Thursday, October 13, 2011

Perennial Presence

In our tropical climate all the following plants are perennials. They are prolific in flowering during the rainy season, just lessen during the dry season, however, they are still there manifesting their presence. They flower more beautifully if pruned before the rainy months, but I have not been consistent with that. My pruning job depends on my availability, most of the time they are just left on their own. 

I am quite fascinated with my Duranta erecta  when it produces such long stems full of flowers. It is also much favored by butterflies, bumble bees, and honey bees. Pruning the spent stems allow more branches to produce more flowers like in the photos.

The red Pentas lanceolata is the lone survivor of the long dry season last year. I lost the lavender, pinkish-lavender and white plants.  Cutting spent flower stalks and not allowing the seeds to develop retain the young look to produce more and bigger flower umbels. 

This Caesalpinia pulcherrima has been with us for more than twenty years. They just suffer during the dry season, but still recover after the heavy rains. It never fails to produce such wonderful blooms in the rainy season. It also feeds the larvae of the small yellow butterflies.

 This marigold came from the US, from the generous spirit of Skeeter. She is the partner of Tina of In the Garden. From the many packets she sent me two years ago, this is the lone survivor. This is the 2nd generation of those seeds. I am keeping the seeds for other generations to come. I grow them in partially shaed area.

Dark orange Lantana camara is not very common in garden nurseries. Besides, i haven't seen tree lantana for sale here,  only the bushy or creeping types. But i got this one from the wild from a far region of the Philippines. I was just lucky to have the stem cuttings recover from the wilting it suffered during transport. Its stems rode 2 planes, and several land transport vehicles before reaching our garden.  

This plant is very common, but i don't know its ID. It can be invasive if planted in very healthy soil and left on its own without trimming. It can be viny if uncontrolled. Danielle Babin just recently gave its ID as Altercanthera sessiles alba. This is a 2011 post and the comment is in 2016. Thanks Danielle. However, i realized again that something is wrong so i checked and it has to be correctly put as Alternanthera ficoidea 'Sessiles Alba'

Chrysothemis pulchella is a very easy to propagate plant, even when the cats, dogs and chickens always trample on their stems, they easily produce replacement shoots and eventually flower again. However, they always want available water in the soil and easily affected when it becomes dry. But they easily recover, don't worry.

My favorite Caladium is not as prolific as my other caladiums, but at least this one is spared by the sphinx moth larvae. They did not respect the other caladium colors. They shed leaves during the dry season but their tubers are laid dormant in the soil, so they are perennially present too. Around it are 2 species of Turnera and the white cat's whiskers.

The last five photos are remnants of my orchid collection. Above is a terete Vanda which is very tolerant of our long dry season and hot temperatures, usually above 30 degrees Celsius. Even without water last season coupled with leaves eaten by goat's kids it recovered again. When healthy, it produces longer spikes and more flowers. 

Pteroceras ungiculatum, an endemic orchid species identified by Klaraau. Imagine that, an Australian more knowledgeable of our Philippine orchids! I am trying to take care of this one as it might be an endangered species already (though i am not yet sure), because i have not seen it in other gardens or in orchid shows. I have two plants of this species. 

An Oncidium  already with us for more than twenty years, and it is tolerant also of our very long dry season. This is the only orchid which still produce flowers last dry season even without watering. I was scared then that its flowering might have been an indication that it will leave this world, trying to leave its offspring for good! I am glad it really is a drought tolerant type. It just blooms, come rain, come shine!

Mokara orchids mostly facing the other side because they want to face the morning sun.

Dendrobium orchids need watering during the dry months, but they are able to withstand long dry seasons and flower again when the rains come. You will notice other Dendrobium colors at the back.


  1. I absolutely loved the Duranta Erecta and must admit I'm very jealous of all your blooms. Absolutely beautiful pics, thanks for sharing!

  2. Really beautiful. You can have so much that I can't have up here.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. I like your plants Andrea!!! The Paraguay Niteshade(well that's what they call it here), the first plant in the above pics does really well in our desert. It does really well during the summer, loses it's leaves in winter, but comes back again in spring. Excellent plant. Your lantana is lovely.

  4. Wow! The Duranta erecta is so pretty. I wouldn't mind having one here. I've been looking for purple flowers.

    Your marigolds are lovely too.

  5. So sorry for the other seeds not taking for you, especially the gourds, sigh. The marigolds are sure putting on a show! They are larger then the ones in my garden. Ha, ironic is that? Love all the orchids in your gardens and lucky you to have them growing so lovely in the garden verses in a pot or hot house as in our neck of the woods... Am glad you are safe from the rains. We are over 9 inches behind on the rain so send us a bit if you like….

  6. I've seen a small duranta for sale here as a conservatory plant - it didn't make any impression on me at all but now that I've seen it in its natual habitat - it's wow!

