Finding the right flower to enhance the photographs of hummingbirds has not been as easy as you might think. I wish I had this hanging basket of Wave Petunias back from last year or the year before. We purchased a couple of hanging baskets of these same flowers this spring, but they have been very disappointing. Each year, the blossoms have gotten smaller and smaller. I don't know if they are intentionally hybridizing them to produce smaller blossoms, but this year, they were about the size of buttons. I posted a couple of photos a few days ago showing the hummingbirds on these small, yellow flowers.
Last year, I got a Mandevilla from a local nursery. I didn't purchase it until late in the season and was able to get what is normally a fairly expensive plant for half price. I thought maybe I could over winter it, but I was not able to give it the conditions it needed and it quickly died once I brought it inside for the winter.
The flowers were gorgeous and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but I thought they looked too Christmasy for filming a bird that isn't here in the winter. I decided I wouldn't use one this year, partly because there is no way for me to care for it over the winter.
Not being happy with the Petunias this year, I went looking for a flower that might be both attractive to the hummingbirds and attractive in photos. I settled on a flower called Torenia or more commonly known as the wishbone plant. If you look at the blossom in the center you will see why it is called that.
The Torenia wasn't as attractive to the hummingbirds as I had hoped. They have largely ignored it, but the few times they have been near it, I was not impressed with the look. Although I have been trying to find tubular flowers for the hummingbirds, truth be known they seem just as attracted to flowers in other shapes, including the small flowers that make up a bract of crepe myrtle blooms.
Earlier this past week, I went back to the nursery where I purchased the Mandevilla last year. I have had my eye all summer on a beautiful tropical flower called Allamanda. It is native to Brazil. I thought it's yellow tubular form would compliment the colors of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nicely.
I talked to the manager and asked if he would discount the flower since it is so late in the season. Without hesitating, he agreed to reduce the price 40%! So now I have this beautiful flower to use as a prop with the birds. If any reader lives near me and has a green house, let me know. The flower is yours at the end of the season.