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/
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday 6 June 2024

FFF650 - TREE DAHLIA

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.

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Thursday 30 May 2024

FFF649 - STURT'S DESERT PEA

Swainsona formosa, commonly known as Sturt's desert pea or Sturt pea, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fabaceae and is native to all continental states and the Northern Territory of Australia, with the exception of Victoria. It is a prostrate annual or short lived perennial herb with imparipinnate leaves with about 15 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets with the narrower end towards the base, and racemes of usually red flowers in racemes of 2 to 6.

Swainsona formosa is a prostrate annual or short lived perennial herb, with several densely softly-hairy stems mostly 4–8 mm wide. The leaves are mostly 100–150 mm  long with about 15 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets 100–300 mm  long and 5–12 mm wide, the end leaflet slightly longer. There are broad, densely hairy stipules, sometimes 15 mm or more at the base of the petiole. The flowers are borne in racemes about 100–150 mm  long with 2 to 6 usually red flowers, sometimes white or other colours, on a peduncle 50–150 mm ong, each flower on a shaggy-hairy pedicel 5–20 mm long.

Sturt's desert pea is widespread in arid parts of inland Australia, including in Western Australia, South Australia, the southern parts of the Northern Territory, western parts of New South Wales and in Queensland. It grows in red sandy or loamy soils in mulga woodland, near creek lines and on stony hills, sometimes in woodland and open plains.

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Thursday 23 May 2024

FFF648 - MEXICAN MOCK ORANGE

Choisya ternata is a species of flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, known as Mexican orange blossom or Mexican orange. It is an evergreen shrub, growing up to 3 m in height. Its leaves have three leaflets (hence ternata) and are aromatic, releasing a smell reminiscent of basil when crushed. The white flowers are scented, appearing in spring (sometimes with limited repeat flowering in autumn). Choisya ternata originates from Mexico. It is drought tolerant, preferring well drained soils.

The shrub is widely grown as an ornamental plant in suitable climates. It tolerates temperatures down to −10 °C but is severely damaged by temperatures lower than −15 °C. It responds well to pruning and shaping. In addition to the species, a number of cultivars are grown, including the golden-leaved C. ternata 'Lich' (usually sold under the name Sundance), and the inter-specific hybrid C. ternata 'Aztec Pearl' (C. dumosa var. arizonica × C. ternata). The species and these two cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday 16 May 2024

FFF647 - MONA LAVENDER

Plectranthus ‘Mona lavender’ is a broadleaf evergreen, herbaceous perennial shrub with a dense, rounded form. It belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is a hybrid of  two South African parents: Plectranthus saccatus and Plectranthus hilliardiae.

In Australia it is grown as a houseplant in pots or in the garden. It requires partial shade and soil that is high in organic matter and moist with good drainage. It requires a warm temperate climate for full-time outside growth. In cooler climates, it may be placed outside in summer in a place that receives morning sun to full or partial shade. It may grow 30-60 cm tall and wide.

Pinch or prune the stems to maintain a bushy rounded form. Propagate by stem cutting. The lavender blooms begin to appear when the days get shorter in Autumn and will often bloom into spring, with adequate indirect light.  Deadheading helps to extend the blooming period. The shiny dark green leaves are ornamental with purple undersides.

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Thursday 9 May 2024

FFF646 - YELLOW GUM 'ROSEA'

Eucalyptus leucoxylon, commonly known as the Yellow Gum, (South Australian) Blue Gum or White Ironbark, is a small to medium-sized tree with rough bark on the lower 1-2 metres of the trunk, above this, the bark becomes smooth with a white, yellow or bluish-grey surface. Adult leaves are stalked, lanceolate to broad-lanceolate, to 13 x 2.5 cm, concolorous, dull, green. Flowers in white, pink or red appear during winter. 

E. leucoxylon is widely distributed on plains and nearby mountain ranges or coastal South Australia, where it is known as the Blue Gum and extends into the western half of Victoria where it is known as the Yellow gum. The species has been divided into numerous varieties and subspecies. A spectacular red-flowered form of uncertain provenance Eucalyptus leucoxylon ‘Rosea’ (shown here) is widely planted as an ornamental plant, it flowers profusely in winter.

