Tropicals forum: some pictures from the garden today

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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Feb 16, 2012 6:55 PM CST
I'm documenting the size and look of some of my plants at different times of the year so I was out with the camera today. Here are a few of the pics.

Allagoptera arenaria, Brazilian Sand Palm. It's grown a lot this year, it's in a pot next to the pool and the fronds often hang into the pool with no noticeable effects from the chlorine. It's got 2 more seed pods on it, it seems to bloom all year.

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I can't find the name of the palm at the back, nor do I know which alocasia that is in front. The palm is doing much better since I moved it to more light and started watering it every day. It was in a spot that was out of the rain, hard to get to with water and in very low light. Now, it's on the terrace off my bedroom, it gets rain there and I have a hose for the other plants and the fish bowl.

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I got the name of this native plant, it's Manfreda petskinil agave. It has leopard like spots and pups often. I put this pup in a bird feeder when it was very small and it's doing fine there.

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This is Synadenium grantii, I got it when it was about 6" high and it has grown well. It's now getting much better color on the leaves, not sure why.

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These pandanus are on the roof, I probably should give them away as they can get very large. The leaves are like saws, very sharp edges. I like the variegated pups and have been pulling them off and separating them, I may keep only those.

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I had these tomatoes in the filter of the roof pond trying to grow them hydroponically, it didn't work. They were not thriving. I put them in dirt about a month ago and they have taken off. There are 3 or 4 tomatoes of a good size in the middle of the plant. I can't wait for them to ripen although I hope I can keep the birds away from them.

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I'm also waiting for fruit from my two pineapples, they are in pots but I think they will fruit. One is the regular type and the other is what is called a Honey Pineapple here, smaller and sweeter.

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Some blooms from today,

Heliconia's are starting to bloom

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Bougainvillea are in full bloom everywhere. I only have a few in pots on an upstairs terrace.


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A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 16, 2012 7:42 PM CST
Great pictures and I love your plants. I know the palm in your second picture and MAY think of the name....Could it be Licuala grandis?
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
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extranjera
Feb 16, 2012 10:12 PM CST
Yes! That certainly looks like it and the description fits as well. I hope I get some blooms and berries to know for sure. However, all of the pictures I found using Licuala grandis look just like mine. Thank you Hetty!! Hurray! Hurray!
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 17, 2012 4:27 AM CST
I tip my hat to you. glad I was able to come up with the name.... Smiling

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 17, 2012 7:16 AM CST
The palm in the second photo is definitely Licuala grandis. The Alocasia with it looks like A. plumbea which is now considered a synonym of A. macrorrhiza.

At this stage of your dry season I'd have thought your pineapples would already be flowering if they were going to this season. My neighbour has lots of them in pots and she fertilises them. Her fruits are large, whereas mine are smaller. Mine get completely ignored. In fact I sometimes notice a flower and the next time I see it it's a half rotten fruit on the ground. Keep promising to set up the pineapples properly ....... one day. I have got one that has bright red fruit, even when the fruit is small. The thorns on the leaves are large and savage, but the fruit looks spectacular.

Heliconias are great, if you can keep them under control. Especially Heliconia psittacorum. Some people say Heliconias should never be released from a pot, there's no guarantee for their good behaviour. Hilarious!
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 17, 2012 11:11 AM CST
We've had a very wet 'dry' season this year, however, I water on the roof every morning. I generally just spray over the pineapples but about once a week I put water in the pots. I wonder if I should let them dry out much more? I don't see even the beginning of a bloom coming up yet.

Heliconia is a bad child, that's for sure. I'm in the process of asking around for someone to come and dig and move for me. When I planted them, they were in sun but I've now realized that I can't keep this yard as sunny as I thought. So, I'm moving out the things that really need full sun. Some of the ginger is doing find, mostly the variegated shell ginger, but others are fading away from lack of sun. The large heliconia's are in an area that still gets full sun and they provide shade to everything under them so I just need to divide them and cut them back. My yard is not large and mostly I can handle it myself but I've been sick lately and anyway, I just don't have it in me to do that much digging and hard labor. If I can find someone good, I'll have them come once or twice a month and save up the heavy jobs for them. I've a lead on someone who works at a local botanical garden and wants some extra work, I hope he works out.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 17, 2012 11:49 AM CST
Ohhh...I love your bougainvillea!!! Reminds me of home Lovey dubby I also take a lot of photos of my plants Big Grin just to see how they change thru the seasons!

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
tropicbreeze
Feb 17, 2012 5:55 PM CST
Pineapples seem to do better with the extremes. Some tops I've thrown into shaded but well watered parts of the garden have grown very long leaves, look healthy but never flowered even after several years. The ones in full sun getting torrential rain in the wet but left pretty dry in the dry season do flower. I must find out which fertiliser my neighbour uses. I like fresh picked ripe pineapples, not those green lumps that taste like softened wood you get in the supermarkets.

