Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hibiscus boryanus

 Hibiscus boryanus (Malvaceae)
Native to the Mascarene Islands of Mauritius, La Reunion and Rodrigues this tall shrub is an endangered and protected plant as it succumbs to habitat loss from the invasion of weed species such as Hiptage benghalensis, a plant on the 100 'Global Invasive Species' list.
I bought this Hibiscus earlier in the year from the Growing Friends Nursery at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and it has just started to flower. Flowers can be red or orange and this one looks like a combination of the two. The common names for it are fairly awful and make no sense to me as to their meaning : Le foulsapate marron or 'brown foulsapate'
and 'bastard mahot'. While the common name for Hibiscus on the islands is 'mandrinette', this is normally associated with other species such as H. liliflorus and H. fragilis.
Much of the plant conservation work associated with this and other plants is carried out by the organisation 'Conservatoire Botanique National de Mascarin'

Friday, December 12, 2014

Festive flowers

 A massed display of red and white Petunias in a large flat bowl has instant appeal.

 Pentas or 'Star Flower' are at their best right now and will flower right through the festive season. They are rain resistant and are quite happy growing in sun or shade.
These plants are from 'Ability Options Wholesale Nursery', a not for profit organisation giving support and work for people with a disability.

 The ever popular Clerodendrum tomsoniae hits the right note with its red flowers enclosed in white bracts.I grow this in a large 30cm pot so it can be moved to a more prominent location when in flower. Grown as a shrub by pruning off the long adventurous stems, it is a tough old thing which will spring back to life even after a drought.

An alternate Xmas tree? This is the large flower appearing now on a 'Pony-Tail Palm' Beaucarnea recurvata. As it has a distinctive Nordic fir tree appearance, I am very tempted to cut it for use as a table decoration. Anyone tried that?

Best wishes to all for the Festive Season