Friday, November 5, 2010

Macro Flower/flower challenge: New Zealand Bottle Brush

I have joined this meme for a while now, and I am loving it. First I love flowers. Second, the badge for this meme is the North Borneo Orchid.

Join Macro Flowers Saturday, a photo meme for macro photos and close-ups of flowers, garden flowers, wildflowers, blossoms, flowers with insects and butterflies (no insects without flowers), flowers with raindrops and whatever beautiful plants, plant seeds or berries you have, in close-up.

First time visitors, please read the rules. They are simple but I do ask that you, please, use a MFS badge or link back to MFS in some way. Thank you.

Macro Flower Saturday
Bluberry craft and hobby time

This is a flax, unlike most bottle brushes which are small trees or shrubs. Another name is Knights Lily. Four million years ago, a volcano created some small islands off the coast of New Zealand. Captain Cook discovered the islands in 1760 and named them the Poor Knights Islands. Separated from the mainland for millions of years, the islands developed unique plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. A beautiful example of this is the Poor Knights Lily - Xeronema callistemon.

Xeronema callistemon - Poor Knights Lily

Xeronema (pronounced Zer-oh-NEM-uh) has unusual bottlebrush flower clusters that grow horizontally, looking like a giant red toothbrush. The flower stalk starts out vertical and then take a curious turn sideways. Stunning red flowers emerge straight up from the stalk, tipped with bright orange pollen. The total length of the flowering portion averages 7 to 10 inches, although it can potentially get to 18 inches.

It's illegal to land on the Poor Knights Islands, which are now a protected reserve. This makes Xeronema an extremely rare species that few people grow in the United States.

I took this photo at the courtyard of the Winter garden at the Auckland Domain.


Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

Ann, this is a wonderful plant. I know now what you are up to, as you are on my bloglist now! that is why I was so quick. I should go into the garden to clean up in the wild garden instead of playing on the PC. I had to put my Sepia Saturday in which I do not like to miss.

Judy said...

I hope they manage to propagate this plant, as it would be a stunning addition to the garden!

Anonymous said...

It's so pretty and interesting Ann.

Roan said...

I've never seen anything quite like this flower. Beautiful!

Ginny Hartzler said...

It does, indeed, look like a real bottle brush!!

SquirrelQueen said...

The Bottle Brush is such a beautiful plant, the blooms are gorgeous. I would love to have one of those in my garden.

The JR said...

I luv that one. Mine are the bushes.