Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Random Photos

Here are a few random photos from the past day or two!

The leaves of the moonflower vine aren't pristine, but the flowers are still pretty.

Moonflower Vine

The heliconia 'Lady Di' is blooming.  I kept it in the house over the winter, because it's a tropical plant that can't survive the cold, but when the weather warmed, I thought it might benefit from some time outside.  It hasn't bloomed often since I've had it (the end of last summer), but to be fair, I haven't exactly catered to its needs.  (It's a heavy feeder and may need more regular watering and brighter light.)

Heliconia 'Lady Di'

The bat-face cuphea has been blooming non-stop all summer.  The flowers are small, but there are many of them going at any given time.  It stays short-- maybe 1.5 feet tall at the most, much of it shorter than that.  It's sprawled out to cover a huge area of a flower bed, considering how small it was when I bought and planted it in spring.

I've read conflicting reports over how likely this is to survive our winters.  It will die to the ground, but with luck, it will return in spring.  Supposedly, it can be grown from seeds, so I'll be trying to collect some, just in case the parent plant doesn't come back.  The seeds are located at the base of some of the spent flowers that cling to the plant.  Feel the base of the old flowers.  You'll notice a firm swollen spot where the seeds are located.  I'm not sure how long the seeds need before they're ready to collect, unfortunately...

Bat-Face Cuphea

Celosia looks so nice when backlit.


After planting a bazillion morning glory seeds and losing most of them along the way, there are a few still blooming.  Most are the 'Grandpa Ott's' variety-- dark, rich purple.  

'Grandpa Ott's' Morning Glory

The podranea (pink trumpet vine) has begun blooming.  There haven't been very many flowers, but there's still time for more.  I believe it will flower until frost.

These flowers are tucked into the neighboring banana shrub, where some of the plant's vines found their way.

Podranea (Pink Trumpet Vine)

There were a couple of Gulf fritillaries on the tithonia...

Gulf Fritillary on Tithonia

Gulf Fritillary on Tithonia

Gulf Fritillary on Tithonia

Gulf Fritillary on Tithonia

That reminded me to go have a look at the passion vine, to see if there were any signs of Gulf fritillary caterpillars, this year.

Not tons of flowers, at the moment, but a few... These 'Lady Margaret' flowers are smaller than the incarnata flowers, but they show up better from a slight distance.

Passionflower 'Lady Margaret'

Passionflower 'Lady Margaret'

Passionflower 'Lady Margaret'

And yes, there are caterpillars.  Quite a few of them, in fact.  Larger ones, like these in the photos below, but also some tiny ones.  It seems likely that some of them will make it to maturity.

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars

They sure are spiky little things.  I know I wouldn't want to eat 'em.  ;o)

The spines are supposed to be soft to the touch/non-stinging (though I'm not willing to put it to the test).  The larva are poisonous if eaten.  (So keep your larva-snacking urges under control!)

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars

Apparently these caterpillars are "gregarious in small numbers"-- guess that explains why there are so many of them hanging out in groups even though the eggs are deposited individually.

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars

I don't like having my plants eaten, but I'll allow it in the case of pretty-butterflies-to-be.  I just hope they won't eat it all...