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, 19 May 2022

FFF545 - LEUCADENDRON

Leucadendron salignum is the most widespread species of the family Proteaceae, occurring in a large part of South Africa. It is common from Port Elizabeth in the east, to north of Ceres in the west. It occurs on a wide range of soil types, from sea level to an altitude of 2000 m and is quite variable in leaf size as well as leaf- and bract colour.

Leucadendrons are dioecious, i.e. separate male and female plants. This is unusual in the protea family. Its long flowering season (May - Dec), coupled with colourful leaves and bracts surrounding the flowers, make this species an attractive garden plant. Leucadendron salignum is a multi-stemmed shrub with a persistent rootstock, which enables it to resprout after fire. In its natural conditions it grows to a height of 0.75 to 2 m.

The variability of growing conditions, from mild winter temperatures to snow and frost near mountain tops, as well as the variability of leaves and bracts, from greenish-yellow to vivid orange-red, have made this species an excellent candidate for hybridisation. In addition, this species adapts well to vigorous pruning, which makes it suitable for the production of cut foliage on a large scale. These characteristics have made the species a natural choice for the wild flower industry.

There are a range of plants in cultivation, which differ markedly from the usual parent species, most often in growth form, leaf- and bract colour and flowering time. They may be either selections, known as 'cultivars' or hybrids, i.e. 'crosses' between species. Many hybrids and cultivars have been produced in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and other countries growing Proteaceae. The hybrid illustrated is 'Royal Ruby'.

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Thursday, 12 May 2022

FFF544 - CHRYSANTHEMUM HYBRID

Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and the centre of diversity is in China. There are countless horticultural varieties and cultivars.

Modern cultivated chrysanthemums are showier than their wild relatives. The flower heads occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like or decorative, like pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colours are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum, but also involving other species.

Over 140 varieties of chrysanthemum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 5 May 2022

FFF543 - EVERLASTING DAISY

Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to Australia. Described by √Čtienne Pierre Ventenat in 1803, it was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years before being transferred to a new genus Xerochrysum in 1990.

It grows as a woody or herbaceous perennial or annual shrub up to a metre tall with green or grey leafy foliage. Golden yellow or white flower heads are produced from spring to autumn; their distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. The species is widespread, growing in a variety of habitats across the country, from rainforest margins to deserts and subalpine areas.

The golden everlasting has proven very adaptable to cultivation. It was propagated and developed in Germany in the 1850s, and annual cultivars in a host of colour forms from white to bronze to purple flowers became available. Many of these are still sold in mixed seed packs. In Australia, many cultivars are perennial shrubs, which have become popular garden plants. Sturdier, long-stemmed forms are used commercially in the cut flower industry.

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Thursday, 28 April 2022

FFF542 - BANANA FLOWERS

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colours when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca are no longer used.

Bananas are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fibre, banana wine and as ornamental plants. Our climate in Melbourne is sufficiently mild in winter to allow banana "trees" to survive and in summer it is not unusual to see many banana plants in gardens bearing fruit. This specimen photographed here thrives in our next door neighbours' garden and much more than the fruit, it is the flowers that fascinate me!

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Thursday, 21 April 2022

FFF541 - STRAWFLOWERS

Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to Australia. Described by √Čtienne Pierre Ventenat in 1803, it was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years before being transferred to a new genus Xerochrysum in 1990. It grows as a woody or herbaceous perennial or annual shrub up to a metre tall with green or grey leafy foliage.

Golden yellow or white flower heads are produced from spring to autumn; their distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. The species is widespread, growing in a variety of habitats across the country, from rainforest margins to deserts and subalpine areas. The golden everlasting serves as food for various larvae of lepidopterans (butterflies and moths), and adult butterflies, hoverflies, native bees, small beetles, and grasshoppers visit the flower heads.

The golden everlasting has proven very adaptable to cultivation. It was propagated and developed in Germany in the 1850s, and annual cultivars in a host of colour forms from white to bronze to purple flowers became available. Many of these are still sold in mixed seed packs. In Australia, many cultivars are perennial shrubs, which have become popular garden plants. Sturdier, long-stemmed forms are used commercially in the cut flower industry.

