Friday, February 26, 2010

A white Friday: Spider lily

I have long been contemplating on posting white flowers on a Friday. I will shelve the other white flowers this time and contemplate on just one. This is actually ordinary and is also available in temperate climates, the Spider Lily, Hymenocalis spp.  Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden inspired me again with this because of her very beautiful yellow daylily. The white Hymenocallis has many species and varieties.  It is a very versatile plant, for it grows well in shade, semi-shade and in full sun. It is a tropical plant, having it’s origins in South America. This means that in its natural state it grows in soil with a fair degree of moisture most of the time. For a brief description please click  here. For cultural practices please view here, or read here.

Spider plant is a common name which is really very common as many lilies are called spider lilies. There are whites and reds. Spider lilies, when you consult the literatures have many genuses. Some are licorice,  others are hymenocallis, some are crinum. And of course there are more species for each genus. That is the difficulty of using the common name for plants, many sectors or countries have common names which refer to many plants of very different species or genus. This difficulty is erased by using the scientific name, or binomial nomenclature, which refers to the Genus and species of the plant. This is the plant's ID, so wherever they go (from Australia to Zimbabwe) they are known by that name. So the best way is to put the Scientific name enclosed in parenthesis after the common name; e.g. spider lily (Hymenocallis littoralis). Genus starts with capital letter and species starts with small letter. Scientific names are written either in italics or underlined.

Scientific names seem so difficult to pronounce, write or memorize, but plant kingdom will be more chaotic if we are not using this binomial classification. Let us be thankful to Carl Von Linnaeus for starting this orderly classification. He was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. For more about Linnaeus please read here

Look at those beautifully swaying delicate petals and the upright proud stamens.

The center looks so inviting even for a fly to leave its eggs maybe.
The visitor above is different from the previous one. They really seem to like this spider lily.

I would love to post this to the Blooming Friday hosted by Katarina of Roses and Stuff. The theme is something old and something new, so i discussed something about Carl Von Linnaeus and his binomial nomenclature, which is really very old. My flowers are new! What about that. (hahahaha)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aerides inflexa/quinquivulnera for Wordless Wednesday!

This is my first time to join you on Wordless Wednesday.
Post Script:

I am sorry for the additional words here, i am exempting this from Wordless Wednesday, as Autumn Belle forced me to put some descriptions. I don't know where to put them, so i'd rather put them here.

Actually, i am not sure if this is inflexa or quinquivulnera. they said A. inflexa is bending while A. quinquivulnera is curving, but i can't discern if my specimen here is curving or bending. i am sorry about that as i cannot get an authority right now. This plant has been with me for a few years, i put it in a Leucocephala (ipil-ipil) tree near other trees to get partial shade. It has just been left there without particular care at all, as it receives watering only during the rainy season (May to Novermber). I told you before that i work in the city which is about 4 hrs from our house in the province. My mother only water them when she doesn't forget, which is very uncommon. Autumn Belle knows i am not particularly attracted to unrully plants, which this plant exemplifies. The internodes and leaves are long and the roots grow anywhere. In fairness, it it has a very pleasant scent, which you will not get tired of even for a long time.

I have 4 species of Aerides earlier, but this one is the most persistent to live, or can withstand our perennial neglect. Friends, i am sorry for these harsh words, i am not criminal just a bit irresponsible. I promise next time i will remind my Mother to water it again more often. I assure you spikes of better cared for plants are definitely longer than that in my photos.

Aerides is endemic to the Philippines found growing in our forests. But i am sure they have already been wandering around the world right now. There are many species and many cultivars within species. They have also been used as parents for breeding, even in intergeneric crosses. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Orchids are Back, come join me!

A few posts have been entered after my series on orchids ( galore, cattleya, uncommon species. As i analyze the comments, it seems orchids got more commenters. I am not sure now if it was the result of my commenting frenzy in other bloggers' posts, due to the prominent link display of my site in Autumn Belle's My Nice Garden or just "Accidental Synchronicity" as Jodi of Blooming Writer termed it.
By commenting frenzy means visiting all the posts of the blogs i follow plus other commenters in them which caused my fancy; their comments are interesting or sometimes their names are! I also realized after a few weeks of being serious  in this blogging escapade that maybe i have sacrificed a lot of working time. It is just maybe "accidental synchronicity" as Jodi puts it or serendipitous chance, that i have fewer workload this time.

Actually, i have not been in the garden yet as our area is in the province, 4 hours from the city where i worked. I just go home for the weekends 1 - 2 times per month, and that certainly is not enough to plant something. Sometimes, i can only prune or water. So i am using all the photos in my photo files yet, not being out in the open for more photos.

