November 18, 2008

Hiding Out: Praying Mantis in Manettia

By Freda Cameron

The praying mantis is so well camouflaged among the red and green of the manettia vine. I snapped this photo when I was visiting the garden of Dr. Dennis Werner. Not long after I took this photo, Phillip Oliver, at Dirt Therapy, featured manettia and his readers responded about the identification of the plant. From my research, I found there are several varieties of manettia.

The vine in my photo is most likely manettia inlata, orginating from Uruguay. Manettia inlata grows well in zones 7b-10 in full or part sun. It emerges in spring with blooms bursting out in summer, lasting into the fall. This vine, without the praying mantis, is at the top of the "wish list" for hummingbirds!

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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