Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Colors of Spring Flora in Key West

As I pedaled around town this week on errands, I was glad I had thrown my little Canon Powershot into the trike basket. I am continually impressed by what great shots this little camera captures – and I am happily in awe of Spring colors of Key West.

Above: the first frangipani (Plumeria) blooms I’ve seen this year took me back to my childhood in Fort Lauderdale. My grandmother's prized frangipani grown from a cutting just outside the screened porch. I learned later that these are the most common flowers used in Hawaiian leis.

The African Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata) has always been a huge favorite of mine for its spectacular flame colors and the unusual presentation and shape of its blooms. Children love it for its ability to squirt water and gardeners love it because the hummingbirds do, too.

The bud of the African Tulip.

This large “throwback” leaves of this copperleaf (Acalypha godseffiana) caught my attention. Note the “frame” of silver buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus). I love all the variations of copper leaf or Jacob’s Coat shrubs. The one on the corner of Von Phister and White Street is home to a hen and her spring chicks:

Sharing the stage with the whimsical showiness
of a chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) on Elgin Lane:

Chenille Plant

Bougainvillea and Buoys

Key West is a riot of colorful bougainvillea -- and this common but uncommonly beautiful vine probably deserves a post of its own -- but can any one tell me: what color is the flower of the bougainvillea?

I love the matching rocker!

Perhaps the showiest of all the street corners
in Key West – Washington and Reynolds.

Oleander (Nerium oleander) - Beautiful,
hardy near salt water, and poisonous. Beware.

Yellow Tababouie


Aloe, but is it Aloe vera? And how
spectacular is the black trunk of the palm behind it!?

These are common, but I can't identify this small tree. Anyone?

Cactus blooms, but what variety?

Lots more photos from this series on this public Facebook album .