Today I spotted a male Costa's hummingbird (Calypte costae) with its beautiful iridescent purple head and breast and iridescent green back. As it was retrieving nectar from this heavily blooming Cape Honeysuckle, I rushed in to get my camera but when I got back, the bird was gone and didn't return. This is the first time I've seen this particular hummingbird in my garden. I hope more return. Check here for a great photo of the Costa's hummingbird.
|Mexican Bird of Paradise|
|Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violacea)|
This vine is really loaded with little buds, so in a couple of weeks, this plant will have a spectacular display. The vine has grown quite a lot in the past year, and now covers about eight feet of one of my block walls. Wish I would have planted several more. It was a good choice! It is an Australian native and is well suited to our area, but not yet in common use here. It seems impervious to frost and extreme heat. It is a twining vine so it needs a trellis for support. I use vine wires on the block wall and that works well. Since it can be easily propagated with softwood cuttings this time of year, I may try that to get more of these to cover another section of block wall. The vine looks great year round, even when not in bloom.
Valentine Emu is loading up for its February show. Sometimes there are so many flowers that the plant can't stay upright. This is one plant that improves with pruning and shaping after the blooming period. This is another Australian native.