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/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

FFF561 - TURNERA

Turnera subulata is a species of flowering plant in the Passifloraceae family known by the common names white buttercup, sulphur alder, politician's flower, dark-eyed turnera, and white alder. Despite its names, it is not related to the buttercups or the alders. It is native to Central and South America, from Panama south to Brazil. It is well known in many other places as an introduced species, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, several other Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Florida in the United States. It is commonly cultivated as a garden flower.

This plant is a perennial herb growing from a thick taproot and woody stem base. It reaches a maximum height around 80 cm. The leaves are roughly oval in shape with toothed edges. The undersides are glandular and coated in white hairs. The upper surfaces may be somewhat hairy, as well. The leaves are up to 9 cm long. Flowers occur in the leaf axils, borne in calyces of hairy, glandular sepals. The petals are rounded to oval, the longest exceeding 3 cm. They are white or yellowish with darker bases. The dark patches at the bases are nectar guides. The centre of the flower is rough, said to feel like a cat's tongue.

The fruit is a hairy capsule containing seeds with white arils. The seeds are dispersed by ants, who are likely attracted to their high lipid content. This plant has uses in traditional medicine. It is used for skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory ailments. In Brazil, the plant is made into cough syrup, and the roots are said to be good for dysmenorrhea. Laboratory tests showed it has some inhibitory activity against various fungi, such as Candida glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Candida albicans.

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Thursday, 15 September 2022

FFF560 - CALLERY PEAR

Pyrus calleryana, the Callery pear known in the USA as the Bradford Pear, is a species of pear native to China and Vietnam, in the family Rosaceae. It is a deciduous tree growing to 5 to 8 m tall, often with a conic to rounded crown. The leaves are oval, 4 to 8 cm long, glossy dark green above, and slightly paler below. 

The white, five-petaled flowers are about 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter. They are produced abundantly in early spring, before the leaves expand fully. The fruits of the Callery pear are small (less than one cm in diameter), and hard, almost woody, until softened by frost, after which they are readily taken by birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.

In summer, the foliage is dark green and very smooth, and in autumn the leaves commonly turn brilliant colours, ranging from yellow and orange to more commonly red, pink, purple, and bronze. Their dense clusters of white blossoms are conspicuous and very pretty in early spring, however their smell is commonly found unpleasant by many people (me included!). The smell is often described as 'fishy' and 'putrid'.

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Thursday, 8 September 2022

FFF559 - FOTHERGILLA

Fothergilla ‘Mount Airy’ is a hybrid Fothergilla cultivar that was discovered by plantsman Michael A. Dirr at the Mt. Airy Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a vigorous deciduous shrub that grows 1.5 m tall and is noted for its profuse spring flowering, excellent summer foliage, excellent Autumn colour and consistently upright habit.

Terminal, bottlebrush-like spikes (2-5 cm long) of tiny, fragrant, apetulous, white flowers bloom in mid- to late Spring after the foliage emerges. Flower colour comes from the dense clusters of showy stamens (white filaments and yellowish anthers). Flowers have a honey-scented fragrance. Leathery, ovate to obovate leaves (4-10 cm long) are dark green above and bluish-gray beneath.Foliage turns excellent shades of yellow, orange and red-purple in Autumn.

Genus name honours Dr. John Fothergill, 18th century English physician and early collector of American plants. ‘Mount Airy’ may be a cross between two southeastern U. S. natives, F. gardenii and F. major. It is taller than the former but shorter than the latter.

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Thursday, 1 September 2022

FFF558 - PURPLE-LEAF PLUM

Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea' is a shrub to a small tree in the rose family that grows 15-25 feet tall and wide with a vase to a rounded shape. The reddish-purple leaves are the attraction to this plant along with the showy white to pink spring flowers, with a honey-like fragrance. The leaves maintain their colour most of the year. They are fairly short-lived and susceptible to insects and diseases. Twigs and fruit drop can be messy. Purpleleaf plum isn't picky about soil type or pH and is moderately drought tolerant once established. Leaf colour is best when grown in full sun.

