Fantastic Flora

Aloe Vera Flowers

Three flower clusters of the Aloe Vera plant.
The intriguing flowers of this Aloe Vera Plant called out to me to take their picture. Aloe is a garden favorite due to its exotic looks, and is particularly striking when the flowers are blooming. Photographed with my iPhone.

Sacred Bamboo

Vivid red and green leaves of the Heavenly Bamboo plant.
The brightly colored leaves and intense red berries of this Nandina plant, aka Heavenly Bamboo, provided a vibrant complementary color scheme for this photo. Native to eastern Asia, the plant is actually an evergreen shrub and not a bamboo at all. Photographed with my iPhone.

Golden Blooms

A mass of brilliant yellow flowers.
The vividly colored, velvety flowers of the plant known as Kangaroo Paw is a popular decoration in Southern California landscapes. As you might guess from the name, it is native to Australia. Photographed while on a neighborhood walk with my iPhone.

Reaching to Heaven

A worms-eye view of the branches and leaves of a tree.
Looking upward, from under a massive tree, I was fascinated by the wonderful structures and patterns silhouetted against the sky. Photographed at the Foster Botanical Gardens in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Miramar Trees

Exotic trees and flowers.
Back in 2005, I was living in Miramar, New Zealand, a suburb of the capitol city Wellington. While out for a walk, I happened upon this sight, right out of a fairy tale. Fortunately I had a camera with me to capture the moment. The camera was nothing fancy, just a point-and-shoot Olympus Stylus, using Kodak Gold film.

Vibrant Bougainvillea

Unique kaleidoscopic bougainvillea flowers.
Beautiful Bougainvillea vines grow prolifically in Southern California, typically with solid colors of red or violet. This particular plant caught my attention due to it's unusual multicolored bracts, which are actually specialized leaves that surround the tiny yellow flowers. These plants are gorgeous, but need to be handled with care, as they have wicked thorns!

South African Wonder

Sugarbush flower.
I encountered this bizarre plant in Venice, California while out for a walk. The fairly large bush appeared ordinary enough, but the exotic blooms that covered it were remarkable. A little research informed me that the plant is known as Protea, a South African native; and there are a lot of varieties. A few of the species are able to be grown in the Southern California climate, such as this one, which had big flowers with a soft feathery rounded core.

Purple Majesty

A spectacular group of violet flowers.
This amazing plant, known as Pride of Madeira, features striking flowering stalks that bloom in the spring. It is native to the island of Madeira, near Portugal, though it is considered an invasive species in other parts of the world. All the flowers in my photo are from one shrub that was easily 12 feet high, captured on the coast of Santa Monica with my iPhone.