Staurogyne sp. ‘Bihar’ Flowers!

August 8th, 2009

Back in April, I bought this plant from another hobbyist by the name Hygrophila sp. ‘Bihar.’ Submersed, this plant has pinnatifid (feather-like) leaves, which makes it very unique looking, but above water, it looks fairly ordinary.

Staurogyne sp. 'Bihar'

We now suspect that this is likely a Staurogyne, instead of a Hygrophila because of the pubescence (hairs) on the stem and leaves. In addition, one stem has flowered for me out in the pond, and the flower very much resembles that of a Staurogyne.

Staurogyne sp. 'Bihar'

Compared to the rest of the plant, the purple flowers are fairly small. I almost missed that a flower was present. Even the flowers have hairs on them.

Staurogyne sp. 'Bihar'

I’m hoping that combined with these pictures, and a pressed specimen of the plant, that my friend can work with other experts to figure out what species of plant this really is. S. sp ‘Bihar’ most certainly is not correct!

Business Broker

Raised Brick Pond: Summer of the Flower

July 4th, 2009

After hearing Sherry’s talk about her pond at the last GWAPA meeting, I decided it was time to post an update about how my raised brick pond is progressing this summer. I’m happy to say that things are going pretty well. I had a few plants come back after being frozen solid through the winter, particularly some Potamogeton and Ludwigia palustris. Neither is incredibly unexpected, however, as they’re both native plants.

Pond - July 4th, 2009

After a few seasons, I’ve had to replace the solar pump as the old one just wouldn’t turn anymore. I think detritus got into the motor, but unfortunately, it’s sealed tight, so I can’t get inside to service it. Fortunately, I had a spare, so that’s going right now. IMG_5819

You’ll notice that I have several bricks lined up along the front edge of the pond. This is to keep a certain dog, Bella, from constantly trying to take a drink from the pond water. She’s got a huge bowl of water just up the steps in the house, but she loves the pond water for some reason. I guess it must have a more complex flavor, but nevertheless, I don’t need a sick dog on my hands, so hence, the barrior.

Pond - July 4th, 2009

Without the barrier, it looks like this. Notice the large zucchini plant to the left of the pond, which is producing lots of tasty fruit already. I also have a couple cucumber vines growing which I’m trying to train up, over, and along the pond. In back of the pond, you can just start to see the tomato plants, which should eventually form a solid wall of green as a backdrop.

Pond - July 4th, 2009

In the pond, this year, I’ve placed every species of plant I have that I don’t know the true scientific name. I have a good friend in GWAPA who does a lot of research into trying to figure out that Limnophila sp. ‘Mini’ is really Limnophila repens, and similar cases, but it’s nearly impossible to do that without seeing the flowers. So, I’m hoping that all of these plants will convert to emersed form and flower, so that I can help him identify these plants.

Pond - July 4th, 2009

To accomplish this, I’ve propped up a few pieces of eggcrate on bricks, and set some tubs of substrate just below the water surface. I already have a number of species converting to emersed form, but only my large Crinum americanum has flowered thus far. As for fish, I threw in a few zebra danios to control mosquitos earlier in the season. Big mistake! I’m going to end up pulling out tons of these fish if the number of fry present are any indication. I’ve also put a few Threadfin Rainbowfish out to hopefully breed. Comments welcome!

Business Broker

Froggie Visit

May 11th, 2009

It was a beautiful day on Sunday, which I spent most of the day planting our garden. I was working around my raised brick pond, and I spotted this little tree frog. I’ve had several frogs visit our yard and pond over the years, but I’m not sure I’ve seen this one before.

Tree Frog

I immediately snapped a few pictures, (I needed a break from moving dirt anyways), and sent them to my GWAPA friend and local frog expert, Corey, to identify. She tells me that it’s definitely a grey tree-frog, and from its black throat, she can tell its a male who’s been calling lately. Species-wise, it’s likely either Hyla chrysoscelis or Hyla versicolor, which are indistinguishable from one another except by their call. Thanks Corey!

Tree Frog

It wasn’t able to get a picture of it, but when this guy hopped, he had bright orange splotches on the inside of his is thighs, which are used to startle predators. Corey says that this particular species can make a great pet, which I’m not planning on doing, but will be more than happy to see him around my pond throughout the summer.

Tree Frog

Hopefully, he’ll bring some of his other amphibian friends, and I’ll have a pond full of interesting wildlife.

Business Broker

Swamp Lilly Flower!

August 12th, 2008

After waiting for some time to finally happen, this week my Swamp Lilly (Crinum americanum) sent up four beautiful white flowers. Very fragrant, the flowers have a pleasant smell that is something like a light woman’s perfume.

