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Archive for December, 2009

Bidens alba

I love white daisies; Shasta daisies in particular.

So I was devastated when I found out that the Shasta daisy no longer grows in Cameron Highlands.

They say the nights are no longer cool enough.

True enough, I have not seen any there recently until I chanced upon a lone plant near Robinson Falls a couple of weeks ago.

It was a sad specimen but a Shasta daisy nonetheless, so I whipped out the camera and captured a shot for posterity.

But if Shasta daisies refuse to grow in the highlands, there’s just no way I can get them to grow for me in the hot and humid lowlands.

Then I saw the bidens alba at a friend’s place.

Both plants have flowers with pure white petals radiating from a yellow centre, but that’s where the similarity ends.

While the Shasta daisy has gorgeous blooms 3-4 inches across, the bidens alba has button-sized flowers a modest 1 inch across.

I collected some seeds, envisioning the lovely miniature flowers in the garden.

The bidens alba grew quickly reaching for the sky, and before I knew it, I had clusters of little white daisies.

Just the other day, I gathered some blooms for the vase. And surprise, surprise – they make great cut flowers for an English country arrangement.


Care and cultivation
: well drained soil; full sun; water moderately; propagate using seeds and cuttings

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What’s for lunch … a housefly, a fruit fly, a mosquito or a spider?

It seems a little sadistic to be fascinated by what my droseras have trapped for their meal, but they seem to do this so well.

If I were an insect, I too would be drawn to the titillating drops of dew on the droseras. The poor things never had a chance.

I’m fascinated by the drosera capensis leaf that curls slowly around its hapless prey. It’s much like wrapping a sushi, but long before we figured out how to do so, Nature had already perfected the art.      

The paradoxa behaves likewise.

When its poor victim fails to tear itself from its gluey trap, the small paddle-like leaf closes tightly around it.

Each closed leaf resembles a tiny clenched fist.

Even the alicaea, the new kid on the block, had gotten into the thick of things and snared a light snack for itself.

Further down the rack, a housefly had fallen victim to the brumanii. When I saw the size of the fly, I wondered if the brumanii had bitten off more than it could chew. Let’s hope it doesn’t get indigestion.

Imagine sitting still, waiting for a meal to fall onto your lap. One has to be really patient. Much like the spider lying in wait for a fly ….

 

Care and cultivation: media is a mix of sphagnum peat moss, sand and perlite 1:1:1; sit pot in a waterdish; semi to full sun; shield from rain; propagate using seed or leaf cuttings.

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