Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blooms in February 2018

I have again missed posting for GBBD last month.  It is okay, as those blooming then are still blooming today. No worries. That is the beauty of not having snow or cold front that might suddenly  or inadvertently destroy the plants. Ours will remain there as long as they have not reached their full maturity, true for annuals. And the perennials will still be there for years! I don't know if that is boring, but these are good for not so diligent gardeners like me.

These are late bloomers for the rainy season, as they will be reaching the dry season before they finally succumb to the strong very hot climate.  They are introduced species and i suppose they (above and below) belong to the Justicia family or shrimp plants. Those showy colorful parts are modified leaves called bracts, while the real flowers are colored yellow.

 Those yellow parts are actually the real flowers. I suppose the red bracts could either be for attraction to pollinators or for physical protection too.

 when plenty and becoming unrully they are not very beautiful, seemingly disorganized

Pentas lanceolata  is a sure attraction for butterflies especially for this Scarlet Mormon. It comes to the garden specifically only to eat from this red blooms.

Not many butterflies love the bougainvillea blooms, i suppose because of that long tube-like structure supporting the flower. The butterfly proboscis has to be long and steady to reach the inner portion of the flower which has the nectar.  Again, like the previous photos, those showy leaves are the bracts, or modified leaves. 

This is red plumbago, Plumbago indica. The spikes are unruly too as they are born at the tip of long pliant stems. But when groomed together in a common area, they are also attractive and present a different arrangement on their own. However, i haven't seen any butterfly alighting on them.

You might say we only have the reds and the orange, but we also have the yellows and the light greens. Above is locally called akapulco, Cassia alata. It becomes a small short tree, but when pruned back before the rainy season they produce short branches like this. They are favorites of bees and butterflies. It is even a host for at least two of our pierid butterflies, the Mottled Emigrant and a yellow. 
 Above is the inflorescense of the variegated Alternanthera. It also gets too tall for soft stems, so they just fell down to the sides when there is nothing rigid to lean on to. We just cut and throw them away. 

 This is a new plantlet born at the end of a stolon of the spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum. It is called spider plant because of the proliferation of those stem-like growths born at the tips. They are left dangling from the main plant so look sort of chandelier-like. It is nice when planted in a hanging basket.

It belongs to the lily family, and the dainty flowers are so lovely just like the lilies. The long hanging anthers with the elongated stamens are so dainty too.

 Above might not be considered ornamental plant. It however is a good feed for ruminants being proteinaceous. The long spikes of pocket bracts have the seeds inside. They are nice looking when starting to dry and become brown.

 I personally prefer it at the above stage or maturity, when they are starting to dry but there are still some immature green ones. 

The whole plant at the still green maturing stage. I just observed our common lycaenid ovipositing on it. That will make it a favored plant for me from now on, Flemingia strobilifera.