Thursday, December 12, 2013

Year-end GBBD!

December is the month when our short-day plants bloom. It is December when the sun is closest to the earth so we get short days, and December 21 is what the earth calls the winter solstice. These plants whose flowering are affected by daylength are called photoperiodic plants. When i was in college I have a little confusion about these plants, because short-day plants are actually those that needed long nights. It is the long nights that trigger them to start flowering and not the short days. So why they are called short-day plants is still a mystery to me. Many commercial plant nurseries take advantage of this capacity to respond to daylength for flowering and treat their plants en masse. This is exemplified by the chrysanthemums, I will not include poinsettias because the mechanism for poinsettias are different.

December daylength doesn't mean the rest of our plants stop blooming during these period. However, the non-photoperiodic ones have been blooming since the start of the rainy season, so they are already mature this time, and some are already preparing for the end of the rainy season, that means start of the dry season. These plants are not anymore at the peak of their flowering beauty. So here they are parading before you, judge them as you please!

These are spray chrysanthemums we just allow growing as a hedge

Chrysanthemum is the only photoperiodic plants we have.

 red roses flower continuously during the rainy season, not photoperiodic

a Justicia hybrid whose identity still eludes me

 Chrysothemis pulchelia, flowers dwindle already starting to fruit

Odontonema strictum or firespike, also prolific these colder days

a dainty lily whose leaves are variegated,  Dianella tasmanica 'Variegata'

Asystasia intrusa

marigolds and Impatiens balsamina

continuously flowering blue Duranta erecta, regardless or season and photoperiod

Alternanthera, white variegated

 Alternanthera hybrid

Sanchezia speciosa, fully vegetative during the rainy months, flower at the dry season

Coleus blumei with Marantha at the back

Hoya diversifolia first flowering but with many simultaneous umbels

 Hoya crassicaulis first bloom, promising a big umbel

Hoya diversifolia, 2nd plant's first flowering


  1. So many beautiful flowers! My favorite photo is the hoya with the ants. Have a lovely day.

  2. Lots of fantastic colour and foliage. I simply adore that delicate little Dianella, and your beautiful Hoya diversifolia. December here means long, long days and of course that means the mean hot sun is out in all its glory for hours and hours and hours.

  3. Oh my, Beautiful photos of plants and flowers. I would love to have your knowledge of these wonderful plants.
    xo, Jeanne

  4. Very beautiful - I wish we had plants that would flower in winter, but with our temperatures that's not going to happen. But I have to offer up one minor correction to your post - the Earth is actually closest to the Sun in December and farthest in June (it's the tilt that gives us the seasons and most of the temperature changes)!

    1. Thanks Al for this comment and correction, I already changed it. I hope you come again.

  5. Hoya is such a fascinating plant! And that blue Duranta is so graceful and light. That is one I would want in my garden if I lived in a warmer climate. I guess I could grow it as an annual here. Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day!

  6. The pink Hoya plant is an exceptional capture - just beautiful! Happy you liked what you saw on my blog:)

  7. what a wonderful variety of flowers and colors! That is quite interesting about the short-day flowers - thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh, all so beautiful and cheerful! Thanks for sharing. And I bet they're called short-day because we like to think about days more than nights (or we're asleep during the nights!).

  9. So many are so lucky to have 12 months of blooms.

  10. December is very dark here Andrea - especially so when we have wet weather rather than frosty weather. I never knew that before about short day flowers - very interesting :) You've some beauties in flower just now - my favourites are the hoya's but I'm loving all that foliage too.

    1. I can imagine how your environmental conditions now look like. Although i want to experience the seasons, i might not be able to withstand long winters like yours.

      Regarding the plants that flower during long nights periods, they are actually called "short-day plants", and vice-versa, not short-day flowers. Temperate conditions have even more technical terms for other reproductive systems in plants.

  11. Wonderful mix of beautiful flowers.


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