  7. Some of the blossoms here I recognize but many I do not. They are all very pretty, especially the orchids. :)

  8. I love the duranta too, and have a yellow dwarf poincianna. Your orchids are wonderful.


  9. Kwiaty prześliczne, inne niż w naszych ogrodach, a krzew z pierwszego zdjęcia mnie zauroczył. Pozdrawiam

  10. Your green thumb is amazing. What is the common name of the first image, with purple blooms?

  11. Hi Andrea, I love your climate... Sometimes I wish I lived in a tropical area. Just seeing all of that beauty is just awesome. I especially love the orchids... Thanks for sharing.

  12. Beautiful plants as always Andrea! Although the cycad on the background of the first photo captured my attention too!

  13. I am fascinated with your duranta as well. Mine looks nothing like yours. I don't have any spent blooms to prune...:/ It gets plenty of sunshine and I keep it watered. Hmmmmm..they are so pretty in bloom.

  14. I love the look of duranta, bur for some reason I always kill mine! I've learned to walk by them in the stores! Your orchids are absolutely beautiful. I'm so jealous!

  15. I am so very happy with all your comments, and am inspired to get shots again when i hear that you don't see them as prolific in your own climes.

    ONG - this is your first visit here, i hope you wont get jealous anymore. I told you in your sight that i am also jealous of your autumn leaves in your recent post.

    Cher of Sunray Gardens - I guess we really have many plants that you can't have in yours, but you also have beautiful flowers we envy here!

    Chris of Rohrebot - I bet this plants thrive in the Arizona desert, because it withstand our long dry season, when they also sometimes shed their leaves.

    One - I guess we are the only one who has that blue duranta in our area, because i got cuttings from a far place, but it is common now because even just one stem cutting surely produces a lo. I throw a lot when i prune and many passersby get theirs. You can come and get as much as you want, you can fill a sac with stems! Or you can go to Bernie in Australia, she has it too!

    Skeeter - i already told the rain to go your part of the Globe. I am amazed that the marigolds are larger here, they are about 2inches in diameter. They love partial shade maybe because those exposed in my sister's garden are smaller. Yes i am sorry about the gourd, it germinated but didn't get through.

  16. Rosie of leavesnbloom - it is very easy to grow here, no fertilizer, no water, just pruning. The rains make them very happy though.

    EG Wow - maybe most of these plants don't like the cold, or are not acclimatized to cold climes.

    FlowerLady - there are yellow Caesalpinia in our area, and one which is slightly pink. I got seeds of the 2nd one but forgot to plant them. I hope next time i can still get the seeds, they are just on the roadsides.

    Giga - thanks for always visiting here. I am sure you dont have these plants in your cold climate too.

    Photo Cache - there is no common name of that one, everybody calls it Duranta. But the most common duranta here is with yellow leaves made into hedges. It has lavender flowers but not as profuse as the blue violet. When allowed to fruit, the yellow berries are lovely too against a green canopy.

  17. I just love the orchids that you grow. It is so hard to have ours that beautiful without a greenhouse. I could take them to the farm greenhouse, but then I would not be around them everyday. My Duranta looks just like yours. They are amazing with numerous flowers and pollinators. You have a great selection of plants t show today.

  18. We have so many flowers in common! Your Caesalpinia pulcherrima is gorgeous!

  19. Wow, so gorgeous! I especially love the Duranta erecta and Caesalpinia pulcherrima! They even look like fabulous butterfly plants.

  20. Betsy - you might love the tropics because of our blooms, but you will surely miss the autumn leaves on the horizon while you drive. haha. But dont worry we have lots of waterfalls

    Mark and Gaz - yes that Cycas is beautiful. I have already posted its photo in past posts on cycads. But our garden is not as kept as yours in England.

    Amy - hahaha, maybe your duranta receives too much care and attention, mine doesn't. It seems like it is suited to sub-tropical conditions too, so i wonder why it doesn't grow too well in yours.

    Holley Garden - one thing i am sure of Duranta, it needs well drained soil. It's better to be dry than soaked.

    Donna of GWGT - Thanks for appreciating my flower choices today. So you can grow this Duranta well in your cold climate! There is no reason Amy, HolleyGarden and the rest who wants it cannot. I am sure Niagara is temperate.

  21. I LOVE perinials ..and yours are beautiful! Wonderful photography. :)

  22. So many pretties! I too have duranta here which is getting ready to be moved into the garage for our winter. Lucky you to keep it blooming all year.

  23. The details in the Callidium are gorgeous!

  24. The Duranta erecta! I need to go looking for that one! So pretty! I lost my lavender and pink pentas last year but the white one came back. Maybe the seed got embedded in the soil. We do have many of the blooms in our area but your lantana and sunset bells are more vibrant in colour. Your orchids are gorgeous!

  25. Dear Andrea, I am fascinated by your Duranta erecta too! Beautiful blooms!!

  26. Loved this post, I have five of your perennials in my arid Texas Hill Country garden. So much fun to see what we garden in common.

  27. Some exotics here for sure and I thoroughly enjoyed all these gorgeous photos. It's like visiting a beautiful garden full of nature's beauty. I really liked the Chrysothemis pulchella as I have never seen these and they are qute vivid and exotic. Loved this post. Thank you.

