Sunday, May 22, 2011

BLOOD LILLIES - The Sign That Summer is over, and Rainy Season Begin

Our farmhand, Danilo points to the lovely red-orange blood lilies.

Some common names for these bulbs include Blood lily, Torch lily, Paintbrush lily, Powderpuff lily, and Fireball lily.

I call them "Powder Puff" Lilies, but their Latin name is :Haemanthus Multiflorus. In some botanical books, these are in the category of Lilies that grow from bulbs like onions. Planted in one spot, they will appear suddenly at the end of summer, after the first deluge of rain falls around the end of May, in the Philippines.

This brilliant, brazen blood lilies are several little, tiny flowers that open together and form a round, delicate powderpuff like ball.
They are a surprise and delight the eyes after a dry, hot summer, these are the sign the monsoon season is at hand.

They have a wide distribution from lowland to mountain forest, but they are very much at home in sun or shade. I placed them in a tiny little "forest" walk near my herbal garden, beside my current empty pond.

They love the sudden moisture of an early rain, but will only shoot up after the rains swell their bulbs with water. Flowers of all species are short‑lived; flower size and coloring differ considerably. After the rains arrive regularly, these will wilt, and then go back to the earth, to rest once more for another year.