Tag Archives: Vines

Upolu landscape

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Favorite Landscape.’ See more responses here.

When I think of the landscape at Upolu, it includes both the ocean that borders it and the skies above. They are, in my mind, integral to the place. But here, I’ve focussed on the land, a relatively small area of a few square miles where I walk most days. It’s rural, agricultural, and coastal. It’s historic and modern. It’s also a place I never return from feeling disappointed. There’s always something of note that I see or that happens when I’m there.

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

Flowers at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Fantastic Florals.’ See more offerings here.

This seemed like a good theme to post a few photos, of different colored flowers, from my last visit to Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, back in February.

Top photo: It took me a while to identify this as Petrea volubilis, also known as purple wreath, queen’s wreath, and sandpaper vine, because the long blue parts are actually calices, not petals. The flowers are the smaller darker blue centers most easily seen on the blooms to the left side.

Second Photo: A lavender version of the cattleya maxima orchid was first found in Ecuador in 1777. The yellow stripe down the center of the lip is characteristic of all forms of cattleya maxima, of which this alba variation is one. For more information about the history of cattleya maxima, visit chadwickorchids.com/content/cattleya-maxima.

Third photo: Yellow plume flower (Justicia aurea) is a blaze of color in a sea of green.

Fourth photo: Yes, there are green flowers, including this Anthurium ‘Princess Alexia Jade.’

Bottom: New Guinea Trumpet Vines (Tecomanthe dendrophila) produce a fantastic array of white-tipped pink flowers.

For more information about Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, go to htbg.com.

Passion vine butterfly on a passion flower

This passion vine butterfly was feeding on passion flowers, but it will feed on many other flowers, too. It gets its name because passion vines are the host plant for the passion vine butterfly’s caterpillar. Those caterpillars spend their days munching leaves, many of which have little yellow bumps on them. The bumps, which can be seen in the photos, are the plants’ way of trying to fool the butterflies into believing that there are already eggs on the leaves and so it’s not a good spot to lay more.

It’s hard to know how effective this ruse is. I’ve seen many butterflies laying eggs on these leaves, but perhaps some are discouraged. Regardless, the caterpillars will move from leaf to leaf while chowing down, but they never seem to defoliate the plant, which is, in any case, a robustly growing vine.

A passion vine butterfly lays her eggs

A passion vine butterfly lays an egg.
I watched this passion vine butterfly flitting around on a hedge, laying eggs atop the leaves of, you guessed it, a passion vine growing in the hedge. Typically, she deposits a single egg on each leaf, but this butterfly laid two on this one.

The butterfly is selective about which leaves to use. She chooses ones that have no eggs on them yet, since this will reduce the competition for her offspring. On the leaf she’s using in the photo are some yellow spots. I thought these might be where eggs had been laid previously, but some passion vines produce these colored bumps to make it look like eggs are already there and thus discourage the butterfly.

Not that laying eggs on unoccupied leaves guarantees survival. I saw a number of small parasitic wasps checking out the yellow bumps on several leaves. I have no doubt they do the same with the real eggs. I also saw a very small passion vine butterfly caterpillar snacking on what looked suspiciously like a newly-laid egg. And there’s always the possibility that someone will come along and trim the hedge. Not sure what the vine or the butterfly can do about that.