  28. i love flowers and gardens. when i was in highschool i used to have a book of the plant names. i used to plant and make my own garden back then, thanks for sharing these lovely flower photos

  29. So many beautiful colors. I especially like the purple shrub at the beginning. I don't think there anything like that here.

  30. You have beautiful orchids (written by someone who has killed many orchids-indoor plants where I live). Also, where I live, we are recovering from floods and my heart goes out to those in your country suffering from the excessive rain.

  31. You have many lovely plants and orchids. I love it when you post about the province.

  32. Cat - yes we have lots of flowers in common because we share some climate similarities, although you have winter. We also have the yellow and pink Caesalpinia here, and they are gorgeous in the center island of the highways.

    Indie - Thanks for your appreciation. That Duranta have already some spent stems so i pruned them last weekend.

    Wsprsweetly - thank you so much for your appreciation of my photography. I hope you will visit again.

    Tina - i can imagine the hassle of bringing in the plants inside for winter. There is always a need for big spaces to accommodate them too!

    The Retired One - Joan, you know i am always envious of your photos, and i am always trying to take as neat and detailed as yours.

    Kanak - which one among my posts here is the sunset bells?

  33. Carol of the Flower Hill Farm - the beauty of that Duranta erecta blooms lasted for 3 weeks, then i pruned the spent stems to make new bigger shoots for another round of blooms.

    Kathleen Scott - yes I am sure we almost have the same vegetation, although you have more colder temperatures better than ours.

    Poetic Shutterbug - you should have seen my shot of the Crysothemis pulchelia in my Flickr shots, the color there was prettier than this one. I confess i cannot get that combination of the plant's condition with the condition of the surroundings to get the same now!

    Pinaysolobackpacker - maybe your constant travels now hinder you to make a garden. Like me, my work in the big city and distance from the property negates my passion in making a beautiful garden. Thanks for visiting.

    Carolyn - maybe you have that Duranta as it thrives in wide range of temperatures.

    Bookworm - i will see later where you are from, but thank you so much for the concern for my countrymen. Thanks God I and my family and friends are not affected by the recent floods. It is horrible especially because we are not used to it.

    Autumn Belle - I went home to the province last weekend, and I gathered some vegetables and planted some amaryllis sent by a friend from the US. I hope i can make them grow, despite my constant absence.

  34. Andrea in reply to your comment over on my GBBD post. Firstly I didn't know about the competition.

    The lens I used was a canon f1.4 50mm lens. I've checked my meta data and I was shooting wide open at aperture 1.4 hence the reason for the very shallow DOF and that wonderful bokeh. Everyone of those shots is straight out of the camera but just resized and sharpened for the web. I'm not so sure but I quite possibly manually focused those shots aswell and manually setting all the settings for the shot. I rarely trust my camera to decide on the settings.

  35. Andrea, you meet all the requirements for a tropical fix, much needed at times for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The Duranta Eracta does look fabulous.

  36. Absolutely stunning collection, Andrea! So you have rain ... and more rain. I have just moved from Wales (high rainfall by UK standards) to the east of England. We have been enjoying beautiful sunsets.

  37. Andrea, you have such a beautiful collection of blooming perennials! I especially love the Caesalpinia pulcherrima, so brilliant and tough. Thank you for sharing your gorgeus flowers, including the orchids, with us!

  38. Beautiful pics, Andrea. That duranta really is lovely. But the one I really find special is the Caladium. I've never seen any like that! I love your collection of orchids, Andrea. Do you grow them in pots?

  39. Rosie - i hope you received my private email thanking you of the camera details. No wonder your photos are so very good, I don't have that lens yet, but yearning to have one as close as 1.4mm or 1.8mm.

    Alistair - thanks for appreciating my choices and photos. If you will come often i will be showing flowers while you are deep into autumn and winter, so you can see colors still.

    Caroline Gill - oh so you have more beautiful sunsets in your area! Are you just on vacation or totally transferred residence?

    The Garden Ms S. - Thank you so much for the appreciation and very kind words. I hope you come by again.

    Sunita - yes actually i very much love that Caladium too. We have other variegations which i posted in the past also. I just cannot make them more beautiful because I don't live at home in the province, just go home when time permits. Thanks for the kind words and appreciation. For our orchids, we don't grow them in posts but attach them in dried tree trunks. The best trunk is Gliricidia sepium, maybe you have it there too!

  40. The photos posted on my blog may be horse head skulls.
    Joyce M

  41. Not sure if you found out yet but 11th pic is altercanthera sessilis alba. Took me a few years to ID mine. Love your pics!

    1. Hi thanks Danielle, even if it has been a few years someone still reads them. Thanks also for the comment as i was prompted to add the Sci name. But actually it just left my mind as when i checked again because i thought your given name rang a bell. So the real name is actually Alternanthera ficoidea 'Sessiles Alba'. It is not altercanthera and Sessiles Alba is the variety, has to be spelled starting in capital letters and be enclosed in single quotation. You missed the species which is ficoidea, Scientific names or binomial classification are written in specific format, and has to be always like that through time. Thanks again for prompting me.


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