Another tree that’s blooming its heart out is the African Tulip tree/Spathodea campanaluta. I wish I hadn’t waited that long to photograph this tree. The day I noticed the blooms was also the day my camera wasn’t with me. Rare thing to happen, but it was one of those days!:) So on Friday when I set out, it started to rain, the skies were grey, and this was the best I could get rolling down the car windows.
One of the world’s most spectacular flowering trees, African tulip tree is a large upright tree with glossy deep green pinnate leaves and glorious orange scarlet flowers. It may grow to 80 ft on an ideal site, but most specimens are much smaller. The tree has a stout, tapering, somewhat buttressed trunk covered in warty light gray bark. The lateral branches are short and thick. The 1-2 ft long opposite leaves, which emerge a bronzy color, are massed at the ends of the branches. They are composed of 5-19 deeply veined oval leaflets. The horn shaped velvety olive buds appear in upturned whorls at the branch tips. A few at a time, the buds of the lowest tier bend outward and open into big crinkled red orange tuliplike bells with red streaked gold throats, frilly yellow edges, and four brown-anthered stamens in the center. They are followed by 5-10 in green brown fingerlike pods pointing upwards and outwards above the foliage. Each of these pods contains about 500 tissue papery seeds. The tree flowers in spurts all through the growing season, but peak bloom is usually in the spring. Source.
A recent addition to one of my flower beds. This photo of a cluster of star phlox was taken before the rains came on Thursday. As I type this, the skies are mostly clear and the sun is out but these were battered by the rain and look nothing like the photo above. I hope it’ll regain its former glory in no time!
Hollyhocks in two colours. Hmm…I must grow them too!!
To see the most beautiful blooms from around the world, please visit Today’s Flowers at http://flowersfromtoday.blogspot.com
My thanks to the TF team: Santilli-Pupo-Denise-Sandy Carlson
Wish you all a wonderful Sunday!