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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, 28 July 2016

FFF245 - AEONIUM

The genus Aeonium includes at least 35 species of tender, rosetted, leaf succulents mainly from the Canary Islands but also found in Madeira, Morocco and Ethiopia. These succulent plants vary in size from small herbs almost flat against the ground to woody shrubs with stout basal stems supporting one or more disc-shaped rosettes, giving them a distinctive appearance. The generic name comes from the Greek "aionion" = everliving.

Flowers are panicles of numerous small yellow or white florets. Some Aeonium species are monocarpic. Natural hybrids are common and there are many attractive horticultural hybrids and cutivars. The sap of Aeonium lindleyi is a traditional antidote to the toxic sap of Euphorbias e.g. E. canariensis. Aeonium includes the former genera Greenonium and Greenovia (Mountain Roses), which may be seen occasionally on plant labels and in old books. Many species were originally classified as Sempervivums.

Aeonium undulatum, shown here, is a succulent, evergreen subshrub, is one of the larger species of Aeonium with the rosette often over a metre from the ground on a single stem. Other rosettes do not branch off this stem (normally) but grow from the bottom, unlike most aeoniums. The plant is monocarpic so the flowering stem will die when it flowers which is normally after about 5 years. The specific epithet undulatum comes from the Latin unda, meaning "wave" and refers to the wavy leaves. Synonyms include Sempervivum undulatum and Sempervivum youngianum. The common name "saucer plant" is applied to this and other plants of a similar habit. In temperate regions this plant is grown under glass. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 21 July 2016

FFF244 - GUNGURRU

Eucalyptus caesia, commonly known as Caesia, Gungurru or Silver Princess, is a mallee of the Eucalyptus genus. It is endemic to the central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, where it is found on a small number of granite outcrops. The name "silver" refers to the white powder that covers the branches, flower buds and fruit. "Gungurru" comes from the name used by the indigenous Noongar people.

Two subspecies have been identified: caesia (about 6–9 metres tall) and magna (up to 15 metres tall). The bark is red-brown, of the curly minni ritchi type. Branches tend to flail or weep on the ground. Trees have large red-pink or white flowers, 40-50mm in diameter. They are widely grown as ornamental native plants, but have become rare in the wild.

Eucalyptus caesia was named in 1867 by George Bentham from specimens collected by James Drummond in 1847. Drummond made his collection too late in the season to gather buds and flowers, and this made later identification difficult. During the Elder Scientific Exploring Expedition of 1891–2, Richard Helms gathered specimens of a Eucalyptus that the Indigenous Australians of the area called "Gungurru".

This was almost certainly Eucalyptus woodwardii, but in 1896 it was misidentified by Mueller and Tate as E. caesia. This led to the incorrect application of the common name "Gungurru" to E. caesia, and to confusion about the species' distribution. Authenticated collections of E. caesia were later made by A. Morrison in 1885, and in 1923 Charles Gardner collected specimens from a form with considerably larger leaves, buds, flowers and fruits. This was later recognised as subspecies magna by Brooker and Hopper (1982), with the original form being designated subspecies caesia.

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Thursday, 14 July 2016

FFF243 - SPEAR THISTLE

Cirsium vulgare (spear thistle) is a species of the genus Cirsium, in the family Asteraceae, native throughout most of Europe (north to 66°N, locally 68°N), Western Asia (east to the Yenisei Valley), and northwestern Africa (Atlas Mountains). It is also naturalised in North America, Africa, and Australia and is as an invasive weed in some areas.  It is the national flower of Scotland.

It is a tall biennial or short-lived monocarpic thistle, forming a rosette of leaves and a taproot up to 70 cm long in the first year, and a flowering stem 1–1.5 m tall in the second (rarely third or fourth) year. The stem is winged, with numerous longitudinal spine-tipped wings along its full length. The leaves are stoutly spined, grey-green, deeply lobed; the basal leaves up to 15–25 cm long, with smaller leaves on the upper part of the flower stem; the leaf lobes are spear-shaped (from which the English name derives). The inflorescence is 2.5–5 cm diameter, pink-purple, with all the florets of similar form (no division into disc and ray florets). The seeds are 5 mm long, with a downy pappus, which assists in wind dispersal. As in other species of Cirsium (but unlike species in the related genus Carduus), the pappus hairs are feathery with fine side hairs.

Spear thistle is often a ruderal species, colonising bare disturbed ground, but also persists well on heavily grazed land as it is unpalatable to most grazing animals. Nitrogen-rich soils help increase its proliferation. The flowers are a rich nectar source used by numerous pollinating insects, including honey bees, wool-carder bees, and many butterflies.

