Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blooming Roadsides

As most of you who follow this site know, I work and live in the big city, but occasionally go home some weekends to our old home in the province. Our area is a bit on the midland overlooking a bay and a mountain at our back. So we have the sunrise view but not the sunset. During the -ber months we get some spill-over cold winds courtesy of Siberia, China and Mongolia. While most of you are approaching winter, we are approaching our best temperatures in the year, and that is around 24-29°C, maybe just like your approaching summer.  We now experience some foggy mornings, which we don't experience in the lowlands.

I brave some cold mornings to wake up early, go out and take some photos of sunrise. I leave usually 5:00-5:30am, returning when the sun is already hot and I already feel some hunger pains. Not many flowering weeds are seen during short days. But still there are those which are blooming luxuriantly.

 Ruellia tuberosa or cracker plant at the left side of the road

This weed lined both sides of the road near our area, as if both sides are planted with it. We haven't seen anyone perusing this weed, and maybe i am alone in our area finding beauty in them. However, searches point to it as a good source of antioxidants and many medicinal properties. Review of medicinal properties are in Pharmacognosy Journal

  Ruellia tuberosa or cracker plant at the right side of the road

Luxuriant blooms can even be beautifully arranged in bouquets. I hope in the future some people study how it can have longer shelf or vase life. We don't have many violet or blue flowers in the tropics, and I find this one very attractive. This plant does not grow more than 1 foot, unlike the Ruellia brittoniana or Mexican petunia, which becomes bushy. They also differ much in the shape of their leaves, this one being rounded. 

 Those dark protrusions are the already mature seed pods and will eventually dehisce to scatter the seeds.

  above shows the different stages of flowers to pods

 Wedelia trilobata or Singapore daisy

This is used in landscaping as a ground cover to minimize erosion. However, in our area they are growing in marginal areas like roadsides as weeds. Of course, weeds also control soil erosion, and this is a volunteer plant for that purpose.

a flowering grass

I did not see any insect or butterfly alighting on it when i was there, but I found its value with me, as i consider it pretty swaying with the wind. Maybe the small birds will come by when the seeds mature.

This is my first time to link with Wildflower Wednesday at Clay and Limestone. I have some few more tropical wildflowers to link in the future. I linked it as well with Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer, and belatedly linked it with Today's Flowers.



  1. Very pretty area. They've naturalized beautifully.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. I remember planting Ruellias when I was a kid, lovely, uncomplicated plants that blooms for a long time. Another nostalgia trip! :)

  3. What lovely roadside volunteers. They make you feel like you are in a magical place.


  4. The first photo looks like a beautiful landscape to me. Nothing wild about it. You have yet to see my wild garden. (Just exaggerating)

    Your photos are getting more beautiful. A change of angle...

  5. They are some pretty neat flowers. We have a type of ruella that grows wild here on roadsides and in the garden. I wonder if it is the same thing? It doesn't spread as much as yours but has the same blue. It is a soothing color. The grass looks like it has caterpillars or eggs on it. A neat photo!

  6. Welcome to WW Andrea, I love your roadside crack ruellia. Here in the Southern USA some gardeners call them wild petunias! Ruellia humilis is most like yours~Low growing and ground covering. We have three native ruellias. Singapore Daisy looks just like coreopsis flowers. Love it. gail

  7. What beauty along the roadside!!

  8. Beautiful photos! Those blue blooms are lovely alongside the road. Thanks for giving us a look at your world!
    Mississippi, USA

  9. Andrea, if that is a weed it sure is a cracker.

  10. Lovely captures, that too shots with the violet flowers are brilliant. And that macro of grass flower is supreb!

  11. you're right these don't have any shelf life at all.

  12. What beautiful wildflowers! I especially like the blue flowers and the purple flowers.

  13. By the way you framed your subjects they don't look like weeds at all. Plus the roadside seem to be well manicured.

  14. Great shots. I love flowers. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Very pretty roadside flowers Andrea. I like the curving road too. It makes a lovely shot.

  16. I am so happy today because of your comments here.

    Cher - they naturalized beautifully but they get invasive, they are also good colonizers as other weeds on that roadsides are now replaced.

    Mark and Gaz - we don't plant them here as ornamentals. Mark it looks like you came home a long time ago, as you get homesick already.

    FlowerLady - yes, even if it is very early in the morning to walk, the road plants and weeds make me glad, as if i am walking in the park.

    One - That roadside is more neat than my mother's garden. I included the undulating road to make composition more interesting.

    Tina - what is cultivated here as ornamentals is the one i mentioned in the post, but this one is really just a weed. Yes some insects feed on them.

    Gail - i will search for the R humilis you mentioned, as i haven't come across it. Maybe i will call them wild petunia here too, so others will follow calling them that.

    Amy - they also make my early walkings more meaningful. Thanks for visiting.

    Lea - they make me smile and glad that at least some blue flowers are around us.

  17. Alistair - haha, I don't know the real use of the word cracker as used by the English speaking folks like you! I will still search it, thanks for visiting.

    VaishVijay - thanks for the nice words, but those are not macro shots yet, I am just trying hard to steady my hands on the 150mm telefoto.