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Thursday 2 May 2024

FFF645 - CALADENIA

Caladenia catenata, commonly known as white caladenia, white fingers and lady's fingers, is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. It is a ground orchid with a single hairy leaf and one or two white, sometimes pink flowers on a thin, sparsely-hairy stem. It is similar to Caladenia carnea but lacks the red and white bars on the labellum of that species. 

There are one or two flowers borne on a slender, sparsely hairy spike 10–30 cm high. The sepals and petals are glistening white, rarely pink and are sparsely hairy on the lower part of their backs. The dorsal sepal is linear to oblong, erect or slightly curved forward and is 15–22 mm long. The lateral sepals and petals are about the same length as the dorsal sepal and spreading. The labellum is white or pinkish with a yellowy-orange tip. It is 8–10 mm long, 6–18 mm wide when flattened and has three lobes. The central lobe is triangle-shaped, longer than the lateral lobes, curves downward and has finger-like teeth on its edges. The lateral lobes are narrow and may have a few teeth near their tips. There are two rows of yellow or white, club-shaped calli on the centre of the mid-lobe but only as far forward as the front of the lateral lobes.

Flowering occurs from August to November, earlier in New South Wales than Victoria. This Caladenia is uncommon in Victoria where it grows in scattered populations in forest and woodland east of Melbourne. It is more common in New South Wales where it usually grows in sandy soil in coastal forest and shrubland. It is probably the most common Caladenia in the Sydney region.

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Thursday 25 April 2024

FFF644 - ROSA "PEACE" FOR ANZAC DAY

The Peace rose, correctly Rosa 'Madame A. Meilland', is a well-known and successful garden rose. Over one hundred million plants had been sold, as of 1992. It is a Hybrid Tea rose with large flowers of a light yellow to cream colour, slightly flushed at the petal edges with crimson-pink, being slightly fragrant also. It is hardy and vigorous and relatively resistant to disease, making it popular in gardens as well as in the floral trade. It was developed by French horticulturist Francis Meilland in the years 1935 to 1939.

When Meilland foresaw the German invasion of France he sent cuttings to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany, and the United States to protect the new rose. It is said, that it was sent to the US on the last plane available before the German invasion, where it was safely propagated by the Conard Pyle Co. during the war.

The rose became known as "Peace" in the following way: In early 1945 Meilland wrote to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Viscount Alanbrooke), the principal author of the master strategy that won the Second World War, to thank him for his key part in the liberation of France and to ask if Brooke would give his name to the rose. Brooke declined saying that, though he was honoured to be asked, his name would soon be forgotten and a much better and more enduring name would be "Peace".

The adoption of the trade name "Peace" was publicly announced in the United States on 29 April 1945 by the introducers, Messrs Conard Pyle Co. This was the very day that Berlin fell, officially considered the end of the Second World War in Europe. Later that year Peace roses were given to each of the delegations at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations in San Francisco, each with a note which read: "We hope the 'Peace' rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace".

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Thursday 18 April 2024

FFF643 - GREVILLEA

Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants in the protea family Proteaceae, native to rainforest and more open habitats in Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Sulawesi. It was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville.

The species range from prostrate shrubs less than 50 cm tall to trees 35 m tall. Common names include grevillea, spider flower, silky oak, bottle brush and toothbrush plant. Closely related to the genus Hakea, the genus gives its name to the subfamily Grevilleoideae.

The brightly coloured, petal-less flowers consist of a calyx tube that splits into 4 lobes with long styles. They are good bird-attracting plants, honeyeaters in particular are common visitors. They are also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Dryandra Moth.

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Thursday 11 April 2024

FFF642 - 'THE LADY OF SHALOTT'

Rosa ‘Lady of Shalott’, introduced in 2007, is prized as one of the best David Austin roses, thanks to its repeat flowering, disease resistance and its beautiful apricot, cup-shaped flowers, each bearing about 60 loosely arranged petals. The leaves contrast nicely with the flowers, the new growth red-bronze turning a vibrant mid-green.The shrub is bushy with slightly arching stems.

