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/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
5. Visit other blogs listed ... comment & enjoy!

When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

FFF416 - PETUNIA

As happened last year, we planted the relatively new arrival red and white-striped petunia which we got at our nursery this Spring. The compact habit of Petunia 'Crazytunia Cherry Cheesecake' makes it a fantastic addition to beds, borders, window boxes and patio containers. The weather-resistant blooms promise to liven up our garden all summer long, even through our unpredictable Australian summers.

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Thursday, 7 November 2019

FFF415 - RHODODENDRON

Rhododendron 'Mrs. Murple's Purple', has large, 5 lobed, ruffled, star-shaped flowers that form a large ball truss that complements the attractive foliage and good growth habit. Each flower is a medium purple with a hint of red and fades to a white centre with a gold blotch on the upper lobe. The reverse of each flower has more of a reddish tint which helps to create a lovely contrast with the white anthers. (produced by crossing 'Purple Splendour' x 'Whitney's Purple').

The National Rhododendron Gardens (The Georgian Rd, Olinda, Victoria 3788, Australia), are host to brilliantly coloured blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, cherries and daffodils. Seasonal changes ensure the gardens are a delight all year around. When not in bloom, you can still soak in the beauty of rich bark textures, seed capsules, foliage shapes and beautiful fragrance as you stroll through the grounds.

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Thursday, 31 October 2019

FFF414 - HAWTHORN

Crataegus (from the Greek κράτος kratos strength and άκης akis sharp, referring to the thorns of some species) commonly called hawthorn, thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, or hawberry, is a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America.

The name "hawthorn" was originally applied to the species native to northern Europe, especially the common hawthorn C. monogyna, and the unmodified name is often so used in Britain and Ireland. The name is now also applied to the entire genus and to the related Asian genus Rhaphiolepis. The name haw, originally an Old English term for hedge, applies to the fruit.

Illustrated here is Crataegus Laevigata Rosea Flore Pleno, which is a small upright tree with a compact rounded head. Impressive heads of double salmon-pink flowers smother the tree in late spring and the tree sets the occasional red fruit. Tolerant of strong winds. Excellent street tree.

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Thursday, 24 October 2019

FFF412 - YELLOW COSMOS

Cosmos sulphureus is also known as sulfur cosmos and yellow cosmos. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America, and naturalised in other parts of North and South America as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia. It is within the Asteraceae family. This species of Cosmos is considered a half-hardy annual, although plants may re-appear via self-sowing for several years.

Its foliage is opposite and pinnately divided. The plant height varies from 30–210 cm. The original and its cultivars appear in shades of yellow, orange, and red. It is especially popular in Korea and Japan, where it is often seen in mass plantings along roadsides, following an initiative pursued by the Korean-Japanese botanist Woo Jang-choon. This plant was declared invasive by the United States Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council in 1996.

Growth characteristics of this plant include: Germination takes between 7 and 21 days at the optimal temperature of 24˚C; flowering begins between 50 and 60 days after germination. It prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 8.5, reflecting its native habitat in the alkaline regions of Central America Flowering is best in full sun, although partial shade is tolerated The plant is tolerant to drought after germination, and is seldom subject to insect or disease damage; this vigour is attested by its status as a pest in some areas of the United States. The flowers of all Cosmos attract birds and butterflies, including the monarch butterfly.

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Thursday, 17 October 2019

FFF411 - ORNITHOGALLUM

Ornithogalum umbellatum 'Star of Bethlehem' is a bulbous plant in the Liliaceae (Lily) family. It originates from Northern Africa and Eurasia and does well in moist gardens, lawns, cropland, pastures, and waterways.

Small clumps of leaves appear mid-spring, and continue to elongate into late spring when flowers are produced. The blooming period lasts about 2 weeks, with flowers opening late on sunny mornings and closing by sunset. Flowering is followed by seed set, and subsequently, stems and leaves die back to the bulb by mid-summer.

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Thursday, 10 October 2019

FFF410 - HIBBERTIA

Hibbertia scandens (also known as Snake Vine, Climbing Guinea Flower or Golden Guinea Vine) is an Australian native vine in the Dilleniaceae family. Hibbertia scandens occurs in an area that extends from south-eastern New South Wales upwards to north-east Queensland. This species is commonly cultivated, and adapts to a wide range of growing conditions. Although it readily grows in semi-shaded areas, it flowers best in full sun.

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Thursday, 3 October 2019

FFF409 - CHICORY

Common chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a somewhat woody, perennial herbaceous plant usually with bright blue flowers, rarely white or pink. Various varieties are cultivated for salad leaves, chicons (blanched buds), or for roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive.

