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

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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Thursday, 23 May 2019

FFF390 - 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.

Correa 'Ray's Tangerine' (Tangerine Australian Fuchsia) is slow growing compact evergreen shrub growing eventually to about 0.5-1 meter by only a bit wider, with closely paired shiny dark 2 cm long green leaves. The vibrant 4 cm long orange bell-shaped flowers are on display during the Autumn through Winter.

Grow in sun or partial shade, with good drainage. Tolerant of drought but best with regular water during dry periods. Hardy to about -7˚C. In the Appendix to the Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants authors Rodger Elliot and David Jones note that it is a hybrid between "Correa pulchella and a broad-bellied selection of C. reflexa var. scabridula from Carpenter Rocks, SA". It is an Australian fuchsia that stays small and has bright, shiny, dark-green leaves and vibrant orange flowers that bloom in Autumn and Winter. It grows well in containers or in-ground in gardens.

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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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