This rose has a light tea fragrance with hints of cloves and spiced apples. It is a recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden merit of the Royal Horticultural Society. The rose was named after the Tennyson Society, which promotes the work of 19th century poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson. “The Ladyof Shalott” is a popular Tennyson ballad, written in 1832 and inspired by Arthurian legends.

This rose should be planted in full sun or partial shade, in rich, fertile well-drained soils that are adequately watered. It grows up to 120 cm tall and 100 cm wide and is perfect for beds or borders. The colour of the blooms contrast nicely with salvias, nepeta or lavender. 

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Thursday 4 April 2024

FFF641 - BOUGAINVILLEA

Bougainvillea in the Nyctaginaceae family is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. They are native plants of South America from Brazil west to Perú and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province). Bougainvillea are also known as Bugambilia (Mexico).

The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The species here illustrated is Bougainvillea spectabilis. The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville (hence the generic name), during his voyage of circumnavigation, and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789.

It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Baré, Commerçon's lover and assistant whom he sneaked on board (despite regulations) disguised as a man (and who thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).

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Thursday 28 March 2024

FFF640 - WHITE BOTTLEBRUSH

Callistemon is a genus of shrubs in the family Myrtaceae, first described as a genus in 1814. The entire genus is endemic to Australia but widely cultivated in many other regions and naturalised in scattered locations. Their status as a separate taxon is in doubt, some authorities accepting that the difference between callistemons and melaleucas is not sufficient for them to be grouped in a separate genus.

Callistemon species have commonly been referred to as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers resembling a traditional bottle brush. They are mostly found in the more temperate regions of Australia, especially along the east coast and typically favour moist conditions so when planted in gardens thrive on regular watering. However, two species are found in Tasmania and several others in the south-west of Western Australia. At least some species are drought-resistant and some are used in ornamental landscaping elsewhere in the world.

Melaleuca pallida, commonly known as lemon bottlebrush, is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to eastern Australia. (Some Australian state herbaria use the name Callistemon pallidus.) It is an upright shrub with thin, spreading branches, silvery new growth and pale yellow, sometimes pinkish bottlebrush flowers. Callistemon pallidus is a hardy plant, adaptable to many soils but needs full sun.

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Thursday 21 March 2024

DOUBLE ASTER

Aster is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. The circumscription of the genus has been narrowed, and it now encompasses around 170 species, all but one of which are restricted to Eurasia; many species formerly in Aster are now in other genera of the tribe Astereae.

Aster amellus is the type species of the genus and the family Asteraceae. The name Aster comes from the Ancient Greek word ἀστήρ (astḗr), meaning "star", referring to the shape of the flower head. Many species and a variety of hybrids and varieties are popular as garden plants because of their attractive and colourful flowers. 'Aster' species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera species—see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Aster. Asters can grow in all hardiness zones.

Here is a double hybrid happily growing as a perennial for many years in our garden. It has a striking colour, is disease resistant and makes an excellent cut flower.

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Thursday 14 March 2024

FFF638 - STROMANTHE

Stromanthe sanguinea is a plant species in the arrowroot family Marantaceae, native to the Brazilian rainforest. It is a common houseplant in temperate climates, valued for its striking variegated leaves with purple undersides. It can grow outside in a humid tropical climate, but needs light shade in the afternoon and must be protected from high winds. The soil should be kept moist at all times, but never waterlogged as the plant is susceptible to root rot.

Hummingbirds and bees are the main pollinators. Under ideal growing conditions, Stromanthe sanguinea will reach 1.2–1.8 m tall in about a year after emerging from its rhizome. Propagation can be from either seeds or rhizome division, but it is faster and more reliable to take rhizome cuttings. The Latin specific epithet sanguinea means “blood-red. Stromanthe sanguinea has received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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Thursday 7 March 2024

FFF637 - URN PLANT

Aechmea fasciata (silver vase, urn plant) is a bromeliad native to Brazil. This plant is probably the best known species in this genus, and it is often grown as a houseplant in temperate areas. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The plant grows slowly, reaching to between 1 and 3 feet in height, and spreading up to 2 feet. It has elliptic–oval-shaped leaves that are between 18 and 36 inches long and arranged in a basal rosette pattern.
    