It is also grown as a forage crop for livestock. It lives as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalised. "Chicory" is also the common name in the United States for curly endive (Cichorium endivia); these two closely related species are often confused.

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Thursday, 26 September 2019

FFF408 - POLYANTHUS

Primula is a genus of 400–500 species of flowering herbaceous plants in the family Primulaceae. They include primrose, auricula, cowslip and oxlip. Many species are grown for their ornamental flowers. They are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, south into tropical mountains in Ethiopia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and in temperate southern South America.

Perennial primulas bloom mostly during the spring; their flowers can be purple, yellow, red, pink, or white. Generally, they prefer filtered sunlight. Many species are adapted to alpine climates. The word primula is the Latin feminine diminutive of primus, meaning first (prime), applied to flowers that are among the first to open in spring. Primroses are used as food plants by the larvae (caterpillars) of some Lepidoptera species, including Duke of Burgundy butterfly, Large Yellow Underwing and Lesser Broad-bordered.

The term Polyanthus (often called Primula polyantha) refers to an interspecific garden hybrid between coloured varieties of P. vulgaris and P. veris, possibly with a small admixture of P. juliae. This has produced a large variety of strains in all colours, which are usually grown as annuals, and are available as seeds or young plants.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019

FFF407 - LILACS

Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills. This species is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalised in other parts of Europe (including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy), as well as much of North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.

Most garden plants of S. vulgaris are cultivars, the majority of which do not exceed 4–5 m tall. Between 1876 and 1927, the nurseryman Victor Lemoine of Nancy introduced over 153 named cultivars, many of which are considered classics and still in commerce today. Lemoine's "French lilacs" extended the limited colour range to include deeper, more saturated hues, and they also introduced double-flowered "sports", with the stamens replaced by extra petals. Illustrated here is the hybrid 'Agincourt Beauty' that grows in our garden.

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Thursday, 12 September 2019

FFF406 - PEACH BLOSSOM

The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine. The specific name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia (modern-day Iran), from where it was transplanted to Europe.

It belongs to the genus Prunus which includes the cherry, apricot, almond and plum, in the rose family. The peach is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell. Due to their close relatedness, the inside of a peach stone tastes remarkably similar to almond, and peach stones are often used to make a cheap version of marzipan, known as persipan.

Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterised by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes (fuzzless fruit); it is thought that a mutation in a single gene (MYB25) is responsible for the hair or no-hair difference between the two. China produced 58% of the world's total peaches and nectarines in 2016.

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

FFF405 - SPRING

Prunus cerasifera is a species of plum known by the common names cherry plum and myrobalan plum. It is native to Europe and Asia and naturalised in scattered locations in North America. Wild types are large shrubs or small trees reaching 6–15 m tall, with deciduous leaves 4–6 cm long.

It is one of the first European trees to flower in spring, often starting in mid-February. The flowers are white and about 2 cm across, with five petals. The fruit is a drupe, 2–3 cm in diameter, and yellow or red. It is edible, and reaches maturity from early July to mid-September. Cultivated cherry plums can have fruits, foliage, and flowers in any of several colours. Some varieties have sweet fruits that can be eaten fresh, while others are sour and better for making jam.

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

FFF404 - NARCISSUS

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae 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. The genus arose some time in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs, in the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of southwest Europe.

The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection. The English word 'daffodil' appears to be derived from "asphodel", with which it was commonly compared. The species are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North Africa with a centre of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, particularly the Iberian peninsula.

Both wild and cultivated plants have naturalised widely, and were introduced into the Far East prior to the tenth century. Narcissi tend to be long-lived bulbs, which propagate by division, but are also insect-pollinated. Known pests, diseases and disorders include viruses, fungi, the larvae of flies, mites and nematodes. Some Narcissus species have become extinct, while others are threatened by increasing urbanisation and tourism. Dafffodil breeding has introduced a wide range of colours, in both the outer perianth tepal segment and the inner corona. In the registry, daffodils are coded by the colours of each of these two parts. Thus in the photo below of Narcissus 'Geranium', Tazetta (Division 8) has a white outer perianth and orange corona and is classified as 8 W-O.

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

FFF403 - WAX FLOWER,

Philotheca myoporoides, commonly known as long-leaf wax flower, is a shrub in the family Rutaceae. The species is endemic to south-eastern Australia. It is usually up to 2 metres high and produces white flowers in spring and autumn. The species was first formally described in 1824 by Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle who gave it the name Eriostemon myoporoides. It was transferred to the genus Philotheca in 1998.