The tree porduces 2 to 4 cm fleshy fruits, which are reddish-purple drupes. They are produced prolifically and are edible by wildlife and humans. They make excellent jam and can be pickled.

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Thursday, 25 August 2022

FFF557 - WINTER JASMINE

Jasminum nudiflorum, the winter jasmine, is a slender, deciduous shrub native to China (Gansu, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang (Tibet), Yunnan). The flower's blossoming peaks right after winter, which is why it is also named Yingchun (迎春) in Chinese, which means "the flower that welcomes Spring". It is widely cultivated as an ornamental and is reportedly naturalized in France and in scattered locations in the United States (Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland and New Jersey).

Jasminum nudiflorum is valued by gardeners as one of the few plants that are in flower during the winter months. It is frequently trained against a wall to provide extra warmth and shelter, but also lends itself to groundcover. It tolerates hard pruning and should be pruned in spring immediately after flowering; regular pruning will help to prevent bare patches. It can also be grown as a bonsai and is very tolerant of the wiring methods. It likes full sun or partial shade and is hardy. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It can be propagated using the layering technique.

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Thursday, 18 August 2022

FFF556 - NARCISSUS

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white or yellow (orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona. The hybrid illustrated here is "Tresamble".

Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically, but formally described by Linnaeus' in his "Species Plantarum" (1753). The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The number of species has varied, depending on how they are classified, due to similarity between species and hybridisation. The genus arose some time in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs, in the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of southwest Europe.

The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection. The English word 'daffodil' appears to be derived from "asphodel", with which it was commonly compared. The species are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North Africa with a centre of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, particularly the Iberian peninsula. Both wild and cultivated plants have naturalised widely, and were introduced into the Far East prior to the tenth century.

Narcissi tend to be long-lived bulbs, which propagate by division, but are also insect-pollinated. Known pests, diseases and disorders include viruses, fungi, the larvae of flies, mites and nematodes. Some Narcissus species have become extinct, while others are threatened by increasing urbanisation and tourism.

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Thursday, 11 August 2022

FFF555 - SCABIOUS

Scabiosa is a genus in the teasel Family Dipsacaceae of flowering plants. Many of the species in this genus have common names that include the word scabious; however some plants commonly known as scabious are currently classified in related genera such as Knautia and Succisa; at least some of these were formerly placed in Scabiosa. Another common name for members of this genus is pincushion flowers.

Members of this genus are native to Europe and Asia. Some species of Scabiosa, notably small scabious (S. columbaria) and Mediterranean sweet scabious (S. atropurpurea) have been developed into cultivars for gardeners. Illustrated here is the Scabiosa columbaria cultivar 'Pink Mist'.

Scabiosa plants have many small flowers of soft lavender blue, lilac or creamy white colour borne in a single head on a tall stalk. Scabious flowers are nectar rich and attract a variety of insects including moths and butterflies such as the Six-spot Burnet. Scabiosa species are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Pug.

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Thursday, 4 August 2022

FFF554 - MOUNTAIN MARIGOLD

Tagetes lemmonii, or Lemmon's marigold, is a North American species of shrubby marigold, in the family Asteraceae. Other English names for this plant include Copper Canyon Daisy, Mountain Marigold, and Mexican Marigold. It is native to the states of Sonora and Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico as well as southern Arizona in the United States.

Mountain marigold is a shrub sometimes reaching as much as 240 cm tall. Leaves are up to 12 cm long, pinnately compound into 3-5 leaflets, each leaflet narrowly lance-shaped with teeth along the edge. The plant produces many small flower heads in a flat-topped array, each head with 3-8 ray florets and 12-30 disc florets. It grows in woodlands, cliffs, and moist sites.

Tagetes lemmonii blooms from fall into spring and can sometimes be blooming for up to 10 months. The foliage is fragrant (or unpleasantly pungent to some people) when disturbed. The species is very drought tolerant in a Mediterranean climate and much used in California gardens where it tolerates light frosts without damage. It is common in Melbourne, with many gardens having good displays of flowers even in Winter.

