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

Thursday, 2 December 2021

FFF521 - SPOTTED SUN ORCHID

Thelymitra ixioides, known as the Spotted Sun Orchid is a common plant in eastern and southern Australia, it is also found in New Zealand and New Caledonia. Leaves are thin or lanceolate, up to 20 cm long. A small plant of the Orchidaceae family, it has spotted flowers, forming from August to January. They are usually blue, but sometimes violet. It grows in eucalyptus woodland or heathland.

Thelymitra is derived from the Greek thely, female and mitra, a headdress, referring to the appearance of the plumed column (the fused stamens, styles and stigma). The specific name ixioides means similar to the genus Ixia. It is known as the "sun orchid" because the flowers of most species only open fully on warm, sunny days. There are about 80 species of terrestrial orchids in the genus Thelymitra.

As T. ixioides has fairly specialised cultural needs (like most terrestrial orchids) it is cultivated mainly by orchid enthusiasts. Generally the plants are grown in pots in a freely draining, sandy mix. They require good air circulation in a protected position of about 50% sun during the growing period from autumn to spring. During this growing period the plants must not be allowed to dry out. After the leaves have turned brown in late spring to early summer the pots are allowed to dry out completely. Repotting of tubers can be carried out in summer. This orchid is not considered to be at risk in the wild.

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Thursday, 25 November 2021

FFF520 - SALVIA

Salvia sinaloensis ‘Aztec Blue’ in the family Lamiaceae is a native of Mexico and originates in the country's province of Sinaloa. It is a delightful little plant which will grow and spread slowly via underground runners to form an attractive ground cover which is non-invasive.

The exceptional flower colour of this variety of salvia needs to be seen to be believed. The intense and vibrant blue is as close to a true blue that you will ever find in the plant kingdom. Its charm does not end there, however, as the foliage too offers ornamental value to the garden designer. As young leaves emerge they a delightful plum colour slowly changing to an olive green as they age but always retaining a bronze tinge providing the plant is in full sun. When planted in light shade greener foliage results.

For best results, flowering and foliage colour, choose a sunny site in free draining soil. A herbaceous perennial in cooler climates but generally foliage will remain year round and can be trimmed by half during winter months. An application of slow release fertiliser in spring is recommended. Removing spent flower stems will encourage further flowering.

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Thursday, 18 November 2021

FFF519 - JACOBINIA

 A member of the Acanthaceae family, the Brazilian plume flower or jacobinia (Justicia carnea) is a shade-loving, soft-wooded shrub (ht 1.5m) with large, lush leaves. Thick plumes of white, pale pink or deep pink tubular flowers appear in regular flushes from early summer to late autumn. A form with dark purplish underleaves is known as 'Radiant' - perhaps more correctly should be called 'Huntington Form'. 

Justicia carnea needs hard pruning in late winter, and regular dead-heading during summer will help to promote new blooms. It will also flourish in sunny spots but is useful for shaded sites, as are so many of the Acanthaceae family, which do so well in temperate climates. Whilst it will stand neglect, it responds well to feeding and watering. It is easily propagated from cuttings. It is a good companion to hydrangeas, Plectranthus species, ferns and camellias. The white form looks pretty with silver-leaved companions, such as Plectranthus argentatus and Pilea cadierei.

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Thursday, 11 November 2021

FFF518 - SCHLUMBERGERA

Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with six species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. Plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats which are generally shady with high humidity and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cousins.

Most species of Schlumbergera have stems which resemble leaf-like pads joined one to the other and flowers which appear from areoles at the joints and tips of the stems. Two species have cylindrical stems more similar to other cacti. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also called Easter cactus.

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Thursday, 4 November 2021

FFF517 - ISOPOGON

Isopogon formosus or Rose Cone Flower is a shrub in the Proteaceae family that is endemic to areas near Albany and Esperance in Western Australia. In occurs naturally in heathland and woodland areas. It has an erect or bushy form and is usually between 1.5 and 2 metres high. The pink flowers appear from mid winter to early summer. Rounded "drumsticks" containing the seeds appear later, formed from the old flower parts. The plant's leaves are divided, narrow, terete and about 5 cm long.

Isopogon formosus prefers full sun to partial shade in a well-drained sandy or gravelly soil. In the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) in Canberra they use a special mix of 2:1 sand and granite. It will tolerate light or moderate frosts but will not tolerate heavy frosts or extended periods of dryness. It can be propagated by either seed or cutting. The ANBG have had more success with cuttings than seed. When taking cuttings use older material, not that from the soft tips. A rooting hormone such as IBA should be used to promote root growth.

Isopogon formosus responds well to light pruning which improves the shape. Tip pruning from an early stage promotes lateral growth, however it must not be over-pruned. It does not suffer from any particular pest but is susceptible to the root rot fungus Phytophthora cinnamoni. You should also only use a slow release fertiliser or one that is suitable for Australian natives as this Isopogon is particularly sensitive to soluble phosphorus.

