Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Botanical gardens vs. winter 07

This year, visits to the gardens are even better because I now have an Olympus that takes close-ups. I'll need some practice with it, though. A friend and fellow gardener was with me, trying out her equally new but much fancier Nikon on the flowers.

The amaryllis (actually hippeastrum—why can't we have just one name, preferably the correct one?) show is in bloom now. It was scheduled for all of January, but the flowers were a bit slow to perform and waited until mid-month. It's an interesting difference between museum exhibitions and this type of show—you really are at the mercy of nature. Human plans and effort can only do so much.

Anyway, here's one:

I've never been too interested in distinguishing between the various hybrids of this plant—they seem aimed chiefly at producing different colors—but they are beautiful.

Also at this time of year, the thunbergia mysorensis is in full bloom; it forms a dramatic entrance to the Victorian/herb greenhouse. The plant in the background is codiaeum (croton).

Here's my best close-up, of what I believe is a miltoniopsis orchid. Signage is always a bit of an issue at the Gardens. Labels are scattered here and there but often the plants move and the labels don't.

In fact, I'm a tiny bit peeved. There's more information provided about the model circus train installed in the Palm Dome than about most of the plants.

Still, it was a balmy break on a very cold day. And this am we had combined snow and hail. It's winter.


Jenn said...

"amaryllis (actually hippeastrum—why can't we have just one name, preferably the correct one?)"

I go nuts with the geranium/ pelargorium misnomers. People are so BELLIGERENT that they are going to say GERANIUM. Sigh.

And here I've been using amaryllis without knowing I should use hippeastrum. Thanks for the heads-up!

You got anymore I should take note of? I know that Cimicifugia is now Actaea. Do they do this just to drive us crazy?

Annie in Austin said...

Hippeastrum just doesn't have the same quality - would it sound the same if the little girl taking piano lessons in "The Music Man" were called Hippeastrum instead of Amaryllis?

EAL, I wonder if the lack of signage is deliberate - some places don't like to label rare and costly varieties because collectors are not always ethical in their pursuit of beautiful plants, as told in The Orchid Thief. Then again, maybe model train gardeners get more respect!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose