I managed to escape a week of snow and chill in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico but returned to burst pipes and more chill. Nevertheless, my body and psyche thoroughly enjoyed warm temperatures and beautiful flora. I’d like to share images of some of the flora with you. Then you can think warm as well.
As well as I know temperate plants, tropical plants are a whole new world. I may never use these plants in my landscape and garden designs but I can glory in their beauty. They’re not easy to identify but I have a few books of tropical flora and thank goodness for Google.
Many of the gorgeous flowers in Mexico are on trees and shrubs rather than herbaceous plants. The lavender-pink flowers of Ipomoea arborescens (Morning Glory Tree) are quite large and the tree itself can grow twenty feet high.
The petals of Adenium obesum (Desert Rose) are white with a wide bright pink edge. I saw this drought tolerant plant as a shrub in a container and also as a small six foot tree. The leaves stay evergreen.
The yellow flowers of Tecoma stans; (Yellow Elder, Yellow Trumpetbush) are clustered on evergreen trees that can grow thirty feet high and wide. This tree grows in the Caribbean as well and is the official flower of the U.S.Virgin Islands.
Getting away from flowers for a moment, I have to share an unexpected experience with you. On morning, as we left our hotel to go to the bus stop, the driveway was cordoned off and the sight we saw was palm fronds and coconuts on the ground. Then we looked up and saw a man with a machete, at the top of one of the palms, cutting off more fronds and coconuts. I assume this was to prevent guests from being conked. Guess you can’t get away from maintenance no matter where you live.
The last image that I’ll show you today is Crinum augustum (Swamp Lily). I saw it growing on a small island in one of the hotel swimming pools and on the Malecon which is a long concrete boardwalk in the middle of town. The Malecon has several large, well-planted island beds. The white and wine flowers are fragrant and amazingly large for those of a bulb but I was reading a bit about crinums and learned that the bulbs are quite large, seem to live forever, and bloom repeatedly. The only limiting factor seems to be cold. Guess that lets us out.