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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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Thursday, 16 May 2019

FFF389 - LOQUAT

The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae, native to south-central China. It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree, grown commercially for its yellow fruit, and also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Eriobotrya japonica was formerly thought to be closely related to the genus Mespilus, and is still sometimes known as the Japanese medlar. It is also known as Japanese plum and Chinese plum. Loquats are unusual among fruit trees in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, and the fruits are ripe in late winter or early spring.

The flowers are 2 cm in diameter, white, with five petals, and produced in stiff panicles of three to ten flowers. The flowers have a sweet, heady aroma that can be smelled from a distance. These trees are currently in bloom in Melbourne.

Loquat fruits, growing in clusters, are oval, rounded or pear-shaped, 3–5 cm long, with a smooth or downy, yellow or orange, sometimes red-blushed skin. The succulent, tangy flesh is white, yellow or orange and sweet to subacid or acid, depending on the cultivar.Each fruit contains 2-3 large brown seeds. The skin, though thin, can be peeled off manually if the fruit is ripe. The fruits are the sweetest when soft and orange. The flavour is a mix of peach, citrus and mild mango.

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Thursday, 9 May 2019

FFF388 - SEASIDE DAISY

Erigeron karvinskianus is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae known by the common names Mexican fleabane, Latin American fleabane, Santa Barbara daisy, Spanish daisy, Karwinsky’s fleabane, or bony-tip fleabane. Erigeron karvinskianus is native to much of Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, and is naturalized in many other places, including parts of Africa and Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Chile and the west coast of the United States.

Erigeron karvinskianus was first described in 1836 by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. The specific epithet refers to Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinski von Karwin, who collected the plant in Mexico according to de Candolle.

Erigeron karvinskianus is a vigorous, spreading perennial plant growing from woody rhizomes to a maximum height of 15 cm. Its leaves are located along the stem, the basal leaves dying off as the plant bolts. They are sometimes slightly toothed or lobed near the tips. The inflorescences hold one or more flower heads which are each about 1 cm wide. They have golden yellow disc florets in the centre surrounded by a fringe of up to 80 white to pinkish ray florets. 

Erigeron karvinskianus is cultivated for its daisy-like blooms, and is often confused with the closely related true daisy Bellis. It is frequently grown in crevices in walls or paving, where it rapidly spreads to provide a carpet of flowers. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It was used to colonise the concrete terraces of the football stadium (Estadio Azteca) built in Mexico City for the 1970 World Cup.

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

FFF387 - PEA FLOWERS

The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.

P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool-season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 gram. The immature peas (and in snow peas the tender pod as well) are used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned; varieties of the species typically called field peas are grown to produce dry peas like the split pea shelled from the matured pod. These are the basis of pease porridge and pea soup, staples of medieval cuisine; in Europe, consuming fresh immature green peas was an innovation of Early Modern cuisine.

The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas date from the late neolithic era of current Greece, Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from c. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from c. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan c. 2000 BC; in Harappan civilization around modern-day Pakistan and western- and northwestern India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, this legume crop appears in the Ganges Basin and southern India.

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Thursday, 25 April 2019

FFF386 - AUTUMN ROSE

As we progress into Autumn we tend to see more rose hips than rose flowers in the gardens. However, some rose bushes still produce wonderful blossoms, such as this particular fragrant one. It was photographed in a neighbour's garden and as far she can remember it is called 'Apricot Silk'.

I looked up this hybrid and found that it is a sport of 'Souvenir de Jacques Verschuren' x seedling. It was raised by Walter Gregory and introduced into the nursery trade in 1965. It has large, fragrant yellow-pink, high-centered flowers with anywhere between 26-40 petals, with good rebloom potential in the season. It is a hybrid tea rose forming an upright, medium-tall shrub, 1-1.6 m.

It performs best in a sunny spot, with soil pH preference from slightly acid to neutral. It blooms from Spring through to Summer and Autumn. It makes for a good cut flower, although it does have thorns. It can be propagated by cuttings.

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Thursday, 18 April 2019

FFF385 - MUSSAENDA

Mussaenda is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. They are native to the African and Asian tropics and subtropics. Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants. It contains some 194 species. The cultivar seen here is Mussaenda philippica 'Queen Sirikit' and it is growing in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Queen Sirikit is the Queen of Thailand. It was named to commemorate her first visit to the Philippines in the 1970's.

This Mussaenda is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 3 metres tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1 metre tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colourful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 10 cm long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 20 cm long). Other hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.

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HAPPY EASTER TO ALL WHO CELEBRATE IT !
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Thursday, 11 April 2019

FFF384 - CHINESE ASTERS

Chinese asters (Callistephus chinensis - Tall Paeony, Duchess Asters) come in great mix of colours! There is yellow, scarlet, apricot, dark blue, pink, magenta, and more. Duchess Asters have huge, double blooms with incurved petals that grow on tall, upright plants with 5 to 8 floral stems.

