Saturday, February 20, 2010

TODAY'S FLOWERS ...Pink Shell Ginger..Alpinia zerumbet - Muschelingwer

TODAY'S FLOWERS from around the world
can be viewed here:
http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com/

Alpinia zerumbet - Shell Ginger.
Light galangal, Pink porcelain lily, Shell flower, Shell ginger, Variegated ginger,
Butterfly ginger, Japanese: gettō; Chinese: 艳山姜; pinyin: yàn shānjiāng
is a Chinese perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).
Native to eastern Asia, this plant is a rhizomatous, ever green tropical perennial
that grows in upright clumps 8–10 feet tall in tropical climates.
It bears funnel-formed flowers. Flowers have large yellow petals with red spots and stripes.

Muschel Ingwer stammt aus Ostasien.
Es handelt sich um eine immergrüne tropischen Staude mit trichterförmigen Blüten
und großen gelben Blüten mit roten Flecken und Streifen.
Sie wird ca. 8-10 Meter hoch und wächst in den Tropen.
Wird oft als Shell oder Shell-Blume bezeichnet,
weil die einzelnen rosa Blumenknospen Muscheln ähneln.


Pictures taken in Samana DR by guild-rez 2010
references Tropical Plants of the World by Jens G. Rohwer

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Hellebore flower power at the Winter Olympics - "Vancouver Medaillon"

Hellebore flower power at the Winter Olympics


Vancouver Medallion Hellebore planting graces Stanley Park The Garden Club of Vancouver
and Valleybrook Gardens are thrilled to select and name "Vancouver Medallion" Hellebore.

This terrific selection ('Candy Love') originated in a Belgian nursery and was introduced very recently to North American gardeners.

The Garden Club of Vancouver generously donated 750 plants to the Vancouver Parks Board,
and these were planted up in recognition of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
There are very few Winter Olympic locales that can boast Vancouver's mild temperatures at sea level and snowy peaks close by.
With this in mind and the further knowledge that the greater International community views Canada as an "artic-like" environment,
the Garden Club believes this is an excellent opportunity
to showcase the diverse winter climate through the introduction of a new winter-blooming Hellebore.

In association with John Schroeder of Valleybrook Gardens the Garden Club selected Helleborus "Vancouver Medallion" for this project.

The display of 750 blooming specimens in one of the great urban greenspaces of the world,
Stanley Park, will showcase this new plant and be a perennial legacy for years to come.
In addition, "Vancouver Medallion" will be available for home gardeners to purchase through local nurseries and garden centres.

references: Perennials.com Newsletter
pictures: internet
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Bougainvillea - tropical flowers series

Bougainvillea is a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. The plant was discovered in Brazil in 1768, by Philibert Commerçon, French Botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation. is a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. The plant was discovered in Brazil in 1768, by Philibert Commerçon, French Botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville during his voyage of circumnavigation.
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Die Bougainvillea, selten auch Drillingsblume genannt, sind eine Pflanzengattung, die zur Familie der Wunderblumengewächse (Nyctaginaceae) gehört. Es gibt etwa 18 Arten. Die Bougainvillea-Arten stammen ursprünglich aus Südamerika. Die Züchtungen gedeihen inzwischen in allen subtropischen Gebieten bis ins südliche Mittelmeergebiet. Der Gattungsname ehrt den französischen Seefahrer und Entdecker Louis Antoine de Bougainville.

Selected references: Tropical Plants of the World by Jens G. Rohwer
Pictures by guild-rez 02/2010 Samana DR

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Melanerpes striatus - Haitispecht


The Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Melanerpes striatus, is a medium sized woodpecker endemic to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
Their back is covered in yellow and black stripes. Males have a dark red stripe from their forehead to their neck while females the red stripe extends from the nape to the neck only. Their tail base is brilliantly red while the tail itself is black. The rump is olive-grey.
Unlike most woodpeckers the Hispaniolan Woodpecker is a social species that takes advantage of having a large number of individual adult birds in the colony to protect a nesting bank or tree.
Their habitat, which is restricted to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, extends from the coasts, over the deserts to the mountains of the island.





