Monday, August 15, 2016

August Bloom Day

We had a wetter than usual August with some really hot dry days early in the month.

Biggest and brightest first: Caesalpinia pulcherrima and Tecoma stans. We call them Pride of Barbados and Esperanza. Seen here against a wall of corn in the field behind.

 Tillandsia cyanea, one of three Bromeliads blooming now. A Billbergia bloomed earlier in the season.
Okay, T. cyanea has bracts. The blooms are tiny and blue and stick out of those bracts, soon.

This  Neoreglia Bromeliad has white buds in the center, the tiny blue blossoms come and go.

 I think this might be Guzmania Bromeliad; I tend to easily forget their names. 

 The only ginger that I have that blooms. Hidden Ginger, Curcuma petiolata.

Coral Porterweed, Stachytarpeta spp.

 Blue Porterweed with a Gulf Fritillary butterfly. Porterweeds have lush foliage following plentiful rain. Butterflies love the tiny blooms on those long whips.

 Red Shrimp Plant and White Shrimp Plant.
The white Justicia is just bracts now, the tiny pink flowers have dried. It will commence bloom again as the days get shorter. There is plenty of lush foliage.
 Pentas. The red was the first Pentas I ever planted. This is rooted from that same plant or another cutting from it. Pentas is one of the finest butterfly plants and can be kept as a house plant over winter.

Tithonia, another butterfly magnet, was slow to grow from seed and return this year. I usually depend on last year's seed pods to reseed themselves in place.

Pink Pentas, 'Miss Julie's Favorite'   

I saved the biggest bloom of all for last: a female Cycad flower. There are seeds inside this big round nest of a blossom. I've written before about saving the big orange seeds, soaking and germinating them and bringing a seed to produce a new cycad.

The first time I did that, a squirrel destroyed my plant when I put it outside. I have two small cycads in the greenhouse that took a long time to grow. I think they were from year before last and now they're just small plants. Supposedly Cycads only bloom every 4 years or so. This one loves to produce more often. I feel compelled to save some seeds every time.

Seeds are what blooms are about. I failed to plant Zinnias this summer, the only thing that I miss.

Happy Bloom Day. Do visit Carol at May Dreams Garden, leave a comment, link your blog with  August Blooms and go see blossoms all over the world through her links.



  1. *sigh*...I lust after your Caesalpinia pulcherrima and the Bromeliads...not to mention that Cycad!

  2. That Cycad flower is impressive, Jean! I've been keeping my eyes open for a Caesalpinia that doesn't break the bank here but the local garden centers only seem to sell the plants in jumbo pots at exorbitant coast. I planted Tecoma the year before last. It looked like a goner last summer but, while still small and not in flower, the plant looks far happier this year so I'm practicing patience.

  3. I can tell our climates are very different! I only recognized one or two of your flowers! :) Thanks for sharing you garden. I enjoyed it!

  4. Would I need to dig up a penta or root a piece to keep it inside for winter? I would have to keep it in the house since I have no greenhouse.

  5. Wow - that Cycad... Impressive that you have managed to grow them from seed. I left mine out last winter (zone 8) and it's not looking particularly happy, although it is alive. I'm trying to nurse it back to health... You have such fabulous blooms, and I'm very intrigued about the Pentas. I've lately felt the need to try to plant more things for butterflies, and those would be perfect!

  6. It must be so satisfying to have your own sown little Cycads, even if it take years before it's something.

  7. Wow! The Cycad is amazing! I don't grow any tropicals at all, so I enjoy seeing all your different blooms, including the Bromeliads, which are lovely. I always plant a few pentas, though, because the butterflies do love them. I've never tried to overwinter them, however; hmm, one more plant to squeeze into my tiny houseplant area.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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