Monday, May 9, 2011

Shades of Hot, Hotter & Sizzling in Paradise

The temperatures are steadily climbing into the 90F and our backyard in paradise is also beginning to look "hot" with hues of red, yellow and orange!

We will kick off with an unknown plant. It has very attractive flowers, but no scent. It is also a nuisance in that it pops up all over the place, which alas is so often the case here with our tropical weather. The leaves are furry and heart shaped. If anyone can identify it, I would be pleased to know what it is.
Mystery plant
 Below left is Spicy Jatropha (Jatropha integerrima). Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, trees and shrubs. Blooms continuously and very drought tolerant. Very attractive as a small accent tree.

Spicy Jatropha
Next is Cape Honeysuckle (Tacoma capensis), a scrambling shrub native to Africa. This shrub appears to have runners that can help it "travel" elsewhere in the garden. It's a messy, spindly plant, but the hummingbirds love it - so it stays.

Close Up Cape Honeysuckle
Cape Honeysuckle

Dianthus or Pinks, are grown as annuals here in Florida. They go dormant during the hottest part of summer and I have had them re-emerge like "perennials" in the spring.

Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana). A succulent; likes arid conditions and is a wonderful plant to put in front of pinwheel jasmines, or roses. Great groundcover and spreads rapidly.

Bell Pepper, absolutely delicious in a home-made salsa.

Bell Pepper
Native Firebush
Native Firebush (Hamelia patens). Attracts our state butterfly, the Zebra Longwing. Has orange/red flowers and hairy leaves. Tubular flowers give way to red/black, glossy berries that are popular with songbirds and in particular cardinals.

Native Firebush

Squash Flowers

I have various types of Nasturiums cascading over hanging baskets.

The Squash plants are coming along nicely. I put toothpicks around them (sharp end up) to prevent cutworms and other critters nibbling on these edible flowers.

Zinnias are one of my favorites in the garden, they are self seeding and, with regular deadheading, low maintenance.

Not exactly in the garden, but in a large cage on the patio is our little love bird Peaches. She is playing Peek-a-boo with me while I took this picture.
Pretty Peaches
Not in my garden but on the dining room table. Roses for mothers day.  I know elsewhere in the world, it is earlier in the year.

Happy belated mothers day for all moms in the USA, and everywhere in the world!


  1. Your mystery plant I think is a clerodendrum. Either a pagado or a Scarlett java. Lovely red hots in your garden!

  2. Tervy: Welcome & Thanks for ID of mystery plant. I looked up info on clerodendrum and the photos match. As I suspected it is very invasive in South FL and is better suited to containers.

  3. It's obviously not for nothing that reds, yellows and oranges are described as "hot" colours. That is certainly a pretty impressive array of them you have. My garden is currently at the "Fresh green" stage...

  4. Love your flower selections!
    Enjoy the upcoming cool front this week!

  5. Looks like you have a pagoda plant. Can be very invasive. We have one in a large tree pot here in west central Florida. It freezes back in the winter and returns beautifully every spring. It gets up to 8 feet tall in the pot by season's end. I once had these on another property that gave thme room to grow in the ground. They made a very pretty screen for the carport. Enjoy them....they are lovely when in full bloom!

  6. Daisy: Welcome and thanks for compliment on flower selections!

    Dave: Thank you for ID of plant, yes it is very attractive and gets big quick, since writing it has grown another 2 feet, I am glad it is enclosed within a concrete border!


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