There are occasions during the year, especially the wet season, when the green shades of the tropical rainforest are broken only by occasional bursts of colourful new growth. However, in the past few months we have been enjoying many colourful flowers – I was very pleased to find such a healthy Floscopa scandens covering the newly exposed muddy bank of this little pond; I planted it here about two years ago but it has taken a while to become established. The bottom of the pond is covered in Marsilea mutica, an aquatic or terrestrial fern. Allen wrote about Floscopa here so I won’t repeat his words.
Another interesting plant discovery has been Costus potierae which is easily mistaken for the, now very common, exotic Costus speciosus from India. A botanically knowledgeable friend showed Allen where it was growing on the edge of some remnant rainforest about 1 km from our gate. This native Costus has hairs growing on the upper surface of its leaves which enables it to be distinguished from the introduced form with its shiny upper surface.
I have included a close-up of the leaf which shows the hairs, as well as a jumping spider.
And to finish up on a very bright note ………….. Syzygium wilsonii is flowering profusely. This attractive shrub occurs naturally from the Daintree region south to Hinchinbrook Island, however it is now quite widely cultivated. At a maximum height of about 2 m with colourful new foliage as well as its bright flowers it has become very popular – it can also be grown successfully in semi-shaded situations. The photo shows an upright flower but more often they hang like lanterns amongst the leaves.