Saturday, 9 September 2017

Tropical Flower Power Trip

I recently sent my folks in Mauritius a picture of an early cherry-blossom-type flower - a sign that spring is on its way here in Australia. They reciprocated with one of the most madly tropical of tropical-looking flowers I've ever seen, and, for good measure, they sent through a further collection of flowers, bright colours and tropical beauty.

They're so lovely, I want to share them here (with all permission, of course) for a virtual tropical flower power trip.

Disclaimer: please note that I'm woefully ignorant when it comes to anything relating to gardening/botany. My folks sent me the names of several of the flowers (not necessarily the English name, sometimes just the local ones in use). For some others, I attempted some inventive googling. If I've made any catastrophic mis-namings, let me know.

To begin with, the madly-tropical flower, whose name no-one knew.

They look positively alien-like to me! I did some general googling (along the lines of "giant speckled flower with hanging vines and heart-shaped leaves" - you know, very general!) and stumbled into its proper name! Behold. This is the Giant Pelican Flower!

Here's the Ginger Flower.

It's one that seems likely to grow on you. Or over you. Or around you. A vine of the reddest petals!

This is the Desert Rose.
Love this hue of rose. I also think the pic of the pot looks remarkably like an exquisite Japanese-style painting. (Belle photo, Maman!)

This is the Aubergine flower.
I never imagined the rather staid aubergine (eggplant) would have such a blazingly pretty flower. It's almost like an orchid.

This plant is another edible one.
I'm not sure if the flower is edible, but the leaves are used in a clear, light broth (called a 'bouillon', per the French for broth) in Mauritius. The plant itself is known locally as 'bred mouroum', and there was a popular Sega song when I was a kid about bred mouroum being a favourite food of the poor - which says something about its availability and nutrition.
Google says the English name is Moringa Oleifera, and that it's also known as the horseradish tree or drumstick tree. There are apparently many health benefits associated with the Moringa leaf. Who knows, the Moringa leaf may become the next must-have, never-heard-of superfood! If it does, you heard it first here!

Back to inedible flowers, this is a pink-striped trumpet lily.
I'm guessing this, at least, will be familiar to people - mainly because it was familiar to me (even though I had to google to find its name).

This is (I think) a Wild Iris.
I love this. It's another one that looks like an amazing orchid.

This is Honeysuckle (I think).
I love how the flowers sit like a carefully-curled bouquet. Oh, and did you spot the bee??

I'm guessing these are Pinwheel Jasmines.
This is a complete guess. Googling "flowers with ninja star petals" yielded something close (melodinus phylliraeoides), but not quite. Googling "flowers with running petals" led to the Pinwheel Jasmines.
Now... just imagine the scent of jasmines together with the songs of frogs in the balmy tropical evening air... (you're welcome :-)

I've been told these are Plumbagos and Pentas, respectively.
Impossibly perfect petals.

These ones, I don't know.
If anyone knows any of their names, let me know!

Hope you enjoyed this edition of the Great Tropical Flower Power Trip. Enjoy your flower power trips in your own parts of the world, and remember, don't let the Giant Pelican Flowers bite.

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