Saturday, January 16, 2010

Metrosideros kermadecensis, Browallia speciosa, and Cordyline terminalis flowering in the Conseratory at Brookside Gardens

This powderpuff flower isn't a Calliandra, but belongs in the genus Metrosideros, in the Myrtaceae. It's native to the Kermadec Islands, a volcanic chain a long way northeast of New Zealand. This plant has variegated leaves to go with the red powderpuff flowers. the EU Gardening site claims that it can withstand a bit of freezing so it might be a candidate for Florida. The variegated foliage would be pleasant under the lofty Live Oak canopy. Bottlebrushes and Powderpuffs (Caliandra) are plentiful but they are, to my mind, a bit too rank growing. This plant has prettier leaves anBd a more graceful form.

Browallia is one of the first plants I ever in an attempt to have flowers indoors in the winter. Still common as a shade annual, it doesn't stand out like it did 40 years ago. Today there are dozens and dozens of choices in the shady annual sections. It's still works well on a sunny windowsill in the winter but watch out for white flies.

Ti Plants, Cordyline terminalis, don't flower frequently and the individual flowers are small. Still, what with the, buds, the flower color, the wild inflorescence, and that intriguing floral structure, it's nice.

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