Interesting flowers

A summer walk through the garden reveals some less typical flower forms and plant behaviours.

The buds on my miniature lotus have been very slowly growing in size over a number of weeks. Finally on a sunny morning the first one opened; by the end of the week the petals are ready to drop leaving the characteristic seed pod.

In just one day all the leaves from the Queensland Bottle Tree  Brachychiton rupestris had dropped, leaving just these vibrant bundles of new leaves at the branch tips. The first time this happened I was sure the tree was dying, but it is just part of its growth pattern. If it is to flower, all the leaves drop first, and it will loose leaves even if no flowers follow. This slow growing tree has flowered in the past, in late December.

The pink Jacobinia Justica carnea is flowering beautifully at the moment and my white one is covered in buds. The Pineapple Lilies have lots of flower stems about to open, I hope the weather will be kind to them as they shoot up and open into lovely fragrant flowers. Wind and rain can quickly knock them over.

I bought a pot of Ruscus acueatus at an open garden many years ago thinking it would be a good filler for a dry shady spot. It is still in the pot and doing really well so I should get on with planting it properly. It is a mediterranean plant known as Butchers Broom, and was used for sweeping tasks as it is really stiff. The “leaves” are broad, flat sections of stem that photosynthesise, so the tiny flowers are not in the middle of the leaf at all.

A lilly pilly Syzygium australe grown as a standard in a pot, has the most dainty of flowers and the Murraya paniculata has been filling the garden with its heady scent every evening for months.


Finally, a cutting I was given in early December has taken root and is now sending up its first new leaf. It is a geranium with very deep red flowers. Thank you Jenni.


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