Ok, so these two potted plants (or, as our English friends would call them, pot plants) on my balcony just kept kicking up new surprises right up until the moment of my departure. Spurred by the curiosity of so much time at home with a need to get up and walk around and look out my windows in order to unchain myself from my work-at-home computer-email-obsessive habits, I watched as the potted plant on the right sent up new stalks. I calmly assumed that, since the leaves and habit of the plants in both pots seemed quite entirely the same, that the flowers would turn out pretty much the same also. And yet, experienced liver of life that I am, I failed to recall that when one assumes, one makes as ass of yourself and myself :-). Check it out! That big close-up just above here — ain’t it cool! And yet online photo research (for reasons unknown to me, the government of Northern Territory in Australia seems to have a thing with helliconia — or at least to come up early in google searches for photos of helliconia).
To me, this new flower clearly looks like a relative but more of a cousin than a brother of the flowers coming out of the first potted plant to set flowers. To do your own comparisons, and to see yet again why it’s so easy to think those first ones to flower are in fact strelitzia (bird of paradise) flowers rather than helliconia flowers, check out the second post I did from these remarkably productive plants next to my meditation space: https://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2020/06/15/urban-garden-13/
So these potted plants sit on the balcony off the room where I meditate and do my workouts / yoga. The way these flowers suddenly appear on them is really a bit different from what I’m used to from the climate zones where I grew up, in which one has buds for a long time and eagerly waits for them to open – particularly, say, in the case of the spring bulbs like tulips or daffodils, eh? Here, one day I suddenly notice a new spike, and the next day voila, there’s a flower. The more unfolded flower-stalk here was featured previously in https://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/urban-garden-6/ , and this week I noticed the second stalk, so thought I’d share with you its evolution.
By the way, online research tells me this is a variety of heliconia, which is not the flower commonly known as Bird of Paradise — for that one, do a quick search for Strelitzia. I once inherited a potted bird-of-paradise plant and, with careful application of the right fertilizers, encouraged it to bloom on a balcony in Brooklyn, long ago and far away :-). (Unlike my British friends, I cannot refer to plants in containers as pot plants. We in the US understand pot plants to be something quite entirely different from these lovely but not … pharmacopially useful? … heliconia.)