Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rare Beauty in the Plant World

Dr Abe V Rotor
Epiphytic liana on a tree trunk creates a fairy tale scene in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  It offers a good subject for cartoons and abstract art. Crust of blue green is composed of lichen, an association of alga and fungus, a perfect example of survival through co-evolution.  Lichens are among the oldest living creatures on earth.
Buds emerge in summer on the highland, braving alternate heat and cold of day and night, which explains its rare color - red pigment dominating the normal green color of the plant, a biological phenomenon.   
Euphorbia displays extreme features: tender and colorful flowers in cluster perched on cruel and thorny stem - sharing somehow the romantic attribute of the rose, and the mythical imagery of "beauty and the beast."     

A pair of aster flowers emerges at the edge of a hedge, appearing "imprisoned" by striated ornamental grass. Such a scene is romantically associated with stories about "beauty behind bars."  
   
This leguminous shrub of the genus Cassia attracts attention by its unique pack of golden flowers and fine foliage even as other ornamental plants around have gone into aestivation in summer heat. A bumble bee settles down for nectar - a good subject of biology and photography.    
Bangbangsit, which means odorous, Lantana has lately invaded gardens, not because of its notorious nature as cosmopolitan weed, but gardeners have learned to like it for to reasons: its attractive multi-colored hybrid flowers, and its repellant property in protecting surrounding plants from pest. 
 
Angel's trumpets dangle in the morning sun on a Palm Sunday, as if muted by the observance of Christ passion.  They appear attractive and lovely nonetheless. The flowers are claimed to have marijuana-like properties so that the presence of this shrub in the garden creates suspicion in its purpose other than being an ornamental.~    
 
Inflorescence of Cyperus, a relative of the papyrus, adds unique ambiance in flower arrangement. Although devoid of fragrance and attractive color, its unique flower design and long vase life brought this common weed to the artist's eye and dining table. 

This sapling has two kinds of foliage, an example of dimorphism in biology - white to cream and tender when newly open to deep green and bold when mature. It grows up into a medium tree that has attractive orange inflorescence, which local folks fondly call the plant "queen of flowering plants." 


These specimens were photographed by the author in Tagaytay, March 24, 2013 

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