Saturday, February 13, 2016


Every gardener has his/her eye open for plants and flowers when traveling and it is often amazing that you can be on the other side of the world and see the same flowers you see growing at home. In part because living in Texas allows us to dabble in some more exotic plants. I saw plumbago and oleander growing the other day and recognized plumeria trees along the roadside. But then there are the unusual.
An archway covered in this mass of unknown blooms in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Our guide bought a dish of lotus flowers for us to place on the offering table at the Temple of the Budda's Tooth in Kandy. The air was  sweet with the scent of flowers.

We learnt about the Canonball tree Couropita guianensis with its dangerous fruit but strikingly pretty flowers. The flowers grow on stems which grow directly from the trunk of the tree. Sacred to both Hindu and Buddhist we saw the tree in the grounds of the Temple of the Tooth. 

It's easy to see how this plant got its name. They produce a fruit the size of a cannonball weighing up to 2kg. They don't plant this tree near to places where the fruit might drop on a passer by. When the fruit fall they split open revealing the flesh which is eaten by birds who then transfer the seeds to a place they might germinate.

The rare Maldive coconut palm with a fruit weighing from 10-20Kg taking 5-8 years to mature and then 1-2 years to germinate. The coconut is bi lobed resembling Siamese twins.

We often saw bowls of flower-covered water at the entrance to buildings.

And roadside markets of fruits. 
Red bananas, green bananas, yellow bananas.

Long, thin pineapples 

King coconuts from which they sliced off the top with a machete to reveal the sweet drink. We had too many to count paying only 50c a piece.

And jackfruit a rather sweet tasting fruit with a banana like texture.

Jackfruit, outside and in. Rather sweet but not great to my taste.

As ever a feast for the senses.


  1. The flowers look so gorgeous and colorful. It would be wonderful to have enough blooms at once to float in a dish!
    A vegan restaurant in San Antonio serves Jackfruit. It's brined first, then used with other ingredients it turns out quite good that way.

  2. So much amazing variety! That bowl of flowers is quite beautiful with its pattern.

  3. I agree - these floating flowers are as much a feast for the eyes as the fruit would be for the palate. I seem to recall reading somewhere the flowers are floated in water signifying the preferred detachment from the desires and trials of life "on or rooted in the ground". It is a lovely practice, and I'm with Shirley - what a luxury to have blooms enough to fill a container!