Leaves and flowers can be dried and added to potpourri and scented sachets, for their scent and colour, but also for their pest repellent qualities.

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Thursday, 28 July 2022

FFF553 - GERBERAS

Gerbera L. is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber († 1743) who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus. It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy.

Gerbera species bear a large capitulum with striking, two-lipped ray florets in yellow, orange, white, pink or red colours. The capitulum, which has the appearance of a single flower, is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers. The morphology of the flowers varies depending on their position in the capitulum. The flower heads can be as small as 7 cm (Gerbera mini 'Harley') in diameter or up to 12 cm (Gerbera ‘Golden Serena’).

Gerbera is very popular and widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers. The domesticated cultivars are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia. The cross is known as Gerbera hybrida. Thousands of cultivars exist. They vary greatly in shape and size. Colours include white, yellow, orange, red, and pink. The centre of the flower is sometimes black. Often the same flower can have petals of several different colours. 

Gerbera is also important commercially. It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip). It is also used as a model organism in studying flower formation. Gerbera contains naturally occurring coumarin derivatives. Gerbera is a tender perennial plant. It is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds, but resistant to deer. The soil should be kept moist but not soaked.

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Thursday, 21 July 2022

FFF552 - RED GERANIUM

Pelargonium x garden is also known as the common geranium, zonal geranium or bedding geranium and is a common species in the Geraniaceae Family. This species of geranium is most commonly used as an ornamental plant. Hybrids include the usual nursery "seed-grown" and the "cutting grown", which can easily be grown at home by cutting and planting side branches.

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Thursday, 14 July 2022

FFF552 - CAMELLIA

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia. This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese.

Of economic importance in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage, tea. The ornamental Camellia japonica, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua and their hybrids are represented in cultivation by a large number of cultivars.

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Thursday, 30 June 2022

FFF551 - EURYOPS

Euryops chrysanthemoides (with the common names African bush daisy or bull's-eye) is a small shrub native to Southern Africa that is also grown as a horticultural specimen in tropical to subtropical regions around the world. It occurs in the Eastern Cape, along the coast and inland, to KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Swaziland. It is usually found on forest edges, in riverine bush and in ravines, as well as in coastal scrub, grassland and disturbed areas.

It is a compact, densely branched, leafy, evergreen shrub, 0.5 to 2m in height. The species was moved to Euryops from the genus Gamolepis on the basis of chromosome counts. It is a ruderal weed in New South Wales, although it is not weedy in all places where it is cultivated or has naturalised.

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Thursday, 23 June 2022

FFF550 - BEE AND DAISY

A bee feasting on a Shasta daisy, Leucanthemum × superbum. The Shasta daisy, is a commonly grown flowering herbaceous perennial plant with the classic daisy appearance of white petals (ray florets) around a yellow disc, similar to the oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare (Lam), but larger.

It originated as a hybrid produced in 1890 by the American horticulturist Luther Burbank from a number of daisies. First, he crossed Leucanthemum vulgare with Leucanthemum maximum; this double hybrid was itself crossed with Leucanthemum lacustre. The resulting Leucanthemum triple hybrid was crossed with Nipponanthemum nipponicum, creating an intergeneric cross of species from three continents.

It was named after Mount Shasta, because its petals were the colour of the snow. Some members of the genus are considered noxious weeds, but the Shasta daisy remains a favourite garden plant.

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Thursday, 16 June 2022

FFF549 - CELOSIA

Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word κηλος (kelos), meaning "burned," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are commonly known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs. The plants are well known in East Africa’s highlands and are used under their Swahili name, mfungu.

Celosia 'Intenz' (Celosia caracus) seen here, has a vibrant magenta colour on spiky blooms and sought-after texture to add to mixed containers. 'Intenz' is also versatile, able to be planted in patio pots, landscapes or used as a pot plant indoors. It performs well in full-sun with a long flowering time for home gardeners. It is a low-maintenance plant with high appeal.