Meant to mention before about Pandanus, I've got about 7 or 8 different species. One is native to my property, ie there's a few hundred growing naturally on my land. Another 2 locals I have as well. Have a small variegated NOID, clumpy but short and attractive. Also have the A. amarylifolius which is used in Asian cooking. Most of them are large growing. But the "Pandanus-love-of-my-life" from when I first saw it is Pandanus brosimos. Most desirable but unattainable, they're montane tropical.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 17, 2012 9:23 PM CST
I'm cutting my pineapples off the water wagon and see if that jump starts them. I agree about the taste of local pineapples vs those cut somewhere else. We are getting some fairly good ones in the stores from places like Honduras that are farther south but the ones from our area will start in a few weeks. Then, I can buy them from the back of trucks that are really fresh and sweet. Same with mangos, the local ones are just starting to get ripe. I'm happy to buy the Honduran ones now but I'll be really happy in a few weeks when everyone is trying to give them away by the box full. Then I'll start making chutney and cutting them up to freeze.

How about bananas? I've got 2 bunches that are about to ripen and I just last week made 2 more batches of banana bread to get rid of the last of the frozen ones from the previous bunch.


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I grow these bananas mainly for the foliage, they are very broad leafed and not very tall. The fruit is good, it's a bit smaller and sweeter than the regular grocery store type, which are called Roatan here. I'd love to have some of the small red ones that taste of apples but the foliage is much too tall for my space, so I buy them on the corner when I see them.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 18, 2012 4:58 AM CST
Jonna - your mangoes ripen this early? We have MONTHS to go - ours are just blooming or setting small fruit.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 18, 2012 1:06 PM CST
There is a progression of different types, the smaller green/yellow ones are the first to ripen and they usually appear in March. The larger, more yellow ones during the summer and the large red/orange ones are from mid summer to fall. They overlap and there are others as well but these are the main three. All of them are available in the supermarkets right now but they are from farther south. The names here are probably local, the earliest, small yellow/green are called Ataulfo, the mid summer ones are Manilla, and the large red ones that come at the end of the season - I'm having a senior moment and I can't remember the local name for those. Of course, the trees are everywhere and of unknown origen. Generally, the backyard mangos are smaller, yellow to green, oblong and very sweet with no stringiness. I prefer those for chutneys and sauces. Locals say the crop will be smaller this year because of the unseasonal rain we've had in the fall and winter. Perhaps, but I still see all the trees around the city full of almost full size green fruit that should ripen now that we are getting more heat.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Feb 18, 2012 11:22 PM CST
Very nice banana photos Jonna! My late grandmother used to be a banana merchant Big Grin Looking at the bananas sold here in the US, I miss the different bananas we have in the Phil Big Grin Sometimes I see some get shipped here in the US but too darn expensive and bruised..well of course shipping costs money.. I really love the little banana we call princesa which literally means princess. Sweet, small and cute to see when sold as one whole cluster of fruits!

Banana plants are so useful ornamentally and more! Their leaves can be used as dinner plate covers, or picnic table covers for that festive island look, or to make ironing glide smoothly, just let that flat iron sit awhile on that banana leaf, or you can also cook ground meat with egg wrapped in banana leaves so yummy!!! I remember neighbors will just come by asking if they can have one whole spread of the banana leaf Big Grin Too bad the urban building jungle is spreading so much and I can only see banana plants in the provinces.

And mangoes! Yum, Philippine mangoes are so delicious and sweet, especially coming from the Cebu & Guimaras islands. Well, some people like the unripe mangoes too and they eat it with a side salty dish that offsets the tart tangy taste of unripe mangoes.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 19, 2012 2:39 PM CST
A lot of cooking is done here with banana leaves as well, tamales in this part of Mexico are not wrapped in corn husks but in banana leaves. I have read some of the history from the period under Spanish rule and the Philippines and Mexico were very closely connected. One of the earliest Spanish trade routes was from Manilla to Mazatlan or Manzanillo on the Pacific coast. There are a lot of foods and plants that were shared across that route and naturalized on the other side since the climate is very similar.

The tiny yellow bananas, about the size of a man's thumb are delicious and they look like a rosette when presented in a bunch. I wonder if they are similar to the ones you remember? The red ones, we call them manzanas (it means apple) are slightly larger, a deep maroon and do have a slight taste of apple.

ps. looking at your picture, we have several enormous flocks of flamingoes in this area. They are incredible looking birds, I always thought they look like a 3rd grader drew them.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
[Last edited by extranjera - Feb 19, 2012 2:40 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Feb 19, 2012 6:35 PM CST
Yup! The Galleon trade influenced a lot of Mexican and Philippine histories. And this influenced the native language too, so a lot of Filipino words have Spanish origins, and used the same way, only variance in spelling. Too bad, during those 300 yers of colonization, Spanish was not really taught, the policy being divide and conquer, unlike the American occupation when they really exerted effort to teach English, hence more English speaking people. I only understood and learned more Spanish in college, and the generation after me are no longer obliged to study it. It used to be mandatory to study it as well in college.

