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 18 July 2024

FFF656 - ALMOND BLOSSOM

The almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus) is a species of tree in the Rosaceae family, native to the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and North Africa. "Almond" is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree. Within the genus Prunus, it is classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated shell (endocarp) surrounding the seed.

The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed, which is not a true nut, inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are sold shelled or unshelled. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.

The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm  in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 5 -10 long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm petiole.The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in late winter to early spring.

Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of 300 to 600 hours below 7.2 °C to break dormancy.  Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

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Thursday 11 July 2024

FFF655 - 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). Hellebores provide stunning results when mass planted in shady areas of the garden. 

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. 

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Thursday 4 July 2024

FFF654 - BUTCHER'S BROOM

Ruscus aculeatus, known as butcher's-broom, is a low evergreen dioecious Eurasian shrub, with flat shoots known as cladodes that give the appearance of stiff, spine-tipped leaves. The Latin specific epithet aculeatus means "prickly". Small greenish flowers appear in spring, and are borne singly in the centre of the cladodes. The female flowers are followed by a red berry, and the seeds are bird-distributed, but the plant also spreads vegetatively by means of rhizomes. It is native to Eurasia and some northern parts of Africa.

Ruscus aculeatus occurs in woodlands and hedgerows, where it is tolerant of deep shade, and also on coastal cliffs. Likely due to its attractive winter/spring colour, Ruscus aculeatus has become a fairly common landscape plant. It is also widely planted in gardens, and has spread as a garden escapee in many areas outside its native range. It is a favourite of florists in flower arrangements, as the dark green foliage is long-lasting and attractive. The plant grows well in zones 7 to 9 on the USDA hardiness zone map.

The plant is known as "Butcher's Broom" as the stiff, hardy, prickly foliage cut in bunches was used by butchers to sweep up the blood-soaked sawdust on the floor of their shops.

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Thursday 27 June 2024

FFF653 - CORREA

Correa is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rutaceae, with bell-shaped flowers, native mainly to eastern Australia. There are about 11 species in the genus and 26 subspecies. Natural hybridisation between the species makes taxonomic relationships within this genus problematic.

There are also hundreds of named cultivars, many of which have been registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA). The genus Correa is named after the Portuguese botanist José Correia da Serra (1750–1823), known as Abbé Correa.

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Thursday 20 June 2024

FFF652 - LUCULIA

Luculia gratissima is a species of flowering plant in the family Rubiaceae. It is an ornamental plant that is found from the central Himalayas to northern Indo-China. The Latin specific epithet gratissima means "most pleasing" or "most agreeable".

It is a large shrub or even a small tree growing to 4 m tall by 1.5 m broad, with pointed ribbed leaves, and clustered fragrant pale pink flowers in autumn and winter. As it does not tolerate temperatures below 5 °C, it requires cultivation under glass in temperate zones. However, it may be placed outside in a sheltered, sunny spot during the summer months. It is a recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday 13 June 2024

FFF651 - PRICKLY MOSES

Winter in Australia is generally milder and devoid of extreme weather as may be seen in Northern Hemisphere regions the closer one gets to the North Pole. Add to that the fact that most native flora is evergreen and an added bonus is that many of the native flowers can bloom in Winter to early Spring. An example of that is the many Acacia trees and shrubs, one of which is seen here.

Acacia verticillata (prickly Moses; prickly-leaved wattle; star-leaved acacia; prickly mimosa; whorl-leaved acacia) is a perennial shrub to small tree in the Fabaceae family, native to Australia and Tasmania. The species is a common understorey shrub in both wet and dry sclerophyll forests as well as scrub and heath. In coastal environments it will often have much wider leaves as opposed to the regular needle-like nature of inland specimens.

Acacia verticillata stems are ribbed and are sparsely to densely hairy. The leaves are small sharply pointed phyllodes (false leaves) are up to 17 x 3 mm. and 1.5-2.5 mm wide. They have one prominent vein and 1-2 less prominent veins. Its inflorescences which are numerous consist of numerous pale yellow flowers arranged on short cylindrical spikes that extend beyond the leaves.

Its seeds are in elongated pods (5-10 cm long) which are sparsely hairy when young and glabrous when mature. This trees dispersal is by seed. Trees are often covered by a fungally-induced galls.

On 1 September 2016, the Reserve Bank of Australia released a replacement of the polymer five dollar note which includes a stylised depiction of Acacia verticillata (subspecies ovoidea).

