Thursday, April 18, 2013

April Blooms - Hedges

Our hedges are blooming profusely during the dry season. While our temperatures soars from 32-37C this March-April and still soaring, our plants despite the heat are not disappointing us. They will try to produce mature seeds before April ends to be ready for the rains in May, and propagate their species. However, most of those i posted here are not the seed-producing types. They are mostly asexually propagated. This type of producing more plants ensures that the offsprings or new plantlets are true to type, or they are exactly of the same characteristics as the parents. That is in contrast with the seed-producing types that produce characteristics of both the male and female parents.

 Top and bottom photos are both Pachystachys lutea. They grow vegetatively during the rainy season and flower abundantly this time of year, when rains are nowhere to be seen. I always cut these hedge to a foot high just before the start of the rainy season. This area is sloping, so they help prevent erosion here. Planted below the Pachystachys is the Pedilanthus tithymaloides which is shorter with more branching, with other branches creeping on the ground to further delay erosion.


Our Sansevieria trifasciata  started with the yellow stripes at the edges of leaves. Eventually, this yellow stripe was gone reverting into the original greenish form. I realized that stolons produce true-to-type striped form, but leaves produce only the green form.  Green forms multiply and grow faster than the stripe forms, so i guess eventually our hedges will be mostly that of green. They also flower year round most predominantly during the dry season. Blooms are slightly scented. I will eventually deliberately plant the striped ones and get rid of the green. I can relate very well to its common name as snake plant with how it looks, however i still searched why another name is 'mother-in-law's tongue'. It revealed that the name is because of its sharpness!  Hmmm, are mother-in-laws' tongue sharp???

Sanchezia speciosa also blooms during the dry season. However, those spikes with tubular flowers are not really very attractive. The leaf patterns and color produce more charm than their blooms. This is again due for cutting back at the start of the rainy season in May. I saw some of this in colder climates and their leaves are more green and not as lovely as ours with high temperatures and full sun.

This is a tall hedge of golden Duranta repens, named so because of the golden leaves. It is very common as hedges along local roads in our municipality. This particular one is allowed to grow tall without much pruning, allowing the flowers to become this golden berries. The butterflies and bees love the flowers, but i haven't seen anyone eating the berries. It is a lovely sight too.

Our Hippeastrum puniceum has been growing in hedges within the yard. They are perennially on the ground, rain or shine, rainy or dry season. They lost dormancy at the start of the first heavy rains in May, however something happened to them this year that some bulbs bloomed without the rains. My plant physiology knowledge has been extremely challenged by this phenomenon. These variety normally produce tall flower canes  of 1-2 ft at fool bloom. However, bulbs i sent to a friend in Malaysia produced very short canes but maintained the flower sizes. I am really perplexed as to what environmental conditions affected what hormones, to alter its reproductive physiology affecting morphological characteristics. This unusual observation might put my mind into a limbo, until this is explained. If anybody knows the explanation, i will be very appreciative if you enlighten me.

22 comments:

  1. I love your common hedges and flowers...so utterly beautiful.

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  2. Seems like the Hippeastrum puniceum is doing better in Malaysia. You have a nice clump of them - real beauties.

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    1. Stiletto, seems like you just looked at the photo, not read the caption, hahaha. That hippeastrum is out of season and not receiving any water at all. You might be comparing it with those in watered yards, either intentionally or by rain. Please look at this at normal conditions, Thanks. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RqOldgnDk70/Syma6STsmmI/AAAAAAAABMc/qAfMNs3w0IE/s1600/Lirio%2BHedge1%2Bdim

      or this: http://abagillon.blogspot.com/2009/12/hedges-delights.html

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  3. i love the duranta repens--i know they are poisonous but they're quite attractive. amazing how these flowers bloom in this scorching heat.

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  4. The Hippeastrum is a gorgeous flower!

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  5. You really have colorful hedges. The flowers are beautiful in such mass.

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  6. Wow, these are truly alien flowers to someone living at the other side of the world! Although I do recognise 'mother-in-law's tongue', we have them as house plants over here in London.
    And my mother-in-law's tongue was quite 'sharp' and outspoken, but so is my mother (still alive) - and I guess when my son marries and I become a mother-in-law, I will probably be considered to have a rather sharp tongue too :-)

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    1. Hahaha, i am so amused with your comment Helene. I don't have a mother-in-law, so i can't compare! I am also amused that among the plants i posted it is the 'mother-in-laws' tongue that has the wider range of growing temperatures. I guess, the real MILs have wider range of representation as well.

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  7. You know I'm fond of tropicals. They behave differently here. My Shrimp plants are the dark color blooms, hummingbirds are visiting them. My Duranta is just coming back from roots after winter's chill.

    As far as the Hippeastrum, do you think light had anything to do with stem length difference between your garden and the one in Malaysia?

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    1. Jean, as i wrote there, i am actually extremely challenged with the stem length in Ker Ai Choo's hippeastrum, which are actually mine. You see out of 5 bulbs, only one remained long. I haven't seen the short ones in mine. I am still searching of the interactions of plant growth hormones and the effects of envtal conditions. I don't think light is the culprit.

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  8. I think the distinct dry season has an advantage. It seems to induce a period of profuse flowering. In my area, there are none, so the plants and trees flower sparsley the whole year round or hardly at all. There are a few exceptions though where trees shed their leaves, flower and fruit according to certain seasons. I have just posted a picture of the Sanchezia speciosa which I spotted at cool Fraser's Hill. The flower spikes are big and bright and the leaves green with yellow veins.

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    1. This post is actually ready before i saw your post, and i only added the additional description of the Sanchezia because i saw yours is green. That is common when grown at the highlands with colder temps. I didn't know that you don't have a very distinct dry season, so your climate is different from KL?

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  9. The hedges are beautiful! Thanks for joining OYGIF. Kindly put a link back to the meme. :)

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  10. Just gorgeous. Love your hedges. Stunning colors and very tropical :D

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  11. The orange is bright and warm - like the summers and the heat. smiles

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  12. Lovely orange hues...sounds like a conundrum about the bulbs! My OYGIF: http://lore-eleven.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-break-in-clouds.html

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