And who would have known we will end up living here in California eh? All the more needed to remember my smattering of Spanish words hahah..I can understand & speak somewhat but the Mexican Spanish is a bit different from the Castillian Spanish that was taught to us.

Yeah that's the tiny yellow banana! Yum Yum! The manzana bananas you are mentioning, we call it latundan, and the more yellow orange one is called lakatan; the plantain banana we call it saba. I remember my aunt boiling saba and it serves as her favorite afternoon snack/dessert.

Aren't the flamingoes so nice and dainty looking? I took that photo when we were at Seaworld in San Diego. I just love seeing them seemingly standing on one leg, but really just folding the other leg way up while busily dipping their beaks. Big Grin
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 20, 2012 11:33 AM CST
The plantains or starchy bananas are cooked here as both a side dish with savory foods and as a dessert with honey and spices. I love them but I rarely cook them myself, my partner doesn't like them very much. I believe they are called machos (male) here but also just platanos fritos (fried bananas). I haven't looked at them much in the market so I don't really know what they are called raw.

There is a difference in Spanish between countries, mostly in common names for local things and in slang. Also, there are regional differences in accents within Mexico that are sometimes difficult. The accent here in Yucatan is considered very strong and difficult to understand, mainly because there are a lot of Mayan words and Mayan word order mixed in. Spanish is a useful language to know throughout the world. I wish I had paid more attention to learning it when I was growing up in Calif. I can function fairly well in Spanish but I am not what I would consider fluent because I don't have a large enough vocabulary. I do go to school, I'm taking a literature class in Spanish that helps my vocabulary and is interesting. I belong to some local garden and pond clubs and I try and read the Spanish pond forum regularly. I'm not very consistent with that, there are members from all over the world and the slang and abbreviations are very thick, I'm not sure it really helps me to learn Argentine slang, I need the brain space for regular words Blinking
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 20, 2012 11:46 AM CST
Oh I hear you loud and clear Jonna! Spanish is a lovely language indeed. I guess it is similar in Filipino where the words are mixed in like what you are describing in the Yucatan. I know there is an area in the Philippines where their dialect is called chabacano and it has strong roots from Mexican Spanish. And the Philippines has around 170+ dialects..,talk about not having the proper vocabulary, so English is a good fall back language, anyways it is taught in all schools at an early age. So pretty much most people there are bilingual or trilingual if you include their dialects Big Grin Big Grin I grew up speaking Tagalog and English, and Tagalog is the main basis for the Filipino language, so good for me..I only know smatterings of the other dialects there. So if I add learning Spanish...whew....makes your mind whirl! But I do speak some Japanese and some Italian too..

Just fun to talk about things Big Grin Big Grin
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 20, 2012 1:16 PM CST
I did two years of Spanish after high school and was pretty good in it for a while, and then we started traveling in Italy a lot and I had to block out the Spanish because the two languages are quite similar and it was confusing me no end. Now I wish I could get the Spanish back! I should probably take a class...
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Feb 20, 2012 1:25 PM CST
Spanish and Italian sound very similar, my native spanish speaking friends tell me that they can understand and be understood easily in Italy. However, they can't read it very well as the sounds are spelled quite differently. The opposite from Portuguese, which is fairly easy to read for a Spanish speaker but much harder to understand.

I love languages and the cultural aspects of them. You're doing really well Tarev with a smattering of so many languages. What I've read is that a child that grows up bilingual has a better ability to learn other languages and they are less likely to get dementia or alzheimers. Interesting. Apparently you have more paths to the same knowledge or something like that. You should go back and take some Spanish classes Hetty, it helps to keep us young Big Grin At least, that's what I'm telling myself.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 20, 2012 1:31 PM CST
That is actually a good idea Hetty. The reason I knew some Italian, I took some very short courses in a nearby adult ed class. I was thinking since both Spanish and Italian are basically of the romantic languages genre, it will be a bit easier to understand. Most of my classmates then were folks who loves or will visit Italy, and they all felt they wanted to experience the visit with more gusto by learning the language. I did see a lot of similarities, and like you I end up mixing up the two Rolling on the floor laughing But I remember my Spanish more, since it is more integrated in my native tongue Big Grin As mush as possible though I try to remember the basic pleasantries and some counting and colors...then some simple verbs...conjugation is the toughest part though! Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 20, 2012 1:36 PM CST
Gracias Jonna! Big Grin You are so right...good mental exercise..must have good actual verbal practice too, sometimes listening to a real native speaker a lot helps, and oftentimes the slang or colloquial meanings are simply something we all have to play by the ear!

Thanks! Gracias! Grazie! Salamat po! Arigato gozaimasu!

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