This week focuses on two terrestrial bromeliads. When you talk about bromeliad plants, most people get an image in their heads of plants growing high up in the trees. The reason for this, is the majority of bromeliads are in fact epiphytes. That is, a plant growing on another plant.
However, in the cases of Aechmea blanchetiana (The Orange Bromeliad) and Alcantarea imperialis (The Imperial Bromeliad), both of these species naturally grow directly in the ground in full sun. In fact, The Orange Bromeliad will lose its orange leaves if it gets shaded too much. The Imperial Bromeliad is the largest bromeliad species, reaching 5 feet across and its flower spike can reach 8 feet tall. This bromeliad is endemic to Brazil.
Richard Lyons Nursery has both of these bromeliads in stock.
This week’s focus will be on two tropical vines not seen very often in the landscape. The first one is a member of the Euphorbiaceae or Spurge Family. This family is best known for Poinsettias and succulents of South Africa. However, there is a tropical vine, Dalechampia dioscoreifolia or commonly called, Winged Beauty or sometimes the Costa Rican Butterfly Vine. The flowers are comprised of two conspicuous purple bracts that resemble a butterfly which surround a small inconspicuous red and white flower. Somewhat cold sensitive, and susceptible to overwatering due to poor drainage, but well worth the effort if grown in the proper conditions. It can be maintained in a container with a trellis long term which isn’t always the case for many vines.
Our second vine this week, is Passiflora citrina, or a Lemon Yellow Passion Flower. As far as I know it is the only passion vine with a yellow flower. Small in stature as far as the vine and leaves, and even the flower is on the small side as far as Passion Flowers go, but a very pretty lemon yellow flower that stands out among the foliage. Again, because this vine is small in stature, it can be maintained in a container.
Richard Lyons Nursery currently has both of these vines in stock.
Looking around the nursery in some filtered light I came across three tropical irises. Two are in the genus Neomarica, commonly called the walking irises due to the flowering stems arching to the ground after flowering and new plantlets developing where the old flowers have died. This gives the appearance of ‘walking’ along the ground. Richard Lyons Nursery has two species, caerulea which the flowers are dark blue, and longifolia which has yellow flowers. A similar looking flower, Dietes iridioides, is white, but the foliage is very narrow and strap like and the plant clumps through underground rhizomes.
Two very colorful trees are blooming all over South Florida right now. The first is the Silver or Golden Trumpet Tree. Botanically it is a Tabebuia, but the species seems to change every time I look up. Once argentea, then caraiba, and now it seems like aurea is in vogue. No matter, you can’t miss it with its bright yellow flowers filling the entire canopy before there are many leaves on it.
The other tree is the Pink Shower Tree. Actually there are two different species. Cassia bakeriana and Cassia javanica. More than likely, the one everyone is seeing is Cassia bakeriana, as it has bigger and fuller blossoms than the latter. It very much resembles an apple tree in bloom or perhaps a cherry tree if you’ve ever traveled to a northern temperate climate.
Richard Lyons Nursery has both of these trees for sale.
The Mango Trees are in full bloom now and the Jakfruit trees are flowering and forming fruit as well. The Sapodilla trees still have ripe fruit ready for sale. As always, Richard Lyons Nursery has a wide variety of tropical fruit trees for sale as well as ornamentals for your yard.