Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Jungle Geranium

The winter bleakness of February needs some color, so TPP trotted into the glasshouse to see if there was anything to cheer us up.  Yes!  The "jungle geranium" (Ixora coccinea) was in full bloom, a very prolific flowering shrub.  And it's bright red!  Those of you who know your plant families will surely recognize a member of the Rubiaceae, the coffee family, right away.  4 corolla lobes on a long narrow floral tube and 4 little stamens alternating with them; it suggests Lepidopteran pollinators. But what's this jungle geranium stuff?  Never liked calling tropical forest "jungle".  And geranium? What's that about?  Sometimes it's hard to get common names in the sense of why would anyone call it that?  Oh, and flame of the forest, scheesh, TPP can only think of a dozen or so tropical plants called that.  So, enjoy!

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