Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia in fruit - Virginia Creeper in fruit

A Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, has ripened its fruit in early spring. The combination of red stalks and dark purple fruit is an indication that the fruits are adapted for dispersal by birds. I can assume bird dispersal because birds can see red but most mammals cannot. Thus, bird-dispersed fruits tend to have red colors somewhere in the infructescence. Often, the fruits themselves are red but in other cases the leaves, bracts, stalks, and/or calyx may be red. In some bird-dispersed plants, the seeds themselves may be red and in a few instances, such as Jamaican caper (Capparis cynophallophora), the fruits split open to reveal a red inner lining.

Virginia creeper is a very hardy plant that is tolerant of a wide variety of conditions. This particular plant was found growing in an alley on a south-facing garage wall near West Palm Beach's city center.

Image and text © 2013 Rufino Osorio

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mounts Botanical Garden

A miscellany of photographs taken at Mounts Botanical Garden this year.

Adenium obesum - Desert Rose with seed pods
Adenium obesum setting seed pods.

Aechmea 'Big Harv'
Aechmea 'Big Harv'

Aloe dorotheae
Aloe dorotheae, an aloe that can assume bright red, burgundy, and mahogany-red colors when stressed by cold weather or intense sunlight.

Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'
Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'

Medinilla cummignii 'Kinabalu' and Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'
Medinilla cummingii 'Kinabalu' with Alternanthera dentata 'Purple Knight'
Medinilla cummignii 'Kinabalu'
Medinilla cummingii 'Kinabalu' is probably the easiest Medinilla to grow in south Florida.

Euphorbia punicea
Euphorbia punicea

Euphorbia punicea
Euphorbia punicea (I'm not sure what those white spots are about.)

Salvia elegans - Pineapple Sage
Salvia elegans, commonly known as pineapple sage, and with fruit-scented leaves.

Images and text © 2013 Rufino Osorio