Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Claw me, claw thee

It's been over a year since I last gave an update on our Lobster Claw heliconias (Heliconia rostrata). Back then they were still growing in the nursery and have responded well to the extra attention they've received so much so that their area in the nursery looked more like a Lobster Claw plantation (Their claws are showing). So what has happened since then?

Weather permitting they were slowly transplanted in the upper/back garden. As expected they experienced transplant shock to varying degrees. Some seemed to have died completely but new growth appeared after a few weeks. Others only had minor shocks, losing several leaves.

Some of the Lobster Claw heliconias already established in their new home in the upper garden.

A solitary clump of young Lobster Claw begins to bloom. With surrounding weeds cleared it looked even more alone.

More Lobster Claws in the upper garden, some displaying new blooms.

These Lobster Claws are competing for attention amid thick, persistent weeds.

With all the weeds in the background, this heliconia is a sight for sore eyes.

What I love about Lobster Claws are their colorful flowers that look interestingly unusual and that they bloom year round at intermittent intervals. So you never know where in the garden the next blooms will appear and when. And even though this plant is now widely and sometimes over cultivated, to me its exotic appeal never diminishes. A proof to this is the existence of more of this plant all over the upper garden.

"Claw me, claw thee" is an old German/Dutch idiom which means "stand by me and I'll stand by you" or sometimes "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine".
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