Der Haitispecht (Melanerpes striatus) ist eine Vogelart aus der Familie der Spechte (Picidae). Er ist ein Endemit der Karibikinsel Hispaniola und der südlich davon gelegenen, unbewohnten Isla Beata.
Haitispechte brüten das ganze Jahr über, Hauptbrutzeit sind jedoch die Monate Februar bis Juli. Sie brüten einzeln oder in Kolonien mit 3 bis 26 besetzten Höhlen in ein bis drei zusammenstehenden Bäumen. Dabei nisten die dominanten Paare in den höchsten Höhlen. Die Höhlen werden von beiden Geschlechtern, vor allem aber vom Männchen in 2 bis 11 m Höhe vor allem in toten Bäumen, aber auch in lebenden Palmen, säulenförmigen Kakteen und Telegrafenmasten gebaut.
In der Dominikanischen Republik gilt er als Schädling.
Er hackt Löcher in die Schale von Kakaofrüchten um das Fruchtfleisch zu fressen, wodurch Schädlinge und Mikroorganismen eindringen können. Schätzungsweise 4 % der Früchte werden so geschädigt.


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going bananas.. Musa - Musaceae.. Bananen


pictures taken in Samana DR 2010

Giant Leopard Moth


Musa is one of three genera in the family Musaceae; it includes bananas and plantains. There are over 50 species of Musa with a broad variety of uses. The word "banana" came via Iberian from a West African language circa 1597 and has since found its way into most Western languages. The scientific name for the genus is similar to and possibly derived from the Arabic, Persian mawz/mauz (موز) or Turkish (muz) names for the fruit.
Though they grow as high as trees, banana and plantain plants are not woody and their apparent "stem" is just the bases of the huge leaf stalks. Thus they are technically gigantic herbs.
Musa species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Giant Leopard Moth and other Hypercompe species including H. albescens (only recorded on Musa), H. eridanus and H. icasia.
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Die Bananen (Musa) sind eine Pflanzengattung in der Familie der Bananengewächse (Musaceae) innerhalb der einkeimblättrigen Pflanzen. In der Gattung gibt es rund 100 Arten. Einige Arten bilden essbare Früchte, von denen diejenigen der Art Musa × paradisiaca zum Teil für die Nahrungsmittelproduktion angebaut werden. Die essbaren Früchte sind reich an diversen Vitaminen (Vitamin A und C), Mineralstoffen (insbes. Phosphor, Eisen, Kalium, Magnesium, Mangan, Kupfer), Zucker und Ballaststoffen.
Die Bananen (Musa) sind eine Pflanzengattung in der Familie der Bananengewächse (Musaceae) innerhalb der einkeimblättrigen Pflanzen. In der Gattung gibt es rund 100 Arten. Einige Arten bilden essbare Früchte, von denen diejenigen der Art Musa × paradisiaca zum Teil für die Nahrungsmittelproduktion angebaut werden. Die essbaren Früchte sind reich an diversen Vitaminen (Vitamin A und C), Mineralstoffen (insbes. Phosphor, Eisen, Kalium, Magnesium, Mangan, Kupfer), Zucker und Ballaststoffen.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Reference: wikipedia ® pictures guild-rez


