from Champagne a friend brought to share at a dinner party and the crystal ice bucket is Fostoria from my grandmother.

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Here is Little Harv in bud and full bloom. I cut this one today as it is in a bit too much shade and our lawn mowing crew is very likely to run it over.

 

 

In a Vase on Monday – Palmy Weather

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Palmy weather? It is indeed. Some, not all of the palms in my garden are flowering. The pale green flower in the center of this vase is from the Adonidia or Christmas Palm. I am not sure why so many Floridians feel compelled to cut the flowers off their palms. This one will bear red fruit at Christmas that looks like ornaments for the tree, hence the name. And the flowers are so unusual and eventually provide food for wildlife. More unsolvable mysteries for the Florida gardener.

Here is the flower as it first appeared, I cut it because it was broken somehow and hanging onto the trunk by a thread. My friend Eddie grew the palm from seed. It is now 10 feet tall and flowering, I am so pleased and can’t wait for the Christmas ornaments.

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A closer look at the flowers. In pale green, the Adonidia Palm (Adonidia merrillii); the orange flowers with berries are from Firebush (Hamelia patens); long burgundy foliage is from Blanchetiana Bromeliad (Aechmea blanchetiana) and the burgundy leaves are from Copperleaf (Acalypha wilkesiana)

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In addition to being Palmy, it is also pretty balmy here in South Florida. So far, I am enjoying the summer and the butterflies, mostly in the late afternoon looking out the window whilst having a glass of wine on the sofa.

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Funky Florida Flora-Miniata Bromeliad

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Roundabout the Fourth of July the Miniata Bromeliad started to flower. I thought how wonderful and patriotic – sort of red, white and blue. This is a rare find, a smaller reliable flowering Bromeliad that thrives in nearly full shade.

A member of the Aechmea genus, native to Brazil. The foliage is olive with burgundy backsides and not too sharp. The leaves will burn in the sun, especially in the hot midday sun. I cut the Strangler Fig that shades this plant back a little too much and the leaves are complaining by producing burnt spots and edges.

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The flower lasts for weeks and does well cut in vases.

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A. miniata flowers

Funky Florida Flora – Little Harv

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Another of my garage sale finds, ‘Little Harv’ has been graciously flowering and producing pups for the past five years or so. An Aechmea Bromeliad created in South Florida in 1978, ‘Little Harv’ is fairly common in landscapes in this area. I would hate to see Big Harv as the little one can reach almost 4 feet of height.

Here is a close up of the bud, you can see the prickly edges of the silvery foliage and its coloration. The bud started up about a month ago and the flower opened two weeks ago and will usually last a few more weeks.

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