The rules for posting are simple!

1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
2. Please only post photos you have authority to use.
3. Include a link to this blog in your post - http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.com/
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

FFF167 - WATER-LILY

Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains eight large-flowered genera with about 70 species. The genus Nymphaea contains about 35 species in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus Victoria contains two species of giant water lilies endemic to South America.

Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria. Water lilies are a well studied clade of plants because their large flowers with multiple unspecialised parts were initially considered to represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position as basal angiosperms. Analyses of floral morphology and molecular characteristics and comparisons with a sister taxon, the family Cabombaceae, indicate, however, that the flowers of extant water lilies with the most floral parts are more derived than the genera with fewer floral parts.

Horticulturally water lilies have been hybridised for temperate gardens since the nineteenth century, and the hybrids are divided into three groups: Hardy, night-blooming tropical, and day-blooming tropical water lilies. Hardy water lilies are hybrids from the subgenus Castalia; night-blooming tropical water lilies are developed from the subgenus Lotos (L.) Carl Ludwig WilldenowWilld.; and the day-blooming tropical plants arise from hybridisation of plants of the Brachyceras Casp. subgenus.

The water-lily shown here is the hardy "Pink Ribbon" Nymphaea hybrid.

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

FFF166 - TWEEDIA

Oxypetalum coeruleum is a species of flowering plant, native to South America from southern Brazil to Uruguay, in the Apocynaceae family. The synonymous name Tweedia caerulea is also used. Growing to 100 cm, it is a straggling evergreen perennial with heart shaped, gray-green, downy leaves.

It is grown for its clear pale blue, star-shaped flowers, which are long lasting and cut well. The summer flowers age to purple and are followed by 30 cm long, boat-shaped seed pods. The seeds have downy parachute-like tufts (cypsela).

The cultivar 'Alba' has white flowers, while 'Rosea' has pink flowers. Oxypetalum coeruleum requires full sun in a well-drained soil that is dry. Propagation is via seed. With a minimum temperature range of 3–5 °C,  it can be grown outdoors in a frost-free, sheltered environment. Alternatively it can be grown as an annual. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

FFF165 - FAIRY FAN FLOWER

Scaevola is a genus of flowering plants in the Goodenia family, Goodeniaceae. It consists of more than 130 tropical species, with the centre of diversity being Australia and Polynesia. Common names for Scaevola species include scaevolas, fan-flowers, half-flowers, and naupaka, the fan flower's Hawaiian name. The flowers are shaped as if they have been cut in half. The generic name means "left-handed" in Latin. Many legends have been told to explain the formation of the naupaka's unique half flowers. In one version a woman tears the flower in half after a quarrel with her lover. The gods, angered, turn all naupaka flowers into half flowers and the two lovers remained separated while the man is destined to search in vain for another whole flower.

Scaevola is the only Goodeniaceae genus that is widespread outside of Australia. In at least six separate dispersals, about 40 species have spread throughout the Pacific Basin, with a few reaching the tropical coasts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The Hawaiian Islands are home to ten Scaevola species, nine of which are endemic. Eight of the indigenous species are the result of a single colonisation event.

Scaevola aemula (Fairy Fan-flower or Common Fan-flower, shown here) is a small shrub native to southern Australia. It grows to 50 cm in height and produces white or blue flowers in spikes up to 24 cm long from August to March in its native range. These are followed by rounded, wrinkled berries to 4.5 mm in length.

The species occurs in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. The species is thought to be the most commonly cultivated of the genus Scaevola, and a large number of cultivars have been developed. Most of these are mat-forming to a height of 12 cm and spreading up to 1 metre in width. It prefers a sunny or partially shaded, well-drained position and tolerates salt spray and periods of drought. Pruning and pinching of tip growth may be carried out to shape the plant. Propagation is from cuttings or by layering.

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

FFF164 - ROCK ISOTOME

Isotoma axillaris, commonly known as Rock Isotome, is a small herbaceous perennial in the family Lobeliaceae. It grows to 50 cm high and has divided leaves. The blue to mauve to pink star-shaped flowers appear between September and May in the species native range. It occurs in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, often on rocky outcrops. The species was first formally described by botanist John Lindley in 1826 in Edward's Botanical Register.