Crinum americanum flower

The white petals are accented by several bright pink stamen, jutting out from the center. I knew that I could expect a flower soon because my fellow GWAPA member from which I received these plants, said that they usually flower in the July/August timeframe.

Crinum americanum flower

Right on cue, the flower stalk appeared last week. Originally, the flower stalk seems as if it would only contain a single flower, but over time, the tip of the stalk reveals four separate flower pods, which in turn contain several petals each.

Crinum americanum flower

I haven’t seen any bees visit the flowers yet, but since they’re all throughout my garden, I would expect them to find it soon enough. I’m curious to see whether I can obtain seeds, verses simply propagating the plant by division.

Crinum americanum flower

Between the lovely flower and attractive folage, I think Crinum americanum has found a permanent home in my backyard raised brick pond.

Business Broker

Pond and Garden Update

June 17th, 2008

CrinumI haven’t officially planted my raised brick pond yet, but somehow I’ve managed to just about completely fill it up. About a month ago, I tossed out a whole bin of clippings from my aquariums into the pond to stay damp until I could get around to planting them. Well, with the exception of the crinum pot, I never got around to planting anything. Instead, a number of stems have started growing up out of the water, anchored by the frogbite roots, which are getting thicker every day.

So far, the most prolific stem plants are Ludwigia arculata x repens, Limnophila aquatica, and Rotala sp. ‘Nanjenshan.’ Otherwise, some Didiplis diandra is still around as well.

I’ve only partially stocked the pond with a few Endlers thus far. I’m hoping to put out the rest of my Endlers before long. To this point, I have just enough to discourage mosquitoes from taking residence in the water. The frogs still haven’t managed to find the pond yet — something I hope happens soon because I love taking pictures of those guys.


The frogbite is starting to send its leaves up out of the water. I have some water lettuce floating in the pond as well, but only a few small pieces. I’m hoping to have more of that this year than frogbite, just for a change of pace from last year.

Marsilea quadrifolia

One of the interesting things that I have going this year is Marsilea quadrifolia growing emersed in the same pot as my crinum. What’s interesting is how delicate the four-leaf-clovers are right now. I have a pot of this same plant growing immersed inside, but the leaves are much darker, thicker, and waxier. Outside, it doesn’t look much different than the clover you seen growing in your lawn.

Water sprite

Another change from last year is some water sprite that I threw in there. Within a week, it was already growing up out of the water, despite not being planted in any container. I wasn’t planning on growing water sprite, but the price was right at one of the club auctions, so I decided to give it a try.

Radish Flower

Otherwise in the garden, flowers are starting to bloom. White icicle radishes just produced flowers this week. I’ve never grown root vegetables before, so hopefully it’s not a problem to let them flower. Any expert root-vegetable gardeners out there? The radishes themselves don’t seem big enough to pick yet. (I pulled a couple already in anticipation.)

Ant Lily Marching

Also, the lilies are in full bloom and a beautiful bright orange! I love this picture above of an ant traveling down one of the flower petals toward the center of the flower.

Bee on Chamomile Flower

My chamomile pot overwintered last year, and has quite a few flowers right now. I think I’ll actually have enough to harvest for tea this season. The bees seem quite drawn to these flowers.


And of course, whenever I’m out in the garden, Bella, one of our dogs who is obsessed with everything outdoors is always by my side.

Business Broker

Gardening – That’s Where I’ve Been

May 5th, 2008

I realize that I haven’t posted in about a week, which is quite a long time compared to my normal rotation. We’ve been blessed with wonderful weather outside, and I’ve been afflicted with a drive to take every available second of my time, and spend it working in our garden. Yes, the aquariums have suffered a little bit, so for now, I may as well update you on the garden.

Raised Brick Pond

I’ve started putting a few things out in the raised brick pond, with the most prominent being a severely trimmed back onion plant that I got from another GWAPA member. I potted the two stalks in their own pot with some fresh aquasoil, and planted Marsilea quadrafolia and Riccia fluitans around it. Unfortunately, I think the tannins in the aquasoil has stained the water a bit brown for the time being.


Elsewhere in the garden, I’ve prepared a number of beds, transplanting some plants into the soil, while in others, I’ve planted seeds, such as the Okra seeds above. Pond Bean Tripod

I’ve setup my usual tripod for pole beans, but this time, am experimenting growing some grape tomatoes underneath the same tripod, which should hopefully act as a nice tomato cage. I also added some everbearing strawberries in the bed around the tripods, which hopefully should be fully established by next spring.

Grape Buds

The grape vine has new growth shooting out all over the place, with countless little grape clusters starting to form like the one above. Last year, nearly all of the grapes were enjoyed by birds (or possibly neighborhood kids), so we’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out this fall.

