Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Maui edition

The upper Midwest is dreadfully cold right now and the virtually perfect weather here on Maui right now is almost making TPP feel guilty for being away.  Since the previous blog dealt with natives, this one will deal with UTF (ubiquitous tropical flora) which is mostly what you see in and around people places on the Hawaiian islands (and even beyond).  Today's fabulous flower is actually a new UTF for TPP, so thought you might enjoy it as well.  If you know your flowers at all you will recognize this flower as a milkweed, and indeed it was originally placed in the genus Ascelpias, but now it is in a different genus Calotropis gigantea.  In the tropics this shrub is often planted for butterfly gardens. Both the buds and flowers have a lovely lavender color, but it can be rather variable from nearly white to a much darker purple.  The shrub was a good 7' tall with large milk weedy leaves.

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