Five subspecies are currently recognised in the Australian Plant Census:
P. myoporoides subsp. acuta
P. myoporoides subsp. brevipedunculata
P. myoporoides subsp. euroensis - occurs in the Garden Range near Euroa, Victoria
P. myoporoides subsp. myoporoides
P. myoporoides subsp. petraeus - occurs on Mount Stewart in East Gippsland, Victoria.

In recent years a number of subspecies have been raised to species status including Philotheca conduplicata, P. epilosa, P. glasshousiensis (syn. P. myoporoides subsp. leichhardti), P. obovatifolia and P. queenslandica. Philotheca myoporoides occurs in dry forest and heathland in New South Wales.

In Victoria, it is recorded in woodland in rocky, mountainous areas in association with Eucalyptus regnans. It is also found in Queensland. Caterpillars of the Orchard Butterfly feed on this species. The species is well adapted to cultivation, and plants are commercially available at nurseries in Australia. The species prefers a well-drained position in light shade. Established plants tolerate both dry periods and moderate frost. Plants may be propagated from semi-mature cuttings, though some forms are slow to take root.

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Thursday, 15 August 2019

FFF402 - CORAL TREE

Erythrina crista-galli is a flowering tree in the family Fabaceae, native to Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. It is widely planted as a street or garden tree in other countries, most notably in the United States, Australia and South Africa. It is known by several common names within South America: Ceibo, seíbo (Spanish), corticeira (Portuguese) and the more ambiguous bucaré, to name a few. In English it is often known as the Cockspur Coral Tree. 

The ceibo is the national tree of Argentina, and its flower the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay. This species characteristically grows wild in gallery forest ecosystems along watercourses, as well as in swamps and wetlands. In urban settings, it is often planted in parks for its highly decorative, bright red flowers. Even in the temperate climate of Melbourne the tree does very well and is a feature of many parks, gardens and nature strips along streets. The flowers will produce patterned bean-like seeds in pods.

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

FFF401 - VIOLETS

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, 1 August 2019

FFF400 - MADONNA LILY

Lilium candidum (popularly known as the Madonna Lily) is a true lily in the Liliaceae family. It is native to Greece, the western Balkans and the Middle East, and naturalised in other parts of Europe (France, Italy, Ukraine, etc.) as well as in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and other places.

It forms bulbs at ground level, and unlike other lilies, has a basal rosette of leaves through the winter, which die back in summer. A leafy flower stem, typically up to 1.2 metres high, sometimes up to 2 metres high, emerges in late spring and bears fragrant flowers in summer. Flowers are white, flushed yellow at the base. It has long been cultivated, but is susceptible to virus diseases of lilies, and to Botrytis fungus. One possible way to avoid problems with viruses is to grow plants raised from seed. 

The Madonna lily is often described as being the basis of the fleur-de-lis, though the shape of this stylised flower more strongly resembles that of a flag iris. Madonna lilies are depicted in a fresco at the Minoan palace of Knossos. The Madonna Lily symbolises purity for Roman Catholics. Medieval depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary often show her holding these flowers.

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Thursday, 25 July 2019

FFF399 - ERYTHRINA

Erythrina is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains about 130 species, which are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They are trees, growing up to 30 m in height. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ερυθρóς (erythros), meaning "red," referring to the flower colour of certain species. Particularly in horticulture, the name coral tree is used as a collective term for these plants. "Flame trees" is another vernacular name, but may refer to a number of unrelated plants as well.

Many species of Erythrina have bright red flowers, and this may be the origin of the common name. However, the growth of the branches can resemble the shape of sea coral rather than the colour of Corallium rubrum specifically, and this is an alternative source for the name. Other popular names, usually local and particular to distinct species, liken the flowers' red hues to those of a male chicken's wattles, and/or the flower shape to its leg spurs. Commonly seen Spanish names for any local species are bucaré, frejolillo or porotillo, and in Afrikaans some are called kaffirboom. Mullumurikku is a widespread name in Kerala.

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Thursday, 18 July 2019

FFF398 - CRASSULA

Crassula perfoliata, also known as Crassula falcata, is given the common names 'airplane plant' and 'propeller plant' (because of the fanciful resemblance of the leaves to propellers). It is a succulent plant endemic to South Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope. The foliage is gray-green with striking texture, on plants that grow to 0.61 m tall. The flowers are tiny and scarlet red, that rise in dense clusters above the foliage for a month in summer.

This is a choice plant for use in drought tolerant and succulent gardens, and in container gardens. This plant flowers during summer (November to February in the Southern Hemisphere). Plants are pollinated by butterflies and the seeds are dispersed by the wind. The plants grow on outcrops and ledges in full sun. Plants are initially solitary but may sometimes have up to three heads later. During wet conditions the leaves become very turgid and during dry spells they become flattened and tinged reddish.