Aster Callistephus is an excellent cut flower and has a long vase-life. Their flowers are similar to autumn chrysanthemums, but they bloom so much earlier in the season. Asters grow quickly and bloom heavily. Start the Aster seeds in the spring 6 to 8 weeks before the end of frost season. The flower seeds are small, so press them into the soil gently and lightly cover them. Harden the Aster plants off for 10 to 14 days before transplanting outdoors in a sunny to part sun position.

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Thursday, 4 April 2019

FFF383 - MINT BUSH

Prostanthera, commonly known as mintbush or mint bush, is a genus of flowering plants of the family Lamiaceae. There are about 90 species within the genus, all of which are endemic to Australia. The word is derived from the Greek for an appendage. Within the flowers are small spur-like appendages on the anthers.

They are bushy, evergreen shrubs, usually with strongly aromatic leaves, and 2-lipped, 5-lobed flowers. They are cultivated as ornamentals and for essential oils and spices. All require varying degrees of winter protection in temperate regions, and are usually grown under glass. Prostanthera species are used as food plants by the larvae of hepialid moths of the genus Aenetus including A. eximia and A. ligniveren.

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Thursday, 28 March 2019

FFF383 - MONARDA

Monarda is a genus of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. The genus is endemic to North America. Common names include bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, and bergamot, the latter inspired by the fragrance of the leaves, which is reminiscent of bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia).

The genus was named for the Spanish botanist Nicolás Monardes, who wrote a book in 1574 describing plants of the New World. These hardy plants are easily grown and are ideally suited to cottage gardens or for border plantings, producing their colourful blooms over a long period. The aromatic leaves and nectar-rich flowers will ensure that bees and birds will be constant visitors to the garden.

Monarda form large clumps, with the perennials dying away completely in winter but recovering quickly in spring to form thickets of angled stems with lance-shaped aromatic leaves that are often red-tinted and hairy, with serrated edges. In early summer the top of each stem carries several whorls of tubular flowers backed by leafy bracts. The flowers are usually red, pink, or purple.

Monarda species are very hardy and easily grown in any open sunny position with moist well-drained soil. Mildew is often a problem in late summer, so good ventilation is important. Some species can quickly take over and their growth should be monitored and controlled. Propagation is by division when dormant or from basal cuttings.

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Thursday, 21 March 2019

FFF382 - DOGWOOD

Cornus is a genus of about 30–60 species of woody plants in the family Cornaceae, commonly known as dogwoods, which can generally be distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark. Most are deciduous trees or shrubs, but a few species are nearly herbaceous perennial subshrubs, and a few of the woody species are evergreen. Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large, typically white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers.

The various species of dogwood are native throughout much of temperate and boreal Eurasia and North America, with China and Japan and the southeastern United States particularly rich in native species. Species include the common dogwood Cornus sanguinea of Eurasia, the widely cultivated flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) of eastern North America, the Pacific dogwood Cornus nuttallii of western North America, the Kousa dogwood Cornus kousa of eastern Asia, and two low-growing boreal species, the Canadian and Eurasian dwarf cornels (or bunchberries), Cornus canadensis and Cornus suecica respectively. Depending on botanical interpretation, the dogwoods are variously divided into one to nine genera or subgenera.

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Thursday, 14 March 2019

FFF381 - TUBEROSE

Polianthes tuberosa, the tuberose, is a perennial plant related to the agaves, family Agavaceae. Extracts of the extremely fragrant flower are used as a component of perfumes in perfumery. The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. Polianthes means "white-flowered" in Greek.

The tuberose is a night-blooming plant native to Mexico, as is every other known species of Polianthes. It grows in elongated spikes up to 45 cm long that produce clusters of fragrant waxy white flowers that bloom from the bottom towards the top of the spike. It has long, bright green leaves clustered at the base of the plant and smaller, clasping leaves along the stem. Epiphyllous adhesion of stamens is seen in the flower.

Members of the closely related genus Manfreda are often called "tuberoses". While tuberose was once associated with funerals, it is now used in floral arrangements for other occasions, including weddings. In Indonesia, tuberose flowers are also used in cooking.

Tuberose is best cultivated in hardiness zones 8-10. It is a tropical plant, and is perennial in hardiness zones 9 to 11. Plant the bulbs in late Winter to early Spring (after the frosts have finished). Plant bulbs in succession (leaving two weeks between plantings) for a longer, staggered flowering period. The soil must be well-drained and loamy. It needs to be prepared deeply with compost or well-rotted manure. The soil must be lime-free. Full sun yields the best results. If necessary, plant in pots which can be moved to gain maximum sunshine.

