Sunday, September 20, 2009

Todays Flowers

Visiting Today's Flowers will take you to a virtual flower garden from around the world.

Last weekend, the zoo had a photography day. They opened the gates early for around 150 of us with our cameras and umbrellas. We had the zoo to ourselves until the regular admission time.

You can see the first animal photos we took in the Camera Critters post below. But it wasn't only animals we were looking at. This shrub stopped us dead in our tracks. It was quite impressive. In other words, the WOW factor was off the scale!




The shrub with its stunning blooms was over five feet in height. I just had to know what kind of plant it is and the zoo folks were happy to find out for me.



Megaskepasma erythrochlamys ‘Brazilian Red Cloak’, ‘Brazilian Plume’, ‘Red Justicia’
‘Brazilian Cloak’ is a herbaceous shrub that is very showy and fast growing.

A blazing mixture of flaming red and vivid pink flowers, is what Brazilian Red Cloak in full bloom looks like. In spite of its name, this splendid plant comes from Venezuela where it is found naturally in tropical woodland. An evergreen shrub with boldly veined, shiny green leaves, it bears from early autumn into winter spikes of very showy, 12 inch, crimson flower spikes. (Actually white or pink flowers in the cloak of the very conspicuous crimson bracts.) The showy ‘flower’ consists of red bracts surrounding the white true flower. The growth habit of the Brazilian red cloak is considered by horticulturalists to be a shrub. It does not grow compactly as many shrub's do but instead is tall and lanky (an average of approximately 10 feet) while yet full. Under ideal growing conditions the plant can hit fifteen feet (4.5 meters) in height.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope - Lady Bird Johnson


26 comments:

Carletta said...

It certainly does look very vibrant and showy.
I like this zoo of yours.
Lovely photos!

Carletta’s Captures.

Janet said...

I've never seen that shrub but it sure is beautiful. Love the color.

sherry ♥ lee said...

I love how a zoo will combine not just the animals -- the exotic and the ones that are indigenous to the country, but that they include the flora and fauna..to recapture and recreate the surroundings for the animals. It gives the chance for us to appreciate nature in all it's glory.

And that quote of Lady Bird Johnson's is one of my favourites!

afiori.com said...

Oh wow, very pretty and in one of my favourite colours! Five feet; I think that's roughly my height, 161 cm - those blossoms look huge.

mountain.mama said...

What a plant! And how nice of the zoo to open up for photographers. I always admired Lady Bird Johnson for her work on beautifying America.

BeachILike said...

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April said...

That is an amazing tall shrub! The flowers are so vivid and striking amidst the lovely green leaves. I enjoyed reading your description of this beautiful plant.

Sharon said...

Oh I wish to have that plant. But I fear it would not grow here. Great photo's. By the way I love your header, is it new or am I just slow....?! Also I also call Teddy my bichon Theodorable! Your kitties are precious. Sharon

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Snap: That is a very neat flower in red.

Carver said...

I love the beautiful blossom and a great quote from Lady Bird Johnson. I remember when she started her big campaign to beautiful the highways with flowers along the side of the road and the big clean up campaign to beautify America. I guess I'm showing my age by remembering when she was the frist lady. However, I was a child at the time.

Regina said...

Lovley blooms!
Love the color of this one.

Pacey said...

I love the color of this flower too. Great shots.

Pretty Things said...

Awesomeness!

Kate T. said...

What a great zoo you have there! And so accommodating to the public seeking beauty...

Kate

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Sure has a great flower color.

Norm said...

I've never seen that flower before, I live the color so gorgeous, thanks for visiting my sweetnorms blog.

Vicky said...

lovely blooms! First time seeing this kind of flowers.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Gorgeous flower! I love the quote at the end.
Blessings,
Adrienne

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Snap, That bush is gorgeous. I have seen them before in Texas --but had no idea what they were. So pretty!!!! Looks like you all had a great time at the Zoo. That's neat that they offered a photography day.

Love the quote by Lady Bird...
Hugs,
Betsy

Day4plus said...

Very nice. The red pops right out of the green leaves. Showy!! MB

Sara Chapman said...

That looks pretty tropical (frost tender) and so exciting! Wish we had a zoo like that in Seattle. We can do umbrellas really well, but they do make holding the camera challenging. Thank goodness this week has mostly been fabulous weather.

Denise said...

Beautiful! A lovely flower and one that I'm not familiar with so thank you very much for sharing it. Love learning about new flowers :)

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I have never seen that gorgeous flower much less heard of it and to think it blooms into winter! Stunning!

Tulip said...

wow how i love the color of that flower, my ever favorite color. thanks for sharing.

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Your EG Tour Guide said...

I like the idea of being let into the zoo early so you could take photos without arms and legs getting in the way!

Cindy said...

Sounds like a wonderful day at the Zoo! I love the zoo, so I think you are lucky to live near one. I'm over an hour away from the zoo.

It sounds like we are taking the same classes! I hope you enjoy bookbinding and The Joy Diet. Are you taking Part Two of the Super Nova Class, too?

Have fun!