This plant grows easily and is best planted on rockeries in full sunlight. It would be excellent for dry thicket gardens. In regions where frost is experienced, it is best grown in containers in a greenhouse, or on windowsills under controlled conditions. Propagation is easily effected by division, leaf cuttings or seed. Seed germinates within 3 weeks and plants should flower in the fourth year. Leaf cuttings can be made during spring or summer and rooted in clean sand. They must be kept moist. Sulphur should be applied as a fungicide to wounds.

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Thursday, 11 July 2019

FFF397 - FRIAR'S COWL

Arisarum vulgare, common name Cobra Plant, Friar's Cowl or Larus, is a herbaceous, perennial, with an underground rhizome plant in the genus Arisarum belonging to the family Araceae. Arisarum vulgare reaches on average 10–30 cm high. The leaves of this geophyte plant are basal only, wide, ovate to arrow-shaped, with a petiole 12–15 cm long. The stems are erect and unbranched, usually mottled and grow directly from the underground rhizome. 

A single leaflike bract (spathe) forms a purplish-brown or olive green striped tube about 15 cm long, with an open upper part helmet or hood-shaped curved forward. It encloses a fleshy greenish club-like spike (spadix) bent forward, protruding from the tube and bearing at the bottom minute purple violet flowers. The 20 male flowers are located above the four to six female, with sterile flowers completely missing.

The flowering period extends from Autumn to Spring. The sexes are united in the same individual plant. Pollination is granted by insects (entomophily). The fruits are greenish berries of about 1 centimetre long. This plant native to Mediterranean region of southern Europe and northern Africa, east to the Caucasus, and west to the Canary Islands, the Azores and Madeira.

Arisarum vulgare prefers grassy fields and rocky scrubland, forests and wasteland, mainly in shady and cool places and in moist soils, at an altitude of 0–800 metres above sea level. Grow this cautiously in the garden as it can become quite invasive.

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Thursday, 4 July 2019

FFF396 - MAGNOLIA

Magnolia stellata, sometimes called the star magnolia, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree native to Japan. It bears large, showy white or pink flowers in early spring, before its leaves open. This species is closely related to the Kobushi magnolia (Magnolia kobus), and is treated by many botanists as a variety or even a cultivar of that. However, Magnolia stellata was accepted as a distinct species in the 1998 monograph by D. Hunt.

We have been having a relatively mild Winter so far in Melbourne and some of the Spring flowers have tentatively appeared. If we have more cold and frosts ahead of us, no doubt the early bloomers will get a nasty shock!

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

FFF395 - PINCUSHION PROTEA

Leucospermum is a genus of evergreen upright, sometimes creeping shrubs that is assigned to the Proteaceae, with currently forty-eight known species. Almost all species are easily recognised as Leucospermum because of the long protruding styles with a thickened pollen-presenter, which jointly give the flower head the appearance of a pincushion, its common name.

Pincushions can be found in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Currently, the genus is subdivided in nine sections based on morphological commonalities and differences, each section having several species. The classification becomes more complex when garden hybrids are considered.

Leucospermum cordifolium cv.'Veldt Fire' is native to the South west cape of South Africa. It is a small shrub, flowering beautifully in September, the Southern Spring. The flowers are large, up to 10 cm in diameter and quite spectacular! They grow well in Australia.

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

FFF394 - PHLOX

Phlox drummondii in the Polemoniaceae family has been around in various cultivars for many decades. Native to Texas, it is also widely distributed in the southeastern United States, especially along public highways. P. drummondii is often used as an ornamental plant. The flowers have a wide range of colours from white and cream through pinks, lilacs, roses, purples and reds, to almost black.

Phlox drummondii is named after Scottish botanist Thomas Drummond, who sent it and a variety of other plant samples back to Britain following his 1833–1835 expedition to Texas. It is an annual, growing from seed each year. The branches have sharp, pointed, lengthy, ciliated leaves with rounded flowers. The flowers are single or double, with lightly scented, flat, star-shaped petals. The flowers mature to 2.5 cm in diameter.

The plants tolerate cold weather well, but require plentiful watering and dislike drought, wind and heat. A popular cultivar the last few years is the very attractive Phlox drummondii 'Twinkle Stars' seen here. It flowers profusely, is available in a variety of colours and has a characteristic flower shape with deep indentations in the petals, reminiscent of a star. It brightens up the garden and also grows well in containers. It blooms starting early summer and continues all summer long. It likes full sun, but I have been successful with partial shade. It doesn't like being transplanted much so be careful with the root system.

