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, 22 August 2019

FFF403 - WAX FLOWER,

Philotheca myoporoides, commonly known as long-leaf wax flower, is a shrub in the family Rutaceae. The species is endemic to south-eastern Australia. It is usually up to 2 metres high and produces white flowers in spring and autumn. The species was first formally described in 1824 by Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle who gave it the name Eriostemon myoporoides. It was transferred to the genus Philotheca in 1998.

Five subspecies are currently recognised in the Australian Plant Census:
P. myoporoides subsp. acuta
P. myoporoides subsp. brevipedunculata
P. myoporoides subsp. euroensis - occurs in the Garden Range near Euroa, Victoria
P. myoporoides subsp. myoporoides
P. myoporoides subsp. petraeus - occurs on Mount Stewart in East Gippsland, Victoria.

In recent years a number of subspecies have been raised to species status including Philotheca conduplicata, P. epilosa, P. glasshousiensis (syn. P. myoporoides subsp. leichhardti), P. obovatifolia and P. queenslandica. Philotheca myoporoides occurs in dry forest and heathland in New South Wales.

In Victoria, it is recorded in woodland in rocky, mountainous areas in association with Eucalyptus regnans. It is also found in Queensland. Caterpillars of the Orchard Butterfly feed on this species. The species is well adapted to cultivation, and plants are commercially available at nurseries in Australia. The species prefers a well-drained position in light shade. Established plants tolerate both dry periods and moderate frost. Plants may be propagated from semi-mature cuttings, though some forms are slow to take root.

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Thursday, 15 August 2019

FFF402 - CORAL TREE

Erythrina crista-galli is a flowering tree in the family Fabaceae, native to Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay. It is widely planted as a street or garden tree in other countries, most notably in the United States, Australia and South Africa. It is known by several common names within South America: Ceibo, seíbo (Spanish), corticeira (Portuguese) and the more ambiguous bucaré, to name a few. In English it is often known as the Cockspur Coral Tree. 

The ceibo is the national tree of Argentina, and its flower the national flower of Argentina and Uruguay. This species characteristically grows wild in gallery forest ecosystems along watercourses, as well as in swamps and wetlands. In urban settings, it is often planted in parks for its highly decorative, bright red flowers. Even in the temperate climate of Melbourne the tree does very well and is a feature of many parks, gardens and nature strips along streets. The flowers will produce patterned bean-like seeds in pods.

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

FFF401 - VIOLETS

Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes. Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers.

In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the type species.

Viola odorata is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, florist's violet, or garden violet. The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour.

References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. The leaves are edible and contain mucilage.

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Thursday, 1 August 2019

FFF400 - MADONNA LILY

Lilium candidum (popularly known as the Madonna Lily) is a true lily in the Liliaceae family. It is native to Greece, the western Balkans and the Middle East, and naturalised in other parts of Europe (France, Italy, Ukraine, etc.) as well as in North Africa, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and other places.

It forms bulbs at ground level, and unlike other lilies, has a basal rosette of leaves through the winter, which die back in summer. A leafy flower stem, typically up to 1.2 metres high, sometimes up to 2 metres high, emerges in late spring and bears fragrant flowers in summer. Flowers are white, flushed yellow at the base. It has long been cultivated, but is susceptible to virus diseases of lilies, and to Botrytis fungus. One possible way to avoid problems with viruses is to grow plants raised from seed. 

The Madonna lily is often described as being the basis of the fleur-de-lis, though the shape of this stylised flower more strongly resembles that of a flag iris. Madonna lilies are depicted in a fresco at the Minoan palace of Knossos. The Madonna Lily symbolises purity for Roman Catholics. Medieval depictions of the Blessed Virgin Mary often show her holding these flowers.

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Thursday, 25 July 2019

FFF399 - ERYTHRINA

Erythrina is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains about 130 species, which are distributed in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. They are trees, growing up to 30 m in height. The generic name is derived from the Greek word ερυθρóς (erythros), meaning "red," referring to the flower colour of certain species. Particularly in horticulture, the name coral tree is used as a collective term for these plants. "Flame trees" is another vernacular name, but may refer to a number of unrelated plants as well.

Many species of Erythrina have bright red flowers, and this may be the origin of the common name. However, the growth of the branches can resemble the shape of sea coral rather than the colour of Corallium rubrum specifically, and this is an alternative source for the name. Other popular names, usually local and particular to distinct species, liken the flowers' red hues to those of a male chicken's wattles, and/or the flower shape to its leg spurs. Commonly seen Spanish names for any local species are bucaré, frejolillo or porotillo, and in Afrikaans some are called kaffirboom. Mullumurikku is a widespread name in Kerala.

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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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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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