Thursday, 16 September 2021

SPARAXIS

Sparaxis (harlequin flower) is a genus in the family Iridaceae with about 13 species endemic to Cape Province, South Africa. All are perennials that grow during the wet winter season, flower in spring and survive underground as dormant corms over summer. Their conspicuous flowers have six tepals, which in most species are equal in size and shape.

The genus name is derived from the Greek word sparasso, meaning "to tear", and alludes to the shape of the floral bracts. Sparaxis tricolor, known by the common names wandflower, harlequin flower, and sparaxis, is a bulb-forming perennial plant that grows in well-drained sunny soil.

It gained its common name from its colourful flowers which are bi- or tri-coloured with a golden centre and a small ring of brown surrounded by another colour. Although the plant is native to southern Africa. It is present in California and Australia as an introduced species after having escaped from garden cultivation.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme


Sunday, 5 September 2021

YARRA SUNSET

Sunset on Melbourne's Yarra River, with the Seafarers Pedestrian Bridge.

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.


Saturday, 28 August 2021

LORIKEET

The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia and Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Several taxa traditionally listed as subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet are now treated as separate species.

Rainbow lorikeets have been introduced to Perth, Western Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Hong Kong. Rainbow lorikeets are true parrots, within the Psittacoidea superfamily in the order Psittaciformes. They include two subspecies: Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus and Trichoglossus molucannus septentrionalis.

This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme.


Thursday, 26 August 2021

MAGNOLIA

This spectacular magnolia hybrid is blooming at the moment in a neighbour's garden. The large, showy, magenta blossoms are certainly an eye-catcher!

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 19 August 2021

PERUVIAN LILY

Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian lily or lily of the Incas, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Alstroemeriaceae. They are all native to South America although some have become naturalised in the United States, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Madeira and the Canary Islands. Almost all of the species are restricted to one of two distinct centres of diversity, one in central Chile, the other in eastern Brazil. Species of Alstroemeria from Chile are winter-growing plants while those of Brazil are summer-growing. All are long-lived perennials except A. graminea, a diminutive annual from the Atacama Desert of Chile.

The genus was named after the Swedish baron Clas Alstr̦mer (1736 Р1794) by his close friend Carolus Linnaeus. Many hybrids and at least 190 cultivars have been developed, featuring many different markings and colours, including white, yellow, orange, apricot, pink, red, purple, and lavender. The most popular and showy hybrids commonly grown today result from crosses between species from Chile (winter-growing) with species from Brazil (summer-growing). This strategy has overcome the florists' problem of seasonal dormancy and resulted in plants that are evergreen, or nearly so, and flower for most of the year. This breeding work derives mainly from trials that began in the United States in the 1980s.

The flower, which resembles a miniature lily, is very popular for bouquets and flower arrangements in the commercial cut flower trade. Most cultivars available for the home garden will bloom in the late spring and early summer. The roots are hardy to a temperature of −5 °C. The plant requires at least six hours of morning sunlight, regular water, and well-drained soil.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 5 August 2021

PLUM BLOSSOM

The first wild plum blossoms have appeared even as the cold weather and the rain persist. It is Winter, but the scent of Spring is already in the air. As Japanese Edo Period poet Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707) remarks:

One plum blossom
brings us just one more step
to the warmth.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


Thursday, 22 July 2021

WILD LEEKS

The three-cornered leek (Allium triquetrum) is an invasive weed in the Amaryllidaceae family that can carpet large areas very quickly because of its rapidly germinating seeds that quickly form a dense clump of leaves and flowers. Pretty though this three-cornered leek may be, don't be tempted to pick it as a cut flower because it does reek strongly of an oniony smell! However, all parts of the plant are edible. The leaves and flowers can be added to salads, and the bulbs can be substituted for garlic.

These are growing by the banks of the Merri Creek in Clifton Hill, Melbourne. In the background the brick road bridge. This bridge across Merri Creek at the southern end of High Street was built for the recently created Shire of Jika Jika in 1875 to a design by T.E. Rawlinson, Road Engineer in the Department of Roads and Bridges, although contributions to its design have also been attributed to the Jika Jika Shire Engineer, Evander McIver.

The bridge was constructed of Malmsbury bluestone (basalt) and bricks from local brickworks in Northcote. The bridge was widened in 1890 to allow for the extension of the Clifton Hill cable tram route up High Street. The widening was executed in a similar style to the original design and was supervised by George Duncan, Engineer to the Melbourne Tramways & Omnibus Company.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.