Friday 14 September 2012


After a long, wet and cold Winter in Melbourne this year, it is wonderful to see Spring arriving. We have had some marvellous Spring days already and the Spring flowers have started to bloom. Here is a selection of them blooming in mid-September in our garden and the neighbourhood.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.
The common lawn daisy Bellis perennis is a common European species of daisy, of the Asteraceae family, often considered the archetypal species of that name.  It is a sure harbinger of Spring even on Australian lawns.
An old folk saying maintains that it is not yet Spring unless you can step on at least a dozen daisies on one tread.
Lemon-scented geranium, Pelargonium citronellum is an evergreen, bushy, strongly lemon-scented shrub, herbaceous when young and woody at the base. It grows up to 2 m high and spreads up to 1 m. The stems and leaves are sparsely covered in small hairs and glandular hairs. The leaves are simple, alternately arranged, with conspicuous veins at the back of the leaves. The leaf is palmately shaped with sharply pointed lobes. The flowers are pink-purple with a conspicuous dark marking on the two larger upper petals, the three smaller lower petals have no markings. The plant flowers during spring and summer (August to January) and is at its best in early summer (between September and October).
Freesia is a genus of around 16 species of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae, native to the eastern side of southern Africa, from Kenya down to South Africa, most species being found in Cape Province.  The plants commonly known as "freesias", with fragrant funnel-shaped flowers, are cultivated hybrids of a number of Freesia species. Some other species are also grown as ornamental plants. This is a splendid, fragrant, yellow variety.
Another freesia, this one bright pinkish-red, but less fragrant. The white one in the back is highly fragrant. The flowers in the right are anemones.
Zantedeschia aethiopica (common names, Calla lily) is a species in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. It is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant, evergreen where rainfall and temperatures are adequate, deciduous where there is a dry season. Its preferred habitat is in streams and ponds or on the banks. It grows to 0.6–1 m tall, with large clumps of broad, arrow shaped dark green leaves up to 45 cm  long. The Inflorescences are large, produced in spring, summer and autumn, with a pure white spathe up to 25 cm and a yellow spadix up to 90 mm long.
Cape Weed, Arctotheca calendula is a very common and widespread weed. The yellow ray petals and black centre make it easy to recognise. It is native to South Africa.
Schlumbergera is a small genus of cacti with six species found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. Plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats which are generally shady with high humidity and can be quite different in appearance from their desert-dwelling cousins. Most species of Schlumbergera have stems which resemble leaf-like pads joined one to the other and flowers which appear from areoles at the joints and tips of the stems. Two species have cylindrical stems more similar to other cacti. In Brazil, the genus is referred to as Flor de Maio (May flower), reflecting the period in which they flower in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also called Easter cactus.
Viola tricolor, known as heartsease or love-in-idleness, is a common European wild flower, growing as an annual or short-lived perennial. It is the progenitor of the cultivated pansy, and is therefore sometimes called wild pansy; before the cultivated pansies were developed, "pansy" was an alternative name for the wild form. V. tricolor is a small plant of creeping and ramping habit, reaching at most 15 cm in height, with flowers about 1.5 cm in diameter. It grows in short grassland on farms and wasteland, chiefly on acid or neutral soils. It is usually found in partial shade.
Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a slender, deciduous shrub native to China. It has arching green shoots and opposite, pinnate, dark green leaves. Each leaf is divided into three oval-oblong leaflets which are about 3 cm long.As its name suggests, in the Southern Hemisphere, Winter Jasmine flowers from May to September. The solitary flowers have six petals and are bright yellow, about 1 cm across, appearing in the leaf axils. Winter Jasmine likes full sun or partial shade and is hardy.It tolerates hard pruning and should be pruned in spring immediately after flowering; regular pruning will help to prevent bare patches.
Fairy primroses, Primula malacoides, have become synonomous with our Winter and early Springgardens, as they are tough little flowers that grow easily and quickly in semi shade or partial sun and reward the gardener with a breathtaking show of flowers throughout the winter and spring. Although Fairy Primroses are happiest in cooler weather, they do need to be planted early enough in autumn in order to become established before the really cold weather arrives. A regular foliar feed throughout the growing season will ensure a beautiful show of flowers. The tiny flowers are borne in whorls of decreasing size, up slender stems to a height of 20-25cm.
Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials, succulents, and shrubs, commonly known as geraniums. Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of a separate genus of related plants often called cranesbills or hardy geraniums. Both genera belong to the family Geraniaceae. Linnaeus originally included all the species in one genus, Geranium, but they were later separated into two genera by Charles L’Héritier in 1789. Pelargonium are evergreen perennials indigenous to Southern Africa, and are drought and heat tolerant, but can tolerate only minor frosts. They are extremely popular garden plants, grown as bedding plants in temperate regions.
