Field of Science

Floral and Foliar Display

This is a spectacular plant called the "cascading bean" (Maniltoa lenticellata - Caesalpinioideae: Fabaceae) from northern Queensland. How one of them got into our greenhouse is a long story, but here 'tis for the past 20 years or so. Actually it's outgrown the greenhouse, twice, and has been severely pruned for its effort. It regularly puts on a growth spurt producing these cascades of new leafy twigs that are pink, almost devoid of chlorophyll, and quite limp, falling out of the large pink buds all at once. Slowly the pink fades to be replaced by pale green and then a darker green, and as that happens the leaves and twigs get pulled up into a graceful arch. This year the leaf flush was accompanied by flowering for even more excitement. Both the pistil and stamens are exerted from a reflexed white corolla. Wow!

1 comment:

Eric said...

Those are simply fab-aceous. All that business in the flowers is pretty spectacular, too. Do I need another large, tender plant, much less a tree? No. Do I have to have this? Let me catch my breath first.