Friday, August 26, 2011

Tubastrea Micrantha

"Flowering Coral" taken by Arne Kuilman

This species of coral showcases a beautiful "flower" that ranges in color from the golden-yellow pictured above to a deep green or almost black appearance. It originates in the Indo-Pacific and can be kept in an aquarium, if introduced under the right conditions; these plants are extremely delicate and, therefore, must be handled with a careful and steady hand.

Mostly I'm posting this because the world of underwater plants is often forgotten, if not mystified. Such "flowers", as they are submerged in water, have developed entirely unique biologies. It is also pertinent to mention since coral environments are endangered across the board.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Reds

I have never seen the cardinal flower in person, but I am taken aback by its orangey-red hue and distinct natural design. It is a native of the Eastern North-American woodlands and proves a hardy plant, especially in persistently wet conditions. Another characteristic to the cardinal's credit: it is long-lasting and late-blooming, sometimes showing through the beginning days of September. It must be a beautiful thing to witness a flower survive into the autumn months, flourishing when so many others have gone to sleep for the colder months.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

End-of-Summer Blooms

Most of our favorite summertime perennials bloom from the end of May through early-mid July, but there are some which hold off until August or even September. A few of my late-blooming favorites are phlox, asters, and mums; and if we were to include annuals, I might add morning glory, verbena, and Mexican sage. We have much to anticipate with the coming of Autumn and cooler weather, and I am happy that some of my most beloved flowers are included.

Pink phlox, taken by Doug Green

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Hoya Carnosa

I've only encountered wax plant a few times, and I couldn't even tell you specifically when or why - but they have remained a fixture in my mind, one of my favorite flowers about which I am endlessly curious and think of when anyone mentions "fairytale flowers".

Unfortunate, that I will not ever happen upon them anywhere in the city, at least not outdoors, not in nature; for they are of East Asian/Indian origin and are propagated here as sturdy houseplants, though they are actually vine-like. I think there is a current trend of using waxflowers in bridal bouquets and arrangements, of which I am a fan (I even considered including them in my own floral design for my bridal party), but myrtle (waxflower) and wax plant (milkweed) have a few distinctive differences and I still prefer the latter for its gooey surface, curved star-points, and distinct smell.

Labels: ,