This plant I am featuring is nothing short of predictable. It has a strange habit of flowering only once a year...must be the clockwork mechanism inside its head that makes it magically transform from a drab green cast-aside plant into a splendid bright orange beauty that becomes the centre of attention in my garden. And this spectacular blossoming from ugly duckling to lovely swan takes place every year in...December, just in time for Christmas.
I have four of these plants in rather large terracotta pots. The plants require quite a bit of space as they have to be staked to a frame around which they twine ever so lazily all year round. Then a burst of activity would begin when the tips of the young leaves begin to blush shyly, and slowly the blush deepens into an all-out expression of embarrassment until the bracts appear, scarlet with mortification!
Below is a series of photographs recording this phenomenon:
At first, the leaves are a fresh green.
Then a tinge of rouge appears on the small leaflets.
The vermilion-red paint begins to spread on Nature's canvas.
Then the red leaves form a corolla and small yellow-tipped florets emerge.
Presenting the work of art.
My thanks to Luiz and his team.
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