Considering the wide breadth of plant photos I took through our month in the Caribbean, it comes as a surprise how often I keep reaching for images of ginger family plants to show here. Perhaps it is because there are just so many more than I ever imagined, or perhaps because the remainder of he winter has been gray and these flowers are bold and BRIGHT. Whatever the reason, here’s another one.
The spiral growth pattern of this one is unique and I believe we saw a variegated version of it as well, but try as I might, I was unable to find a photo in my files. Meanwhile, I only have about 30 more rolls of film to develop (about 360 images) from that trip alone! There is also a bag of film with rolls dating back to last August.
I suppose it could be in there somewhere.
I showed a photo of this plant when the leaves are fully emerged in the post about Erika’s unusual house plants.
This is what it looks like when the tuber is just beginning to come out of dormancy. At this stage the plant brings to mind a flattened potato crossed with an African violet that has exceptionally soft and velvety leaves.
Here’s a photo of a flower that had just fallen from the larger plant:
If you’d like to learn more, I’ve found this page to be very helpful. It includes photos of other Sinningias in their native habitat in Brazil, which goes a long way to explaining the kind of growing conditions it prefers.
Crown of thorns (Euphorbia milii) is a tough-as-nails, mean SOB of a succulent from Madagascar that is commonly grown as a houseplant here in North America. Those thorns will get you and make you curse like a sailor.
I love it!
I spotted this one in Barbados growing along the front fence in front of a small home. The plant was the size of a small bush and bursting with tiny bright red blooms. Oh to have a crown of thorns flanking my front garden. That should keep the Friday night bar hoppers looking for an outdoor urinal out of the garden.
I’ve come to associate the plant with the Arcade Fire song, Crown of Love.
“In my heart, there’s flowers growing.”
And inversely, these are the flowers I always imagine growing in the singer’s heart.
I love poinsettias here in the tropics. They’re so gangling and colourful. And the best part is that those holiday gift plants that typically go to pot in North America can be planted out in the garden and grown into a massive bush.
View a few more photos: 1, 2.
Learn how you can save your potted poinsettia even if you don’t live in the tropics.
I have seen these both cultivated and growing wild here in Dominica.