A Feast Of Colours And Angles
This series of shots was taken last week, while I was in Sydney with my family. Travelling interstate is always an interesting experience for anyone with the slightest interest in horticulture, because some plant varieties thrive as you travel further north.
These are called the bird of paradise but the correct botanical term is Strelitzia reginae, while they are known as the crane flower in South Africa, where they originated.
Although it is several weeks since they disappeared in Melbourne, they are still very showy in New South Wales. We were walking through a mall to get to a bakery when I noticed this clump, with their vivid colours.
After we had picked up some hot cross buns and other wonderful products from the bakery, I told the Authorblog clan to walk on to the car and that I would catch up with them. They didn’t even need to ask what had caught my attention.
Several other shoppers must surely have wondered about my sanity as I poked my head into the towering foliage. You see, these blooms can grow to two metres or more, depending on soil conditions, sunlight and drainage.
While the dominant colour is orange, you can sometimes find specimens where the mauve segments, lower down on the flower, are still redolent of the sort of vivid colour you’d expect in a neon sign.
I think I was just lucky to catch these plants at the right time. If you look closely at the second shot in this sequence, you’ll notice a couple of droplets of thick orange sap trickling down the side, which suggests that they were about to start decaying as winter begins to draw closer.
Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.