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Thursday 6 June 2024

FFF650 - TREE DAHLIA

Dahlia imperialis or Bell tree dahlia is an 8-10 metre tall member of the Dahlia genus native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia. It is a plant of the uplands and mountains, occurring at elevations of 1,500–1,700 metres, and its leaves are used as a dietary supplement by the Q'eqchi' people of San Pedro Carchá in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

It is a tuberous, herbaceous perennial, rapidly growing from the base after a dormant winter period, developing brittle, cane-like, 4-angled stems with swollen nodes and large tripinnate leaves, those near the ground soon being shed. The pendant or nodding flowerheads are 75-150mm across with ray florets lavender or mauvish-pink in colour.

This species is fast-growing, the growth spurt being linked to shorter daylight hours, and usually comes into flower in autumn before the first frost. Propagation is by seed or by stem cuttings of some 30 cm long having at least two nodes, laid horizontally below the soil. Some Dahlia species were brought from Mexico to Europe in the 16th century.

D. imperialis was first described in 1863 by Benedikt Roezl (1823–1885), the great Czech orchid collector and traveller, who, ten years later in 1872–73, went on his odyssey through the Americas.

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Thursday 30 May 2024

FFF649 - STURT'S DESERT PEA

Swainsona formosa, commonly known as Sturt's desert pea or Sturt pea, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae and is native to all continental states and the Northern Territory of Australia, with the exception of Victoria. It is a prostrate annual or short lived perennial herb with imparipinnate leaves with about 15 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets with the narrower end towards the base, and racemes of usually red flowers in racemes of 2 to 6.

Swainsona formosa is a prostrate annual or short lived perennial herb, with several densely softly-hairy stems mostly 4–8 mm wide. The leaves are mostly 100–150 mm  long with about 15 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets 100–300 mm  long and 5–12 mm wide, the end leaflet slightly longer. There are broad, densely hairy stipules, sometimes 15 mm or more at the base of the petiole. The flowers are borne in racemes about 100–150 mm  long with 2 to 6 usually red flowers, sometimes white or other colours, on a peduncle 50–150 mm ong, each flower on a shaggy-hairy pedicel 5–20 mm long.

Sturt's desert pea is widespread in arid parts of inland Australia, including in Western Australia, South Australia, the southern parts of the Northern Territory, western parts of New South Wales and in Queensland. It grows in red sandy or loamy soils in mulga woodland, near creek lines and on stony hills, sometimes in woodland and open plains.

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Thursday 23 May 2024

FFF648 - MEXICAN MOCK ORANGE

Choisya ternata is a species of flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, known as Mexican orange blossom or Mexican orange. It is an evergreen shrub, growing up to 3 m in height. Its leaves have three leaflets (hence ternata) and are aromatic, releasing a smell reminiscent of basil when crushed. The white flowers are scented, appearing in spring (sometimes with limited repeat flowering in autumn). Choisya ternata originates from Mexico. It is drought tolerant, preferring well drained soils.

The shrub is widely grown as an ornamental plant in suitable climates. It tolerates temperatures down to −10 °C but is severely damaged by temperatures lower than −15 °C. It responds well to pruning and shaping. In addition to the species, a number of cultivars are grown, including the golden-leaved C. ternata 'Lich' (usually sold under the name Sundance), and the inter-specific hybrid C. ternata 'Aztec Pearl' (C. dumosa var. arizonica × C. ternata). The species and these two cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday 16 May 2024

FFF647 - MONA LAVENDER

Plectranthus ‘Mona lavender’ is a broadleaf evergreen, herbaceous perennial shrub with a dense, rounded form. It belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is a hybrid of  two South African parents: Plectranthus saccatus and Plectranthus hilliardiae.

In Australia it is grown as a houseplant in pots or in the garden. It requires partial shade and soil that is high in organic matter and moist with good drainage. It requires a warm temperate climate for full-time outside growth. In cooler climates, it may be placed outside in summer in a place that receives morning sun to full or partial shade. It may grow 30-60 cm tall and wide.

Pinch or prune the stems to maintain a bushy rounded form. Propagate by stem cutting. The lavender blooms begin to appear when the days get shorter in Autumn and will often bloom into spring, with adequate indirect light.  Deadheading helps to extend the blooming period. The shiny dark green leaves are ornamental with purple undersides.

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