Tag Archives: Ferns

Plant shapes

Lily pads in Hawaii

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Shapes.’ See more responses here. Since I just paid another visit to Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, I thought some flower and foliage shapes would be appropriate. In the top photo, round lily pads float in the garden’s pond.

The squares show the coils within coils of a Hapu’u fern, a distinctly-shaped anthurium, the familiar curves of an orchid against a large, angular leaf, and the geometric precision of a Guzmania ‘Limones’ bromeliad.

The rectangles start with the distinctive shape of beehive gingers, then large, tropical, heart-shaped leaves, and the sinuous shape of a colorful heliconia.

The bottom photo shows feather-shaped leaves that even look like feathers!

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden, go to htbg.com.

Tropical leaves in Hawaii

My tropical garden

A tropical garden in Port Townsend, Washington

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fabulous Florals.’ See more responses here. For this, I’m taking a short jaunt off the island to revisit the first tropical garden I planted. That was in Washington State. Now, I’m aware that Washington State isn’t in the tropics, but I like a challenge.

My goal was to create a garden of hardy tropical-looking plants, with colorful flowers and/or big, bountiful foliage. The first summer, I laid the foundations with three Windmill Palms and a wall of bamboo alongside one fence. Colorful canna lillies and big foliage gave an inkling of what was to come.

The second summer was when the garden took off. Ground covers spread. Vines took off. Pots provided focal points.

And of course, there were those fabulous florals.

One corner of the garden featured a Dicksonia Antarctica tree fern, which was soon joined by a Dicentra Scandens-Golden tears vine, Eccremocarpus scaber – Chilean glory vine, and a Clematis Armandii. There’s less than a month between the second and third photos in the gallery below, and the following summer the area was rampant with color and growth.

But it is Washington State and there are winters and in the winter it can snow. The palms and bamboo bent low under the weight of the snow, but they survived. The tiki torch looked distinctly unhappy with the weather, possibly jealous of those lucky plants that were moved indoors for the winter.

Tropical foliage

Tropical foliage at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Evergreen.’ See more responses here.

In Hawaii’s mild climate, a few trees, such as plumeria, will shed their leaves for a short while in the depths of our not-so-bitter winter. For the most part though, the island is green year-round, particularly in the wetter parts, which is where these photos were taken.

The trees remain green. The vines which climb the trees are green, and other colors too. The foliage around the trees is green. In short, the landscape is evergreen.

Also posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

Basket fern and orchid

This drynaria rigidula ‘Whitei’ basket fern was growing on a tree trunk at Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden (which has since change its name). I like basket ferns, which look like upturned umbrellas. This fern was complemented by a dinema polybulbon orchid, a delicate and fragrant epiphytic orchid that was winding it’s way up into the fern.

For more information about Hawai’i Tropical Bioreserve & Garden (formerly Hawai’i Tropical Botanical Garden), go to htbg.com.

Amaumau fern

The amaumau fern (Sadleria cyatheoides) is endemic to Hawaii and grows in a variety of areas from wet forests to recent lava flows. I saw these on the Powerline Trail, off of Saddle Road, where the elevation is above 5,000 feet.

These ferns are quite common, but on this day, the color of the new growth really caught my eye. New fiddles are orange to red, changing to green with age. In these photos, the various stages of growth can be seen. These ferns were low growing, but they can also take the form of a tree fern with an upright, trunk-like appearance.