Friday 27 February 2015


Selaginella is the sole genus of vascular plants in the family Selaginellaceae, the spikemosses or lesser clubmosses. This family is placed in the class Isoetopsida, distinguished from the sister group Lycopodiopsida by having scale-leaves bearing a ligule and by having spores of two types.

Selaginella species are creeping or ascendant plants with simple, scale-like leaves (microphylls) on branching stems from which roots also arise. The plants are heterosporous (megaspores and microspores), and have structures called ligules, scale-like outgrowths near the base of the upper surface of each microphyll and sporophyll. Under dry conditions, some species of Selaginella roll into brown balls (a phenomenon known as poikilohydry). In this state, they may be uprooted. Under moist conditions the brown balls become green, because of which these are also known as resurrection plants (as in Selaginella bryopteris).

Illustrated here is Selaginella kraussiana, sometimes known by the common names Krauss's spikemoss, Krauss's clubmoss, and African clubmoss, is a clubmoss found naturally in the Canary Islands, the Azores and parts of mainland Africa. S. kraussiana is cultivated for ornamental purposes and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. It requires a minimum temperature of 5 °C, and in temperate regions is grown under glass as a houseplant.

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Thursday 26 February 2015


Anigozanthos is a small genus of Australian plants in the Bloodwort family Haemodoraceae. The 11 species and several subspecies are commonly known as kangaroo paw and catspaw depending on the shape of their flowers. A further species, previously identified as Anigozanthos fuliginosus and commonly known as the black kangaroo paw, has been transferred to its own monotypic genus and is now known as Macropidia fuliginosa.

The genus was first named by Jacques Labillardière in his work, Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse, issued in 1800. The French botanist collected and described the type species, Anigozanthus rufus, during the d'Entrecasteaux expedition's visit to Southwest Australia in 1792. In recent years a number of numerous hybrids and cultivars have been developed. Kangaroo paws are much in demand as house plants and as cut flowers.

These perennials are endemic to dry sandy, siliceous areas of southwest Australia, but they occur as well in a variety of other environments and soil types. They are grown commercially in Australia, the United States, Japan and Israel. The plant grows from short, underground, horizontal rhizomes. The length and the character of these may vary between the species: some are fleshy, others are fragile. The sap in the root system allows the plants to survive extreme dry spells. In summer, a number of species die back to the rhizome, growing back in autumn.

The tuberous flower buds are covered with coloured hairs, giving them a velvety aspect. These long furry hairs also determine the colour of the flower, which may range from almost black to yellow, orange and red. Some species are even dichromatic (as Anigozanthos manglesii). The tubular form of the flower bud resembles a kangaroo paw, hence its name. The flower tip spreads fanlike into six petals. Full-grown plants can have up to ten flowers at the end of each stalk.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday 23 February 2015


An unlikely find in outer suburban Melbourne. A mural at the back of a Fish-and-Chip shop, with a scene which is reminiscent of a Greek island... No doubt, the owners are Greeks who are feeling a little nostalgic for the type of scene illustrated in the mural. Nevertheless, it does brighten up an otherwise drab wall!

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme.

Friday 20 February 2015


This is an image I created in a program called Mojoworld, where one may create different planets and views of the surface. The planet visualised here has a huge moon and an eroded rocky surface overgrown with green plants exhibiting a curious grooved pattern. The seas are greenish, with sandy shores and the little heart-shaped shoal in the foreground is an incidental artifact...

I am open to suggestions on the naming of this, my imagined planet!
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Thursday 19 February 2015


Tradescantia, the Spiderworts, is a genus of 75 species of perennial plants in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada south to northern Argentina including the West Indies. Some species have become naturalised in various regions in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and assorted oceanic islands.

They are weakly upright to scrambling plants, growing to 30–60 cm tall, and are commonly found individually or in clumps in wooded areas and fields. A number of the species flower in the morning and when the sun shines on the flowers in the afternoon they close, but can remain open on cloudy days until evening.

Tradescantia gigantea or Giant Spiderwort, has a dainty, three-petal flower with slender, hairy stamens. The flower colour can be an indicator of the pH of the soil. Acidic soils produce bluer flowers, while more alkaline soils create varying shades of pink and purple. All parts of this plant contain volatile oil that can cause severe skin inflammation, itching, and blistering on direct contact or if borne by sooty smoke. Washing thoroughly with soap or swabbing with alcohol immediately on exposure removes the oil irritant. The berries are poisonous if eaten.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Friday 13 February 2015


Federation Square, in Melbourne, is a mixed-use development covering an area of 3.2 hectares and centred on two major public spaces: open squares (St. Paul's Court and The Square) and one covered (The Atrium), built on top of a concrete deck above busy railway lines.

It is located at intersection between Flinders Street and Swanston Street/St Kilda Road in Melbourne's Central Business District, adjacent to Melbourne's busiest railway station. Here is the entrance to The Atrium, on Flinders St.
This post is part of the Geometric Friday meme,
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Thursday 12 February 2015


Eucomis is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae, native to southern Africa. Most species of this genus are commonly referred to as pineapple flowers or pineapple lilies. They are bulbous perennials with basal rosettes of leaves with stout stems covered in star-shaped flowers with a tuft of green bracts at the top, superficially resembling a pineapple – hence the common names.

The name Eucomis is of Greek origin, eu- meaning "pleasing" and kome "hair of the head", thus referring to the tuft of leaf-like bracts that crown the inflorescence of the species in this genus.

Our pineapple lilies bloom in early Autumn and herald the arrival of this mellow season. It is probably a hybrid, but it does resemble Eucomis pallidiflora (giant pineapple lily). The Latin specific epithet "pallidiflora" means "pale flowered". The plant is not frost-hardy, and requires a winter mulch in those areas subject to freezing temperatures. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Friday 6 February 2015


Welcome to this new meme active every Friday!
The theme is "Friday Greens" and you can post images, art, photos where the predominant colour is GREEN!
GREEN is the colour between blue and yellow in the spectrum; coloured like grass or emeralds.
This magnificent fan palm is growing in the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, Australia. I have edited the image slightly using Photoshop.

This post is part of the Geometric Friday meme,
and of course part of the:
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Thursday 5 February 2015


Neoregelia is a genus of flowering plants in the bromeliad family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae, native to South American rainforests. The genus name is for Eduard August von Regel, Director of St. Petersburg Botanic Gardens in Russia (1815–1892).

They have mostly broad, relatively flat leaves. Inflorescences form in a shallow depression the centre of the plant, which often fills partway with water, through which the flowers bloom. Offsets form around the central flowering rosette. The leaves immediately surrounding the inflorescence are very often brightly coloured, and many species show banding or striping on most or all of their leaves.

Neoregelia Bromeliads are excellent plants and will adapt to many conditions, so in a warm setting they can be used as a indoor plant or outdoor landscape plant. Neoregelias are some of the most colourful epiphytes around and range from the common house plant varieties to the more rare exotic varieties such as the Neoregelia ‘Rafael’.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.