The photo below is a Corymbia ficifolia * , growing in the street near our house. These are very popular ornamental trees because they are quite hardy and because of the intense colour of the flowers that are borne in clusters at the end of its branches. Their colour varies from rich red through orange and pink to white.

Above is a close-up photo that shows the flowers have no petals and are made up of hundreds of brightly coloured stamens. I think their colour is intensified by the sunlight passing through the stamens.

This shows the flower buds with their caps still covering the stamens.

Here you can clearly see the cap lifting. 

I associate these flowers with summer and so thought I should arrange some while I had the opportunity. I have used a spherical ceramic vase I bought from an Adelaide gallery in about 1972; I still clearly remember being drawn to it from across the room when I went into the gallery for the first time.  It was made by very skilled ceramic artist, Don Jones, who was working in Adelaide when I lived there. 

This first photo is 'viewed from above', one of the Sogetsu School curriculum exercises.

This second photo shows the flower cluster on the longer stem balancing against the mass of the vase. I have removed most of the thick leaves and carefully rotated the flower heads so that the flowers are not drooping.

Over the last couple of weeks Lennart Persson who writes the, Nordic Lotus Blog, has shown images of ikebana he has created in a collaborative exhibition with some ceramic artists in Oslo. I think his work beautifully complements the ceramics. Here is a link: Nordic Lotus * .

Greetings from Christopher
24th January 2014

* Click on the blue text from further information.


  1. Thanks for sharing these photos and the wonderful arrangement, Christopher. I have been enjoying Lennart's postings as well. Best to you and Laurie, Michael

  2. I really enjoy the pictures you share of the interesting and lovely flora and fauna of your area. It is so interesting to see this posting showing the Corymbia ficifolia flower in the stages along the way to full blossoming. Thanks.