Nymphaea alba at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens, 24 August 2012.
Elephantopus tomentosus growing in situ around Chapel Hill, NC. This is one of my favorite flowers. Unfortunately this one had already finished blooming for the year, but when they do, their flowers are pretty, though insignificant, and look like this. It is easy to guess they are members of Asteraceae, the daisy family.
Here’s a better picture of the Cycnodes, in better light, with more blooms opened.
Summer brought a whole lot of nothing as far as flowers were concerned. I also had a few fatalities which inevitably come with a big move; at least we moved to a region that had a climate that is a TEENSY bit (read: a ton) more amenable to orchids’ tastes, so just over the past couple months I’ve already had an explosion of new growth. We’ll see if that translates to more flowers in the winter and spring, even though at this point all of my winter bloomers are done for and if anything else blooms in the winter it’ll be off season for it. One can still hope.
This one is some sort of Zygopetalinae; it wasn’t labeled so I can never be for sure, but I have it in my books as Zygonisia Cynosure ‘Blue Birds’. Of course I’d never claim that in any sort of official capacity, but it looks REMARKABLY similar to other specimens that are confirmed as Cynosure, and that name is a lot catchier than “Unlabeled Zygopetalum hybrid.” There really aren’t, to my knowledge, too many hybrids of Zygopetalum just because there aren’t really too many species of Zygopetalum, and the ones that exist are all very similar in appearance. Zygo. maculatum, Zygo. mackaii, Zygo. graminifolium, and Zygo. intermedium, for instance, are remarkably similar. Likewise, the presumptive hybridizer, Acacallis/Aganisia cyanea, has a distinctive shape that I believe I see present in these petals. Plus, every pure Zygopetalum has dappled green/brown tepals and a purple labellum, and this has a purple labellum but dappled white and purple tepals (a quality of Acacallis cyanea). Then again, it is always easier to conjecture when you are already assuming the outcome you want.
Regardless, it is intensely fragrant, just like its presumptive forebears in Zygopetalum, and presents itself, with little variance, in purple and violet tones dappled with white, which is a color combination I find most appealing. The blooms exclusively come in twos, but sometimes there will be more than one spike from the same pseudobulb, resulting in multiples thereof. I originally had two spikes on here, but a shock of poor weather made the tank oppressively dark and humid, which killed one of the spikes when it was most sensitive. Alas, there is always next year.
I’m just going to do a post spam here, I’ve had these pictures piling up on my phone for a while and finally got around to dumping them onto the computer.
This one is a rose, obviously, of the Portland variety (I’ll often call it a Damask, but evidently the two are different), called Comte de Chambord. I didn’t do any fiddling with the colors in this photo whatsoever, they really are that intense. They’re actually a bit more intense in real life, but this photo really did a pretty good job capturing the color. They are also intensely fragrant; the entire bush is in bloom right now and you get knocked over by the most beautiful rose scent you can imagine as soon as you walk out the back door.
This one is a Hybrid Tea rose called Garden Party. It is a very pure white rose, with the tips of the petals kissed in pink. Even on the same bush, at the same time, some will be pinker than others; I have no idea why. It is also scented, though not nearly as crazy strong as the Comte de Chambord. These roses smell like how I sort of conceptualize how roses “should” smell. Not overpowering, but not entirely scentless either (like the long stem cut roses).
I never understand why anybody would want to spend 20 or 30 dollars on a dozen cut roses when you can just grow roses and have them in great abundance for 6-8 months out of the year. There is remarkably little time during the year when roses don’t grow; some varieties even thrive in USDA Zone 3, which is god damn freezing if you ask me.
A bud on the Comte de Chambord. It’s remarkable how all of those petals fit in to such a small package. I find the buds on this one to be particularly beautiful. Sometimes I’ll just cut them at this stage, put them in a bud vase, and let them bloom on the kitchen counter.