garden photography: a turquoise flower

During September I want to see your favourite flowers.

(This month I’m looking at flower portraits – showcase a flower that you are particularly fond of or one that is unusual)

I have a lot of flower portraits on this site so I am going to use this month to showcase some of the more unusual species that I have come across. Starting with the dazzling Turquoise Ixia (Ixia viridiflora) which has one of the rarest and most beautiful colours in the plant world. The satiny purple centres and yellow anthers contrast beautifully with the turquoise petals. This one is flowering in the garden at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. It took my breath away when I first saw it.


The only ones left in the wild come fromย around the Tulbagh in South Africa, Cape Province and the seed is spread by the monkey beetle. There are about 50 species in the ixia genus. All have tough-looking strappy leaves and open dark-centred flowers but I. viridiflora, which bears a dozen purple-eyed flowers on each 18in spike in May and June, is by far the showiest (and tallest). And the most difficult to photograph!

If you would like to join in withย Garden Photographyย then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Create your own post and title it September:ย Flower Portrait
  • Include a link toย this pageย in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge”ย so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out onย the first Sunday in October.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

50 Comments Add yours

  1. BeckyB says:

    Wow . . . . . didn’t know until now there were natural turquoise flowers

    1. Heyjude says:

      They are delightful ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Exquisite! i don’t think I’ve seen a turquoise one, I’d remember wouldn’t I? but Ixia’s are gorgeous plants.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You would definitely remember! I was gobsmacked when I ran into this one! I have grown Ixias before in SA and here – they are pretty flowers.

      1. prior.. says:

        had to chime in – because this is exactly the word that came to mind when I saw the image today: gobsmacked! beautiful Jude

        1. Heyjude says:

          I am very happy for anyone to chime in Yvette ๐Ÿ™‚

        2. prior.. says:

          thanks for the welcome….

  3. restlessjo says:

    It IS rather fabulous! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve just collapsed for half hour, midway through the ironing, with Sunday lunch washed up but Mick still out on a visit to a customer. His is in the oven ๐Ÿ™‚ Becky sent me scurrying over here. Speak soon ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. It is, as Gilly says, “exquisite.” Next time I go to St Michaels Mount, I must remember to look at the gardens. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      You certainly must and if I am at home I shall be happy to escort you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. It is a beautiful flower and such an unusual colour. I have seen blue hibiscus flowers, and maybe a blue-ish rose, if I remember correctly, but nothing like this. I’ve not been to St Michael’s Mount, though I’ve seen it from the road as we have driven past.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, you must visit the gardens. They cannot be seen from the road or indeed the village on the island, as they are around the corner. There is nothing quite like them except perhaps the Minnack Theatre gardens.

      1. Sue says:

        I never knew there were gardens at Minack Theatre

        1. Heyjude says:

          At the top and all along the terraces where the seats are – it is quite stunning. There should be some photos on my blog somewhere.

        2. Sue says:

          I suspect these are relatively recent? It within the last 30 years……

        3. Heyjude says:

          I can’t comment as I have only been the once!

        4. Sue says:


      2. Onto my list it goes…
        The Minnack Theatre gardens are possibly the gardens with the most stunning position that I have been to, and their agapanthus plants are beautiful and prolific.

        1. Heyjude says:

          ALL the agapanthus are more prolific than mine!

        2. Same here – it wouldn’t be hard this year! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. desleyjane says:

    What a very pretty colour.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s exquisite DJ – my photos do not do it justice.

  7. Turquoise flower…I want one!

  8. Tina Schell says:

    Wow Jude, never heard of it. Love that its so rare! beautifully captured

  9. What an exquisite flower Jude – never heard of it or seen such a soft aqua blue flower like this before. The purple centre just sets off the soft blues so well too. Nature is amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a most unusual flower colour.

  10. Sue says:

    I agree with exquisite!

  11. RuthsArc says:

    How pretty and what a stunning colour. Thanks for sharing this gem.

  12. restlessjo says:

    I’m very confused over this month’s challenge. Way too many to choose from ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope the jollies are going well?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Calm down dear and just pick one! (Or four, or as many as you would like!) Bit damp today, but still horribly humid and hot! On the road tomorrow gradually heading north. Looking forward to Lincoln.

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