This is the 3rd post in the Series of Picture Poster-Flowers. The following blog posts have been separated into pictures with flowers, bees, birds, insects and others. Each blog post will contain about six to eight pictures in each series; and there will be more than a blog post for each section.
Rotheca myricoides. Common names: Blue Butterfly Bush, Blue Glory Bower, Blue Oxford Bush, Blue Cambridge Bush. A tropical woody evergreen shrub that reaches 1.8-2.7 m tall.
The leaves are elliptic with serrate leaf margin. Crushed leaves emit a pungent odour.
Flowers: Flowers resemble butterflies, having 4 white to light blue, lateral petals and 1 blue to purplish blue, downward-pointing petal. The long, white to bluish stamens arch over the petals and serve as a landing platform for insect pollinators. Flowers are arranged in branched inflorescences known as panicles and are located at the branch tips.
Fruits: Dry fruits are known as schizocarps. Picture taken at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
There are many varieties of heliconia, including smaller heliconia psittacorum types, and other ‘clumping’ types that grow in a cluster. Taken from the Greek word Ἑλικώνιος (helikṓnios), this genus of flowering plant comes from the Heliconiaceae family. The majority of the 194 known species are native to tropical America, with a few variants native to the islands of Maluku and the western Pacific.
Many species of Heliconia are found in tropical wet forests and rainforests, with several of the species being cultivated solely for ornamental use. A few variants are naturalised in Gambia, Florida and Thailand.
This tropical herbaceous plant is part of the zingiberales family, which also includes the bird-of-paradise, bananas, ginger and cannas.
Three quotes on an “Egotist” which I found amusing! Sharing them here on a slide featuring Plumeria obtusa ‘Singapore White’.
Common Names : Frangipani, Great White Frangipani, Temple Tree, Cempaka, Kemboja, Singapore Plumeria. Large shrub or small tree grows up to 12 m, with an irregular or rounded crown. The glossy leaves are obovate with blunt ends. They are arranged in a spiral cluster with most leaves concentrated at branch tips.
Flowers: Flowers are borne in clusters, occurring mainly at the branch tips. Petals are large and waxy, white with a small yellow center. Their fragrance is strong and especially intense at night to attract pollinating moths. In the morning, many flowers drop off. The tree flowers throughout the year in tropical environments.
In many islands in the Pacific, women can discreetly declare their marital status by placing a Plumeria flower on the right ear if they are single or on the left if they are married. In Hawaii, the flowers are very popular and often placed in floral leis.
Aloe aristata. Common Names : Lace Aloe. Growth Form: Small, clump forming succulent with individual rosettes 12-15cm across in diameter.
Foliage: Leaves dark green, 6-8 cm long by 2cm wide, with white turbercles on both the upper and undersurface of the leaves. Edges of leaves with a row of soft spines; tips of leaves drawn out into a long, soft bristle.
Flowers: Inflorescence to 30cm long. Flowers tubular,2.5-3.5cm long, orange – orange red, greyish green at the tips of the petals. In Singapore, the flowers are visited by the Olive backed Sunbird for nectar.
Spiral ginger or Ginger Lily (Costus afer) is a tropical perennial herb known as a medicinal plant in tropical Africa. Different plant parts are used in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses or conditions such as cough, nausea, arthritis, sore throat, epileptic attacks, worms and haemorrhoids, jaundice, urethral discharges, venereal diseases, colic, tachycardia, stomach discomforts, malaria, eye conditions, diarrhoea, and leprosy. The leaves are edible which have an acid flavour. The rhizome is occasionally used as a spice or flavouring. The strips from the stem are made into basket and the stem bark is used to make table mats, papers, and baskets as well.
Pachystachys lutea. Picture taken at Singapore Botanic gardens.
Common Names : Lollypops, Golden Candles, Golden Shrimp Plant, Lollipop Plant, Yellow Shrimp Plant. A perennial and evergreen shrub, growing up 1 m tall.
Foliage: Dark green, lance-shaped, simple leaves, measuring up to 15 cm long, and are oppositely arranged along the stems. Flowers: The true white flowers are narrow and tubular in shape. Each flower is partly covered by showy and overlapping yellow bracts which make up the 4-sided inflorescence. The yellow bracts resemble the overlapping scales on a shrimp, hence the common name.
The genus Pachystachys means thick spick in Greek, which refers to the flowering spike inflorescence.
The specific epithet lutea means yellow, which refers to the inflorescence colour.
Heliconia, derived from the Greek word Ἑλικώνιος, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Heliconiaceae. Most of the known species are native to the tropical Americas, but a few are indigenous to certain islands of the western Pacific and Maluku. Wikipedia.
Did you know: Common names for the genus include lobster-claws, toucan peak, wild plantains or false bird-of-paradise. The last term refers to their close similarity to the bird-of-paradise flowers (Strelitzia). Collectively, these plants are also simply referred to as heliconias. Pictures taken at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Common Names : Peacock Flower, Barbados Flower Fence, Flower Fence, Jambol Merak, Cana, Barbados Pride, Red Bird of Paradise, Paradise Flower, Flamboyant Tree, Gold Mohur, Pride of Barbados, Jambul Merak
Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
Medicinal (The Indonesians pound the roots and give it to children afflicted with convulsions. The bark is used to treat diarrhea. The flowers are claimed to be effective against intestinal worms and cure sores. The leaves are believed to have purgative properties and used to induce abortion and for fever. The west Indians pound the flowers and leaves into a decoction to treat fever. The seeds are used to cure breathing difficulty and chest pain.)