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Thursday, 7 March 2019

FFF380 - NEMESIA

Nemesia is a genus of annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs which are native to sandy coasts or disturbed ground in South Africa. Numerous hybrids have been selected, and the annual cultivars are popular with gardeners as bedding plants. In temperate regions the annual cultivars are usually treated as half-hardy bedding plants, sown from seed in heat and planted out after all danger of frost has passed.The flowers are two-lipped, with the upper lip consisting of four lobes and the lower lip two lobes.

This cultivar of Nemesia "Sunsatia Cherry On Ice" has masses of long lasting flowers of striking colour. It is excellent for summer containers, either solo, or for fringe planting to complement other summer basket and container plants. It prefers full sun, or partial shade with free-draining soil or compost.

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Thursday, 28 February 2019

FFF379 - TREE MALLOW

Malva arborea (also known as Lavatera arborea, or, more recently as Malva eriocalyx), the tree mallow, is a species of mallow native to the coasts of western Europe and the Mediterranean region, from the British Isles south to Algeria and Libya, and east to Greece. It is a shrubby annual, biennial or perennial plant growing to 0.5–2 m (rarely 3 m) tall. The leaves are orbicular, 8–18 cm diameter, palmately lobed with five to nine lobes, and a coarsely serrated margin.

The flowers are 3–4 cm diameter, dark pink to purple and grow in fasciculate axillary clusters of two to seven. It grows mainly on exposed coastal locations, often on small islands, only rarely any distance inland. Although long considered a species of Lavatera, genetic and morphological analysis by Martin Forbes Ray, reported in 1998, suggested it was better placed in the genus Malva, in which it was named Malva dendromorpha M.F.Ray. However the earlier name Malva arborea L. (Webb & Berthol.) was validly published and has priority over Malva dendromorpha.

Malva arborea tolerates sea water to varying degrees, at up to 100% sea water in its natural habitat, excreting salt through glands on its leaves. This salt tolerance can be a competitive advantage over inland plant species in coastal areas. Its level of salinity tolerance is thought to be improved by soil with higher phosphate content, making guano enrichment particularly beneficial.

The leaves of the species are used in herbal medicine to treat sprains, by steeping them in hot water and applying the poultice to the affected area. It is theorised that lighthouse keepers may have spread the plant to some British islands for use as a poultice and to treat burns, an occupational hazard. Thought to have been used as an alternative to toilet paper. The seeds are edible and are known in Jersey as "petit pains", or "little breads". Tree mallow was considered a nutritive animal food in Britain in the 19th century, and is still sometimes used as animal fodder in Europe. For human consumption, some sources describe the leaves of tree mallow as edible, although not as palatable as common mallow, unless cut very thinly, because of the velour-like texture.

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

FFF378 - SUNFLOWERS

The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head), and its name is derived from the flower's shape and image, which is often used to capture the sun. The plant has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves, and circular flower heads.

The heads consist of many individual flowers which mature into seeds, often in the hundreds, on a receptacle base. From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production.

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Thursday, 14 February 2019

FFF377 - VALENTINE ROSES

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Roses have traditionally been associated with love and romance. The symbolism varies depending on the colour of the rose and how many roses are given.
  • Red roses symbolise love and romance;
  • Pink roses symbolise gratitude, grace, admiration, and joy;
  • Orange roses symbolise enthusiasm and passion;
  • Yellow roses symbolise friendship;
  • White roses symbolise innocence and purity;
  • Lilac/blue roses symbolise the ideal;
  • Deep red/Black roses symbolise passion and lust.


Though in most cases, roses are tied to love, you can send a specific romantic message by the number of roses you send.
  • One rose symbolises love at first sight;
  • Two roses symbolise shared and deep love;
  • Three roses say “I love you”;
  • Six roses say “I want to be yours”;
  • Seven roses say “I’m infatuated with you”;
  • Nine roses symbolise eternal love;
  • Ten roses say “You’re perfect”;
  • Twelve roses say “You are precious to me”;
  • 50 roses say “My love knows no bounds”.

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Thursday, 7 February 2019

FFF376 - EURYOPS

Euryops chrysanthemoides (with the common names African bush daisy or bull's-eye) is a small shrub native to Southern Africa that is also grown as a horticultural specimen in tropical to subtropical regions around the world. It occurs in the Eastern Cape, along the coast and inland, to KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Swaziland. It is usually found on forest edges, in riverine bush and in ravines, as well as in coastal scrub, grassland and disturbed areas.

It is a compact, densely branched, leafy, evergreen shrub, 0.5 to 2m in height. The species was moved to Euryops from the genus Gamolepis on the basis of chromosome counts. It is a ruderal weed in New South Wales, although it is not weedy in all places where it is cultivated or has naturalised. This particular variety is Euryops chrysanthemoides 'African Sun'.

