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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.
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.