Sunday, September 15, 2013


It began like this:

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 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.


snafu said...

Your patience has proved to be a virtue and you have another exotic bloom to look forward to each year.

Dave said...

Its often worth keeping what may look like a weed until it matures, in case you get a pleasant surprise.

Mersad said...

Ha! Love the in-progress images. Mystery solved indeed!

Mersad Donko Photography

Patty said...

I bet you are glad you saved it to see what might happen. It's beautiful.

kaybee said...


Morning's Minion said...

I often puzzle over the identity of a wildflower--or bird--google searches or a good reference guide lead me to the correct family; then I get lost in the variations--so many kinds of sparrows and hawks, so many yellow flowers with daisy-like petals.
Your small tree is a beauty!

Nonnie said...

wow, did your patience pay BIG time! I know that I probably have had it uprooted before now. Thanks for sharing!

Scriptor Senex said...

Mystery solved. I'm so glad. And isn't it just perfect!

sandy said...

wow, cool bush and flowers!