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Thursday, 31 January 2019

FFF375 - GREVILLEA

Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants in the protea family Proteaceae, native to rainforest and more open habitats in Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Sulawesi. It was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville.

The species range from prostrate shrubs less than 50 cm tall to trees 35 m tall. Common names include grevillea, spider flower, silky oak, bottle brush and toothbrush plant. Closely related to the genus Hakea, the genus gives its name to the subfamily Grevilleoideae.

The brightly coloured, petal-less flowers consist of a calyx tube that splits into 4 lobes with long styles. They are good bird-attracting plants, honeyeaters in particular are common visitors. They are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Dryandra Moth.

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

FFF374 - MICHELIA

Michelia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the magnolia family (Magnoliaceae). The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical south and southeast Asia (Indomalaya), including southern China. The Magnoliaceae is an ancient family; fossil plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date back 95 million years.

A primitive aspect of the Magnolia family is that their large, cup-shaped flowers lack distinct petals or sepals. The large non-specialised flower parts, resembling petals, are called tepals. The leaves, flowers, and form of Michelia resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms of Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does.

Popular in Melbourne is a relatively new hybrid of Michelia, called 'Fairy Magnolia'. This is designated Michelia x MicJUR01 and was bred in New Zealand by Mark Jury in the late 1990s. It produces masses of beautiful fragrant flowers blushed with lilac-pink in early Spring. These plants are so free flowering that they have a flower bud at each leaf axil and have been known to provide a light flush of flowers during summer too. The plants are bushy with rich evergreen foliage, which makes them ideal in the garden as a flowering hedge or specimen plant.

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Thursday, 17 January 2019

FFF373 - SARACA

Saraca thaipingensis is medium sized, evergreen tree with a wide-spreading crown, which grows to a height of 7 m or more. Leaves are simple pinnate, large, with up to 8 pairs of opposite, 20-40 x 6-12 cm leaflets but without a terminal one. Young leaves are cream-coloured, hanging limply in tassels for a few days before they stiffen and turn green.

Flowers are 1-2 cm across, faintly fragrant, in dense bunches that arise from the trunk and main branches, making for an unusual and spectacular display. They are light pinkish yellow turning deep yellow with a dark crimson eye spot which darkens to blood-red. Most of the flowers in a cluster are functionally male, the others bisexual. Pods are large, 30-45 x 6-10 cm, thin, flat and leathery. They turn purple with maturity, splitting into two coiled halves to expose the flat, black seeds.

This is an attractive flowering tree for parks and gardens. When in bloom, the tree attracts masses of nectar feeding sunbirds like Purple-throated (Nectariniua sperata), Crimson (Aethopyga siparaja), Olive-backed (Cinnyris jugularis) and Brown-throated (Anthreptes malacensis) as well as the Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica). The tree is native to Peninsular Malaysia, but is cultivated in a number of tropical countries. The specimen here was photographed in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

FFF372 - ROSA 'FRIESIA'

Rosa 'Friesia' (synonyms: 'Sunsprite'; 'KORresia') is a rose variety developed by Reimer Kordes and introduced in 1973. The rose was derived from the cultivars 'Friedrich Wörlein' × 'Spanish Sun', and is one of the most successful floribunda roses. It was named 'Friesia' after the region Frisia (Friesland), the home of the breeder, and was one of the first roses to be given a code name (KORresia for Kordes).

Its sunny yellow blooms are large and flat with 17 to 25 waved petals, reaching an average diameter of 8 cm and have a very strong fragrance. The high-centred flowers appear solitary or in small clusters in a blooming period lasting from June to September. Their bright yellow colour hardly changes with age. The flower is not well suited as a cut flower as it has short stems and only lasts for a short period of time after cutting.

The plant has light-green, glossy leaves, forms upright, bushy shrubs with about 40 to 75 cm height and up to 60 cm width, is very disease resistant and hardy (USDA zone 6b) and can be grown on the ground or in containers. It is used as a parent rose, leading to cultivars such as Rosa 'Sun Flare' (Warriner 1981) and 'Morden Sunrise' (Davidson & Collicutt) 1991.

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Thursday, 3 January 2019

FFF371 - ROSA 'BOSCOBEL'

Rosa 'Boscobel' is a vigorous and healthy variety from David Austin English roses, and is an upright shrub with dark green, glossy foliage. It produces perfectly formed rich salmon rosettes. These delightful blooms are upward-facing and carried on strong stems. An exceptional medium size shrub that is quick to establish. Repeat flowering from late spring to autumn.  It has a strong fragrance (complex myrrh) and will prove to be an irresistible addition to your garden once you've seen it and smelt it.

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