Ishigaki Day 3: A Coral Wall’s Plants
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In my post the other day about flowers lining a lane on Taketomi Island (a tiny, culturally-unique island far south of Japan), I asked about the color of the flowers. No one got it right until I gave a hint, that being a botanist might help. Then a botanist got it right.

Here are some close-ups...

Lots of Scarlet Red Leaves, Surrounding... -- Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — full exif
Lots of Scarlet Red Leaves, Surrounding...
....Pretty White Flowers -- Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — full exif
....Pretty White Flowers

Hopefully, regex.info's resident botanist will offer some, er, color commentary on these little friends in the comment section of the post.

That's not the only botanical surprise we found in the coral walls. We often found plants growing from them, apparently like a weed, as seen here in a photo that six-year-old Anthony took with a cell-phone camera:

Photo by Anthony Friedl -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Anthony Friedl
Photo by Anthony Friedl

The coral stones and plant are mostly achromatic, made more so in Anthony's picture by the low quality of the cell-phone camera. Still, it represents well how they looked... like long-dead, long-dried remnants of some previously-thriving plant. As such, we didn't even really notice them for much of the day.....

So it was with considerable surprise that when I finally paid close attention to one and noticed a bit of color, then touched one, and found that they're quite living: soft, supple, with a bit of bulk and bounce...

Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated -- Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 400 — full exif
Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 560 — full exif

Continued here...


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Trick question! Don’t you just love the D700/24-70mm combo? It’s the most versatile camera/lens combo I’ve used. Now we need the botanist to identify the plants growing from the coral.

Joe (from Cary, NC)

— comment by Joe Colson on July 18th, 2009 at 12:56am JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

With white flowers and grey plants, not really a colourful commentary, but I think this ghostly looking plant is Kalanchoe tubiflora, which is native to Madagascar but quite widely grown as an ornamental (only as a house-plant or in a greenhouse in temperate areas like the UK). The mottled leaves are rather striking in a camouflage-ey sort of way, and it also has qutie showy tubular reddish-orange flowers 3 – 4cm long. Like some other kalanchoes, it obligingly produces plantlets at the leaf tips: these drop off and root in suitable conditions, so spreading it about.

As for the trick question – great observation by Jeffrey, by the way – as he says, the small tubular white things are the flowers, rather than the showy red/magenta/orange bracts (which are modified leaves). And yes, as others realised, it is a Bougainvillea.

— comment by Peter in Wales on July 18th, 2009 at 2:44am JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Nice one Jeffrey. (Reminder to self: bougainvillea have itty-bitty pale flowers surrounded by much larger colorful bracts,)

— comment by parv on July 18th, 2009 at 4:26pm JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I really like the artsy look that the “low-quality” phone camera gives to Anthony’s photo…looks like something from a Holga w/ B&W film and a big light leak on the bottom.

— comment by Andrew Shieh in Sunnyvale on July 24th, 2009 at 2:38pm JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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