Chocolate, cocoa and … Dombeya?
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
Members of the Sterculiaceae family. Dombeya burgessiae is named for Joseph Dombey, a French botanist who worked in Peru and Chile, collecting plants. And there once was a Miss Burgess of Birkenhead, which invites a limerick.
|Dombeya in a vase with their faces to the sun
supported by Pelargonium leaves
After three weeks away, the garden looks, disconcertingly small - but so lush and green. Pots of freesias lighten the darkness and smell delectable. Pink and white prettiness outside the bedroom windows in Spring Promise is Dombeya burgessiae in full bloom! My Dozen for Diana choice, the plant that sings out loud in my August garden. And your August garden singer? (July's rubies are faded to burgundy and straw) (Golden Hypoxis completed the first four)
Pam in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is bottling her own beets with her grandson.
PlantZAfrica says - it can attain its full size in as little as three years. ‘Pink wild pear’ is one of those plants I favour, a shrub or small tree. Expected to reach about four metres high and wide, probably a bit less with our hot summers. Found naturally from Kwazulu-Natal (that is sub-tropical) then north up to Tanzania. It is eaten by black rhinos, and the bark can be made into baskets.
So many plants bear the name cordata or cordifolium. And I’m left thinking you call That a Heart?! But in Porterville our plant bore a profusion of delightful hearts. Sadly the leaves sulked and pined away in captivity, NOT happy, cut and picked in a vase. Those tropical looking big velvety leaves flourish in dappled shade and away from the Southeaster's fierce grabbing fingers. Strangely the False Bay plant has lobed leaves like a grape vine. For Pm @ Digging's Foliage Followup.
A few lines, published in 1896 says Housman Society UK, lifted with joy from
A.E. Housman’s A Shropshire Lad.
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
Now of my three score years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
About the woodland I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
The little book I once bought for my mother, is now on my own shelf.
I like to pick these flower heads, to turn them up, so I can see into their 'faces'. Each truss of flowers is a satisfying handful in a bud vase. That shell pink of fruit tree blossom is sparked to life by the cherry stripes radiating from the flower's heart. (We have been revelling in eating - life is a bowl of cherries!)
|For over a year I have been hunting for a vegetable brush
which I found in a specialist kitchen shop in Zurich
There are 190 in the family from Africa, Madagascar and the islands. Only 7 species are South African. Ranging from white to lighter and deeper pink. Tolerates light frost and drought. Can be grown from seeds.
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