Although I’ve grown the Penta/Penta lanceolata for the past few years, it’s only this year that I’m getting so many of these delightful winged beauties every single day! I’m spoilt for choice!! Should I be clicking away at the yellow Emigrant or should I wait for one of the sunbirds?;)
One of the easiest plants to grow, this African native is also known as the Star flower or the Starcluster. Although they come in many colours, my lavender and white ones did not do well and eventually died. However the pink and the dark, almost red, are doing really well. They’ve been blooming for months and most mornings, before the butterflies come, it’s the bees that have a run of the flower clusters. I found out online that although all colours attract the bees and the butterflies, it’s the darker shades that seem more attractive to them. My plants are growing on the western side of the house and gets full afternoon sun. Not only are the flowers pretty, the dark green foliage looks good too!
An added bonus has been having the sunbirds visiting these blooms. Till last year I had seen them feeding on the yellow canna lilies and the on the Malabar spinach. When I saw them feeding on the blooms for the first time I thought they were hummingbirds! Some species hover like the hummingbirds for brief periods but I’ve noticed that they like to perch and feed on the nectar.
My small garden area can no longer make space for new plants (except in containers) but I think a few more of these can be squeezed in between some small remaining gaps! ! To be rewarded with blooms is a joy but to have so many winged visitors is a blessing that I had never imagined!