Lily Lion Heart

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Habenaria medusa

Habenaria medusa is a lovely orchid whose flowers conjure up images of the spectacular plumage of the beautiful Snowy Egret. The plant is found in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra at elevations around 600 meters. They are a potato like tuber which start to grow in Spring, and flower in the Summer. The flowers have now finished blooming which means that the cycle of dormancy will now begin slowly. While the plant dies back it stores all its nutrients back into the tuber for next years growth. It is not easy to grow, but well worth the effort, I mean just look at those flowers!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Native plants and its wildlife

This past weekend I made my way to Humber Bay Park a waterfront park. I am an avid birder, but have been so busy with the garden this spring/summer that I have not gone birding, (well only from my backyard). This pastime brings me a great deal of pleasure.
I grew up with domesticated birds such as budgies, canaries and finches, and have loved birds since I was a young girl. My recent trip to South Africa re-connected me with my love of birds and birding.
The Park was teeming with life from the Yellow Warbler to the Northern Mockingbird , Red-Necked Grebe, and the Great Egret to name a few. Below are some shots of the wildlife enjoying the seeds, and nectar that the native plants provide in this unique ecosystem.
American Goldfinch (Echinacea purpurea)

Monarch Butterfly (Solidago sp.)

Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Post from Windsor

This past Civic Day long weekend I spent in Windsor, my hometown. My Fathers' garden was a veritable pu pu platter of wildlife. The wildlife seen was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird both male and female, Hummingbird Hawk-Moth, Immature Red-tailed Hawk, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Monarch and Eastern Swallowtail Butterflies. The common residents were the Sparrows, Cardinals, Robins, Mourning Doves, but certainly not to be diminished. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the Nuthatch, Hawk or Goldfinch. I am always envious of the wildlife that frequents his garden year round. I have two hummingbird feeders with many lovely plants to further entice them, but they are elusive in my garden this year. I have not spotted one sipping the fruitful bounties of my nectar. Where are they?

Arum italicum ( berries)

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth ( Buddleia flowers)

Eastern Swallowtail

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Dynamic Dierama

Dierama called Fairy Fishing Rods or Fairy Wands contain approximately 45 species endemic to the eastern parts of South Africa extending to Ethiopia in East Africa.
Dierama is an evergreen, mainly summer growing geophyte. It has long, narrow tough fibrous foliage and pendulous bell-shaped flowers in shades of white, yellow, pink, magenta, mauve or maroon. It is recognized by its wiry, usually drooping spikes, and it can be quite dramatic in the garden. The rootstock is a corm. I currently have 7 month old seedlings of D. igneum. Below are my photographs in habitat from my recent trip to the Eastern Cape, RSA.

D. atrum (Quanti)

D. pulcherrimum (Amatola Mtns)

D. reynoldsii (Maclear)

D. pauciflorum (Drakensberg Mtns)

D. robustum (Drakensberg Mtns)