Dry season is here, the many symptoms are already evident aside from the heat. Plants have unusual responses to this change in environmental conditions. Deciduous trees decide to shed their leaves during this time, but this is exhibited by mostly forest trees. Others show the almost autumnal colors. There are also trees that decide to flower at the onset of the dry season, and there are those producing very vigorous flushes or nicely colored shoot growths.
avocado flowers, Persea americana
In July to August, we will again have a lot of avocado fruits, and sometimes we have the problem of disposal. When the single assembler-wholesaler in our area died, nobody seems to be interested again to act as middleman in disposing fruits from small producers. On the other hand, our family cannot eat all our produce.
Mango flowers extensively too. However, we don't get many fruits normally due to pests and diseases. Commercial growers individually wrap fruits, which we cannot do ourselves. Insects are very happy with our area as they can eat as much as they want. It is both advantageous and disadvantageous though.
kamyas, kalamyas flowers and fruits (Averrhoa bilimbi)
Fruits of this plant are traditionally and culturally intertwined with our food preparations. We use this as souring agent for meat and fish, and the mature fruits are dried, pickled or made into sweets.
Averrhoa bilimbi flower in detail
Flowers are small, only about two centimeters in diameter if they are open. Bees and insects love the nectar and help them be pollinated.
We also have the red pentas but they don't have good blooms when this photo was taken. You will notice the reclining stems of both the pentas and the coleus, that is because the chickens love to rest on them. They probably love the colder temperatures while resting there. At least they don't pick on the leaves. These are directly planted on the ground.
Chrysothemis pulchelia has tubers or enlarged basal portion of the stem, when there is not enough water, they stay dormant and shoot again upon watering. Sometimes, the extreme heat kill these tubers but somehow during the following rainy season, a lot of shoots will emerge again somewhere. Their seeds probably manage to remain alive in the soil.
Dracaena surcolosa flowers
This is also called Florida beauty, one of the most resistant plants to neglect and drought. This is actually planted on a very thin topsoil, but it still grows luxuriantly and doesn't stop flowering. Those lantern-like blooms eventually turn into very red berries when ripened. The Chinese love this plant and considered very auspicious.
This bushy plant is considered a weed in our area. But i allow some of them to thrive because butterflies and bees love its flowers. An advantage of this is the ability to flower and bloom even without any care given, as long as they are planted directly on the ground. Its roots are deep allowing them to grow in the dry season.
Blooms of this heliconia starts in February and stay beautifully colorful throughout the dry season. When other blooms succumb to the hot temperatures without water, their blooms flourish and stay as food for insects for more than 2 months.
Sanchezia speciosa blooms in Feb to March, but I don't like too much blooms. Sometimes i pinch them while still very young to preserve the beauty of their striped foliage. At the start of the rainy season, the plants will be pruned extensively to change the whole growth.