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“Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”


My Hibiscus x Moy Grande’ Rose Mallow has just started to bloom this week.
“Muy Grande” is Spanish for “very big’.
It is a hardy hibiscus cultivar with perhaps the largest flowers ever developed.


It was bred by Dr. Ying Doon Moy (Ahh the name is a play on words, now I get it)
at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, and sports enormous 12″ diameter
rose-pink blooms.
The delicate petals on the flower resemble crepe paper and in the middle of the
flower, a prominent pistil and stamen add to the flowers animated Dr Seuss quality.


This hardy perennial offers up some gregarious color throughout the summer. Hybridized from hibiscus species native to America (Hibiscus grandflorus x Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Southern Belle’), Moy Grande is a true show-off. Perennial hibiscus flowers removed from the stem can be used as table decorations. They need not be placed in water to prevent wilting. Each flower lasts a full day before withering (if cut in the morning).  This is the ONLY flower of this size in the world which will not wilt when displayed out of water for such a long period of time.

What always amazes me is how unassuming the
buds are on this plant, it goes straight from this…


how can such a large flower fit in here?


To this…

It then explodes into this,
completely defying the laws of physics:


And then dies, pretty much all in one day.


And lasting a little longer: Beauty and the (shortly to be composted) Beast.


While I was looking at this decaying lily bloom,  I noticed that one of these lily pads was curled up at the side…


I flipped the pad over to reveal an amazing arial map
and patchwork of roads.


“The lily-leaf  map reveals
more than your race
can possibly imagine”.



Look at this tiny, tiny gulf toad. This shot was on full macro, he was a tadpole ten minutes ago!
And how is this for camouflage.
Staying on the subject of frogs, I have a sad tale, one that involves my red-neck paddling pool!

ALERT: Gross Alert!
ALERT: Gross Alert!


Are you ready?


My youngest was standing over by the pool going
“ewwwy, ewwwy,”
(repeat sixty four times, gradually ascending in volume).


I finally broke down to see what all the fuss was about
and leaned over the pool. I knew immediately something was
very wrong with this anemic tree frog! I grabbed my fish net
and hoisted him up onto a rock. I tried CPR on it with a
couple of tiny sticks (didn’t really know what I was doing)
but like the cactus man, I lost him.


“ESP,? CPR,? Really, what were you thinking”?
Poor thing.
He must have fallen out of the post oak and drowned.


We had lunch, went back outside and the “ewwwing” and
pointing started up once more, this time with more vigor.


I knew I should have buried that frog! Brrrrrrrrr!

On a more majestic note:

Swan photograph by Jess Lee

Like bobbing swan heads the blooms on this Bog Lily or swamp lily –
Crinum americanum

are very tropical looking, and very fragrant.


It is common along stream-banks and in marshes all along the
Coastal South, from South Carolina to Texas. It blooms
periodically throughout the year, but mainly in the spring
and fall. Great native plant, great blooms and outside of
water lilies, my favorite marginal in my pond.


The blooms even look good when they
are past their prime.
Has anyone got this plant planted in the ground?


Inland Sea Oats are just starting to change into their fall butterscotch outfits,
my favorite stage.


A dainty sulphur perched on some artemisia sporting a similar fall color palette. Can you tell I am ready for the summer to be over? My last post about how dry and hot it is right now worked, we did get some rain, not enough, but any sky liquid is good right now. I took these pictures the morning after the rain, it really helped to perk things up in the patch, at least for a short time.


The Hoja Santa and Fatsia japonica immediately bounced back into action.


Even the loquats look almost tree-like again, rather than drooping sad handkerchiefs.


And the monster culm continues to grow and grow.
There is even another one butted right up against it!

I thought I would finish with the crazy markings of this

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae

Going crazy on a variety of flowers in the patch. The humming birds
are also getting extremely aggressive over this fire cracker plant,

Russellia equisetiformis.
I had a stand-off with one today, it was about two feet away and flying stationary
at eye level looking at me!
I tried but failed to get the shot.



Stay Tuned For:

Wormsign

All material © 2009 for east_side_patch. Unauthorized  intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and punishable by  late 14th century Earth techniques.

Inspirational Images of the Week:


Andy Sturgeon Garden Design

I wonder if those are adjustable blinds across the sides and roof?
What a great use of space and form in a small area.

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