Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Golden Lotus Banana at Fairchild

Golden Lotus Banana
Musella lasiocarpa
(mew-SEL-uh) (las-ee-oh-KAR-puh)

This was taken at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Miami, Florida. It was quite odd looking but charming and captivating. It was growing out of a kind of nasty looking stump with a lot of ratty leaves. It is the kind of flower I think a dinosaur would love as it looks a bit prehistoric. It shares the genus Musella with one other species, M. splendida. The naming has some controversy surrounding it and at first glance I thought the tag said Musa. It is native to Southeast Asia and is thought to be extinct in the wild. Apparently, and I found this information poking around the net, it is a wonderful very cold hardy (USDA Zone 7, maybe lower) plant for the garden.

If you are ever in the Miami area and want to visit a garden go to Fairchild. It is one of my all-time favorites. It has almost fully recovered its old glory after a devastating blow from Hurricane Andrew. The collection of Palms is amazing, and that is just one part of the garden. It is set on 83 acres in a very nice area of Coral Gables. This February they are again having a Chihuly exhibit. I am going to go with an open mind and hope to visit at least twice on my upcoming trip. Stay tuned for a ‘live’ report from Fairchild. I read on Wikipedia that they have an African Baobab Tree. I have been 10 times and never seen it! If I find it I will definitely write about it.

(Synonym: Chinese Yellow Banana)


Ki said...

Wow, that's a beautiful flower. I like the complexity of the structure and all the different elements and colors that make up the flower. The lighting is just great.Thanks for posting the photo.


stunning detail..beautiful shot