June 09, 2014

Mystery Flowers

While travelling in Europe I enjoy photographing beautiful flowers, especially the exotic varieties I don't see here at home in Canada. And often I don't know what they're called. I satisfy my curiosity by researching online and I think I've come up with the proper name for the following plants. I hope you'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Bougainvillea on Cap Ferrat, France

I saw similar flowers while travelling in Mexico many years ago so I'm pretty confident that these colourful blooms found all over the Cap Ferrat peninsula in France are bougainvillea.

Bougainvillea and Oleander?

I've also heard of jasmine but it's not something that grows in our cold climate. This floral bower was photographed in the town of Sorrento, Italy in May. Unfortunately I didn't get close enough to smell them. The scent may have given away their identity.

Jasmine Bower in Sorrento, Italy

While visiting Paris in May, I was taken with the flowering trees lining this busy roadway as we approached the Eiffel Tower. I think they're Paulownia.

Paris in the Spring: Paulownia in Bloom

I found more of these trees on Ile de la Cité, near the Cité metro entrance.

These shrubs were blooming throughout Provence during the month of July, most commonly in pink but also in white and red. This photo was taken at the Mas des Barres olive farm. I believe the shrub is oleander.

Oleander Shrub in Provence

This lovely cascade of blue flowers was seen in the hilltop town of Eze Village on the French Riviera in July. Could they be plumeria?

Plumeria in Eze Village?

I first saw these unusual flowers on an evening visit to Place du Casino in Monte Carlo but the photo below was taken on a rainy day in Naples. I did a lot of searching before I came up with the obvious choice, bottlebrush.

Bottlebrush Shrub in Naples, Italy

I think the prize for most bizarre flower must go to the agave Americana, or century plant, spotted frequently along the French Riviera. This plant has been aptly described as something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Agave Americana on the Beach at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat

So, gardeners, how did I do? Have I guessed correctly at the names of these flowering plants? If not, I hope you'll set me straight in the comments section below.

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