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