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Thursday, 21 October 2021
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Thursday, 7 October 2021
Thursday, 30 September 2021
Thursday, 23 September 2021
Mokara orchids are a hybrid between three different orchid varieties (genera: Ascocentrum, Vanda and Arachnis) in the family Orchidaceae. They were developed in the late 60's and are now one of the most popular orchid on the market. They are excellent cut flowers, which in ideal conditions will last a few weeks in the vase.
They have a few distinctive elements that differentiates them from Dendrobium orchids:
|1) Thicker stems is a good differentiator. They have a much thicker stem than those found on Dendrobium orchids;
2) The closed bud of a bloom is quite small and round, unlike the Dendrobium which is larger, more elongated and 'bell shaped' at the base.
3) The petals on each bloom are often broader and fleshier than that found on a Dendrobium orchid. Mokara's are great for earthy and bright coloured arrangements (a lot of red, orange yellow, strong purple and pink varieties).
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Thursday, 9 September 2021
Thursday, 2 September 2021
Thursday, 26 August 2021
Chamaelaucium uncinatum, Geraldton wax, is a flowering plant endemic to Western Australia. It is an erect shrub 0.5 to 4m high, bearing white or pink flowers June–November. The name uncinatum means "hooked" in Latin, in reference to the tips of the leaves. The flowers (somewhat resembling those of the tea tree) last a relatively long time after cutting, making the plant popular in horticulture. It is widely cultivated throughout Australia, both in home gardens and in the cut flower industry.
Purple-flowering cultivars have been developed. Geraldton Wax is relatively hardy and fairly easy to grow in a Mediterranean climate with well-drained sandy soil and a sunny aspect. It can be grown in areas of higher humidity, such as Sydney, but tends to be short lived. It is also good in pots. It has the tendency to 'fall over' and may need support. It is very drought-tolerant and has aromatic leaves. The hardy characteristics have led to its use as a root stock species for grafting species of the closely related featherflowers of genus Verticordia.
Many varieties are commercially available, named both for colour and for early/late flowering times. In the wild, Geraldton wax is most commonly white with varying tinges of mauve. The deeper purple forms are selected varieties propagated commercially: Chamelaucium "Early Purple" Chamelaucium "Purple Pride", etc.
Thursday, 19 August 2021
Thursday, 12 August 2021
Thursday, 5 August 2021
Thursday, 29 July 2021
Kennedia nigricans (Black Kennedia or Black Coral Pea) is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a vigorous climber which can spread up to 6 metres in diameter or 4 metres in height and has dark green leaflets that are about 15 cm long. Distinctive black and yellow pea flowers are produced between July and November in its native range.
The species was first formally described as Kennedya nigricans by John Lindley in 1835 in Edward's Botanical Register, where it was also labelled as Dingy Flowered Kennedya. A cultivar known as Kennedia nigricans 'Minstrel' was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority by Goldup Nursery of Mount Evelyn, Victoria in September 1985. This cultivar was selected from a batch of seedlings in 1983 and has a pale colouration instead of the yellow, which appears almost white.
This plant is noted for its vigour and can be used to cover embankments or unsightly structures. The species is adapted to a range of soils and prefers a sunny position. It is resistant to drought and has some frost tolerance. The species can be propagated by scarified seed or cuttings of semi-mature growth, while the cultivar requires propagation from cuttings to remain true to type.
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.