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Chocolate Lilies

As I was walking through Foster’s Botanical Gardens, I kept getting whiffs of warm chocolate — the delicate, expensive, buttery kind.  I figured it was coming from one of the shops across the street, especially since I caught the scent much more consistently as I approached the Vineyard Boulevard boundary of the garden.

Tree Lilies
Tree Lilies

Then I saw the most incredible flowering bush and approached it for a closer look — and smell. This is the source of that rich, though subtle, buttery, warm-chocolate scent! Tree Lilies, Portlandia dominensis, a slow growing, flowering bush native to Cuba and Jamaica.

All the trumpets point downward, so I did what any self-respecting photographer would do — I laid down on the ground and took a picture!  It was approaching noon, the sun was straight over head and shining very brightly through the foliage.  I couldn’t get a clear sharp image focus that didn’t wash out the edges of the petal, so I decided instead to go for this soft focus shot — and I love it.

Tree Lily
Tree Lilies

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t wiggle a bit further under the bush for a more shaded shot, I had already stretched out on freshly watered, still wet lawn. Any further under the tree and I would be in  mud.   I guess, that means I am more dedicated to my car’s interior than I am to my photography.  Alas.


    1. Thom — there are many incredible and amazing things to see. It is a great $4.00 investment. Take a picnic lunch and the kids.

  1. Wow! Quilly, sacrificing your body for art! It was definitely worth it though. What a stunning photo. And I can almost smell the chocolate from your description.

    That’s it. I want to visit Hawaii again. Unfortunately there are these 2 freeloaders around here that would want to come with me. Kids! Harumph!
    .-= southlakesmom´s last blog ..More Imaginative Plates =-.

    1. Kelley — my sister used to say her money would go a lot further if her kids would kick their habit of eating three meals every day!

      So, send the kids off to camp for a week. That’s what Gram used to do when I was a kid and she wanted to travel. 😉

  2. haha. I got a kick out of southlakesmom’s comment about her freeloading kids. Cute!

    The photos are truly beautiful. I think the last time I visited the garden was in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I should go back and do a photo essay for my blog. What a trip!
    .-= gigi-hawaii´s last blog ..Book sales, a/c, leaky roof, Hong Kong =-.

    1. Gigi — Foster Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places on the island — mostly because it is so accessible to the places I live my everyday life.

  3. So delicate looking! My husband keeps thinking he smells melting chocolate in his truck. He’s absolutely sure that Libby spilled some in there somewhere. I’m sure he does not have anything as pretty as those lilies growing in there…
    .-= Cindy´s last blog ..View From Our Back Yard =-.

    1. Considering some of the smells that have worked their way into my rigs, I’m thinking I could live with the melting chocolate odor.

  4. Too bad they weren’t edible!

    Gorgeous picture!

    (And if you’d lain in the mud, people would have believed you if you said you were taking pictures of chocolate!)
    .-= Mocha with Linda´s last blog ..Peace =-.

  5. This is getting better every day. Now I’m going to Hawaii and smell Belgian chocolate while photographing beautiful flowers. I had a plant that looks lioke this one once, but it did not smell like chocolate. Probably because it lived in belgium eh? Hmmmm….

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