Saturday, March 18, 2006




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I like flowers.

The first three pics are the orchid tree. All those buds are opening up. It's trying to make up for the lost blooming time, when the hurricane came and split it in two.

It's hard to remember that just a few months ago, it was a 5' tall, totally denuded piece of trunk.

The blue flowers are Queen's Wreath. This never bloomed for me before, first time here. Several of my neighbors tell me they have plants that are doing their first bloom, too. All different kinds of plants, some fairly old.

Hurricanes can be such an inspiration.

7 comments:

Desert Cat said...

That orchid tree is incredible! I don't think I've ever seen a blooming tree with blossoms that big. I wonder if such a plant would grow here?

Queen's Wreath. Another name with more than one species attached. The Queen's Wreath we have around here is a vigorous climber with heart-shaped leaves that is native to Central American jungles (at least I saw them growing prolifically around Tepic, Jalisco, Mexico), and is covered with pink tresses from mid-summer to frost in November.

Vines that are more than a year old become fatter and woody, but new vegetative growth can shoot up twenty or thirty feet in a couple of weeks, and can suffocate a tree if it gets up into it. I've made the mistake of giving it more grace than it deserves, because it is so gorgeous, but one of my trees is still paying the price of my neglect from a couple years ago.

bebebryan said...

Your Orchid tree is gorgeous. Susan had one, don't know what happened but it's gone. It too was a signt to see. Sorry to see it go.
My day lilies came from QVC, so now I have to find a place to plant them where my yard man won't mow them down. I don't think he knows the difference between a plant and a weed.
He's real good about mowing, edgeing and leaf blowing, but never does any hedge clipping, etc. He does what I can't do anymore. Complainig doesn't help, so I keep my mouth shut.
That's not easy either. :-)

k said...

DC, how's this for a link for you then?
http://www.phoenixtropicals.com/orchid_tree.html

{smug smug}

Also, I noticed whilst surfing about on Lignum Vitae one day that there appears to be a fair amount of lv. sold and grown in Tuscon, AZ. Here's a little note on them and their indigeneous Sonoran relatives: http://www.desertmuseum.org/books/zygophyllaceae.html

And BB, I think the hurricanes just kept kind of chipping away at Susan's orchid tree, until the last one finished it off. I'm pretty sure Steve was telling me about Wilma giving it the kiss of death.

Speaking of which...the kiss of death seems to be an epidemic among the neighborhood yardmen. A couple years back, Burke's lopped off his huge elephant ears one day and killed the whole plant. BIG plant. That's a pretty serious goof.

If you can find a safe daylily place let me know and I'll dig it for you. I have some great compost for the hole, too. Maybe we can put some rocks around it to keep the yardman at bay?

k said...

The Queen's Wreath is Petrea volubilis. AKA: purple wreath, sandpaper vine.

It's gorgeous by any name.

It does NOT grow twenty or thirty feet in two weeks, no matter now much we ask it to. It's more a twiner than a tendril-type grabber. I think the grabbers seem better at those huge growth spurts.

Which are the "mixed" part of the mixed blessing of vines, no?

Well - that, and stinkbugs if it's passiflora.

Desert Cat said...

Well how about that? I wonder why I've never seen one around here then. Maybe it's that 22 degree hardiness limit. It occasionally drops below that in Tucson--maybe once in every five years or so. It dropped briefly to 19 degrees early this winter, and decimated my Mexican Heather again.

Phoenix is another story. They are at least another 5 degrees warmer than Tucson.

Desert Cat said...

Here's the queen's wreath that I know: Antigonon leptopus

k said...

aHA! That's what we call *coral vine* down here. It's considered a pest. By some, a terrible pest.

I'm forever pulling it up in the back yard. It was all mixed up with my Snows, getting seeded by a mother vine on Peter's side of the fence.

It has little tubers, too, that you have to dig up once they form. Which is fast. They're edible, supposedly, not that I would.

Very pretty, but seriously annoying. See, down here, we don't get that winter die-back.