The seeds are eaten by goldfinches, linnets and greenfinches. The seeds are dispersed by wind, mud, water, and possibly also by ants; they do not show significant long-term dormancy, most germinating soon after dispersal and only a few lasting up to four years in the soil seed bank. Seed is also often spread by human activity such as hay bales.

Spear thistle is designated an "injurious weed" under the UK Weeds Act 1959, and a noxious weed in Australia and in nine US states. Spread is only by seed, not by root fragments as in the related creeping thistle C. arvense. It is best cleared from land by hoeing and deep cutting of the taproot before seeds mature; regular cultivation also prevents its establishment.

The stems can be peeled and then steamed or boiled. The tap roots can be eaten raw or cooked, but are only palatable on young thistles that have not flowered yet.

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Thursday, 7 July 2016

FFF242 - BACOPA SCOPIA

Sutera is a genus of annual and perennial flowering plants and shrubs of the family Scrophulariaceae mainly confined to Africa. S cordata was named Manulea cordata in 1800 by Thunberg. Bentham renamed it Chaenostoma in 1836, Kuntze changed it to Sutera in 1891 on the grounds of Synonymy. In 1994 Hilliard considered the two terms subgenera of Sutera, but in 2005 Kornhall and Bremer separated the two again, placing S cordata in Chaenostoma!

Illustrated here is a garden hybrid, Sutera 'Dancop28'( SCOPIA® GULLIVER BLUE SENSATION, SCOPIA® SERIES) PP21551. They are pretty little pale blue-violet flowers with yellow throats cover the toothed foliage on the Scopia® Gulliver Blue Sensation. This hybrid cultivar from the Scopia™ Series is a vigorous, trailing, tender perennial, descended from plants native to South Africa. It was selected in 2007 by plant breeders at a greenhouse facility in Israel.

Like other Suteras, it is prized as a container plant and groundcover. The flowers rise above just the stems, facing upward, are larger than those of parental species and appear continuously as long as the plant is growing and conditions are sunny and mild. With a rounded habit and somewhat spreading branch tips, 'Dangul14' - marketed as Scopia® Gullivar Blue Sensation - grows and blooms best in well-drained, moist soil or potting mix. Its mounded, rather compact habit and tireless bloom make it useful for hanging baskets, planters and containers, or as a year-round groundcover where winters are frostless and summers are mild.

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Thursday, 30 June 2016

FFF241 - CORAL 'GERANIUM'

We know them as simply 'geraniums'. They are one of the most popular container plants, yet they are not really geraniums at all. Botanically they are Pelargonium. There are true geraniums, the perennial cranesbills, but they look little like the annual plants we commonly call 'geraniums'.

The confusion with the names can be traced back to disagreements between botanists over classification and is of little importance to most gardeners, except for the distinction that perennial cranesbill geraniums will come back each year and zonal geraniums, those now classified as Pelargonium, are topical perennials usually grown as annuals in colder climates. They got the prefix "zonal" because of the markings on their leaves.

Zonal geraniums were discovered in South Africa and if you have a similar, subtropical climate, you can grow them as perennials. This coral pink zonal geranium is Pelargonium x hortorum.  Zonal geraniums are bushy plants, mainly used for containers and bedding. There has been considerable breeding done, particularly for size and abundance and colours of flowers, so there is a good deal of variety. Zonal geraniums start blooming in mid-spring and will repeat bloom until frost. Deadheading the entire flower stalk after the flower fades will encourage more blooms.

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

FFF240 - DOUBLE DELIGHT

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white or yellow (orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona.

Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically, but formally described by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum (1753). The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The number of species has varied, depending on how they are classified, due to similarity between species and hybridisation.

Felicia amelloides, the blue marguerite or blue daisy, is a species of flowering plant of the family Asteraceae, native to South Africa. F. amelloides is synonymous with, and formerly known as, F. aethiopica, Aster amelloides, Aster capensis, and Aster coelestis.

F. amelloides is an evergreen shrublet usually 30–60 cm tall by 50 cm wide, but sometimes up to 1 m tall, with densely branched and frequently dark red stems, and rough, hairy, ovate green leaves. Striking blue composite flowers with prominent yellow centres, about 30 mm in diameter, and borne on naked stalks up to 180 mm long.

This species is much cultivated, and in the temperate world is usually grown as a half-hardy annual in pots, window-boxes, hanging baskets, and other summer bedding schemes for parks and gardens. Drought- and wind-resistant, it requires a sheltered aspect in full sun, and does not tolerate frost.

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

FFF239 - CAMELLIA

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia.

This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese. Of economic importance in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage, tea. The ornamental Camellia japonica, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua and their hybrids are represented in cultivation by a large number of cultivars.

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