I'm just tossing this out there, but when I was little, in the Southeast US, we had something that was called a crybaby plant. The climate was not appropriate and it never thrived... and then it froze one winter. Is anybody familiar with this name (no, I have not Googled it yet)?
I know it ~~ it has another name too. Coral ?tree? Anyway, coral something. The flowers are oddly shaped and a wonderful sort of dull red, as I remember.
Don't know why it's called "crybaby". Maybe it's one of those plants that drips condensed water. A more fanciful explanation might be the link with coral. Isn't red coral something that was given to babies to ward off evil? I believe they also teethed on it. Baby cries, is given the (coral) teether, thus the plant with coral-looking flowers would be a crybaby plant. Or I'm just spiraling off into complete fantasy.
Ah....the Cry Baby Tree,AKA Coral Tree,or Erythrina crista-galli. A deciduous tree in the pea family,grows to 20 feet. (one of many reasons I decided not to have one...but,can see them all over the city,so, get my pleasure from that...)
I have heard 2 explanations for why it's called CRY BABY tree. One is because the flowers (pendulous clusters of tubular,orangish 2 inch flowers) drip nectar. The other one which I like better is ,"it's flowers emit a rather peculiar cry when crushed". One of my favorite gardening people here in town claims this to be true,although,I have tried it and can faintly hear a sound not too unlike that of a babydoll that makes that weird crying sound. I think it requires a perfect technique. .
Gorgeous trees,also have HUGE thorns,another drawback,and they can get pretty gangly. After a freeze ,they die back and return...very intensive work involved in pruning,cleaning up,not too unlike pruning back a huge bougainvilla.
Okay, you all are reminding me that I absolutely must go to the botanical garden here, although I almost feel guilty going without Mick. That's because it's full of Oaxacan native plants, so succulents galore.
They have salt water aquariums at Kew?! I'm sure that first fish you show is an ocean fish.
The koi picture (that's what it is, right?) is an absolutely wonderful photograph.
I'm surprised at the flower displays in this latest batch of pics. Compared to the artistic extravagance with the others, some of these are more informational than anything else. Is that because of keeping them warm, plus space limitations, do you think?
Post by mickthecactus on Mar 10, 2011 17:16:48 GMT
They have a number Bixa, and terrariums too.
The koi picture was a certain degree of luck because he/she wouldn't keep still and I didn't know I had captured it until I got home and checked on the PC. What I really wanted was the huge catfish that lives in there but there was no sign of it.
With Alpine it's actually the opposite - they need to be cool. The Alpine house is actually a big structure (must have pic somewhere) but actually has limited growing space. I find that plants in alpine houses are always displayed somewhat formally (which I rather like).
Fantastic Mick! So excited to see the 'cactus' I have growing right outside my front door! Yours is a bit thicker in the stem tho - last pic , plant with beautiful green leaves bushing out of the top and loads of thorns.
Cheers Mick, it is evident that your love for the Kew is indeed being passed to your grandsons, that must make you happy and proud.
We had a comical experience with my younger sister last spring. She and her family moved into a newer home with established garden beds and in the spring she thought she should weed them. Her eldest daughter came over to visit and seen that she had weeded out perennials! She then started emailing pictures of the gardens so mum could give her help with what was a weed and what was a plant! Mich