Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Brazilian Fireworks -- Porphyrocoma pohliana

"Brazilian Fireworks -- Porphyrocoma pohliana", drawing
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Commonly known by a range of names such as Purple Shrimp, Blue Shrimp, Rose Pine Cones, Maracas Brazilian Fireworks or simply, Brazilian Fireworks Plant, Porphyrocoma pohliana is a tropical evergreen plant that is a prolific bloomer in the tropics. It is a member of the Acanthaceae, a family consisting of many ornamental flowering shrubs used widely for landscaping. 

Native to South America, Porphyrocoma pohliana grows as a shrub that can attain a height of about 30 cm. It features very ornamental leaves that are deep green which are adorned with silver veins. The plant also produces extremely showy terminal spikes which are covered with long-lasting deep pinkish-red bracts. The true flowers of Porphyrocoma pohliana are purple in colour and they contrast quite starkly with the overlapping bracts. 

One may wonder why this plant is has the ‘fireworks’ word in its common name. In one of my searches on the Internet, the fireworks part was said to have been derived from two sources. One is the appearance of its deep red flower bracts that develop purple flowers, creating an explosion of color. Second, as flowers fade, it can shoot its small black seeds across the surroundings where it grows. Porphyrocoma pohliana is said to be able to self-seed readily and may, in the proper climate, become a nuisance weed in gardens!

Much of the above information was taken from


Due to continuing health issues, I have decided that at the present time I will only post a new drawing on Wednesdays with perhaps a few news notes that might seem appropriate.  

Sundays will then be the only full posting I will be doing each week. By this I mean that the Sunday posting will include all the various types of photos and information that you are used to reading in my blog posting, including updates on Suki and on Sallie (that's me!).

I am sorry to be unable to continue posting two full columns each week, but it is becoming just a bit overwhelming at this time.  We will just have to see what the future brings.

Thanks for sticking with me and staying interested in my art work and in Suki.

May the peace of God which passes all human understanding keep our hearts and minds always at rest in His love.  Amen. 

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