    Photo Cache - you seem to be familiar with them too, is it from your childhood days here or there?

    Linda G - we sure have the same taste for flower colors, but these colors are not common in hot climes.

    SR - that Ruellia colonize well, it easily replaced other weeds and grasses in that roadside. The other lenght of the roadsides are with talahib and cogon but still lovely when already in the photos.

    Roberto Machado Alves - thanks for dropping by. Brazil landscapes are really beautiful which heightens my fancy to visit.

    Gardenwalkgardentalk - I am glad you like my treatment for the curving road. I purposely caught it to enhance the photo value, if it can. thank you.

  18. Oh such a pretty post! I love those purple/blue flowers! I used to live in the Philippines and I loved my two years there...the country is full of beauty. I am going to be your newest follower!
    Miss Bloomers

  19. Beautiful flowers - such wonderful color!

  20. The wildflowers are really very pretty. At first I thought the purple one is a morning glory. Now that I know it's real name, I have updated my 2009 post. I am growing the Creeping Daisy (Wedelia trilobata, syn Complaya trilobata) as a ground cover - refer my current month's GBBD post. It is also known as Rabbit Paw. The resorts and garden cities also uses a lot of this plant.

    I read that both wildflowers originated from Tropical America. Maybe they became naturalised here in our region.

  21. how beautiful the blues; one I could see the slightly textured/ruffled edging; very pretty. The flowering-grass; it almost looked like little caterpillars marching along the stems; lovely photography

  22. Andrea, I lived at Clark Air Base /Angeles City. My father was in the military. Enjoyed visiting Baguio, Long Beach and Cebu and Manila while I was there! Someday I would like to visit again.
    Miss Bloomers

  23. I enjoyed the wild flowers so much. I see the beauty in all flowers but especially in natures garden.
    Blessings, Jeanne

  24. How cold is it in the morning ? those are lovely shots of the flowers.

  25. How delightful to see the wildflowers in your part of the world.

  26. Your first photo is wonderful. Looks like those ruellias are happily taking over the place. Love the sight of the pretty flowers. You have wonderful weather at your place. And wonderful weeds also ;-)

  27. The Little Red Shop - thanks for dropping by, hope you visit again.

    Sonia - we've exchanged some messages already, and i hope you can visit the country again. You might find it a bit different now as when you left.

    Linda Makiej - i appreciate your visit and comments.

    Autumn Belle - yes they are introduced species from South America, and they are not much welcome here, that's why they are now weeds instead of being cultured in gardens. That is because they are colonizers or invasives, displacing the endemics.

    Carol Meisenhelter - thank you for appreciating, i actually included that grass because also of what you observed, like parading larvae on a stem, and i put my watermark there to be a part of the parade! LOL

    jeanne - we have the same preference, i am like you too.

    Melanie - our coolest is maybe your hottest, as we are in hot tropics. Our coolest morning temps for the year is just 23-25C. LOL.

    Barbara - thanks for dropping by, i had also very persistent experience in opening your site, LOL.

    Stephanie - yes they are efficient invaders/colonizers, already replaced the endemics here!

  28. I enjoyed looking at roadside flowers.
    Joyce M

  29. very pleasant shots...these make the pathway look lovely...

    My Third Eye

  30. Dear Andrea, I love your first two photographs especially. What lovely blooms and to have that particular color only rarely all the more beautiful along the road. As to its lasting longer as a cut flower . . . you might try splitting the stems. I find that some flowers just prefer to not be cut, but if there is a bounty of blooms surely you can pick a few if you wish and enjoy them closer within your home for however long they life. The tiny, delicate blooms on the grass is magical.

  31. Light and Voices - I appreciate your visit here, thanks.

    Rohit Sareen - thank you so much for coming over. I hope it is repeated as I really love comments.

    Carol - haha, i love it when you appreciate my photos, it's inspiring to be liked by the master photographer! But what do you mean by splitting the stem, maybe that will work in temperate climates coz more water can enter the stem. But here in warm conditions, that only hastens its life, i guess. If you mean cutting the upper portion with leaves and get the remaining stem with the flower, that makes sense! thanks.

  32. Hi, Andrea! I'm so glad you joined in for Wildflower Wednesday. These may be considered weeds in your area, but they are the prettiest ones I've seen in a long time. The Ruellias and Singapore daisy would be lovely additions to any garden.

  33. Those Ruellia make a gorgeous carpet. We have a low-growing native Ruellia here but it doesn't grow that thick. Same color flowers though, which I love.

  34. I love these ruella flowers...they are such a joy and I am glad you decided to include them in this post.

  35. these are marvelous photos, Andrea. as kids, we used to play with cracker plant. it cracks with spit! LOL
    the ruellias are beautiful---this weed grows in my grandfather's farm in the province since i can remember. these photos remind me of childhood.

  36. I can't believe how much your cracker plants look like our prairie petunia (Ruellia humilis)! I've never seen prairie petunia lining a roadside like that (although I wish they would), but the flowers and overall appearance of the plants are almost identical. Thanks for sharing this with me!


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