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Thursday, 13 June 2019

FFF393 - CHIMONANTHUS

Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet) has been cultivated in China for more than 1,000 years and has been introduced to Japan, Korea, Europe, Australia and the United States. It is a familiar plant in British gardens, where it is grown mainly for its gorgeous scent. The rather insignificant, creamy-yellow, waxy flowers are borne on bare stems from about December to March, with the leaves appearing later. Long esteemed in China and Japan for its fragrance, many parts of the plant are rich in essential oils and are also used for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Wintersweet was introduced to Japan from China during the 17th century, and to Britain, under the name of Calycanthus praecox, a century later. The generic name means "winter-flower', while the specific name means "precocious' as it flowers so early. It is a deciduous shrub (or sometimes with persistent leaves), up to 3 m high and wide (up to 13 m tall in the wild), with rough, opposite, dark green leaves and small, solitary, highly scented, yellowish flowers borne on short stalks in winter and spring before the leaves appear.

The outer petals (tepals) are waxy, almost transparent, in appearance, while the inner tepals are smaller and usually purplish. The flowers are beetle-pollinated.Named cultivars include Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’, which has slightly larger flowers and yellow inner tepals, and C. praecox ‘Grandiflorus’, a larger shrub, with bigger leaves and larger, but less strongly scented, pure yellow flowers, with red-stained inner tepals.

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Thursday, 6 June 2019

FFF392 - BLUE WATERLILY

Nymphaea nouchali, or by its synonym Nymphaea stellata, or by name star lotus, red and blue water lily, blue star water lily, is a water lily of the genus Nymphaea. It is the national flower of Sri Lanka and of Bangladesh. This aquatic plant is native from the Indian Subcontinent to the Australian region. It has been long valued as a garden flower in Thailand and Myanmar to decorate ponds and gardens.

In its natural state, N. nouchali is found in static or slow-flowing aquatic habitats of little to moderate depth. Nymphaea nouchali is a day-blooming nonviviparous plant with submerged roots and stems. Part of the leaves are submerged, while others rise slightly above the surface. The leaves are round and green on top; they usually have a darker underside. The floating leaves have undulating edges that give them a crenellate appearance. Their size is about 20–23 cm and their spread is 0.9 to 1.8 m.

This water lily has a beautiful flower which is usually violet blue in colour with reddish edges. Some varieties have white, purple, mauve or fuchsia-coloured flowers, hence its name red and blue water lily. The flower has 4-5 sepals and 13-15 petals that have an angular appearance making the flower look star-shaped from above. The cup-like calyx has a diameter of 11–14 cm.

N. nouchali is used as an ornamental plant because of its spectacular flowers. It is also popular as an aquarium plant under the name "Dwarf Lily" or "Dwarf Red Lily". Sometimes it is grown for its flowers, while other aquarists prefer to trim the lily pads, and just have the underwater foliage. Nymphaea nouchali is considered a medicinal plant in Indian Ayurvedic medicine under the name Ambal; it was mainly used to treat indigestion.

Like all waterlilies or lotuses, its tubers and rhizomes can be used as food items; they are eaten usually boiled or roasted. In the case of N. nouchali, its tender leaves and flower peduncles are also valued as food. The dried plant is collected from ponds, tanks and marshes during the dry season and used in India as animal forage.

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Thursday, 30 May 2019

FFF391 - BERGENIA

Bergenia (elephant-eared saxifrage, elephant's ears) is a genus of ten species of flowering plants in the family Saxifragaceae, native to central Asia, from Afghanistan to China and the Himalayan region. They are clump-forming, rhizomatous, evergreen perennials with a spirally arranged rosette of leaves 6–35 cm long and 4–15 cm broad, and pink flowers produced in a cyme.

The leaves are large, leathery, ovate or cordate, and often have wavy or saw-toothed edges. For most of the year, the leaves have a glossy green colour, but in cooler climates, they turn red or bronze in the Autumn. The flowers grow on a stem similar in colour to a rhubarb stalk and most varieties have cone-shaped flowers in varying shades of pink. These can range from almost white to ruby red and purple.

The common names for Bergenia are pigsqueak (due to the sound produced when two leaves are rubbed together), elephant's ears (due to the shape of the leaves) and large rockfoil. Bergenia is closely related to Mukdenia, Oresitrophe, Astilboides and Rodgersia. The creator of the taxonomic genus name, Conrad Moench, honoured the German botanist and physician Karl August von Bergen by coining the name Bergenia in 1794.

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