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Thursday, 9 June 2022

FFF548 - BIRTHDAY BOUQUET

They are from the North, but wonderful roses they are nevertheless: Offered in our Southern Winter, their message is quite clear: Red for love, pink for joy and white for secrecy... 
Thank you!

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Thursday, 2 June 2022

FFF547 - ECHEVERIA

Echeveria is a large genus of flowering plants in the Crassulaceae family, native to semi-desert areas of Central America, Mexico and northwestern South America. The genus is named after the 18th century Mexican botanical artist Atanasio Echeverría y Godoy.

Plants may be evergreen or deciduous. Flowers on short stalks (cymes) arise from compact rosettes of succulent fleshy, often brightly coloured leaves. Species are polycarpic, meaning that they may flower and set seed many times over the course of their lifetimes. Often numerous offsets are produced, and are commonly known as "hen and chicks", which can also refer to other genera, such as Sempervivum, that are significantly different from Echeveria.

Many Echeveria species are popular as ornamental garden plants. They are drought-resistant, although they do better with regular deep watering and fertilising. Most will tolerate shade and some frost, although hybrids tend to be less tolerant. Most lose their lower leaves in winter; as a result, after a few years, the plants lose their attractive, compact appearance and need to be re-rooted or propagated. In addition, if not removed, the shed leaves may decay, harbouring fungus that can then infect the plant. They can be propagated easily by separating offsets, but also by leaf cuttings, and by seed if they are not hybrids.

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Thursday, 26 May 2022

FFF546 - TECOMA

Tecoma capensis (common name Cape honeysuckle) is a species of flowering plant in the family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Africa. Despite its common name, it is not closely related to the true honeysuckle. Synonyms include Bignonia capensis, Tecomaria capensis and Tecoma petersii. An erect, scrambling shrub, it grows to 2–3 m in height and a similar width. Normally evergreen, it may lose its leaves in colder climates. In certain habitats it may scramble, meaning that it shoots out long growth tips which lean on the stems and branches of other plants, as well as boulders, trellises, fences and walls; this can lead to the plant appearing untidy.

The leaves are up to 15 cm long. They are opposite, slightly serrated, green to dark-green, and pinnate with 5 to 9 oblong leaflets. The flowers are tubular, narrow, about 7.5 cm long, and are produced at different times throughout the year. They are grouped in 10–15 cm long terminal clusters. The flower colour ranges from orange to orange-red to apricot.

The species occurs naturally in South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique. It is cultivated in other areas of the world, such as in South-east Asia, Australia, Hawaii and California. It can be considered invasive in remote islands such as the Azores (as seen at the island of São Miguel, near Ponta Garça).

Tecoma capensis has been in cultivation for many years and is often used for hedging, as it is a scrambling shrub. It can be propagated from cuttings or by removing rooted suckers during the active growth phase. It can be planted in semi-shade to full sun. In cold areas young plants should be protected from frost. To keep this shrub clean and tidy, it must be pruned back in late winter to promote new growth and flowers. The application of a balanced fertilizer after pruning will enhance the growth and flowering. This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 19 May 2022

FFF545 - LEUCADENDRON

Leucadendron salignum is the most widespread species of the family Proteaceae, occurring in a large part of South Africa. It is common from Port Elizabeth in the east, to north of Ceres in the west. It occurs on a wide range of soil types, from sea level to an altitude of 2000 m and is quite variable in leaf size as well as leaf- and bract colour.

Leucadendrons are dioecious, i.e. separate male and female plants. This is unusual in the protea family. Its long flowering season (May - Dec), coupled with colourful leaves and bracts surrounding the flowers, make this species an attractive garden plant. Leucadendron salignum is a multi-stemmed shrub with a persistent rootstock, which enables it to resprout after fire. In its natural conditions it grows to a height of 0.75 to 2 m.

