Friday Flower – Will I ever get sick of Dahlias?… Nope

Blood red dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

I’ve posted dahlias so many times now that I have nothing left to say, except that any attempt at photo manipulation of this image just made it look worse! It’s too perfect as it is.

For other Dahlias please click here.

Flower Friday – Renanthera

Renanthera - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Renanthera – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This is an orchid that I photographed while at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A magnificent tropical garden which stretches as far as you can see. It was a bit of an effort walking around all day, on what was an incredibly hot day with 100% humidity. Though, as much as the people suffered in these stifling weather conditions, it is perfect for these orchids. They belong to a group of plants which are collectively called epiphytes, meaning that they love to grow harmlessly attached to another plant or tree with their roots free to absorb nutrients and moisture from the air and rain. These plants grow as a single, unbranching stem with leaves alternately growing on either side. They produce multiple branching flower stems with many flowers (pinkish-red, fiery red, orange or yellow) dancing on either side. Seeing a group of fully grown plants in flower is like looking at a brilliant firework display of heated colors exploding into the sky. Needless to say, this is one of my very favorite orchids.

For other orchid posts, please click here.

Flower Friday – Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’

Crocosmia Lucifer - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Crocosmia Lucifer – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Every day on my way to and from work I pass through a beautifully maintained courtyard garden which is always alive with color. Commonly in Manhattan, garden beds get replanted every few months with plants that reflect the current season (unlike Sydney which is temperate enough to keep most plants all year round, or a summer/winter change of annuals). New York summer brings high heat and humidity, and a fitting reflection of that is this fiery red flower belonging to Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’. The flowers catch my eye every day due to the contrast of the intense red against a background of large, deep green leaves. This plant, along with many others, is now bookmarked in my head as a “must have” in my currently imaginary, beautifully tranquil, future garden of my own. Happy weekend everyone!!!

Flower Friday – Euphorbia Didieriodes

Euphorbia Didieriodes - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Euphorbia Didieriodes – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Last month at the New York botanic gardens I went to see the orchid display, when in fact these non-orchid photos turned out to be my favorites. In the dessert section was this beautiful plant native to Madagascar called Euphorbia didieriodes. The plant itself isn’t widely known, and I found little information on it, although other Euphorbias are common house/garden plants. I love these photos mainly because it surprised me that such delicate, cute little red flowers were poking out of a formidably thorny plant!

Happy weekend everyone!

Euphorbia Didieriodes Flower - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Euphorbia Didieriodes Flower – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Flower Friday – Hibiscus

Hibiscus - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hibiscus – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Whenever I see a hibiscus flower I immediately associate it with tropical vacations. Beautiful and large flowers, they come in a variety of stunning colors. In Australia we have a hibiscus harlequin bug (Tectocoris diopthalamus) which is also brightly colored, but a dreaded pest to the hibiscus plant. It will pierce through the stem of tender shoots and flower buds to feed on the sap, causing the buds to drop off. These bugs also feed on cotton, a few Australian natives and some fruit trees. Once a female lays her eggs she will stand guard and protect them. In Australia we call them stink bugs because when they get disturbed, they release a very bad smell which triggers mass smell production from nearby friends. Happy weekend everyone!

Hibiscus Harlequin Bug - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Hibiscus Harlequin Bug – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Flower Friday – Dahlia

Dahlia - Photograph by Laura Lecce
Dahlia – Photograph by Laura Lecce

When I took this photo, I never imagined this was actually a dahlia, although now that I look at the buds and leaves more closely it makes sense. The dahlias my granddad used to grow always looked like giant pompoms (which is correctly spelt pompon in French, but was misheard as pompom by the English). Anyways, back on topic… dahlias have such a large array of variations because unlike most other plants which have two sets of chromosomes, they actually have eight! This allows for a multitude of genetic combinations and contributes to the wide diversity seen amongst these lovely flowers. Have a bright and cheery weekend everyone!