Inca Princess Flower blooms

What’s that flower,  I asked George. It’s rare that I spot a treasure in the garden before he sees it, and he was delighted that the first flower on the Cantua buxifolia he planted last year bloomed.

Cantua buxifolia

We had grabbed the Cantua the minute we saw it at Annie’s Annuals, figuring from the flower’s shape that hummingbirds would like it. Annie’s helpful i.d. card confirmed our hunch: “Adored by hummingbirds!” George didn’t remember the common name but thought it was something like Queen or Princess of the Incas. It’s the national flower of Peru, and he wasn’t far off – one of its common names is Sacred Flower of the Andes. He probably remembered reading about the Inca legend associated with the flower, you can see it here on wikipedia.

A hummingbird was zipping around the garden. We hoped he’d feed from the Inca Princess flower but he decided to visit the Meyer lemon tree flower instead.

Hummingbird at lemon tree flower

I only had time to grab these two photos before he sped away.

Hummingbird at lemon tree flower

What’s blooming in your garden this week, and who’s feeding from it?



Photo of the week

I haven’t posted a favorite photo for a while – but I finally made time to work with a few of the photos that have been piling up, and here’s my current:

Hummingbird at lemon flower

This hummingbird zooms between our back garden and the deck feeders. I sit out back, hen on lap and reading a book, with my camera turned on. Hummingbirds dart around so quickly that you need every advantage you can take. I was so happy to grab this photo of him getting nectar from a flower on our lemon tree. The light was low, and although I loved his pose the photo was a bit grainy. Instead of getting rid of the noise, I used paint and other image tools to emphasize it.

Did you take a special photo this week, or make a drawing or other piece of art?