iPhoneography: Texas mountain laurel

18 02 2019

Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora)

(iPhone 8Plus, Camera+2 app in macro mode)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



Thread-leaf Agave

25 10 2011

Originally from Mexico, Thread-leaf Agave (Agave filifera) is an evergreen perennial succulent. The name “filifera” means “carrying threads.” It thrives in dry and hot climates and is drought-tolerant and low maintenance. It prefers full sun to light shade and needs regular watering in summer, but must be kept dry in winter.

Tequila is made from the leaves and rope, food, soap and other products are made from the fibers and pulp (pretty industrious plant, I’d say!). Agave filifera rarely flowers, but when it does, greenish flowers bloom on a 6-foot tall spike. Some can bloom annually, while others only bloom every 30-40 years (As a gardener obsessed, I’ve developed a store of patience—contrary to what my family and friends might say!—but I doubt I’d have the patience to wait for that show!) The flowers turn maroon as they age.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

The aptly named Bat Face Cuphea

23 10 2011

Bat Face Cuphea (Cuphea llavea), also known as St. Peter’s plant, Tiny Mice and Bunny Ears, is a tender tropical evergreen perennial that prefers partial to full sun and blooms from spring through fall. Bat Face Cuphea attracts hummingbirds and bees and is drought resistant and heat-tolerant. Photographed at Green Spring Gardens

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

How’s this for some eye-poppin’ color?

26 06 2011

‘Kim’s Knee High’ Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) against a backdrop of False Cypress (possibly Gold Thread or maybe Lemon Thread?). It was just too much color to resist!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


19 05 2011

Broom (Cytisus pseudoprocumbens; C. diffusus; native to Europe). Brooms can be either evergreen or semi-evergreen and are deciduous shrubs that tolerate (and even thrive in) poor soils and growing conditions and need little care (how many plants can you say that about?!). They are native to Europe, north Africa and southeast Asia. I photographed these buds against a backdrop of deep purple Siberian Irises at Green Spring Gardens.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Blooming in my garden: Viola sororia ‘Freckles’

28 04 2011

The rare and unusual Sister Violet (Viola sororia) ‘Freckles’, with heart-shaped evergreen leaves and tiny snow white blooms speckled with deep purple spots, is similar to a wild violet. This hardy perennial likes well-drained soil in full to part sun (mine is in shade for a good part of the day). It’s a great plant for naturalistic shade gardens and it spreads by seed and underground rhizomes. I planted my first bunch a few years ago in an egg shaped wire sculpture perched atop a big urn. This year the plant has escaped from its cage and began spreading on the ground!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Cat’s Whiskers (Orthosiphon stamineus)

15 09 2010

Part of the mint family, Cat’s Whiskers are herbaceous perennial flowering plants originating in tropical East Asia. They grow up to two feel tall and three to four feet wide. The flowers have an orchid-like appearance and are white or lavender, sprouting long stamens that resemble cat’s whiskers. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds and can be harvested to use in herbal teas. I photographed this plant at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.