Colorful Plants on the Amami Islands
Freaky Orange-Pod Plant-Thing -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Freaky Orange-Pod Plant-Thing

While on our trip to the Amami Islands in the south of Japan, we came across all sorts of odd plantlife. Well, odd to us, that is. This orange pod thing came in all shapes and sizes, and looked like some kind of aloe-like plant:

Alien Aloe From Mars -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 23mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Alien Aloe From Mars

In looking it up now, I see that it's not an aloe-like plant, but that is aloe, just not the non-flowering Aloe vera I was used to seeing occasionally in pots while growing up.

Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 30mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

This next grassy-type-puffy thing was a weed found pretty much everywhere...

Puffy Fluffy Weed -- Amami Ooshima, Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/4000 sec, f/4, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Puffy Fluffy Weed

Beside the road at one point we came across some delicate little bell-like red flowers....

Delicate Little Tasty Things -- Kakeromajima (Amami), Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Delicate Little Tasty Things

Our guide said that he loved them when he was a kid, because you could pluck them then suck out a bit of sweet juice from them. Anthony tentatively tried them...

Well, Not Too Bad .... for a flower -- Kakeromajima (Amami), Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/750 sec, f/5, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Well, Not Too Bad....
for a flower
Random Freaky Flower of the Day -- Kakeromajima (Amami), Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/80 sec, f/4, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Freaky Flower of the Day

The foreground green branches in the photo below have these huge pods hanging from them, about the size and shape of a Japanese cucumber, with the consistency of a hardwood baseball bat.

Where Baseball Bats Are Born -- Kakeromajima (Amami), Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/180 sec, f/7.1, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Where Baseball Bats Are Born

The purple/pink flowers in the background were your run of the mill retina-endangering really really colorful pink/purple flowers.

Random Pink Flower -- Kakeromajima (Amami), Kagoshima, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Pink Flower

They reminded me of the Azaleas in Kyoto. For all I know they are azaleas.... I dunno.


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

The plant with the random pink flowers are bougainvillea. They’re pretty hardy and love the sun. I’ve also seen it in white, orange, red and a mix of white and that pink.

— comment by verena on January 13th, 2008 at 2:21pm JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Nice shots of plants. The Puffy Fluffy was a form of Miscanthus, which you grew up with in Ohio. Seed heads plumes are pretty and make an attractive arrangement but are a mess (dropping seeds constantly) unless first sprayed with hairspray.
The Tasty Things are hard to make out there behind the small white flowers (Vinca) I would make a rough guess of some form of Ipomea…Cypress Vine? The bright pink flowers are Bougainvillea, which astounded me to see growing there. I always assumed it was a more tropical plant since it grows in the Southwest US and Mexico. The Freaky Flower was a common annual, Coleus, and the flowers are actually the tiny blue center stem part. If that flower part is not snapped off near it’s base, the plant will go to seed and die. And since Coleus is grown for it’s very colorful leaves, one would generally remove the flowers as they form to keep the plant growing and bushy.I’m not sure about the Baseball Bat plant. Maybe a sort of Catalpa? Peter will know when he checks in and correct my erroneous guesses. I, for one, always look forward to, indeed, count on, his insightful comments.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on January 14th, 2008 at 12:58am JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Well I was going to mention Coleus since we have them in out front flower beds during the summer, but Grandma Friedl beat me to the punch. Fast fingers on that woman.
Mel

— comment by Mel Lammers on January 14th, 2008 at 7:25am JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I can only agree with everything Grandma Friedl said, except the Tasty Thing, which I think is Russelia equisetiformis, sometimes called coral plant. I only know it because it was in the greenhouses at Wisley Garden when I worked there (not in the greenhouses). The “equisetiformis” refers to the resemblance of the almost leafless stems to those of horsetail – Equisetum. Here’s a surprise – it’s in the foxglove family.

But, I’m stumped by the baseball bat plant. I’m sure it’s a legume, and have a nagging feeling that I’ve seen those pods somewhere before, but so far, no idea beyond that, sorry!

— comment by Peter on January 14th, 2008 at 7:07pm JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

The pods are on a wisteria plant, and they are poisonous. Remember them from lots of sweeping under a lattice patio in Palo Alto.

— comment by Cheryl K. on January 16th, 2008 at 6:36am JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Sorry, but I don’t think they are wisteria pods – the leaves are wrong, and wisteria pods are flat and downy; also this doesn’t look like a climber. But I still don’t know what they _are_!

— comment by Peter on January 16th, 2008 at 6:32pm JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

In case anyone’s still following this discussion, I think the baseball bat tree is Cassia fistula. There’s an illustration of the unripe (green) pods at http://www.arbolesornamentales.com/Cassiafistula.htm. The pods are dark brown when ripe and grow to 60cm long.

Cassia fistula is also called golden shower tree or Indian laburnum, and originates in south-east Asia, though is widely cultivated elsewhere in warmer regions.

— comment by Peter on January 17th, 2008 at 7:25pm JST (9 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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