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Thursday, 14 April 2022

FFF540 - LOQUAT FLOWERS

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, 7 April 2022

FFF539 - GEUM

Geum, commonly called avens, is a genus of about 50 species of rhizomatous perennial herbaceous plants in the rose family Rosaceae, native to Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, and New Zealand. They are closely related to Potentilla and Fragaria.

From a basal rosette of leaves they produce flowers on wiry stalks, in shades of red, yellow and orange, in midsummer. Geum species are evergreen except where winter temperatures drop below −18 °C. The cultivars "Lady Stratheden" and "Mrs J. Bradshaw" have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 31 March 2022

FFF538 - HONEY FLOWER

Melianthus major (giant honey flower or Kruidjie-roer-my-nie) is a species of flowering plant in the family Melianthaceae. It is an evergreen suckering shrub, endemic to South Africa and naturalised in India, Australia and New Zealand. It grows to 2–3 m tall by 1–3 m wide, with pinnate blue-green leaves 30–50 cm long, which have a distinctive, unpleasant odour.

Dark red, nectar-laden flower spikes, 30–80 cm in length, appear in spring, followed by green pods. All parts of the plants are poisonous. The Latin binomial Melianthus major literally means "large honey flower". In cultivation this plant requires a sheltered location and may also need a protective winter mulch in temperate regions. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 24 March 2022

FFF537 -ROSA 'EBB TIDE'

Rosa 'Ebb Tide' was bred by Tom Carruth, USA, in 2004. It is a wonderful rose, which created a massive impact for the intense colour and fragrance which was rarely seen in modern roses. This very free-flowering rose bears flowers in small clusters with an amazingly intense clove fragrance throughout the flowering season.

Ebb Tide has beautiful, medium sized, glossy and dark green foliage which is highly disease resistant. The bushy growth is around 90 cm in height with flowers all over the shrub. The striking purple colour and the intense, spicy fragrance will make this rose variety a delightful addition to the rose garden.

Roses thrive in generally sunny, dry and hot conditions as we experience in most Australian gardens, and roses will flourish if we take some care:

WATER – Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions.

FEED – Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilised with quality (preferably organic) fertiliser which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertiliser should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.

PRUNE – During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape. During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.

MULCH – Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

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Thursday, 17 March 2022

FFF536 - CRASSULA

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers in the Crassulaceae family. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, and is common as a houseplant worldwide. It is sometimes referred to as the money tree; however, Pachira aquatica also receives this nickname. The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth, leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. New stem growth is the same colour and texture as the leaves, but becomes brown and woody with age.

Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink star-like flowers in early spring. Numerous varieties and cultivars have been selected, of which C. ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. As a succulent, Crassula ovata requires little water in the summer, and even less in the winter. It is susceptible to overwatering. C. ovata may attain a red tinge around its leaves when grown with bright sunlight. In more extreme cases, the green colour of the plant is lost and can be replaced by yellow. This is caused by the jade plant making pigments such as carotenoids to protect from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays.

The jade plant does best in rich, well-draining soil. The plant flowers in the wintertime, particularly during a cooler, darker, dry spell. C. ovata is sometimes attacked by mealybugs, a common nuisance of the succulents. The jade plant is known for its ease of propagation, which can occur by clippings or even stray leaves which fall from the plant. Jade plants propagate readily from both with success rates higher with cuttings. In the wild, vegetative propagation is the jade plant's main method of reproduction. Branches regularly fall off wild jade plants and these branches may root and form new plants.

Like many succulents, jade plants can be propagated from just the swollen leaves which grow in pairs on the stems. While propagation methods may vary, most will follow similar steps. Typically, the wounds on the leaves are left to dry and callus forms over them. Then the leaves are placed in or on soil. Roots begin to grow on severed leaves about four weeks after being removed from the stem. Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity affect the speed at which the roots and new plant develop. Foliage usually appears soon after new roots have formed.

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