Iceland!

Our trip has begun! I’ve decided to post a few photos via smartphone as time allows. I’ve never used the WP app before, so no guarantees! 😆😆

First stop Iceland!

image

Skogafoss

Such spellbinding scenery, albeit waaaayyyyy colder than I imagined of September! ;)  Even though it was drizzly/overcast with low hanging clouds, the drive along Ring Road revealed some unexpected sights:

image

Abandoned house shrouded by glacial rock

The sun appeared (briefly) as something unusual caught our attention, so we pulled over for a closer look.

image

Lone teepee in uninhabited field.

More in a day or so…

20140903_082016

Brassia Maculata in Bloom

Brassias are sympodial (bulbous) orchids whose large fleshy leaves and woody flower spikes emerge from oval pseudobulbs along the soil line. Each pseudobulb provides nutrients and water for a single bloom cycle in August/September.  The light was perfect this morning so I took a few pics of their incredible beauty.

20140903_081948

First Brassia maculata flowers of the season, 9/3/14

Their spidery appearance gives Brassias a distinct reproductive advantage. Parasitic wasps who typically lay their eggs on spiders, get confused by the orchid’s appearance and land on the flowers instead. As the wasps flit from plant to plant, they create one of nature’s best win-win situations: the wasps reproduce,  the brassias get pollinated, and a few very lucky 8 legged insects are saved in the process!

20140903_080910

Although my Brassias live outdoors, they also make great houseplants: read more about it here.

Until next time…

:) :) :)

20140815_110651-1

Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

Partridge Pea is a North American wildflower growing from Massachusetts to Michigan and southward to the Gulf Coast states. During August it blooms profusely along the Jaycee boardwalk:

20140815_110454

Chamaecrista fasciculata, Jaycee Beach 8/17/14

C. fasciculata is typically 1-3ft tall with similar spread; each compound leaf has up to 20 leaflets that contract when touched. The bright yellow flowers have an open irregular shape with 5 rounded petals that vary in size.  They appear near the leaf axils along the major (green) stems.

20140815_110447

Following fertilization, Partridge pea bears typical legume-style fruit in the form of narrow pods measuring 2.5″ long. Right now the pods are bright green and pliable, but by October they’ll be brown, dry, and bursting with flat pitted seeds.

20140815_110604

Partridge pea grows from a long central taproot that favors sandy/disturbed areas. It establishes readily, fixes nitrogen, and reseeds year-to-year making it an excellent choice for controlling beach erosion.

For an in depth look at C. fasciculata, click on this .pdf file from the Florida Native Plant Society.

Until next time….

:) :) :)

Related articles

siamtulipheader

Wordless Wednesday: 8/13/14 (Siam Tulip)

My smartphone’s charging port crapped out after my last post (no smartphone = no camera/photos.) I finally got it repaired and can’t tell you how good it feels to take pictures again. :)  The blog is back in time for Wordless Wednesday.

Siam tulips are Florida late summer bloomers and I look forward to their arrival every August!

20140720_085414

Curcuma alismatifolia, Maejo Mont Blanc

Although the inflorescence resembles a northern style tulip, this plant is a member of the Ginger family specifically Curcuma alismatifolia with bracts ranging from pure white to deep purple. Mine are a pink tinged hybrid named Maejo Mont Blanc.

For more on Wordless Wednesday, click the WW blog/linkup at the Jenny Evolution.

Until next time….

Related articles

20140805_083442

Flame Lily Update: It’s Opening!

A few weeks ago, my Gloriosa superba vines were barely in bud.  Now they’ve branched in several directions and even started opening.

20140805_083118

G. Superba, 8/5/14

Each Flame Lily is borne on a single leaf axis and typically takes 17days to complete the flowering cycle.  The photo above was taken yesterday at 8:30AM and the one below around 3:00PM.  As the blossoms mature, the tepals elongate and wrinkle, eventually arching upward as seen below.  Six stamens encircle a longer “eyelash” pistil that points to the side in an adaptation that discourages self fertilization: any pollen released from the stamens will fall below the pistil.

20140805_083255

Looking at it this morning, it’s easy to see how G. superba got its common name!

20140806_085541

G. superba, 8/6/14

It really DOES resemble flames against the sky!!

Until next time…

:) :) :)

Related articles

20140728_181929

Wordless Wednesday: 7/30/14 (Verbena Surprise)

I love when flowers appear unexpectedly!

This “volunteer” is a phlox variety  although the leaves seem a bit veiny?  I’ve included additional pics from different angles so let me know if you can I.D. it!

(Edit: 8/3/14: The comments overwhelmingly identified this plant as a Verbena, specifically Verbena canadensis ‘Rosea.’  See comment from Theshrubqueen below)

20140728_181929

Somehow it grew in a perfectly located forgotten container! Such a nice accent for the pink Fingerpaint brom (Neoregelia spectabilis.)

20140728_181945

…here’s another view with Gaillardia Torch Red Ember in the background.

20140728_181845

Seed germination in unexpected spots is not as easy as you might think! Recently, my blog friend–a felllow Treasure Coast resident–George Rogers wrote a VERY informative, entertaining post on the subject.

For more on Wordless Wednesday, click the WW blog/linkup at the Jenny Evolution.

Until next time….

:) :) :)

 Related articles