Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More, Seeing small things, part 4

New leaves on a Japanese maple. I don't know why it's still producing growth but these are new leaves and not autumn leaves changing color.

Two photos of Hydrangea paniculata bracts. If the first photo is of a bract or sepal what are the budlike structures called?

A tiny Black-eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta (Asteraceae)

Once again a photo of a bract, this time of the Seven Sons tree, Heptacodium miconioides, with the same bud like structures as the Hydrangea.

English Daisy, Bellis perennis. These were very nice in the pot but didn't do well after we transplanted them into the garden. Perhaps they are a spring blooming flower so hopefully they'll survive the winter and bloom again next spring.

Newly opening flower on the Camellia sasanqua, 'Marti'.

Dainty flowers of the sweet basil, Ocymum basilium.

Dogwood fruit. With the added magnification, you can see the bumpy texture of skin of the fruit. Again the shallow depth of field plays havoc with keeping all of the objects in focus.


Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Your series of small plants in closeup is fun to view, Ki. You've obviously got the technique well practiced by now.

Entangled also had a dogwood fruit photo - so this is the second time I've ever seen one. How large are these berry-like fruits? Like a blueberry? If you touch it is the fruit hard like a cranberry?

The maple leaves are lovely.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

7:32 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi annie,
Actually all of these photos were taken on the first day I tried this technique. I will have to make some kind of mount for the lens so I don't develop arthritis in my hand, having to hold the lens to the camera in an awkward manner.

The dogwood fruit is about the size of a cranberry though not as plump and at this stage it is hard like a rose hip. When it ripens further it softens and gets mushy but the birds and squirrels usually eat it before that happens. The mocking bird covets the fruit and it's pretty funny seeing it trying to protect the tree from a mob of starlings. Now your comment has made me wonder if the fruit is edible for humans. I know its relatives the Cornelian cherry dogwood and the Kousa dogwood fruit are edible. I should try one to see how it tastes. The Missouri Botanical Garden website states: "Bright red fruits (poisonous to humans, but loved by birds) mature in early fall and usually persist until the middle of December." I guess I won't try it. But... the Plantfor a Future website states: "Edible Uses

Edible Uses: Drink.

Fruit - cooked. The fruit is not poisonous, but is almost inedible raw[226]. When the seed is removed and the flesh is mashed, it can be mixed with other fruits and made into jams, jellies etc[226]. The fruit, when infused in 'Eau de Vie' makes a bitter but acceptable drink[4]. One report says that the fruit is poisonous for humans[229]. The fruit is borne in clusters, each fruit being up to 15mm in diameter with a thin mealy bitter flesh[229]. The fruit is high in lipids, uo to 35% of dry weight[274]."

I hope we get a cold spell soon so the Japanese maples will start to turn. So far only one Japanese maple a Beni Kawa had turned, possibly because the dry weather we've experienced has stressed the small tree. I hope this is not a year where the leaves just turn brown and drop.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Vanillalotus said...

Beautiful. I love the colors of the hydrangea and the seven sons they are nice soft and muted but with so many colors mixed. The little sweet basil flowers are cute. I have sweet basil but I don't know if mine will make it to grow any flowers. The Camellia looks like tissue paper filled with punched paper holes. I love the texture of the english daisy so bumpy but soft looking.

I know how it is with the trees lately. My hillier elm bonsai busted out new leaves. I'm glad it did though because I thought the planting into the pot had killed it.

lovley photos once again.

7:20 AM  
Blogger mmw said...

Hydrangea paniculata has two kinds of flowers: big sterile ones to get pollinators' attention, and the little ones which are actually fertile. So: the first picture is petals, and so is the second one!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Vanilla Lotus,
I guess the tree knows what it's doing and it doesn't seem to harm it by putting on new leaves so late in the season. Maybe it thinks it's spring again with the onset of cooler weather? We have a Golden Chain tree that sprouts new leaves and flowers in the spring then goes dormant during the hot months of summer and re-leafs again in fall usually with a second flush of flowers. It looks uglier than heck during summer and I've threatened to cut it down many times but just about time I've had it with the tree it blooms again.

MMW, thanks for the clarification. So the tiny ones are actually the seed? Very interesting. I wonder why it uses this method to attract pollinators when most flowers don't have two separate structures for pollination. Thanks for your comment.

6:50 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

I really like your pictures! My seven sons tree has yet to bloom, thanks for the glimpse into the future!

11:48 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hey Lisa, It took a year for the seven sons tree to get established then whoosh, get out of the way! It started to put out growth sideways like no tomorrow. We had to prune it twice that year so it wouldn't smother other plants around it. It is quite a unique tree with many good qualities. The exfoliating trunk is very nice, the flowers are nice and fragrant too. And the panicles are pretty neat. I know you'll really become attached to your tree.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Ki, you take such wonderful pictures! :)

Those English daisies (bellis perennis) are spring bloomers, you're right. They are also fairly short-lived perennials but possible reseeders if I remember correctly.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kim, thanks for the info on the English daisies. I've always seen them in seed and plant catalogs and thought to buy them many times but only saw them for sale for the first time at a local nursery this year. I was sorely disappointed that the plant was at it's height of the blooming when we bought it and everything was downhill after the purchase. Occasionally one or two flowers would bloom but it was hardly much of a display. I'll be interested if it does survive the winter and rebloom in spring. Thanks for your kind comment.

6:53 AM  

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