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1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
2. Please only post photos you have authority to use.
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When to Post:
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

FFF192 - BOUGAINVILLEA

Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. They are native plants of South America from Brazil west to Perú and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province).

Bougainvillea are also known as Bugambilia (Mexico), Napoleón (Honduras), veranera (Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama), trinitaria (Colombia, Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic & Venezuela), Santa Rita (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Bonggang Villa (Philippines) or papelillo (northern Peru).

The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The species here illustrated is Bougainvillea spectabilis. The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville (hence the generic name), during his voyage of circumnavigation, and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789. It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Baré, Commerçon's lover and assistant whom he sneaked on board (despite regulations) disguised as a man (and who thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

FFF191 - NUTMEG PELARGONIUM

Pelargonium × fragrans is a pelargonium hybrid between Pelargonium odoratissimum and Pelargonium exstipulatum. It is in the subgenus Reniforme along with Pelargonium sidoides and Pelargonium abrotanifoliumPelargonium comes from the Greek; Pelargos which means stork. Another name for pelargoniums is storksbills due the shape of their fruit. Fragrans refers to the fragrant leaves.

Pelargonium × fragrans, like its parent Pelargonium odoratissimum, is a small, spreading species which only grows up to 30 cm high and 60 cm wide. It has small white flowers and its leaves are waxy, green and ovate with slightly fringed edges. It has a sweet, slightly spicy, eucalyptus-like ("nutmeg") scent.

Nutmeg-Scented Pelargonium makes a nice scented border in zones 9 and up, and a great summer bloomer for other zones. In Zone 8, during a very cold winter, it dies back but returns fairly reliably. If the winter is milder, Nutmeg Pelargonium will stay evergreen and even bloom early in Zone 8.

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

FFF190 - VIOLET

Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs.

A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the type species.

Viola odorata is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, florist's violet, or garden violet.

The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour. References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. The leaves are edible and contain mucilage.

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

FFF189 - HELLEBORE

Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore, is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is poisonous. Although the flowers resemble wild roses (and despite its common name), Christmas rose does not belong to the rose family (Rosaceae).

The plant is a traditional cottage garden favourite because it flowers in the depths of winter. Large-flowered cultivars are available, as are pink-flowered and double-flowered selections. It has been awarded an Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It can be difficult to grow well; acid soil is unsuitable, as are poor, dry conditions and full sun. Moist, humus-rich, alkaline soil in dappled shade is preferable. Leaf-mould can be dug in to improve heavy clay or light sandy soils; lime can be added to 'sweeten' acid soils.

The cultivar illustrated is Helleborus 'Anna's Red'. This beautiful variety has stunning deep flower colour. Deep magenta blooms which adorn the plant in winter and early spring, make this is one variety that is very popular. 'Anna's Red' is a vigorous grower with a tidy habit. Plant alongside our other varieties for maximum impact. Hellebores provide stunning results when mass planted in shady areas of the garden.

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

FFF188 - CATTLEYA ORCHID

Perhaps no other orchid surpasses the Cattleya in popularity amongst orchid fanciers around the world. And it is the Cattleya which means "orchid" to the lay person, if they are asked to think about orchid types. It is the Cattleya which has been the mainspring of the orchid industry and it is the Cattleya which has done most to stimulate interest in orchid growing as a hobby.

Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids from Costa Rica and the Lesser Antilles south to Argentina. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after William Cattley who received and was the first to bloom a specimen of Cattleya labiata. William Swainson had discovered the new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1817 and shipped to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens for identification. Swainson requested that a few plants be later sent to Cattley, who was able to bloom one a full year before the plants in Glasgow.

These orchids are widely known for their large, showy flowers, and were used extensively in hybridisation for the cut-flower trade until the 1980s when pot plants became more popular. The flowers of the hybrids can vary in size from 5 cm to 15 cm or more. They occur in all colours except true blue and black. Many of these species and hybrids are very fragrant. The specimen below is a Cattleya mossiae hybrid and is fragrant.

The typical flower has three rather narrow sepals and three usually broader petals: two petals are similar to each other, and the third is the quite different conspicuous lip, featuring various markings and specks and an often frilly margin. At the base, the margins are folded into a tube. Each flower stalk originates from a pseudobulb. The number of flowers varies; it can be just one or two, or sometimes up to ten.

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

FFF187 - JAPONICA

Chaenomeles japonica is a species of Japanese Quince in the Rosaceae family. It is a thorny deciduous shrub that is commonly cultivated. It is shorter than another commonly cultivated species C. speciosa, growing to only about 1 m in height. The fruit is called Kusa-boke (草木瓜) in Japanese. Chaenomeles japonica is also popularly grown in bonsai.

It is best known for its colourful spring flowers of red, white or pink. It produces apple-shaped fruit that are a golden-yellow colour containing red-brown seeds. The fruit is edible, but hard and astringent-tasting, unless bletted. The fruit is occasionally used in jelly and pie making as an inferior substitute for its cousin, the true quince, Cydonia oblonga.

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Thursday, 11 June 2015

FFF186 - WILLOW-LEAF WATTLE

Acacia iteaphylla (F.Muell. ex Benth.) occurs naturally in South Australia extending from the Flinders Ranges across to the Gawler Ranges and the Eyre Peninsula. Commonly called Willow-leaf Wattle, this shapely decorative shrub is hardy and fast growing and flowers intermittently throughout the year with a peak flowering period in spring. It is versatile in its habit growing to a height of 2-4 m with some forms becoming upright, whilst others are pendulous and bushy.

The slender phyllodes of A. iteaphylla are from 50 -100 mm long and are broadly linear with a small gland at the base. They are blue-green in colour and arranged alternately, almost at right angles to the stems. The perfumed flower heads are produced in clusters of pale yellow balls which contrast pleasingly with the foliage. The buds are attractively enclosed by conspicuous pale, brown-tipped bracts. The flowers are followed by masses of flattened blue-green seed pods which become brown when mature.

A low growing form of A. iteaphylla has been recognised. It differs from other known forms in having low arching, slightly pendulous branches and grows to 0.5 m high by 4 m across. This plant, which originated as a variant in a batch of seedlings, has been registered as the cultivar Acacia 'Parsons Cascade'. To retain its low spreading growth habit the cultivar should be propagated only from cuttings as it will not necessarily breed true from seed.

Acacia iteaphylla grows best in a well drained sunny position. It is moderately frost tolerant and moderately salt tolerant. It can be propagated from cuttings taken between February and April. Seed germinates readily but should be scarified or treated with boiling water before sowing. Light pruning throughout the development of the plant will keep it vigorous and encourage bushiness. An application of a complete fertiliser in spring and a slow release fertiliser in autumn is also recommended.

Pests noted on A. iteaphylla are the acacia bug, which rasps the leaf tissue causing brown lesions to appear on leaves and stems, and scale insects. Chemical control of acacia bug is difficult as the insect is usually no longer present when the damage is noticed. Affected parts of the plant should be pruned out. Scale insects may be controlled by chemical means but low toxicity products should be selected. Consult a local horticultural specialist for advice.

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