A. fasciata requires partial shade and a well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil. It can also be grown epiphytically, as, for example, with moss around its roots and wired to rough bark. Root rot can be a problem if the soil is too moist. Scale insects and mosquitos will sometimes breed in the pools of water that are trapped between the leaves.

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Thursday 29 February 2024

FFF636 - AFRICAN VIOLET

Saintpaulia, commonly known as African violet, is a genus of 6–20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa. Typically the African violet is a common household indoor plant but can also be an outdoor plant. Several of the species and subspecies are endangered, and many more are threatened, due to their native cloud forest habitats being cleared for agriculture. The conservation status of Saintpaulia ionantha has been classed as near-threatened.

Saintpaulias, which grow from 6–15 cm tall, can be anywhere from 6–30 cm wide. The leaves are rounded to oval, 2.5–8.5 cm long with a 2–10 cm petiole, finely hairy, and have a fleshy texture. The flowers are 2–3 cm in diameter, with a five-lobed velvety corolla ("petals"), and grow in clusters of 3–10 or more on slender stalks called peduncles. Wild species can have violet, purple, pale blue, or white flowers. 

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Thursday 22 February 2024

FFF635 - AMARANTH FLOWER

Amaranthus tricolor, known as edible amaranth, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Amaranthus, part of the family Amaranthaceae. The plant is often cultivated for ornamental and culinary purposes. It is known as bireum in Korea; tampala, tandaljo, or tandalja bhaji in India; callaloo in the Caribbean; and Joseph's coat in other areas, in reference to the Biblical story of Joseph and the coat of many colours.

Although it is native to South and South-East Asia, A. tricolor is one of several species of amaranth cultivated in warm regions across the world. Cultivars have striking yellow, red, and green foliage.

The leaves and stems may be eaten as a salad vegetable. In Africa, it is usually cooked as a leafy vegetable. In Mediterranean countries this amaranth and related species are cooked with other vegetables and served as a warm salad (see recipe). It is usually stir fried or steamed as a side dish in both China and Japan.

Amaranth seeds are also edible and useful information about their nutritive value can be found here.

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Thursday 15 February 2024

FFF664 - VALENTINE ROSES

The rose plant belongs to the family Rosaceae and the genus Rosa and contains about 150 species. One of the first recorded instances of roses representing love comes from ancient Greek Mythology. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, was walking  through a rose garden full of white roses. Eros, her mischievous winged son aimed at her and missed, but his arrow shot through the roses. The roses grew thorns thanks to Eros's arrow. Aphrodite pricked her finger on a rose thorn and her blood turned the roses red. It’s an interesting story that might be the reason why people started considering roses to be romantic.

In Roman Mythology Roses were known to be a symbol of desire and secrecy. Romans would reportedly put roses in their bedrooms to represent the love and beauty that Venus was known for. Roman emperors were also known for filling their bathtubs with rose petals and using them as confetti for celebrations. Their pleasant-smelling fragrance graced many Romans’ reception rooms and their presence in romantic rendezvous continued adding to roses being associated with love and desire.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

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Thursday 8 February 2024

FFF663 - SACRED LOTUS

Nelumbo nucifera, also known as sacred lotus, Indian lotus, or simply lotus, is one of two extant species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. It is sometimes colloquially called a water lily, though this more often refers to members of the family Nymphaeaceae.

Lotus plants are adapted to grow in the flood plains of slow-moving rivers and delta areas. Stands of lotus drop hundreds of thousands of seeds every year to the bottom of the pond. While some sprout immediately and most are eaten by wildlife, the remaining seeds can remain dormant for an extensive period of time as the pond silts in and dries out. During flood conditions, sediments containing these seeds are broken open, and the dormant seeds rehydrate and begin a new lotus colony.

Under favorable circumstances, the seeds of this aquatic perennial may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China. Therefore, the Chinese regard the plant as a symbol of longevity.

