BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu).
Friday, August 2, 2013
Open Today (Fri); Sepals Part 1
The weather has cleared through and we will be open today (friday aug 2) both am (9.30-12.30) and pm (3-5.30). All visits at your own risk! Bring your camera (but no tripods please) and if you get a nice picture I will post it at this blog.
The photo above, taken 2 days ago, is by Maria Smith. The hummingbird is feeding at Salvia guaranitica ("Anise Sage"). This is the true species form, with green sepals (the modified leaves that protect the flower bud and surround the bases of the petals). It's pronounced similarly to petal. The set of sepals is called the calyx. When you look at a bud, you see the sepals hiding the folded petals, when you look at the opened flower you see the petals almost hiding the encircling calyx.
The most commonly available form of Salvia guaranitica is "Black and Blue", where the sepals are black instead of green, but the petals are the same wonderful intense blue (though oddly enough many people describe this blue as purple). However, I prefer the simpler look of the green-calyx species form, and it grows somewhat taller too, so is more easily reached by hummingbirds. But the most important thing is that both forms are loaded with nectar and are loved by hummers. Both will often survive the winter, especially in protected locations. If you plant these, you will get hummingbirds!
Another excellent plants is the tropical pink porter-weed Stachytarpheta mutabilis, which I got from Long Island Hummingbird Plants. The very recent photo below, by Amy Halpin, shows a hummingbird enjoying pink porter-weed.