Jasminum polyanthum, also known as Pink Jasmine (or White Jasmine), is an evergreen twining climber from China. It produces an abundance of reddish-pink flower buds in late winter and early spring, followed by fragrant five-petalled star-like white flowers which are about 2 cm in diameter. It has compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets which are dark green on the upper surface and a lighter green on the lower surface. The terminal leaflet is noticeably larger than the other leaflets. The plant is very vigorous and can grow up to 6 metres in height when supported. Depending on the climate, this vine has a semi-deciduous to evergreen foliage.
Anemone coronaria (poppy anemone) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Anemone, native to the Mediterranean region. Anemone coronaria is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 20–40 cm tall with a basal rosette of a few leaves, the leaves with three leaflets, each leaflet deeply lobed. The flowers are borne singly on a tall stem with a whorl of small leaves just below the flower; the flower is 3–8 cm diameter, with 5-8 red, purple, white or blue petal-like tepals. Anemone coronaria is widely grown for its decorative flowers. Numerous cultivars have been selected and named, the most popular including the De Caen and St Brigid group of cultivars.
Vinca minor, or the Lesser periwinkle, is a plant native to central and southern Europe, from Portugal and France north to the Netherlands and the Baltic States, and east to the Caucasus, and also in southwestern Asia in Turkey. Vinca minor is a trailing, viny subshrub, spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems to form large clonal colonies and occasionally scrambling up to 40 cm high but never twining or climbing. The leaves are evergreen, opposite, 2-4.5 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, glossy dark green with a leathery texture and an entire margin.The flowers are solitary in the leaf axils and are produced mainly from early spring to mid summer but with a few flowers still produced into the autumn; they are violet-purple (pale purple or white in some cultivated selections), 2-3 cm diameter, with a five-lobed corolla. The fruit is a pair of follicles 2.5 cm long, containing numerous seeds.
Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not. They are pod-bearing, with sap and leaves typically bearing large amounts of tannins and condensed tannins that historically in many species found use as pharmaceuticals and preservatives.
Ornamental crab apple tree (Malus) in bloom. Malus, apple, is a genus of about 30–35 species of small deciduous trees or shrubs in the family Rosaceae. Other studies go as far as 55 species including the domesticated orchard apple. The other species and subspecies are generally known as "wild apples", "crab apples", "crabapples" or "crabs".The genus is native to the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere.
Dwarf Diosma, Coleonema pulchrum, and its various forms are very popular garden shrubs, with their aromatic foliage and tiny starry flowers. The old fashioned green dwarf form 'Compactum' is often overlooked these days in favour of its sport 'Sunset Gold', a dwarf golden form. 'Compactum' is in fact a lovely plant which flowers much more profusely  (as seen here) than 'Sunset Gold'.
Cape daisy, Osteospermum,  is a genus belonging to the Calenduleae, one of the smaller tribes of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Osteospermum used to belong to the genus Dimorphotheca, but only the annual species remain in that genus; the perennials belong to Osteospermum.  There are about 50 species, native to Africa, 35 species in southern Africa, and southwestern Arabia. They are half-hardy perennials or subshrubs. Therefore they do not survive outdoor wintry conditions, but there is still a wide range of hardiness.
Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants in the protea family Proteaceae, native to Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Sulawesi. It was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville. The species range from prostrate shrubs less than 0.5 m tall to trees 35 m tall. Common names include Grevillea, Spider Flower, Silky-oak and Toothbrush. Many species of grevilleas are popular garden plants, especially in Australia but also in other temperate and subtropical climates. Many grevilleas have a propensity to interbreed freely, and extensive hybridisation and selection of horticulturally desirable attributes has led to the commercial release of many cultivars. Among the best known are Grevillea 'Robyn Gordon', a small shrub up to 1.5 metres high and wide which can flower 12 months of the year in subtropical climates.
Anigozanthos, and Macropidia, Kangaroo paw, is the name for a number of species, in two genera of the family Haemodoraceae, that are endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. These perennial plants are noted for their unique bird attracting flowers. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and open at the apex with six claw-like structures: from this paw formation the common name "Kangaroo Paw" is derived.
Prunus americana, commonly called the wild plum, is a species of Prunus native to North America from Saskatchewan to New Mexico east to New Hampshire and Florida. It has often been planted outside its core range and sometimes escapes cultivation. It is commonly confused with the Canada plum (Prunus nigra), although the fruit is smaller and rounder and bright red as opposed to yellow. Many cultivated varieties have been derived from this species. It forms an excellent stock upon which to graft the domestic plum.[
Spring landscape with a carpet of yellow Oxalis stricta, called the common yellow woodsorrel.