Thursday, 23 June 2022

JONQUIL

Narcissus jonquilla (jonquil, rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to Spain and Portugal, but has now become naturalised in many other regions: France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, Madeira, British Columbia, Utah, Illinois, Ohio, and the southeastern United States from Texas to Maryland.

Narcissus jonquilla bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). In spring it bears heads of up to five 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. 

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Thursday, 16 June 2022

JAPONICA

Chaenomeles japonica is a species of Japanese Quince in the Rosaceae family. It is a thorny deciduous shrub that is commonly cultivated. It is shorter than another commonly cultivated species C. speciosa, growing to only about 1 m in height. The fruit is called Kusa-boke (草木瓜) in Japanese. Chaenomeles japonica is also popularly grown in bonsai. 

It is best known for its colourful spring flowers of red, white or pink. It produces apple-shaped fruit that are a golden-yellow colour containing red-brown seeds. The fruit is edible, but hard and astringent-tasting, unless bletted. The fruit is occasionally used in jelly and pie making as an inferior substitute for its cousin, the true quince, Cydonia oblonga.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 9 June 2022

AZURE SAGE

Salvia azurea, the azure blue sage, azure sage, blue sage or prairie sage, is a herbaceous perennial in the genus Salvia, family Lamiaceae, that is native to Central and Eastern North America. Its thin, upright stems can grow to 1.8 m tall, with narrow, pointed, smooth-edged to serrated, furry to smooth green leaves, connected to their stems by petioles to 1.0 cm long. There are no basal leaves.

The blue (rarely white), flowers  nearly 6.4 to 12.7 mm long, appear summer to autumn near the ends of their branched or unbranched spikes; their calyxes are tubular or bell-shaped and furry. Two varieties are Salvia azurea var. azurea (azure sage) and Salvia azurea var. grandiflora (pitcher sage). It is found on the wild on roadsides, glades, fields and pastures.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 2 June 2022

PETREA

Petrea is a genus of evergreen flowering vines native to Mexico and Central America. They have rough-textured leaves, hence the common name "sandpaper vine". It looks somewhat similar to a tropical Wisteria.

Shown here is Petrea volubilis. Carolus Linnaeus named Petrea in honour of Robert James Petre, 8th Baron Petre of Ingatestone Hall in Essex. Petre was a patron of botany.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 12 May 2022

PATTERSON'S CURSE

Paterson's Curse (Echium plantagineum) is an invasive plant species in Australia. The name "Salvation Jane" originated from, and is mostly used in South Australia, due to its use as a source of food for grazing animals when the less drought tolerant grazing pastures die off. Other names are Blueweed, Lady Campbell Weed, Riverina Bluebell, and Purple Viper's Bugloss. Three other Echium species have been introduced and are of concern; Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare) is the most common of them. Viper's Bugloss is biennial, with a single unbranched flowering stem and smaller, more blue flowers, but is otherwise similar. This species is also useful for honey production.

Paterson's Curse has positive uses — it is the source for a particularly fine grade of honey. As a fodder plant, with proper handling, it can be valuable fodder over summer for cattle and sheep, but not livestock without ruminant digestive systems. In the 1880s it was introduced to Australia, probably both as an accidental contaminant of pasture seed and as an ornamental plant. It is said that both names for the plant derive from Jane Paterson or Patterson, an early settler of the country near Albury. She brought the first seeds from Europe to beautify a garden, and then could only watch helplessly as the weed infested previously productive pastures for many miles around.

Paterson's Curse is now a dominant broadleaf pasture weed through much of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania and also infests native grasslands, heathlands and woodlands.

Echium plantagineum contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and is poisonous. When eaten in large quantities, it causes reduced livestock weight or even (in severe cases) death. Paterson's Curse can kill horses and irritate the udders of dairy cows and the skin of humans. After the 2003 Canberra bushfires, there were over 40 recorded cases of horses being put down after eating the weed.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.





Thursday, 28 April 2022

CLEMATIS

Clematis is a genus of about 300 species within the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Their garden hybrids have been popular among gardeners, beginning with Clematis × jackmanii, a garden standby since 1862; more hybrid cultivars are being produced constantly.

They are mainly of Chinese and Japanese origin. Most species are known as clematis in English, while some are also known as traveller's joy, a name invented for the sole British native, C. vitalba, by the herbalist John Gerard; virgin's bower for C. viticella; old man's beard, applied to several with prominent seedheads; and leather flower or vase vine for the North American Clematis viorna.

Illustrated here is the splendid hybrid Clematis 'Daniel Deronda'. Introduced in 1882, 'Daniel Deronda' still holds its own among modern varieties and has given the Royal Horticultural Society's prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in recognition of its outstanding excellence. It produces purple-blue flowers throughout the summer. These are semi-double early in the season and then single later on. The blooms are followed by eye-catching seed-heads which have a twist at the top.

To prune, remove any dead or weak stems in late winter or early spring and cut remaining stems back to the highest pair of strong-growing buds. To encourage blooms to cover the whole plant, train the stems so that they are evenly spaced on their support. As new growth appears in mid-spring, train this to fill any gaps. Plant in a sheltered position that is not north-facing.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Thursday, 7 April 2022

CHINESE LANTERN

Abutilon or 'Chinese lanterns' are closely related to hibiscus, and most of the hundred or so species have pendulous, hibiscus-like flowers. Cultivars produced by hybridising some of the South American abutilons have all been placed in one group known as Abutilon x hybridum, and these are the ones most commonly grown in Australian gardens.

They have a wispy, delicate form and colourful, lantern-shaped flowers. For gardeners who prefer plants with a more dense habit, new compact varieties are also available. Another popular abutilon is Abutilon megapotamicum, which is a prostrate or ground covering species with small orange flowers. Abutilon are evergreen shrubs with attractive maple-like leaves and an open, pendulous habit. They grow to about 2-3 metres tall.

Flowers in the Southern Hemisphere are produced in September to December, but they spot flower at other times. Flower colours include white, pink, red, yellow, orange and salmon. These plants grow well in most parts of Australia, except for the very cold mountain zones. In inland areas be sure to water well and keep protected with mulch. In hot inland climates abutilons appreciate some light shade.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 31 March 2022

CHOCOLATE COSMOS

Cosmos atrosanguineus, the chocolate cosmos, is a species of Cosmos, native to Mexico, where it is extinct in the wild. The species was introduced into cultivation in 1902, where it survives as a single clone reproduced by vegetative propagation.

Cosmos atrosanguineus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40–60 cm tall, with a fleshy tuberous root. The leaves are 7–15 cm long, pinnate, with leaflets 2–5 cm long. The flowers are produced in a capitulum 3-4.5 cm diameter, dark red to maroon-dark brown, with a ring of six to ten (usually eight) broad ray florets and a centre of disc florets typical of the Asteraceae family.

The flowers have a light vanillin fragrance (like many chocolates), which becomes more noticeable as the summer day wears on. The single surviving clone is a popular ornamental plant, grown for its rich dark red-brown flowers. It is not self-fertile, so no viable seeds are produced, and the plant has to be propagated by division of the tubers, or by tissue culture.

It requires partial sun or full sun, and flowers from mid- to late summer. It is frost-sensitive (Zones 6-11); in temperate zones, the tuber has to be dug up and stored in a frost-free store over the winter.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme