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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.
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, 15 April 2021

FFF489 - BABIANA

Babiana is a genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae composed of about 80 recognised species. The majority of these species are endemic to the Cape Provinces of South Africa, especially Namaqualand, as well Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The genus name is derived from the Dutch word baviaan, referring to the Chacma baboon Papio ursinus, that consumes the corms of plants in the genus. The specific epithet stricta means "erect, upright".

Babiana stricta (baboon flower, blue freesia) is widely cultivated as an ornamental and has been naturalised in Australia. Growing 10–30 cm tall by 5 cm broad, it is a cormous perennial with hairy leaves 10-20 cm long. The leaves show linear venation. There are many hybrids and cultivars with different coloured flowers, usually blue, mauve or pink with white additions. In mid- to late spring, each flowering stem produces six or more blooms, each to 5 cm across. They are grouped in an inflorescence and often have a pleasant lemon scent. The seeds are black with a hard coat, collected in round seed capsules.

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Thursday, 8 April 2021

FFF488 - CATALPA

Catalpa bignonioides is a species of Catalpa that is native to the southeastern United States in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Common names include southern catalpa, cigar tree, and Indian bean tree. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–18 metres tall, with a trunk up to 1 metre diameter, with brown to grey bark, maturing into hard plates or ridges. The short thick trunk supports long and straggling branches which form a broad and irregular head. The roots are fibrous and branches are brittle. Its juices are watery and bitter. 

The leaves are large and heart shaped, being 20–30 cm long and 15–20 cm broad. The bright green leaves appear late and as they are fully grown before the flower clusters open, add much to the beauty of the blossoming tree. They secrete nectar, a most unusual characteristic for leaves, by means of groups of tiny glands in the axils of the primary veins. The flowers are 2.5–4 cm across, trumpet shaped, white with yellow spots inside; they grow in panicles of 20-40 and are slightly fragrant.

In the northern states of the USA, it is a late bloomer, putting forth great panicles of white flowers in June or early in July when the flowers of other trees have mostly faded. These cover the tree so thickly as almost to conceal the full grown leaves. The general effect of the flower cluster is a pure white, but the individual corolla is spotted with purple and gold, and some of these spots are arranged in lines along a ridge, so as to lead directly to the honey sweets within.

A single flower when fully expanded is 5 cm long and 4 cm wide. It is two-lipped and the lips are lobed, two lobes above and three below, as is not uncommon with such corollas. The flower is perfect, possessing both stamens and pistils; nevertheless, the law of elimination is at work and of the five stamens that we should expect to find, three have aborted, ceased to bear anthers and have become filaments simply. Then, too, the flowers refuse to be self-fertilised. Each flower has its own stamens and its own stigma but the lobes of the stigma remain closed until after the anthers have opened and discharged their pollen; after they have withered and become effete then the stigma opens and invites the wandering bee. The entire Pink family behave in this way.

The fruit is a long, thin bean like pod 20–40 cm long and 8–10 mm diameter; it often stays attached to tree during winter. The pod contains numerous flat light brown seeds with two papery wings.

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Thursday, 1 April 2021

FFF487 - SPIDERWEB TRADESCANTIA

Tradescantia sillamontana is a perennial evergreen herbaceous plant of the genus Tradescantia, of the family Commelinaceae.  This species is one of the most succulent and xerophytic, but at the same time one of the most attractive species of Tradescantia. It is endemic to dry areas of the State of Nuevo León in northeastern Mexico. This plant has a very recognisable and distinctive appearance. The leaves are arranged in a precise geometric shape. Almost completely white hairs cover all parts of the plant: Leaves, shoots, and even the buds. These protect the plant from direct sunlight and excessive evaporation.

Shoots and stems reach a height of 30–40 cm, first erect, later prostrate and rooting at the soil surface. The leaves are fleshy, ovate, 3–7 cm long, covered with grayish-white short hairs. During the summer, the flowers appear at apical growth points or in the axils of the bracts; these are typical Tradescantia flowers. The corolla consists of three bright purplish-pink to purple petals and three small sepals. Tradescantia sillamontana is almost as easy to grow as other species of the genus Tradescantia. However, unlike most species of Tradescantia, this species is almost succulent and nearly xerophytic (perhaps the only more xerophytic and succulent member of the genus is Tradescantia navicularis).

T. sillamontana should be grown in a well lit position, although direct summer sun can cause burns, so gradual acclimatisation is needed. Flowering in summer is quite abundant, if well-cultivated. The plant quickly loses its desirable appearance with abundant watering, too dark a location, and an excess of nitrogen. Spraying the leaves is not recommended at all. Soil should allow good drainage, with at least a third to a half made up of coarse sand and gravel. Moderate watering is required during the growing season; the plant should be kept almost dry in winter maintenance. The minimum temperature during the period of dormancy is 10°C.

The plant can be divided in Spring, with any shoots which are too long being trimmed. In the subtropical zone this is one of the most popular garden plants. In Europe it is sometimes cultivated in gardens and rock gardens, but in the winter it is brought into a cool greenhouse or protected from cold and moisture with a temporary shelter. Reproduction is easy by cuttings 5–8 cm long, rooted in sandy soil, or by dividing and transplanting the bush.

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Thursday, 25 March 2021

FFF486 - FATSIA

Fatsia japonica, also glossy-leaf paper plant, fatsi, paperplant, false castor oil plant, or Japanese aralia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to southern Japan and southern Korea.

It is an evergreen shrub growing to  1–5 m tall, with stout, sparsely branched stems. The leaves are spirally-arranged, large, 20–40 cm in width and on a petiole up to 50 cm long, leathery, palmately lobed, with 7–9 broad lobes, divided to half or two-thirds of the way to the base of the leaf; the lobes are edged with coarse, blunt teeth. The flowers are small, white, borne in dense terminal compound umbels in late autumn or early winter, followed by small black fruit in spring.

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions where winters do not fall below about −15 °C. F. japonica thrives in semi-shade to full-shade and is winter hardy in USDA Zones 8–10.  It can be grown as an indoor plant and has been shown to effectively remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air. This plant and its cultivar F. japonica 'Variegata' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 18 March 2021

FFF485 - BOLIVIAN FUCHSIA

Fuchsia boliviana is a species of Fuchsia in the family Onagraceae, native to southern Peru, Bolivia and northern Argentina.

It is a medium evergreen shrub, growing to 2–4 m tall, rarely to 6 m, with a spreading, open habit. It has large, hairy mid-green leaves and red petioles. It has large drooping corymbs up to 20 cm long borne in late summer and autumn of scarlet red flowers with the individual flowers 3–7 cm long. A white-flowering form exists named 'Alba', with a white tube and scarlet petals. After flowering it bears small red-purple, edible fruit 10–26 mm long.

Fuchsia boliviana is widely grown in shade or part-shade in cooler, subtropical climates. Plants require protection from direct sun and temperatures exceeding 40°C. The plants are hardy to about -4°C for short periods. Propagation is by seed or cuttings.

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Thursday, 11 March 2021

FFF484 - NERINE

Nerine sarniensis, commonly known as Guernsey lily or Jersey lily, is a species of flowering plant in the family Amaryllidaceae. It is the type species of the Nerine genus. It is widely cultivated in the temperate world and is particularly associated with the island of Guernsey, as reflected in both its Latin and common names (sarniensis means "from Guernsey"), though it does not originate there, nor is it a true lily (it is more closely related to Amaryllis and Sternbergia).

It is native to the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa, though it is now naturalised in France, Madeira and the Azores. Nerine sarniensis is a bulbous perennial growing to 45 cm (18 in) tall by 8 cm (3 in) wide, with strap-shaped leaves and umbels of scarlet, lily-like flowers with conspicuous stamens tipped with purple anthers, in late summer and early autumn. In cultivation N. sarniensis requires winter protection in colder areas. Nerine lily is known among florists as one of the longest lasting cut flowers.

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Thursday, 4 March 2021

FFF483 - POMPON DAHLIA

Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. A member of the  Asteraceae family of dicotyledonous plants, its garden relatives thus include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, and zinnia. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 5 cm (2 in) diameter or up to 30 cm (1 ft) ("dinner plate"). This great variety results from dahlias being octaploids—that is, they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes, whereas most plants have only two. In addition, dahlias also contain many transposons—genetic pieces that move from place to place upon an allele—which contributes to their manifesting such great diversity.