It is difficult to cultivate this plant in the eastern states, as it will not tolerate humidity and is less hardy than some of the naturally occurring eastern species. A possible alternate way for it to be grown is to grow it in a pot as the particular conditions it requires can be satisfied readily and be more easily monitored. It is well worth attempting to grow, as it is a spectacular plant that can be used as a feature in the garden all year round.

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Thursday, 28 October 2021

FFF516 - ARMERIA

Armeria is a genus of flowering plants in the Plumbaginaceae family. These plants are sometimes known as "lady's cushion", "thrift", or "sea pink" (the latter because as they are often found on coastlines). The genus counts over a hundred species, mostly native to the Mediterranean, although Armeria maritima is an exception, being distributed along the coasts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Ireland, parts of the United Kingdom such as Cornwall, and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales. Some are popular with gardeners as rockery plants.

The garden hybrid illustrated here is Armeria 'Bees Ruby', which is a delightful clump forming evergreen plant ideal for edging, container culture or simply adding colour to the front of garden beds and rockeries. Tall, leafless stems of deep cerise coloured flowers cluster together to form impressive round globes from late winter through spring which last well if cut for fresh posies. The attractive foliage comprises of broader leaves than normally found in this family providing an interesting textural presence year round.

Armerias are a hardy perennial found in a range of soil types and climatic conditions around the world ranging from storm-swept coastal zones through to alpine meadows. They prefer a full sun position in a friable, well drained soil. Although dry tolerant once established occasional deep watering through extended periods of heat will maintain a more robust performance. No pruning required although removing spent flower stems will encourage further displays. Feed with a slow release fertiliser in spring.

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Thursday, 21 October 2021

FFF515 - NSW CHRISTMAS BUSH

Ceratopetalum gummiferum, the New South Wales Christmas Bush, is a tall shrub or small tree popular in cultivation due to its sepals that turn bright red-pink at around Christmas time. The petals are actually small and white - it is the sepals that enlarge to about 12mm after the flower sets fruit and starts to dry out. The specific name gummiferum alludes to the large amounts of gum that is discharged from cut bark. 

Plants initially grow as rounded shrubs but mature to pyramidical trees. The leaves comprise three leaflets and are up to 8 cm long. The petioles are grooved on the upper side and are 10 to 20 mm long. Small, white five-petalled flowers appear in spays from October in the species native range. As these die the sepals enlarge and become pink to red in colour, the display peaking at Christmas time in Australia (i.e. during Summer).

Ceratopatalum gummiferum is one of nine species in the genus Ceratopetalum in the family Cunoniaceae, which occur in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The species was first formally described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1793 in 'A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland'. The species is endemic to New South Wales where it occurs to the east of the Great Dividing Range from Ulladulla in the south to Evans Head in the north.

In cultivation, plants usually grow to no more than 6 metres in height. Plants may be propagated from seed or cuttings, the latter method being preferred to maintain good colour forms. Well-drained soil is required to avoid problems with dieback associated with root-rot fungus.

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Wednesday, 13 October 2021

FFF514 - MR LINCOLN ROSE

Rosa "Mr Lincoln" was bred by Swim & Weeks, USA in 1964.  This is a very tall growing rose to 1.8 metres should be planted at the back of the rose bed where it will shine over and above all the roses and the breath-taking fragrance will still be enjoyed.

Mr. Lincoln has retained its popularity over the years because it is just so reliable a performer with very tough, leathery foliage, especially loving the heat. As with most dark red roses, Mr. Lincoln has very sharp thorns and produces huge, thick watershoots which should be pruned with loppers rather than secateurs. 

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Thursday, 7 October 2021

FFF513 - YELLOW CLIVIA

Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. Common names are Natal lily or bush lily. They are herbaceous evergreen plants, with green, strap-like leaves. Individual flowers are more or less bell-shaped, occurring in umbels on a stalk above the foliage; colours typically range from yellow through orange to red. Many cultivars exist, some with variegated leaf patterns.

Species of Clivia are found only in South Africa and Swaziland. They are typically forest undergrowth plants, adapted to low light (with the exception of C. mirabilis from the Western Cape). Clivia miniata grows into large clumps and is surprisingly water wise. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico. It is a popular plant for shady areas and is commonly seen growing in older established suburbs in most Australian states. It is also popular in New Zealand, Japan, China and southern parts of the USA , particularly California.

It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and various varieties have flowers that are red, orange or yellow, sometimes with a faint, but very sweet perfume.

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Thursday, 30 September 2021

FFF512 - ERODIUM

Erodium malacoides is a species of Spring-flowering plant in the geranium family known by the common names Mediterranean stork's bill, soft stork's-bill and oval heron's bill. This is a weedy annual or biennial herb which is native to much of Eurasia and North Africa but can be found on most continents where it is an introduced species.

The young plant grows a number of ruffled green leaves radially outward flat against the ground from a knobby central stem. The stem may eventually reach half a metre in height with more leaves on long, hairy petioles. It bears small flowers with fuzzy, soft spine-tipped sepals and five lavender to magenta petals. The fruit is green with a glandular body about half a centimetre long and a long, pointed style two to three centimetres in length.

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