LAPC#209 – Surreal

Tracy from Australia is guest hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week and she’s chosen the theme of Surreal. Given I’m a NZer and in that sense we’re neighbours, in the spirit of solidarity I started checking for photos that might pass for surreal and found these that I’d forgotten from 22 Dec 2021. I’d never got around to posting them and yet at the time I was astonished at both these plants (which I happened upon in Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand). My level of astonishment was huge so I’m hoping they’ll qualify as ‘surreal’ πŸ™‚

Thanks for such an interesting challenge Tracy!

Give Me A Hand

Picked up off a lawn at Dunedin Botanic Garden.

I shared these on twitter, told them it’d sure be handy to have a name.

Immediate reply from Emma Bodley, Auckland Botanic Garden.
Chiranthodendron pentadactylon

And that resolved to ~drum roll~ the Monkey’s Hand Tree πŸ˜€

The scientific name means “five-fingered hand-flower tree”.

Metallic Blue Flowers

I’ve seen pics of these blue flowers but never imagined I’d see them in NZ!

I assume this is Puya alpestris ~these can get a 5-foot tall flower spike. There’s another similar species that can grow a 7-foot spike, wow! They’re Bromeliads, and related to pineapple.

I saw a head of flower buds that made me do a double-take. And to digress, I also learned about Puya raimondii, the world’s largest Bromeliad and the photos are awe-inspiring!

Finally, a more complete view of the whole flower head plus part of the plant …

Surreal or not, I hope you’ve enjoyed the post. You can find the host post, i.e. Tracy’s own Surreal post, at her blog Reflections Of An Untidy Mind by clicking this link Lens-Artists Challenge #209 – Surreal

Text and photos by Liz; Exploring Colour (2021/2022)

21 thoughts on “LAPC#209 – Surreal

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    1. The plant with the amazing metallic-blue flowers is something I’d never thought I would see for myself here in NZ.. it’s from the Chilean Andes and it’s one of the most southerly occuring Bromeliads. It was really exciting to suddenly come upon it in Dunedin Botanic Garden!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it amazing? It’s such an unexpected colour that it seems it must be artificial! I couldn’t believe my luck coming upon it at just the right time to see it with it’s perfect dusting of orange pollen πŸ™‚


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