Six on Saturday – W14/2021 – Going batty!

After a busy week at work preparing for Easter weekend guests, it is a relief to have at least a couple of days off to recharge. Today’s reprieve was in part due to Mr S, who having returned from a visit to his daughter and family, discovered he had picked up the head cold from them! However, because the Greater Brisbane area had gone into a three day COVID lockdown on Monday, he erred on the side of caution and went for a COVID-19 test. He was told to isolate until his results came through, and as he was isolating I had to isolate too, hence the couple of days off! Thankfully he has been given the all clear. Thankfully too Brisbane was out of lockdown just in time for the long Easter weekend.

After all the rush of the past week it is time to slow down a little and prepare this week’s Six on Saturday, kindly hosted by The Propagator. Links to other gardening delights can be found in the comments section of his posts.

I decided to start this week’s Six with the bat plants, Tacca chantrieri. I was thrilled to see that both my black bat plants are now flowering well and looking splendid! They did really poorly last year, but they have recovered well this year, which might be the result of the excessive rainfall we have had this year. Both of these plants are growing in large pots.

Black bat plant
Black bat plant flower

2. This little Rudbeckia has just started to flower, and the contrast between the bright yellow petals and the dark centre of the flower is stunning, all the more so as it is the first Rudbeckia I have grown.

3. The Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus, always looks great at this time of the year (autumn). The bush has an open look about it, and all the growth you can see, all +3m of it, is this season’s growth. In winter/ spring the plant will be pruned back close to the ground. The white flowers are the newest, and within a day the flower changes to a pink colour, and the petals shrivel.

Rose of Sharon shrub, around 3m tall.
Buds, newly opened white flower, and day old pink flower

4. Do you remember the New Guinea Impatient from Week 11? The one that had been chewed by the very voracious caterpillars? Well, 3 weeks later it is covered in new leaves again!

5. Now this little shrub of about a metre in height in height is flowering prolifically in the garden at this time of year. The dainty little pink bells of Strobilanthes cusia are produced in profusion on the plant. This plant is easily propagated from cuttings.

6. The final one for this week’s Six is the Brazilian Cloak Plant, Megaskepasma erythrochlamys, is adding a bright patch of colour to the corner next to the Rose of Sharon. The colourful and showy bracts are quite spectacular, and in both photos you can see the little white flowers peering out from the bracts.

Note the beautiful leaf veination and texture
Showy red bracts and white flowers

Well, that’s it from me for this week’s Six! Wishing you all a wonderful gardening week ahead. Happy Easter!

30 comments

    • Not really. I subdivided the one I was given, hence the two, but neither flowered last year. They like a warm climate as far as I know. Mine are growing in pots, and I repot them every 2 to 3 years, and have them in a shady spot, such as under trees.

  1. I’m both slightly frightened and fascinated by the bat plant! Never seen anything like it! I love the daintiness of the pink belled plant and the rose of sharon is lovely, how nice to have the colour combo on one plant.

    • Oh you would fall in love with the bat plant if you saw it in real life, as it is just spectacular! The Rose of Sharon is one of my favourite flowers at this time of year, and I’m lucky to have the double flowers as they are definitely more spectacular than the single ones.

  2. I must, must have a bat plant! So menacingly beautiful. Very strange that the Rose of Sharon flowers change color so dramatically as they age. Congratulations on your success with Rudbeckia. I have found this plant reliable, though I made the regrettable error of purchasing a hybrid with a sort of pom pom like flower that I have (also regrettably) now developed a loyalty to, though it clashes with what I imagine to be the aesthetic of my garden.

    • Ah! I can fully understand your need to have a bat plant, as that is exactly what I thought when I saw my first bat plant! Yes, the colour differences of the flowers is strange, but it certainly makes for an attractive plant! It’s just such a pity that the flowers are so short-lived. Thanks for the tip on the Rudbeckia! I think I prefer the simple flowers anyway, and those plants seem to be sturdier.

  3. The black bat plant is so strange! And it looks as though something has been having a good munch around your plants, perhaps those same caterpillars! I have a plant very similar to your no 6 – mine is called Justicia Carnea Jacobina – or the Brazillian Plume Flower / Flamingo Plant

    • I looked up you Justicia, and yes, I have seen them before, and that is one that I don’t have. They are very pretty! The Brazilian Cloak is about 1.5m tall now, and is a nice dense screening plant. The bat flower is really amazing with its long dangly bits. (I was going to say tendrils but they are not) Definitely not being munched by caterpillars! There are also white flowering varieties available, and after this years success with the black flowering one, I’m tempted to try and grow a white one.

  4. That bat plant! How beautiful is that and it does look like a bat! The Cloak is quite fancy too! I am glad you are both free of Covid!!!!! What a mess this has been! We (hubby and I) are vaccinated up and I’m just waiting now for the shoe to drop saying in a year or so from now we will all have organ failure or such…..from the vaccine. In the mean time, I am going to go, go, go like my life depended on it, because it probably does! Have a blessed Easter! Cady

    • Hopefully all will be okay now you have had the vaccine. You are certainly planning a lot with your two cruises booked already. Glad you are living life to the full! That’s the way to go! Hope you have a blessed and peaceful Easter too!

  5. I’m glad the New Guinea Impatient is recovering well. Wow to the Tacca chantrieri. It’s both a little bit scary looking (I’m a wuss and have a feeling I would mistake it for a giant spider) and beautiful.

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