The variability of growing conditions, from mild winter temperatures to snow and frost near mountain tops, as well as the variability of leaves and bracts, from greenish-yellow to vivid orange-red, have made this species an excellent candidate for hybridisation. In addition, this species adapts well to vigorous pruning, which makes it suitable for the production of cut foliage on a large scale. These characteristics have made the species a natural choice for the wild flower industry.

There are a range of plants in cultivation, which differ markedly from the usual parent species, most often in growth form, leaf- and bract colour and flowering time. They may be either selections, known as 'cultivars' or hybrids, i.e. 'crosses' between species. Many hybrids and cultivars have been produced in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and other countries growing Proteaceae. The hybrid illustrated is 'Royal Ruby'.

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Thursday, 12 May 2022

FFF544 - CHRYSANTHEMUM HYBRID

Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and the centre of diversity is in China. There are countless horticultural varieties and cultivars.

Modern cultivated chrysanthemums are showier than their wild relatives. The flower heads occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like or decorative, like pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colours are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum, but also involving other species.

Over 140 varieties of chrysanthemum have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 5 May 2022

FFF543 - EVERLASTING DAISY

Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to Australia. Described by Étienne Pierre Ventenat in 1803, it was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years before being transferred to a new genus Xerochrysum in 1990.

It grows as a woody or herbaceous perennial or annual shrub up to a metre tall with green or grey leafy foliage. Golden yellow or white flower heads are produced from spring to autumn; their distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. The species is widespread, growing in a variety of habitats across the country, from rainforest margins to deserts and subalpine areas.

The golden everlasting has proven very adaptable to cultivation. It was propagated and developed in Germany in the 1850s, and annual cultivars in a host of colour forms from white to bronze to purple flowers became available. Many of these are still sold in mixed seed packs. In Australia, many cultivars are perennial shrubs, which have become popular garden plants. Sturdier, long-stemmed forms are used commercially in the cut flower industry.

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Thursday, 28 April 2022

FFF542 - BANANA FLOWERS

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colours when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific names Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca are no longer used.

Bananas are native to tropical South and Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics and subtropics. They are grown in at least 107 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fibre, banana wine and as ornamental plants. Our climate in Melbourne is sufficiently mild in winter to allow banana "trees" to survive and in summer it is not unusual to see many banana plants in gardens bearing fruit. This specimen photographed here thrives in our next door neighbours' garden and much more than the fruit, it is the flowers that fascinate me!

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Thursday, 21 April 2022

FFF541 - STRAWFLOWERS

Xerochrysum bracteatum, commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to Australia. Described by Étienne Pierre Ventenat in 1803, it was known as Helichrysum bracteatum for many years before being transferred to a new genus Xerochrysum in 1990. It grows as a woody or herbaceous perennial or annual shrub up to a metre tall with green or grey leafy foliage.

Golden yellow or white flower heads are produced from spring to autumn; their distinctive feature is the papery bracts that resemble petals. The species is widespread, growing in a variety of habitats across the country, from rainforest margins to deserts and subalpine areas. The golden everlasting serves as food for various larvae of lepidopterans (butterflies and moths), and adult butterflies, hoverflies, native bees, small beetles, and grasshoppers visit the flower heads.

The golden everlasting has proven very adaptable to cultivation. It was propagated and developed in Germany in the 1850s, and annual cultivars in a host of colour forms from white to bronze to purple flowers became available. Many of these are still sold in mixed seed packs. In Australia, many cultivars are perennial shrubs, which have become popular garden plants. Sturdier, long-stemmed forms are used commercially in the cut flower industry.

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Thursday, 14 April 2022

FFF540 - LOQUAT FLOWERS

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, 7 April 2022

FFF539 - GEUM

Geum, commonly called avens, is a genus of about 50 species of rhizomatous perennial herbaceous plants in the rose family Rosaceae, native to Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, and New Zealand. They are closely related to Potentilla and Fragaria.

