With summer heat and humidity, only the most rugged flowers, fruits, and vegetables will thrive.
June. Summer officially arrives and the more feint at heart blossoms of spring give way to the tropicals.
|Summer brings tropical members of the Lily|
Family, like these Gloriosa rothschildiana from
|The yellow blooms of Gloriosa greenei are not as common|
as their red cousins.
|The flower spikes of Curcuma zeodaria, a relative of the turmeric plant, emerge|
before the leaves in early summer.
|Okra blossoms will be followed quickly by their|
|Blue flowers are uncommon in the Amaryllis|
Family, but are standard in the Lily-of-the-Nile
July: Tropical blossoms and fruits continue.
|The flowers of the passion fruit, Passiflora edulis, appear in succession during|
the warm weather, each resulting in a fruit about a month later.
|The nodding flowers of Agapanthus inapertus major. |
a relative of the Lily of the Nile, appear in July.
|Heydichium gardnerianum, a member of the|
Ginger Family, produces its cylindrical masses
of golden-yellow flowers in July.
August: The heat and rain continue, ripening guavas, passion fruits, and okra, with some Hibiscus and Cannas for color.
|This pendant, red, double variety of Hibiscus is one of the few that continues|
to bloom in hot weather.
September: Shortening days bring out some new blossoms.
|Billbergia pyramidalis, a member of the Pineapple Family,|
produces small blue flowers nestled inconspicuously amidst
bright red bracts.
|My favorite cattleya, which has endured heat, |
near-freezing temperatures and neglect for 40
years, produces its flowers also with the
decreasing daylength of September.
|Banana flowers appeared in October this past |
year, and the fruit ripened in April.
November: Some flowers oblivious to seasonality continue, along with ripening fruits.
|Sweet potato vines, with their edible young|
shoots, have grown rampantly all summer.
Occasionally a flower will appear, reminding
us that the sweet potato is a member of the
Morning Glory Family.
|Cannas have been with us all year, and will |
continue to bloom if the weather remains mild.
Fresh Goji berries, Lycium barbarum, appear in the Fall or sometimes in the Spring, avoiding both cold and hot weather. They are a member of the Tomato Family.December: Of course, what would December be without Poinsettias?
|A commercial Poinsettia farm in Florida readies its products for market in late November and early|
|Planted out at home, Poinsettia can become a permanent shrub or small tree, until it freezes anyway~|
The microscopic flowers are embedded in green-yellow cups amidst brightly colored leaves, or bracts,
creating the illusion of a giant flower.