The acrid milky sap of Isotoma axillaris is a common characteristic in this family. It can cause severe irritation to skin and temporary blindness if inadvertent contact is made with eyes, and has been reported to be poisonous to stock. These warnings about the sap should not deter gardeners from planting these species as long as appropriate precautions are taken, as they give lasting flower displays in return for very little work. Also, the sap seems to be equally distasteful to potential herbivores. The plantings in the Australian National Botanic Gardens show no evidence of herbivory by either marsupials or insects.

Isotoma axillaris can be easily propagated from seed. Seed can be scattered directly in late winter, when there is no more danger of frost, or planted into pots and then transplanting in spring. Plants will require regular watering until established, and then only need watering about once a week, perhaps more in the heat. Propagation from firm cuttings is also possible, but it is recommended that gloves be worn to avoid reactions to the sap.

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

FFF163 - EGGPLANT FLOWER

Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is a species of nightshade commonly known in British English as aubergine and also known as melongene, garden egg, or guinea squash. It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal. It bears a fruit of the same name (commonly either "eggplant" in American, Australian English and sometimes Canadian English, or "aubergine" in British English and Canadian English) that is widely used in cooking, most notably as an important ingredient in dishes such as moussaka and ratatouille.

As a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to both the tomato and the potato. It was originally domesticated from the wild nightshade, the thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum, probably with two independent domestications, one in the region of South Asia, and one in East Asia.

The eggplant is a delicate, tropical perennial often cultivated as a tender or half-hardy annual in temperate climates. It grows 40 to 150 cm tall, with large, coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm long and 5 to 10 cm broad. Semi-wild types can grow much larger, to 225 cm with large leaves over 30 cm long and 15 cm broad. The stem is often spiny.

The flower is white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The egg-shaped glossy purple fruit has white flesh with a meaty texture. The cut surface of the flesh rapidly turns brown when the fruit is cut open. On wild plants, the fruit is less than 3 cm in diameter, but very much larger in cultivated forms, reaching 30 cm or more in length. The fruit is botanically classified as a berry and contains numerous small, soft seeds which are edible, but have a bitter taste because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids (being a relative of tobacco).

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Thursday, 25 December 2014

FFF162 - CANNA

Canna (or canna lily, although not a true lily) is a genus of 19 species of flowering plants. The closest living relations to cannas are the other plant families of the order Zingiberales, that is the Zingiberaceae (gingers), Musaceae (bananas), Marantaceae, Heliconiaceae, Strelitziaceae. Canna is the only genus in the family Cannaceae. The APG II system of 2003 also recognises the family, and assigns it to the order Zingiberales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from the southern United States (southern South Carolina west to southern Texas) and south to northern Argentina.

The species have large, attractive foliage, and horticulturists have turned it into a large-flowered and bright garden plant. In addition, it is one of the world's richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant. Although a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer, and are moved to a warm location for the winter. The name Canna originates from the Latin word for a cane or reed.

The flowers are typically red, orange, or yellow or any combination of those colours, and are aggregated in inflorescences that are spikes or panicles (thyrses). Although gardeners enjoy these odd flowers, nature really intended them to attract pollinators collecting nectar and pollen, such as bees, hummingbirds, sunbirds, and bats. The pollination mechanism is conspicuously specialised.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

FFF161 - HIBISCUS 'ATHENACUS'

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, and shoe flower, is a species of flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae, native to East Asia.

It is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and subtropics. As it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 °C, in temperate regions it is best grown under glass. However, plants in containers may be placed outside during the summer months or moved into shelter during the winter months.Numerous varieties, cultivars, and hybrids are available, with flower colours ranging from white through yellow and orange to scarlet and shades of pink, with both single and double sets of petals. The cultivar 'Cooperi' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Illustrated here is a Flamenco™ Hibiscus 'Athenacus', featuring spectacular long-lasting (4-5 days) large flowers. These varieties have a compact, well branched habit that provides a neat frame for the lush dark green foliage and the many spectacular full blooms that appear continuously during the warmer months.

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