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Thursday 30 June 2022
Thursday 23 June 2022
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.
Thursday 16 June 2022
Thursday 9 June 2022
Thursday 2 June 2022
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.