This being our first summer in our new home, we have been finding quite a few surprises among the plants and bushes. In April, we became curious about this this small plant growing conspicuously in front of the house.
By June it was about three or four feet high and had a fair number of small branches with green leaves. We had no idea what was. It was quite unprepossessing and boring looking. In fact we briefly considered removing it, but then decided to keep watering it and feeding it to see what happened.
Well, by the end of July, it grew another couple of feet and eventually developed two globe-like, claw-like heads that we thought were the flowers. We still had no idea what was. I scoured the web to try to identify it with no luck. I asked about it on one of my previous blogs, but no one recognized it.
The 'flowers' stayed looking like this for several weeks and we thought that was all there was to it. Then one day....BOINGGG! Look what happened. one of the claws popped open and then the magic began!
More and more popped open and these beautiful red-orange, tulip-shaped flowers appeared. Their shape should have given me a hint right there. But I still didn't catch on.
Soon both 'flowers' bloomed.
They were absolutely beautiful.
So now I decided to see if I could find out its name again. As soon as I checked on Google I remembered immediately. It was the African Tulip tree. I have seen it many times on Hawaii, only the ones on Hawaii are much, much larger....like 50 - 60 feet higher and quite wide with spreading branches. No wonder I didn't recognize it! Our little new-born is about six foot high and four feet wide.
A week or two later we were walking around the park when we discovered another home with our tree in its front yard. It is quite a bit more mature than ours, so now we know what we can look forward to.
Look how beautiful is!
Now the mystery is solved. I'm so glad we decided not to pull it out instead of waiting to see what developed.