Sunday, October 22, 2006


Chopping, hauling and sweating this weekend after the rains lowered the branches of the larger shrubs, all the orange flowers in the garden caught my eye.

I am fairly certain this is a variety of Portea petropolitana. It was smuggled in to Hawaii from the San Francisco Strybing Arboretum by my landlords brother twenty five to thirty years ago. When some starts were placed in my care I made them happy.

Your basic Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis by its botanical name, which turned from a very desiccated grey to a plump green color in five days. It is primarily a winter bloomer so the recent rains should really set off even more bloom.

An obscure to me succulent, a Crassula species maybe that turns vibrant orange in full sun.

A closeup of the Portea petropolitana.

The camera does not do the deep burnt orange color of this dayliliy justice.

There is a surprise on the flower stem in the forground. Click the picture and then expand it to see.


Annie in Austin said...

All the Northern gardeners have been been posting wonderful photos of changing leaves, but I think you have them beat in the orange department. You could put a pumpkin in there and hardly notice its presence. I'd never heard of the Portea petropolitana, but one site says it's perfect for frog gardens.

With all this color, do you miss the changing leaves themselves back on the East Coast, or are you made nostalgic thinking about the mood & feel of autumn? We don't have much leaf color, but have plenty of leaf drop.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Having grown up in North Florida fall colors were subtle at best and generally located in swampy environs not frequented by people much. I lived in Colorado for six years and saw the Aspen turn, beautiful for sure but not the colors of the east coast.

I do have a couple of winter deciduous trees in my garden, but the leaves don't color before dropping. Many tropical trees are also quickly deciduous at some point in the year and have distinct seasonal blooming times. They are enough for me to note the change of seasons.

The big change for me here though is between wet and dry. The entire mountain has already started to change from this first rain. In a couple more days I may take a picture of it green and compare it to the before dry shot.

I am actually looking forward to getting away from all this non-stop hodge podge of color in the tropics. I fantasize about a totally green garden of textures that has a single flower that blooms one day a year.

Pam/Digging said...

All that burnt orange would make a lot of Longhorn gardeners here in Austin happy.

Annie in Austin said...

Christopher, I was thinking of you as a visitor to North Carolina when you were a kid and forgot that was a more recent development.

I do like green, but need flowers, too. When you decide what your single flower would be, please let us know -

Pam, the landcapes around Austin might look better if the homeowners planted color schemes to harmonize with their Longhorn flags, rather than go to war with it:)


Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I think just one time my parents took all five kids out of school in the middle of October to go see the fall color in North Carolina. The other times it was a summer trip.