Monday, August 23, 2010

Lincoln Park Conservatory - 8.21.10 - Post 2

Yesterday I posted the orchids. In the next room were the hibiscus.  No matter how many times I see hibiscus flowers, I'm always amazed at how huge and how fleeting they are.

I love the pistil/anther/stamen organization of a hibiscus.  So organized all on one stalk with such huge flowers around it.  I'd love to see what kind of animal pollinates something this big.  One of the plants we were shown on the tour had flowers so big that it required bats to fertilize them.
Look at the way the color palate is so similar, but the individual colors are so different.  White stamen here, pink ones above.  A pink center here, a purple one above.  Both have red anthers.
The there was this guy.  So huge.  So frilly and different than the other two.  Well, still with the red anthers, but very different in most other respects.  And so big it filled up my lens.

 So normally when I'm in a flower garden, I'm focused almost exclusively on the flowers, on the colors, on what pops the most.  But on this trip I started to really look at the textures and designs in some of the leaves.  This is called a "Ctenanthe" - I have no idea how that's pronounced.  It looks like someone painted a plant into each leaf.
 These are the leaves of a Peacock Plant.  The pattern does remind me of the pattern in a peacock's feathers when he opens them.  Again, there's a whole plant design in each leaf.
 Ever do plant rubbings at camp as a kid?  I did.  This plant looks like someone put a fern under the leaf and then did a rubbing causing the fern impression to turn those parts of the big leaf dark green.  This is a Silver Belle.
I found myself pretty amazed by this texture.  It's a macro of the edge of a leaf of a Bengal Lily.  The leaves were huge, but I focused on where this one bent a little because I just loved the stripes and ribbing.

Speaking of stripes and texture, this is a Rainbow Frangipani.  Like the orchids, the leaves aren't near the flowers, so you don't get distracted when looking at the flower.    This one was too high for me to shoot down the center of it, but it did have really lovely stripes of yellow, orange, pink and red.

Then there's the 'just plain unusual'.  This is Beehive Ginger.  I suppose the origin of the name is a little obvious. :)

 Not that I was working strictly alphabetical through this post, but we're ending with a Zebra Plant.  I was so focused on the fascinating red and yellow stripes in the flowers...
... that someone had to point out to me that there were also stripes in the leaves.

Okay, I'll have one more post on the LPC a little later, then I head back outside to the lilypond and the North Pond.

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