It has a very wide native distribution, ranging from central and northern India, through northern Indochina and East Asia. Today, the species also occurs in southern India, Sri Lanka, virtually all of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and northern and eastern Australia, but this is probably the result of human translocations. It has a very long history (c. 3,000 years) of being cultivated for its edible seeds and edible leaves, and is commonly cultivated in water gardens. It is the national flower of India and Vietnam.

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Thursday 1 February 2024

FFF632 - ARGYRANTHEMUM

Argyranthemum 'Grandessa Sunset' is an intergeneric hybrid that has been developed in Australia. It is larger and more brightly and intensely coloured than the common argyranthemums and grows well in pots on in the garden. It grows best in full sun, but can tolerate part shade, and can cope with frost and dryness. It grows to about 50 cm height and up to 60 cm width.

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Thursday 25 January 2024

FFF631 - BELLADONNA LILY

Amaryllis belladonna, the Jersey lily, belladonna-lily, naked-lady-lily, or March lily, is a plant species native to Cape Province in South Africa but widely cultivated as an ornamental. It is reportedly naturalised in many places: Corsica, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, the Scilly Isles of Great Britain, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ascension Island, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Chile, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Michigan and the Juan Fernández Islands.

It is a perennial bulbous geophyte with one to two erect solid stems which appear in late summer. The inflorescence bears 2–12 showy fragrant funnel-shaped flowers on a 'naked' (leafless) stem, which gives it the common name of naked-lady-lily. The pink flowers which may be up to 10cm in length, appear in the autumn before the leaves (hysteranthy) which are narrow and strap shaped.

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Thursday 18 January 2024

FFF630 - SUNFLOWER

The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a species of large annual forb of the genus Helianthus. It is commonly grown as a crop for its edible oily seeds. Apart from cooking oil production, it is also used as livestock forage (as a meal or a silage plant), as bird food, in some industrial applications, and as an ornamental in domestic gardens. Wild H. annuus is a widely branched annual plant with many flower heads. The domestic sunflower, however, often possesses only a single large inflorescence (flower head) atop an unbranched stem.

The plant was first domesticated in the Americas. Sunflower seeds were brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. With time, the bulk of industrial-scale production has shifted to Eastern Europe, and (as of 2020) Russia and Ukraine together produce over half of worldwide seed production.

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Thursday 11 January 2024

FFF629 - BIDENS

The genus Bidens belongs to the daisy plant family (Asteraceae) and is made up of more than 200 species worldwide. The large genus Bidens contains annual and perennial herbaceous plants which grow anywhere from 10 to 150 cm tall. Bidens has many common names including beggartick, black jack, bur marigold, cobbler’s pegs, Spanish needle, tickseed sunflower, to name just a few! 

Bidens ferulifolia, "Taka Tuka" hybrid (shown here) is a compact perennial (often grown as an annual) originally from Mexico, growing to 60cm tall. The green divided leaves form a neat mound, and the striking daisy like flowers with gold centres and red/orange outer petals bloom in the heat of summer. Suitable for wildflower plantings, beds, borders and containers, are also ideal for hanging baskets. Drought tolerant once established. 

After pollination, elongated seeds with dark shells form the so-called achene fruits. They have an appendage for propagation, called a pappus, which inspired many of the common names used for Bidens. It usually consists of two bristle-like teeth with small hooks, which hook into the fur of animals when they brush past the flowers, transporting the seeds over long distances.

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Thursday 4 January 2024

FFF628 - PERSIAN LILAC

Syringa × persica, the Persian lilac, is a hybrid, thought to originate from a cross of Syringa × laciniata and S. afghanica. More compact than common lilacs, it grows up to 1.2–2.4 m and spreads about 1.5–3.0 m. Persian lilac prefers warmer winter climates (hardiness zones 5–9) than many species of lilac. It is slightly fragrant.

Its hybrid with Syringa vulgaris, the common lilac, is Syringa × chinensis, sometimes called Rouen lilac. This is a different plant than Melia azedarach, also sometimes called Persian lilac.

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