I thought I’d post a sunny photo today since we’ve been living under grey skies all week and I’m about to collapse into a no-sun, low-energy coma. Although, scrolling through folders of photos of us frolicking in the Caribbean a few months ago is kind of miserable in its own way.
I took this photo on the first of a short four-day stay in Barbados, where I saw lots of wonderfully fragrant fragipani (Plumeria) trees in bloom. If you have never smelled a real frangipani bloom I hope you get the chance someday. They are extremely sweet, soft and rich. For many they epitomize tropical floral fragrance.
We walked for miles through the countryside on that first day trying to see as much as we could. It’s a good thing I soaked it all in while I had the chance because I don’t believe I saw a single frangipani through the following three weeks. Frangipani plants do not like their roots to be waterlogged. Barbados has a MUCH drier climate than Dominica so I figure that has got to be the reason.
Here’s a link to the photo and story of the very first frangipani plant I had a chance to see and smell, ten years ago.
I’ve seen torch ginger (Etlingera elatior) flowers in floral shops and thought they were interesting, but it’s quite another thing to see the waxy flowers in amongst the massive leaves and stalks of a 20 foot plant. As our friend David pointed out, It’s amazing how much plant it takes to support the flowers.
I took this photo underneath the canopy of a very large tree fern last year in Cuba. In hindsight I realize that while the area was mountainous, the lower landscape was quite hot and dry. Some lower areas were tree-filled and lush, but when I look back on pictures it is apparent that the region was primarily scrubby grassland.
The only explanation I have for the success of a tree fern in this particular spot is that it was a part of a tended garden. Someone watered it daily!
On a previous trip to Cuba we saw tree ferns growing in the mountains but it has taken me this long to work out that tree ferns, being ferns, most likely prefer cooler, shadier, and moist locations. Duh!
Dominica on the other hand has a lot of rain forest. I expect to see several tree ferns growing wild up in the mountains. Exciting!
Photographed at Jardin Botanique de Montreal.
I’ve mentioned my cute little colloquial name for this plant before. The real name of this particular pink type is ‘Purple Plum’. The sign accompanying the plant also gave it the common name Tailflower.
They make it too easy.
It’s the tall plant in the foreground with what looks like red flowers, but are actually bracts (modified leaves).