In early October I posted a photo of a calistemon flowering in the garden. Since then many of these, often vibrant, 'bottle brush' * flowering shrubs have become very conspicuous along the roads where they are commonly planted as street trees. They are one of many Australian plants that have long fillaments or stamens and very small, often modified, petals. In this case the flower spikes surround the branches, creating a 'bottle brush' effect. 

In this photo there are two plants, one with red and the other with pink flowers.

The buds just beginning to open and the filaments to unfurl.

A fully opened flower with seed capsules from the previous season to the left of the flower.

This stem is several years old and some seed capsules still remain waiting for the right moment to release their seeds.

The flowers in this photo of a related melaluca are tiny, only 2cms long. After the flowers have formed the branch continues to grow from the tip, quite often dividing into several new branchlets.

These seed capsules, on the plant shown in the previous photo, look as though they are being absorbed into the stem.

In this week's ikebana I have massed the flower heads and stripped almost all of the leaves to reveal the lines of the branches and seed capsules from previous seasons. There are flowers from two different bushes used in this arrangement.

I took this final photo when I realised that the different colours were difficult to discern in the previous photo. In the middle and to the lower right side of the mass some of the flowers are a soft pink while the others are a clear red. It was much more apparent to the eye than in the photo.

Two weeks ago I attended the final meeting for this year of Ikebana International Melbourne *, for which the theme was a somewhat early Christmas. Click on the link to see photos from the meeting.

Greetings from Christopher
20th November 2016

1 comment:

  1. Dear Christopher, Love your arrangement here with the two different colors of the bottle brush. Would loved to have seen it in person. The mixing of the colors looks very subtle. Thank you for sharing the growth of the bottle brush with us. I have seen the seed pods before, but your photos really showed the maturing of the plant. Seeing the seed pods being absorbed by the branch was very interesting. I think I saw the backs of your and Laurie's head at Dr. Inoue's lecture in a photo posted to another blog. Would love to know your expressions and thoughts of that lecture. Warmest regards, Michael