So for the Blooming Friday of Katarina, owner of Roses and Stuff, i am posting orchids again. This time it will be the Zygopetalum species, taken from the Quezon City Garden Show '09.

I would also love to post this to Todays Flowers.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Green Succulents, Green Flowers

Maybe you are already associating me with flowers, bright colors and such, so here is some detour.  For a change i am posting succulents. I found these during my travel to Ooty, India. This place is on a mountain reached by circuitous roads via Chennai. Temperatures are already cooler and vegetation is already subtropical.  On both sides of the mountains are well cropped tea gardens, and only a few other trees are found other than tea. Flowers are also of the subtropical types.

I will be presenting the two succulents here and please identify them for me, if you dont mind. Nobody knows the common name or scientific name among the people around me that time. I know many among you are familiar with these wonderful green ornamentals, so kindly help me. Kanak of  Terra Farmer, Radhika of   Ever Green Tree, or maybe Stephanie of Steph's Green Space, i need your help here. Thank you very much.

Both look like Sempervivum species if taken singly without the stems. But Sempervivums do not have long stems like these two, as i googled them.  

Post Script:

Thanks to Rosie of Leaves n Bloom for the genus of this plants, Aeonium, and leading me to a lot of them. In fact i saw the lots of colors of the genus including the black, as well as the blooming one with wonderful yellow flowers (Here).

For more greens and follow-up of their green plantings please visit Pam Digging. She also has some succulents there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A flower worth the long wait!

This bromeliad has been sitting on my office window for almost 2 years. There are 2 plants in the pot. I bought it when about to flower. The narrow green leaves grow in a rosette with bright pink bracts densely overlapping, where the violet-blue flowers emerge. The bright colors stayed for a few weeks. The pink bracts are still there many more days after the flowers die. It only receives morning sun seeping through the closed glass window, plus water which i put directly to the apex.

Later on i cut the drying mother plants leaving 2 growing plantlets calle pups. It's been almost 2 years now and the pink bracts are not arriving just yet. I am getting impatient, so tried to learn from literatures, which i hadn't thought of earlier on. Just watering them seems to be fine. It says this is the only Tillandsia known to be grown in a pot, and really takes 2-3 years to bloom.

Maybe i have not been treating it rightly. Since it is from the forest of Ecuador it has to receive moisture just enough directly through the leaves, and not direct to the roots. Whew, at least it did not die of drowning. Further, it has to be fed once a month with foliar fertilizer, but i dont have it. So starting from now, i dilute complete fertilizer (15-15-30) and sprayed it. Now i am at peace, maybe 6 more months and my waiting will be over.

For a very profuse growth please look at this  photo, and for plant care try   this.
Tillandsia cyanea 'Pink Quill'

I would also like to enter this for Blooming Friday hosted by Katarina of Roses and Stuff. Thank you very much Katarina, as there are now a few souls who visit my posts. I hope i have given you some vivid colors of the tropics, which can warm you a little during these cold months.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Garden Show in the Tropics

I am happy that a few souls are already looking at my blogs. My blog started only as a venue for my everyday grumblings, musings, complains, once-in-a-while experiences, hopes, dreams, adventures...and sometimes about other consciousness. In jest, it was just a record of thoughts and events.

When i stumbled on the group about gardening, i was enthused to post more and often, especially when some newfound friends helped me untiringly along the way. That was Autumn Belle of My Nice Garden, who painstakingly taught me things to do, even put my links in her site way before Jodi of Blooming Writer sprouted the idea of Blog Adoption. Moreover, i took time really to comment on most blogs, not necessarily for them to know me but i was really fascinated by their posts and photos. Plants from other climes inspired me especially because most of my favorites are temperate plants. I am the horticulturist whose knowledge has been shelved in the convolutions of my brain to accomodate more timely concerns. Horticulture includes not only ornamental plants but fruits, vegetables, industrial crops, but these blogging inspired the ornamental sector in my brain. Those years of learning just come out handy in times of need. I realized i miss the ornamental group most of all.

