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Thursday, 22 July 2021
Thursday, 15 July 2021
The species was first named and described in Flora Japonica (1784), by Carl Thunberg. Thunberg had collected dried specimens while working as a doctor for the Dutch East Indies Company. In 1844, Robert Fortune brought the plant to England from China, where he found it often planted about graves. Height is 1–1.5 m and the leaves have three leaflets.
Thursday, 8 July 2021
Thursday, 1 July 2021
Thursday, 24 June 2021
Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.
In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species. N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes.
Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia. We are seeing all sorts of narcissi blooming in Melbourne at the moment.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
Thursday, 17 June 2021
Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, money plant or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, and is common as a houseplant worldwide. Much of its popularity stems from the low levels of care needed; the jade plant requires little water and can survive in most indoor conditions. It is sometimes referred to as the money tree; however, Pachira aquatica also has 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. Although becoming brown and appearing woody with age, stems never become true lignified tissue, remaining succulent and fleshy throughout the plant's life.
Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink, star-like shaped flowers in the Autumn/early Winter. 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. In Melbourne this is a common garden plant, which becomes a substantial bush and it will invariably bloom spectacularly in early Winter. The plant below is in our garden.
Thursday, 10 June 2021
Ornamental cabbage and kale (also known as “flowering” cabbage and kale) are in the same species (Brassica oleracea) as edible cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. While ornamental cabbage and kale are edible, they tend to have a bitter flavour and are often used in a culinary setting as garnishes. Ornamental cabbage and kale are prized primarily as colourful additions to home gardens where they are grown for their large rosettes of white, pink, purple or red leaves.
Technically, ornamental cabbage and kale are all kales (kales produce leaves in a tight rosettes; cabbages produce heads). But in the horticultural trade, ornamental kale is the term used for types with deeply-cut, curly, frilly or ruffled leaves. Ornamental cabbage is the term used for types with broad, flat leaves that are edged in a contrasting colour. Ornamental cabbage and kale grow approximately 30 cm and 45 cm tall. There are many cultivars that are commercially available.
Thursday, 3 June 2021
Thursday, 27 May 2021
The pomegranate, Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between five and eight meters tall. Native to the area of modern day Iran and Iraq, the pomegranate has been cultivated in the Caucasus since ancient times. From there it spread to Asian areas such as the Caucasus as well as the Himalayas in Northern India. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout Turkey, Iran, Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, China, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, the drier parts of southeast Asia, the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe, and tropical Africa.
Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona for juice production. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May. Melbourne's mild climate is particularly well-suited to this tree and many fine specimens can be seen gracing the front and back yards of houses, especially those belonging to immigrants from the countries where the pomegranate is widespread
The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran. In recent years, it has reached mainstream prominence in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere. Its health benefits are numerous and it finds widespread culinary uses.
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Thursday, 13 May 2021
Dahlia imperialis or Bell tree dahlia is an 8-10 metre tall member of the Dahlia genus native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia. It is a plant of the uplands and mountains, occurring at elevations of 1,500–1,700 metres, and its leaves are used as a dietary supplement by the Q'eqchi' people of San Pedro Carchá in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
It is a tuberous, herbaceous perennial, rapidly growing from the base after a dormant winter period, developing brittle, cane-like, 4-angled stems with swollen nodes and large tripinnate leaves, those near the ground soon being shed. The pendant or nodding flowerheads are 75-150mm across with ray florets lavender or mauvish-pink in colour.
This species is fast-growing, the growth spurt being linked to shorter daylight hours, and usually comes into flower in autumn before the first frost. Propagation is by seed or by stem cuttings of some 30 cm long having at least two nodes, laid horizontally below the soil. Some Dahlia species were brought from Mexico to Europe in the 16th century. D. imperialis was first described in 1863 by Benedikt Roezl (1823–1885), the great Czech orchid collector and traveller, who, ten years later in 1872–73, went on his odyssey through the Americas.
Thursday, 6 May 2021
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Thursday, 22 April 2021
Thursday, 15 April 2021
Thursday, 8 April 2021
Thursday, 1 April 2021
Thursday, 25 March 2021
Thursday, 18 March 2021
Thursday, 11 March 2021
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.
Thursday, 4 March 2021
Thursday, 25 February 2021
Thursday, 18 February 2021
Thursday, 11 February 2021
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.
Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so.
Thursday, 4 February 2021
Thursday, 28 January 2021
Thursday, 21 January 2021
Thursday, 14 January 2021
The "Geranium Calliope" hybrids have topped the US Geranium sales charts for several years running and are extremely in Australia. There are both "Big Red" and Big Pink" varieties. The name mirrors the blooms, as they are large and robust. The colour is saturated and has a big impact, and they can flower year round. The deep, glossy green leaves are semi trailing and prolific with a nice mounding habit. Grown in pots, hanging baskets, or garden beds they are a wonder.
These new type of Calliope Geraniums were developed by crossing the upright Zonal Geraniums with the trailing Ivy Geraniums giving you the best of both worlds. Almost 15 years in development they are well worth it. Spent flowers should be dead-headed to promote more blooms. After planting, water them in, but they become dry-tolerant as they establish. Put ‘Big’ Geraniums in a sunny spot, with at least four hours light a day. Here is the "Big Pink" form.
Thursday, 7 January 2021
Spartium junceum, commonly known as Spanish broom or weaver's broom, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. It is the sole species in the genus Spartium, but is closely related to the other brooms in the genera Cytisus and Genista. There are many binomials in Spartium that are of dubious validity. The Latin specific epithet junceum means "rush-like", referring to the shoots, which show a passing resemblance to those of the rush genus Juncus.
This species is native to the Mediterranean in southern Europe, southwest Asia and northwest Africa, where it is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils. S. junceum is a vigorous, deciduous shrub growing to 2–4 m tall, rarely 5 m, with main stems up to 5 cm thick, rarely 10 cm. It has thick, somewhat succulent grey-green rush-like shoots with very sparse small deciduous leaves 1 to 3 cm long and up to 4 mm broad. The leaves are of little importance to the plant, with much of the photosynthesis occurring in the green shoots (a water-conserving strategy in its dry climate).
The leaves fall away early. In late spring and summer shoots are covered in profuse fragrant yellow pea-like flowers 1 to 2 cm across. In late summer, the legumes (seed pods) mature black and reach 8–10 cm long. They burst open, often with an audible crack, spreading seed from the parent plant. Spartium junceum has been widely introduced into other areas as an ornamental plant, and is regarded as a noxious invasive species in places with a Mediterranean climate such as California and Oregon, Hawaii, central Chile, southeastern Australia, the Western Cape in South Africa and the Canary Islands and Azores.
The plant is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and in landscape plantings. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. In Bolivia and Peru, the plant is known as retama (not to be confused with the genus Retama) and has become very well established in some areas. It is one of the most common ornamental plants, often seen growing along sidewalks in La Paz. Retama has made its way into the ethnobotany of the indigenous Aymara and Quechua cultures. The plant is also used as a flavouring, and for its essential oil, known as genet absolute. Its fibres have been used for making cloth and it produces a yellow dye.