Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Bulbs: tropical style

 ulbs are usually found in temperate and semi temperate gardens, but are also available in tropical climates. I will be presenting 2 bulbous plants from my garden. They have been there since i was born and have been treated unkindly by members of the family including me. That is because they seem to be always there, difficult to discard and behave like weeds. I say this because they have the habit of just sprouting anywhere, because there are months of the year when they are gone. I even dig some bulbs to throw away to give space for more favored species.

We only have 2 seasons in the tropics, the dry and the rainy seasons. These plants just suddenly produce flowers when the rains arrive in April or May. After 1-2 weeks of elegant splendour, flowers just wilt when the green leaves appear, which eventually also dry during the dry season.  Then the rest of the household forgot everything about them. Sometimes they are cut and thrown away. However, the remaining bulbs are still alive and will sprout again when the rains come. Now we are so sorry for our behaviors, we will redeem these soonest!

Blood lily or football lily, Scadoxus multiflorus or Haemanthus multiflorus, is a beautiful flowering bulb from tropical Africa. How they came to the Philippines to our garden, i am sorry i don't know. The spectacular flowerhead is a huge spherical umbel consisting of up to 100 flowers. One plant produce only one flowerhead per season.  I read somewhere that it may contain a cardiac glycoside which causes cardiac irregularity and sudden death.  (I seem to be posting poisonous plants, i realized this is my second since the  nipple fruit.

By the way, the vegetative plants at the right hand side are growing in an old iron skillet with holes. Without the flowers, they can also be nice as foliage. Whoever called it "repurpose"? I am sorry i forgot, but i used your term. Thank you.

For cultural practices: please click here
For more photos and cultivars: click here
Another bulb crop present in my garden is the red lily, which we call lirio, Hipeastrum puniceum. Its characteristics are the same as the blood lily, so it suffered the same fate,  but show the same persistence. Maybe they can be later on classified as colonizers too for their persistence. Come rainy season and they will show their elegance.

Now i am contemplating on studying them to be made for indoor plants. Maybe its time to pay back for what i did to them in the past! Aren't they gorgeous? I hope you will not crucify me for my sins, fellow bloggers/plant lovers or phytophiles. Those are the days when i am still young and not yet a horticulturist. Now i know better...blah, blah, blah!

Even singly, in small clumps or as hedges, they seem gorgeous. Phytophiles from temperate climes will love this plant for the vibrant colors of summer. Gardeners from the dessert like  Noelle of azplant Lady, and Kathleen of Hill Country Mysteries  should try planting this bulbs. Or maybe you already have them.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fortune plants

Fortune plant or corn plant (Dracaena fragrans)

More about this plant's culture

Ti plant (Cordyline terminalis)
For more varieties and culture please click Here and Here 

For Wordless Wednesday participants please click HERE


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Guess What Flower - Wordless Wednesday


The first 3 photos have yellow petioles,
while the last photo has violet petioles.
These are photos of 2 varieties.

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

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