Friday, November 19, 2010

Mother Nature's Amazing Colour Reversal - Billbergia

Hello my kindred garden lovers

Today I've decided to simply mention one memorable plant.
Please find below: BILLBERGIA. 

Billy grows in several places in my garden beds, as well as in pots so I can see him up close and marvel at the colour combination. He flowers throughout October. The flowers look good but the leaves can get scrappy. If you put one in a pot so you can gaze at it up-close, it's probably a good idea to keep removing the leaves when they lose their attractiveness.

This is what Wikipedia says: 
Billbergia is a genus of the botanical family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae. The genus is named for the Swedish botanistzoologist, and anatomist Gustaf Johan Billberg. This genus is divided into two subgenera: Billbergia and Helicodea. Many Billbergia are endemic to Brazil but individual species are represented from Mexico to Argentina. 

I didn't realise till now that Billbergia is a Bromeliad. Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) is inland and high above sea level, with cold frosty winters. Many bromeliads would not survive this location unless they lived in a hothouse but our Billbergias don't seem to mind it.
See the amazing mix of green, pink and chartreuse flowers, growing on pink stems? Green flowers?! Pink stems?! Aren't they the wrong way around?! And what about that navy blue edging? 

I think Mother Nature is extraordinarily skilful. She never runs out of ideas and ways to bring us pleasure. Bless her.

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13 December 2010 - Canberra gardeners please note

I have just been in the garden dividing a huge clump of bilbergia and I'd like to give them away. I'm confident they'll be transplantable at least until April. 

If you live in Canberra Australian Capital Territory or nearby, and you'd like some plants, please send me an email. You can come to the Heart Garden to collect, and maybe stay for a cuppa. You'd be so welcome.