Field of Science

Tropical garden color

Even if UTF (ubiquitous tropical flora) is a bit over done at times, a number of its components are very colorful, very attractive plants, and the red powder puff (Calliandra haematocephala, a mimosid legume) is one of my favorites because its display is both gaudy and long lasting. The nicely landscaped beach house recently occupied use vegetation very effectively to be both attractive and to generate privacy. But the red powder puff inflorescences (note the heads of flower buds) generated even more color than its flowers here in far northern Queensland by attracting rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) each morning providing them with some nectar for brekkies. As the generic name indicates they have brush-like tongues for swabbing up nectar. Took this picture from the veranda while having brekkies myself.

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