May 15, 2008

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, May 2008

LilyHippeastrum striatum

I finally remembered to participate in the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day again! These are some of the flowers blooming in my La Ceiba, Honduras, garden today. I'm saving some photos for next month (when they will still be blooming) since there are so many and concentrating on the ones which may not be blooming in June due to the climate or external forces (usually leaf cutter ants).

LilyThis is a double variety of the same bulb shown at the top of the article. I've guessed that this is Hippeastrum striatum, but would like to hear from anyone who knows. It was just called a lirio (lily) when I bought it. I love the orange color.

The bulb is prolific and produces tons of offshoots. I started with seven bulbs and have hundreds now - not bad for a $3.50 investment. Each plant produces 2-3 blooms which each last for only a day. I think that it blooms about twice per year but I haven't kept very good track of it. This flower is special to me simply because it isn't one of the ones that bloom year round. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

AllamandaAllamanda cathartica 'Hendersonii,' common name Allamanda, Yellow Trumpet or Golden Trumpet. Allamanda is a tremendous bloomer. It blooms 365 days a year in my Honduran garden. This vine has gotten so large and heavy that it frequently tumbles over the iron support that it is growing on.

CaladiumSome caladiums grow wild in Honduras. The most common one that I've seen in the north coast area is a white-spotted one with red veins. They generally disappear during the dry season and return during the rainy season. I think that I bought this one, so it may be a hybrid. Botanical names? We don't do that in Honduras!

Mussaend philippicaMussaenda philippica is said to be a boring tree as it is covered with these huge extravagant blooms 365 days a year. ;-) I love the peachy color. The entire tree also has been completely denuded by leaf cutter ants on many occasions, as you can probably see in this photo. At least the ants leave the flowers. :-(

Shampoo ginger Zingiber spectabilis is called Shampoo ginger because the roots or flowers (I'm not sure which) are sometimes used for shampoo and are said to help grow the hair back.

Bleeding heartClerodendrum thomsonae (Bleeding heart vine) would be a reliable bloomer in this tropical climate if it weren't for the zompopos (leaf cutter ants) which devastate the vine every few months by eliminating every single leaf on the plant. As the flowers dry, they turn a pale pink color. The vine naturally grows so gracefully around the iron trellis. I wish all vines were so well behaved.

Red HibiscusThis variegated Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is quite large, at least 10 feet tall. I don't know the name of the variety. It may be Snowflake or Snow Queen. It has suffered from leaf cutter ants and neglect in pruning. I think that we need to take some drastic measures soon to get it into shape.

You can see more photos of these and other plants in my garden here. There is also a nice slide show of photos from my garden in June 2007 here.

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