Friday, November 11, 2011

Scilla, unknown species

This is a scilla that I had from a small nursery without any label. Flowering period is now and the inflorescence is complex. I guess Scilla latifolia but I'm not sure. Any ideas?

Post scriptum 22 November 2011: I visited last week the Botanical Garden of Barcellona, and was happy to be able to confirm my species diagnosis. It's Scilla latfolia. It's a nice species growing on Tenerife and Lanzerote.  So it's clear for me that I have an additional potted plant, this species will not survive our winter temperatures: 
Scilla latifolia at Barcelona Botanical Garden, note the previous inflorescences with aboundant seed capsules.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Banksia canei 2

Faded inflorescence.
Unexpected some inflorescences developed seed capsules. I will have to wait at least for a year before the seeds are ripened.

Protea repens white

The name 'repens', meaning 'creeping', is misleading as Protea repens is an upright, branched shrub, which can reach a height of 4.5 m. The botanist Thunberg named the same species Protea mellifera, referring to the sweet nectar produced by the flowers. The abundantly produced nectar was collected in the past to be boiled into a kind of sugary syrup.
Protea repens occurs in the Southern part of South Africa from the flats, coastal forelands to the mountain slopes at altitudes up to 1500 metres. The flowering period varies from winter to summer depending on the origin of the plants. The flower colour also varies from a creamy white to deep red.  
Flower bud
Opening flower
My Protea repens this sommer as the first flowers open. 
I grow Protea repens outside in the garden with a protection from too much rain in Summer and snow in Winter. It's fair winter hardy surviving -6°C without leaves damage. In the winter I additionally protect the plant with nonwoven tissue.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cymbidium tracyanum

This is an epiphytic orchid with 25-50 cm long, linear leaves and ovoid pseudobulbs. Pendant racemes produce numerous, flowers in autumn (October to November ). In my experience the scent is not so strong as usually reported for this species.

Details of the labellum.

Hylocereus undatus 1

This is one of the few species of cactus that produce edible fruits. Accidentally in 1996 visiting Viet Nam I focused on this species eating a lot of refreshing fruits sold at the road borders. To be honest I had no idea about this species and the other relative that produce similar fruits, also called "Dragon Fruit". Returning to Switzerland few weeks later, I had one cutting in my bag.

First time blooming was sever years later and the first attempt to produce fruits was negative. But lucky enough, after that, if I'm able to pollinate the flowers the same night that they open, I can harvest some fruits. The taste, to be honest, is not overwhelming but is still interesting to have some "strange" fruits to show!

This picture shows the flower at 8 p.m. still closed.

Three hours later the flower is fully open and ready to be pollinated.

72 hours after the pollination, the function of the flower is ended. 

Hylocereus undatus 2

24 days after pollination.

46 days after pollination the fruit is ripen.

The faded flower is still attached to the fruit.


Pleione maculata

This is a very interesting autumn blooming Pleione growing in China, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Laos, Myanmar, Northern Thailand and Vietnam at elevations from 600 to 2600 meters.

Brassolaeliocattleya King of Taiwan "Ta Hsin #1"

This is the first time that this trigeneric hybrid bloom in my greenhouse. The fragrance is intense. The picture shows the flowers during the opening process, they are still not completely open.