The stems are leafy, ranging in height from as low as 30 cm (12 in) to more than 1.8–2.4 m (6–8 ft). The majority of species do not produce scented flowers. Like most plants that do not attract pollinating insects through scent, they are brightly coloured, displaying most hues, with the exception of blue. The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, but this use largely died out after the Spanish Conquest. Attempts to introduce the tubers as a food crop in Europe were unsuccessful.

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Thursday, 25 February 2021

FFF482 - SCARBOROUGH LILY

Cyrtanthus elatus, the Scarborough lily, is a bulbous flowering plant which originates from the Cape Province of South Africa. Other common names are Vallotta lily, fire lily and George lily. Cultivars of the Scarborough lily have flowers which may be bright red, orange, yellow, or occasionally pink or white.

The stems can grow to a height of 0.61 m. They are relatively easy to grow in a warm, sheltered, frost-free spot. Alternatively, they can be grown under glass in pots. They require either full sun or slight shade. They flower in late summer or early autumn. The Latin specific epithet elatus means “tall”. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Plant Vallota Lilies in a permanent position as they tend to sulk if they are moved. They grow well in the ground and in pots. Otherwise, these fabulous plants perform year after year. They are easy to grow, and even those without a green thumb easily manage to keep them alive and flowering again and again!

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Thursday, 18 February 2021

FFF481 - SCHIZANTHUS

Schizanthus also called butterfly flower, fringeflower, poor-man's-orchid, is a genus of plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. They are annual or biennial herbaceous plants, with attractive flowers and they belong to the subfamily Schizanthoideae of the Solanaceae. The genus includes species native to Chile and Argentina, many species are adventitious in other parts of the world such as New Zealand and the United States.

Plant the seedlings in rich, well-drained soil where they will get morning sun and afternoon shade. Poor man’s orchid is a relatively rapid grower, and will soon reach its full height of 40 cm, branching out into a fluffy bush. While poor man’s orchids do well in shaded beds, they thrive in planters, hanging pots and indoor windows. Place them where they will receive cool breezes and morning sun, then move the pots to a shaded spot in the afternoon. Wait until the soil is almost dry before watering each time, as the roots are subject to rot if they stay too moist.

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Thursday, 11 February 2021

FFF480 - DITTANY OF CRETE

Origanum dictamnus (dittany of Crete, Cretan dittany or hop marjoram), known in Greek as δίκταμο (díktamo, cf. “dittany”) or in Cretan dialect έρωντας (erondas, “love”), is a tender perennial plant in the Lamiaceae family that grows 20–30 cm high. It is a healing, therapeutic and aromatic plant that only grows wild on the mountainsides and gorges of the Greek island of Crete, Greece.

Dittany of Crete is widely used for food flavouring and medicinal purposes, and is also found as an ornamental plant in gardens. This small, lanate shrub is easily recognised by the distinctive soft, woolly covering of white-grey hair on its stems and round green leaves, giving it a velvety texture. Tiny rose-pink flowers surrounded by brighter purple-pink bracts add an exuberant splash of colour to the plant in summer and autumn. Dittany is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Plant Species 1997.

Origanum dictamnus is a many branched plant with discoid to ovate, grey-green leaves that are sited in pairs opposite each other. The slender arching stems and lanate leaves are covered in a velvety white down and are 13–25 mm in size. The flowers are pale pink to purple and have a deep lilac corolla with many deep pink-coloured overlapping bracts. The colourful flowers forming a cascade of elongated clusters are in bloom in the summer months and are quite a pretty sight in the rocky mountains of their native land. The flowers are hermaphrodite, meaning they have both male and female organs, and are pollinated by bees attracted to their scent and bright colour. The primary ingredients of the herb’s essential oil are carvacrol (68.96%), β-phellandrene (18.34%) and p-cymene (4.68%).

The herb symbolises love and is reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Traditionally, only the most ardent young lovers would scramble on mountainsides and go into the deep gorges of Crete gathering bunches of the pink blooms to present as love tokens. There are numerous deaths reported throughout the centuries by collectors of this magical herb. Even in recent times, the collection of dittany of Crete was a very dangerous occupation for the men who risked life and limb to climb precarious rock faces where the plant grows wild in the mountains of Crete. They were named erondádhes (“love-seekers”) and were considered very brave and passionate men to go to such dangerous lengths to collect the herb.

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