White Bat Flower

25 10 2011

I photographed this exotic White Bat Flower (Tacca integrifolia), originating from Southeast Asia, in the conservatory at the U.S. Botanic Garden. This is undoubtedly the oddest-looking flower I’ve ever photographed! A tender tropical perennial, it is actually part of the yam family (Dioscoreaceae). Learn more about this unusual plant here.

From what I’ve read, they’re a bit challenging to grow. Learn more details here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Thread-leaf Agave

25 10 2011

Originally from Mexico, Thread-leaf Agave (Agave filifera) is an evergreen perennial succulent. The name “filifera” means “carrying threads.” It thrives in dry and hot climates and is drought-tolerant and low maintenance. It prefers full sun to light shade and needs regular watering in summer, but must be kept dry in winter.

Tequila is made from the leaves and rope, food, soap and other products are made from the fibers and pulp (pretty industrious plant, I’d say!). Agave filifera rarely flowers, but when it does, greenish flowers bloom on a 6-foot tall spike. Some can bloom annually, while others only bloom every 30-40 years (As a gardener obsessed, I’ve developed a store of patience—contrary to what my family and friends might say!—but I doubt I’d have the patience to wait for that show!) The flowers turn maroon as they age.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Honeybee on Chrysanthemum

25 10 2011

Photographed in the National Garden outside the U.S. Botanic Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Geranium Pelargonium x hortorum

25 10 2011

I think this might be the specialty ‘Crystal Palace Gem’ Pelargonium, although it wasn’t identified at the National Garden. I was drawn to the intense orange-red flowers against yellow-chartreuse leaves.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Echeveria setosa

25 10 2011

Echeveria setosa, a member of the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae), is native to Mexico and is commonly known as the Mexican fire cracker or firecracker plant. It blooms from early to late April with bright red and yellow flowers. Echeverias are my favorite type of succulent and these on display in large glazed pots at the U.S. Botanic Garden are stunning! Photographed in the First Ladies’ Water Garden, part of the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Blue Ginger

25 10 2011

Blue Ginger (Dichorisandra thyrsiflora), photographed in the conservatory at the U.S. Botanic Garden

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Monday sky

25 10 2011

Beauty can even be found in a strip mall parking lot!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.