Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flowering in the Rain

I got out there between showers for today's update shot. The individual little purple flowers seem to be on their last blooms; there are few immature ones left, and the large unopened buds are standing tall and ready to go.

Sometimes a plant will do this waiting for the sunshine, including plants pollinated by wind instead of animal pollinators like bees. Or it'll wait for moonshine, for a night bloomer like cereus. They're waiting for the right pollinator to come along, and hold themselves closed until they sense It's Time.

The sheath structures seem to be opening up now and pulling away from the central stalk. From certain angles it almost looks like the sheaths form a spiral. That's actually not uncommon in plants. And rocks, water, animal bits...

Oh! And, yes. Showers. As in the *rain* kind.

We'll have intermittent rain for the next several days, and I'm immensely relieved. This won't be nearly enough to refill Lake Okeechobee, of course - won't make a dent in the overall drought - but it's all I need for quite a while.

The flower stalk is about one foot tall. That's only the part above the florescent leaves. It doesn't seem that much taller than yesterday, so perhaps it's finally slowed down on its upward growth.

And in OTHER flower news...! heh! One cannot have Too Many Orchids.

Or yellow flowers. Yellow is good. I don't have enough yellow ones. Orchid + yellow = New Acquisition. Less than $8, so hey.


pepektheassassin said...

S'been fun watching this one grow up!

Dazd said...

Wow...that Heart of Flame is gorgeous!

Nancy said...

Hooray for RAIN!!

I've been trying to send you some from Houston, we've had plenty and are due for another few inches tomorrow.

glub glub

Asian Butterfly said...

That is some amazing flowering plant you have there. Love the orchids too. Can you really get one for just $8?

Asian Butterfly said...

While tromping in the Everglades, have you ever come across the Ghost Orchid?

k said...

miss assassin, it sure has. I'm surprised at how often I click on the pix myself. I mean, it's outside my door, I could just go LOOK at it! But it's raining or polleny or dark, and the thorns make it really hard to get close to it, and I can just sit here and click it big and move the bar around and look and look...

and the little baby's a big vigorous adult now, isn't it? Just bursting with life and energy.

dazd, isn't it something? One of my all-time favorite flowers ever. Ever. And that says a LOT.

Nancy, THANK YOU!!! ahhhhh!!! ***hissssssss*** (fires starting to go out)

asian butterfly, our local Home Depots and Walmarts are carrying orchids now in a big way. They're usually not cultivars, they're the *no-names,* and often because they aren't show or breeding quality. But some are surprizingly good, and some really are named cultivars. My new purple one is. I'm really fussy about those things, but I got some no-names for a specific purpose. I grow epiphytes on wood for sale, and I realized it was a good way for me not to get to attached to them - a no-name I can sell more easily, see?

You can get them down here in S. Florida sometimes for as little as $5 after the flower's gone. Standard prices at Home Depot etc. are $8 for a small cattleya not in bloom yet; many dendrobiums at a regular price of $9.99; phalenopsis usually goes for about $20.

Though, truly, the prices at the many local big orchid growers are great too. A lot of them moved to Orlando after Hurricane Andrew, thinking they'd be safe from hurricanes there. This turned out to be a cruel joke when Orlando was smashed with three terrible hurricanes in a row a couple summers ago.

Unfortunately, in 2004 my left foot got crippled, so my walks are very limited now.

Before that? My Everglades tromps were pretty frequent, and filled with searches for the Ghost Orchid. I've found many others but no ghosts yet. I think this may be because most of the wild ghost orchids are concentrated now around the Fakahatchee Strand, and I was looking in other areas.

If you've read *The Orchid Thief,* that's where they were raiding them from, Fakahatchee.

When I'm up and running again with my *real* orchid life? Believe me, I'll be posting on them. BIG time!

Now: Living where I do, I've had more than one opportunity to buy ghost orchids locally. Soon, I will. I need to make sure I can water properly.

And I betcha $5 I can grow them, too.

I just KNOW it.

sue said...

Oooo... love the orchids, too!

k said...

They're much easier to grow here than they are in Iowa.

Granny J said...

...or Arizona, where the local garden club booklet is called Gardening in Granite. My mother grew glorious gardens when she lived in Jaxm but she always made it seem so damned difficult that I never gardened until many years later and then I specialized in the local wild flowers. Even got a ticket from the Weed Police in the city of Chicago for my garden one year.

k said...

wow!!! Holy smokes, what a badge of honor! I woulda framed that sucker and put it on the wall.

I am SO glad to have people here that are non-conformist gardeners. It's a relief, that's all. I'd still do things how I like and I don't care what the neighbors or Code Enforcement think. And luckily, I have a very high proportion of Approval in the Front Yard Fan Club.

But...it's just nice to hang with folks who are completely like-minded.

And you know something, granny j? There are a lot of people who make gardening seem like Mission Impossible. I really wish they wouldn't do that. It's not true and I think it discourages people from gardening, and that's a real shame.

Your solution - wildflowers - is so very on target.