So, i will be posting some landscapes in garden shows from my photo files.  This is also to inform everyone around the world that there are two distinct Garden Shows in Manila every year. Other places have annual garden shows also, but the most famous is the University of the Philippines Los Banos weekly garden show every October. In these activities awards are also given not only to distinct ornamental cultivars but also to the best landscape designs. Best and recent hybrids are on display, as well as some endemic botanicals for the collectors and as potential parent materials. Lectures are also conducted by distinguished authorities, for example 'Embryo culture of orchids', New commercial varieties', 'Pest and disease control in ornamental nursery', to name a few.
You can certainly identify the plants included here: a few-marigolds along the walk, colors of Hydrangeas middle, petunias between the rocks right side, different hanging plants on the trellis.
Here: L-R: White Phalaenopsis, ground orchids bottom left, Aerides orchids on the right, few Paphiopedillums and endemics on the basin, endemic botanicals hanging on the tree at right. Accents on Aerides plants are mostly Schefflera and Dieffenbachia, and more.
L:R: Mostly Phalaenopsis of different colors on left, White and yellow Dendrobium on right plus yellow ground orchids, plus fern accents
At left top are Epidendrum with orange Cattleya in front, middle are Rhenanthera species, while those on right are mostly Dendrobium species.
Now, you are familiar with most of these, expanded also below. There are also Cycas at the back and different ferns.

Note: Can you see the cut photo of a pet on the mid-right? I am sorry to have cut it, just see it now!

Here: how many plants can you identify? If you can name half you are not just masterish gardener but a doctorish gardener, haha! Are you curious of the snakey vines embrasing the tree?

Oh this is easy!

Another easy identification. I can give prizes for the highest number of identified species. lol

I noticed that it might already be very heavy for this post, i still have some few landscapes but the site is already complaining. Maybe a Part II is needed for convenience. Happy viewing, Blogger Friends! Take your time and take care!

If your visit here will coincide with these garden shows, i will personally guide your Garden Tour. I can also be your personal photographer.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Orchids again, Rhynchostylis gigantea

I took a break from posting orchids because you might get tired of them. So after posting the nipple fruit and Hibiscus as intermissions, i am back again to the orchids. Remember, i still have a lot of orchid photos in my files. So you will still have them in the future.

Now here i will be featuring the very beautiful and fragrant Rhynchostylis gigantea. Sometimes it is called foxtail orchid because of the form of the spike. It is also prolific that sometimes 3-4 spikes are present in one plant at the same time. It grows abundantly at high temperatures and humidity, which our country is sufficiently provided for. It also grows in a wide range of light conditions, such that many countries grow it. I am lucky to have 4 colors for posting here all at once. They were in the exhibit in the last garden show by the Philippine Orchid Society. It is said that R. gigantea subs. violaceae is endemic to the Philippines.

A few years back i have this in my garden, but because of neglect it just gave a very small spike and later on succumbed to pests. I did not replace it because i am not the one tending them all the time, as i am an absentee gardener, returning home sometimes once a month. I would like to share the photos with you I hope you enjoyed them, i will just keep the fragrance for myself.
No. 1

No. 2

No. 3

No. 4

For a thorough discussion of Rhynchostylis gigantea please visit AOS website.

I would like to post this again for the Blooming Friday hosted by    Katarina of Roses and Stuff. With this links you are just like adopting all of us too, as in the new Adopt a Blog scheme started by    Jodi of Blooming Writer.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nipple Fruit, again unusual in this part of the world!

We had a planning workshop in one of the hotels in Tagaytay City. During breaks i went out to take some photos and  came accross this unusual plant. Actually,  i've seen this plant long ago but forgot all about it until now. What makes it more unusual is not only the shape of its fruit, but the several long thorns scattered on the leaf surface. What a very defensive plant, i wonder why!

In nature when you see something like this, it seems like it is saying "beware of me, don't come near me"! I thought maybe insects want to eat it, maybe it tastes so good for them! Thorns are  their defense mechanism.

Then i try to google for it but don't know where to start. Then i thought maybe it is a member of the eggplant family because the leaves look like them, or potatoes. The flowers also resemble eggplants and tomatoes. So i started with "solanum plants", exactly it is there. So, i realized why it has the common names,  nipple fruit, cow udder, titty plant or Apple of Sodom. The tip of the fruit looks like a nipple, while  the other end looks like a cow's udder. Hmm, what's in a name!    There are medicinal uses for the fruits, says Wikipedia, but who cares. It is just beautiful and unusual.        

The scientific name is   Solanum mammosum. Also, i found that it is a very poisonous plant. So, i realized again that the thorns are warnings for humans and animals. "Dont eat me, i might kill you". How nature works! It literally wards off everything coming near it. But the photographer is not afraid, anyway the camera will not harm you, nor will you be able to harm me. I am awed by these coincidences, who will say it is creation....or evolution!!!

Hello, Stephanie of Steph's Green Space, i know you will like this because you are a collector of the unusual but beautiful.
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