Collard Green Flowers

Also leftover from last year, the collard greens have all gone to flower, sending up 6 foot tall shoots, covered with pretty yellow flowers. The blooms have really added a nice touch of color to the garden while most of the other plants are just starting to get going.


We’ve got a vast array of herbs in the garden, which eventually end up in some wonderfully seasoned, fresh meals throughout the summer. So far, this years’ herbs should include parsley, oregano, rosemary, dill, sage, lemon grass, lemon basil, Thai basil, Italian basil, lavender, marjoram, catnip, spearmint, cilantro, chives, and chamomile.


Finally, I’ve hung up some beautiful baskets of purslane from a great local nursery near us. Hardy, ever-blooming, and drought-resistant, they’re almost the unkillable, beautiful flower. And did I mention that they’re pretty?

Now that most of my garden plants are in the ground, I’m hoping to get back to my aquariums. Aquarium updates coming this week, I promise!

Business Broker

Glosso Over Wintered!

April 20th, 2008

Since the weather is getting warmer, I’ve been working outside in the garden a bit, and part of that includes getting my raised brick pond ready for plants. Last fall, I pulled out most of the plants, drained the pond, and stacked most of the pots, bricks, and trays that I used as aquatic planters inside the pond for the winter. Of course, shortly after doing so, we got some rain, and it wasn’t long before the pond was full again. Instead of fighting mother nature, I just let it be, and as winter came in, the pond turned into one solid block of ice.

Glosso Over Wintered

So, today when I start pulling out some of the pots, I’m quite surprised to see something green in one of them, all the way at the bottom of the pond. Somehow, Glossostigma elatinoides has managed to overwinter. Forget for a moment, that I don’t even remember putting this plant out in my pond last year, but I guess it was planted as a tag-a-long to some other plant, and managed to establish itself. Being at the dark bottom of the pond, the growth is pretty leggy, but I’m impressed nevertheless. Perhaps I shouldn’t be, however, as Glossostigma cleistanthum is known to inhabit waterways north in New Jersey. All-in-all, I’m going to allow it to continue growing, and allow it to create a nice carpet in this pot.

Business Broker

P. yatabeanus – Prettier flower…

October 1st, 2007

I promise that this is going to be my last post about Pogostemon yatabeanus flowers for awhile! I previously showed how the flower pod itself grows from the top of the plant. Now, that pod is bursting open with these very feathery, purple flowers. They’re very pretty with multiple plants starting to burst open.

Pogostemon yatabeanus

And, the flowers are attracting plenty of nectar-loving insects to the pond. If you hold your nose close to the flower, you can smell a very sweet aroma that’s much like the flowers in your typical grocery store bouquet.  (Sorry, I don’t know which flower it smells like, but it’s familar.) I may try to collect seeds at the end of the season, just for the sake of growing them again indoors in my very small emersed setup.

Pogostemon yatabeanus

Business Broker

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flowers!

September 16th, 2007

You may think that lately this has been a flower blog, but I guess it’s just that time of year because today, I noticed several stalks of the Pogostemon yatabeanus have produced flowers. I’ll admit that this is the plant I’ve most anticipated seeing flower because these stems were the first to eagerly shoot above the surface in emersed growth this past spring.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flower

Each P. yatabeanus seems to produce a single flower, coming directly out of the top of the plant. The flower itself looks very much like that of an anubias flower, except that it has purple sections alternating throughout. I suspect that those purple sections will eventually become seeds.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flower

Currently, the flowers are all still mostly hidden by surrounding leaves. I’ll be sure to post new pictures if it grows into anything more than a larger version of what’s in this post.

Pogostemon yatabeanus Flower

Business Broker

Frogbit Flowers!

September 4th, 2007

I’ve been wondering for some time whether my frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum) would flower in the pond, since it’s virtually taken over the entire pond surface, and even has leaves towering above some of the stem plants. This weekend, I was sitting down by the pond, and started thumbing through the thicket of leaves, looking for our resident frogs, and I started noticing quite a few of these pretty little yellowish hairy flowers just above the water’s surface. As I looked closer, I noticed them all throughout the pond.

Frogbit Flower (Limnobium laevigatum)
It appears that the frogbit has been flowering for some time under the cover of it’s own leaves, unbeknownst to me. As you can see, the flower itself extends on a short stalk, directly from each nod. The stalk itself is only about an inch tall, and flower not much bigger. I lifted this particular plant out of the water slightly to be able to get a better picture. I suppose the next step is to see if any seed pods develop. I haven’t seen any yet. Not that this plants needs any seeds; it’s prolific enough of a grower for my liking.

Frogbite Flower

Business Broker

« Previous Entries   Next Entries »