From a basal rosette of leaves they produce flowers on wiry stalks, in shades of red, yellow and orange, in midsummer. Geum species are evergreen except where winter temperatures drop below −18 °C. The cultivars "Lady Stratheden" and "Mrs J. Bradshaw" have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 31 March 2022

FFF538 - HONEY FLOWER

Melianthus major (giant honey flower or Kruidjie-roer-my-nie) is a species of flowering plant in the family Melianthaceae. It is an evergreen suckering shrub, endemic to South Africa and naturalised in India, Australia and New Zealand. It grows to 2–3 m tall by 1–3 m wide, with pinnate blue-green leaves 30–50 cm long, which have a distinctive, unpleasant odour.

Dark red, nectar-laden flower spikes, 30–80 cm in length, appear in spring, followed by green pods. All parts of the plants are poisonous. The Latin binomial Melianthus major literally means "large honey flower". In cultivation this plant requires a sheltered location and may also need a protective winter mulch in temperate regions. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday, 24 March 2022

FFF537 -ROSA 'EBB TIDE'

Rosa 'Ebb Tide' was bred by Tom Carruth, USA, in 2004. It is a wonderful rose, which created a massive impact for the intense colour and fragrance which was rarely seen in modern roses. This very free-flowering rose bears flowers in small clusters with an amazingly intense clove fragrance throughout the flowering season.

Ebb Tide has beautiful, medium sized, glossy and dark green foliage which is highly disease resistant. The bushy growth is around 90 cm in height with flowers all over the shrub. The striking purple colour and the intense, spicy fragrance will make this rose variety a delightful addition to the rose garden.

Roses thrive in generally sunny, dry and hot conditions as we experience in most Australian gardens, and roses will flourish if we take some care:

WATER – Roses are very deep rooted plants and require one good, deep soaking at least every 10 days in hot and dry conditions.

FEED – Because roses flower throughout all but the Winter season, they should be regularly fertilised with quality (preferably organic) fertiliser which contains a balance of major nutrients (NPK) and trace elements. The fertiliser should be applied at least once a month – small amount often – with fortnightly applications of liquid seaweed over the foliage.

PRUNE – During Winter, 70% of the rose plant should be pruned and all old wood removed back to the crown and the bush pruned to shape. During the flowering seasons, 25% of all flowering stems should be cut back after flowering to encourage strong re-growth.

MULCH – Particular attention to application of lucerne or pea straw directly around the root-zone of each rose will enhance the overall health of the rose and then the whole bed should be mulched to 75mm with any other mulch medium available.

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Thursday, 17 March 2022

FFF536 - CRASSULA

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers in the Crassulaceae family. It is native to South Africa and Mozambique, and is common as a houseplant worldwide. It is sometimes referred to as the money tree; however, Pachira aquatica also receives 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, but becomes brown and woody with age.

Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink star-like flowers in early spring. 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. As a succulent, Crassula ovata requires little water in the summer, and even less in the winter. It is susceptible to overwatering. C. ovata may attain a red tinge around its leaves when grown with bright sunlight. In more extreme cases, the green colour of the plant is lost and can be replaced by yellow. This is caused by the jade plant making pigments such as carotenoids to protect from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays.

The jade plant does best in rich, well-draining soil. The plant flowers in the wintertime, particularly during a cooler, darker, dry spell. C. ovata is sometimes attacked by mealybugs, a common nuisance of the succulents. The jade plant is known for its ease of propagation, which can occur by clippings or even stray leaves which fall from the plant. Jade plants propagate readily from both with success rates higher with cuttings. In the wild, vegetative propagation is the jade plant's main method of reproduction. Branches regularly fall off wild jade plants and these branches may root and form new plants.

Like many succulents, jade plants can be propagated from just the swollen leaves which grow in pairs on the stems. While propagation methods may vary, most will follow similar steps. Typically, the wounds on the leaves are left to dry and callus forms over them. Then the leaves are placed in or on soil. Roots begin to grow on severed leaves about four weeks after being removed from the stem. Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity affect the speed at which the roots and new plant develop. Foliage usually appears soon after new roots have formed.

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