Friday Flower – Desert Rose

desert-rose

This stunning pink flower is called the dessert rose. Not only is it an impressive flower, but the plant itself is also very unique looking and an attractive plant to have in the garden or as a bonsai. It is native to Africa and The Middle East and is a close relative of the Frangipani and Oleander. The flowers come in various shades of pinks and reds. African hunters use the sap found in the trunk and roots to coat arrows as it contains cardiac glycosides which interfere with the contraction of heart muscle and is extremely toxic. These huge specimens that I photographed are found in the desert section of a stunning gardens in Singapore called Gardens By The Bay. Happy weekend everyone!!!

dessert-rose-plant

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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.