Monday, February 15, 2010

Gliricidia sepium, Fabaceae


Gliricidia sepium

Gliricidia is a medium size leguminous tree belonging to the family Fabaceae and
and can grow to 10 to 12 meters high.
It is considered as the second most importance multi-purpose legume tree,
surpassed only by Leucaena leucocephala.
The bark is smooth and its color can range from a whitish gray to deep red-brown. It has composite leaves that can be 30 cm long. Each leaf is composed of leaflets that are about 2 to 7 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide. The flowers are located on the end of branches that has no leaves.
These flowers have a bright pink to lilac color that is tinged with white. A pale yellow spot is usually at the flower's base. The tree's fruit is a pod which is about 10 to 15 cm in length. It is green when unripe and becomes yellow-brown when it reaches maturity. The pod produces 4 to 10 round brown seeds . The tree is used in many tropical and sub-tropical countries for various purposes such as live fencing, fodder, coffee shade, firewood, green manure and rat poison.
Live fences can be grown from 1.5 m to 2.0 m stakes of Gliricidia sepium in just a month.
G. sepium is also used for its medicinal and insect repellent properties. Farmers in Latin America often wash their livestock with a paste made of crushed G. sepium leaves to ward off torsalos. In the Philippines, the extract obtained from its leaves is used to remove external parasites.
G. sepium is a fast growing ruderal species that takes advantage of slash and burn practices in its native range. Its swift propagation has caused it to be considered as a weed in Jamaica. Because it is easily propagated and grows quickly, it has also been suggested that this species may be planted to reduce topsoil erosion in the initial stages of reforesting denuded areas, an intermediate step to be taken before introducing species that take longer to grow.
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Gliricidia sepium ist ein kleiner, laubabwerfender Baum (zur Trocken- und Blütezeit);
Blätter gefiedert, ähnlich Cassia;
Fiederunterseits heller grün mit dunklen Flecken ;
Blüten rosafarben, in dichten Trauben gedrängt, dicht am Zweig stehend;
Zweige oft rutenförmig in den Himmel ragend,
oft als Hecke oder als Zaunpfähle gepflanzt und wie Weiden zurückgeschnitten.
Heimat: tropisches Amerika
Blütezeit: Februar - April
Bemerkungen:
In Ceylon (Sri Lanca) 1899 eingeführt, als Heckenpflanze mittlerweile pantropisch verbreitet. Die Blätter dienen als Viehfutter, zermahlene Samen, Rinde und Blätter werden mit Reis oder Mais vermischt zu Rattengift-Pellets verarbeitet. In seinem Ursprungsgebiet heißt dieser Baum 'mataraton', was ebenfalls 'Rattentöter' bedeutet. Er wird als Schattenbaum in Kakaoplantagen eingesetzt, sein hartes, rotbraunes Holz wird ebenfalls genutzt, die Blüten werden gebraten gegessen.

My sources:
http://www.tropicalforages.info/ Australia
Tropical Plants of the World by Jens G. Rohwer, Ph.D. Germany
Nature of the Forest - Costa Rica and Beyond by Adrian Forsyth
and Wikipedia
pictures by guild-rez 02/2010 -
Las Terrenas, Samana - Dominican Republic
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Firecracker Bush (Hamelia patens) - Feuerbusch

Firecracker Bush (Hamelia patens)
Hamelia patens is a large perennial shrub or small tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, that is native to the American subtropics and tropics. Its range extends from Florida in the southern United States to as far south as Argentina.
Hummingbirds are attracted by its flowers and other birds feed on the fruit, both of which will also forage on small insects found in the vicinity, helping to keep down pests.
The fruit have a refreshing, acidic taste and are also edible by humans;
in Mexico, they are made into a
fermented drink.
Common names include Firebush, Hummingbird Bush, Scarlet Bush and Redhead.

photographed in El Portillo, Las Terranas DR.
Der Feuerbusch (Hamelia patens) ein Strauch oder kleiner Baum, der zur Familie der Rötegewächse (Rubiaceae) gehört, wird normalerweise ein bis drei Meter hoch und trägt auffallend kleine, röhrenförmige, orange bis rot leuchtende Blüten.
Das Nektarangebot der vielen Blüten lockt in den südlichen Gefilden Kolibris und Schmetterlinge an. Sie sorgen damit für die Bestäubung. Vögel sind es auch, die die Samen weitertragen. Sie fressen gern die kugeligen Beeren, die am Feuerbusch tiefrot erscheinen und sich schwarz färben, wenn sie reif sind.

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