Tuesday 31 March 2015


The lemon (Citrus × limon) is a small evergreen tree native to Asia. The tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world, primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind (zest) are also used in cooking and baking. The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, which gives lemons a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade and lemon meringue pie.

Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in a wide variety of foods and drinks. Lemon juice is used to make lemonade, soft drinks, and cocktails. It is used in marinades for fish, where its acid neutralises amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts, and meat, where the acid partially hydrolyses tough collagen fibres, tenderising the meat, but the low pH denatures the proteins, causing them to dry out when cooked.

Lemon juice is frequently used in the United Kingdom to add to pancakes, especially on Shrove Tuesday. Lemon juice is also used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidise and turn brown after being sliced (enzymatic browning), such as apples, bananas, and avocados, where its acid denatures the enzymes. Lemon juice and rind are used to make marmalade and lemon liqueur. Lemon slices and lemon rind are used as a garnish for food and drinks. Lemon zest, the grated outer rind of the fruit, is used to add flavour to baked goods, puddings, rice, and other dishes. The leaves of the lemon tree are used to make a tea and for preparing cooked meats and seafoods.

Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, providing 64% of the Daily Value in a 100 g serving. Numerous essential nutrients are also present in small amounts. Lemons contain numerous phytochemicals, including polyphenols, terpenes, and tannins. As with other citrus fruits, they have significant concentrations of citric acid (about 47 g/l in the juices).

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Friday 27 March 2015


The tropical plant greenhouse in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.
I appreciate your comments, and a link back to this page from your own blog post.
Please add your own GREEN post using the Linky tool below:

Thursday 26 March 2015


This hibiscus is now blooming in a neighbour's garden - neither she nor I are sure fo the exact cultivar name. The colour is just magnificent and the flowers are quite large and reminiscent of tropical sunsets in Pacific Islands. Meanwhile back in Melbourne, Autumn is arriving...

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Friday 20 March 2015


The Santa Claus melon, sometimes known as Christmas melon or piel de sapo, is a variety of melon (family Cucurbitaceae, Cucumis melo, Inodorus group) that grows to about 30 cm in length and is oval in shape. It has a thick, green-striped outer rind, pale green to white inner flesh with a mild melon flavour and sweetness close to honeydew melons, if not more so. A Santa Claus melon is usually consumed for breakfast, lunch, dessert or as a snack. The melon should be slightly soft, especially on the ends, and should be washed, split in half length-wise and its seeds spooned out.

This melon was named in English as recognition of its long keeping qualities, i.e., "until Christmas". IN Spanish, "piel de sapo" means "toad skin". Melons are a source of vitamin C and dietary fibre, while also low in calories and sodium and containing very little fat and no cholesterol. The flesh of uncut melons is juicier and softer if kept at room temperature one or two days before serving. Once ripened or cut, it should be refrigerated in plastic. An excellent keeper, this hardy melon can be kept up to six weeks longer than other varieties.
I appreciate your comments and a link back to this page from your own blog post.
Please add your own GREEN post using the Linky tool below:

Thursday 19 March 2015


Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit (US), passionfruit (UK and Commonwealth), and purple granadilla (South Africa). It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit and is widely grown in several countries of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southern Asia, Israel, Australia, Hawaii (Liliko'i) and United States. The passionfruit is round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance flavour.

The "Passion" in "passion flower" refers to the passion of Jesus in Christian theology. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:

The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
The blue and white colours of the flowers represent Heaven and Purity.

The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as espina de Cristo ("Christ's thorn"). Older Germanic names include Christus-Krone ("Christ's crown"), Christus-Strauss ("Christ's bouquet"), Dorn-Krone ("crown of thorns"), Jesus-Lijden ("Jesus' passion"), Marter ("passion") or Muttergottes-Stern ("Mother of God's star"). Outside the Christian heartland, the regularly shaped flowers have reminded people of the face of a clock. In Israel they are known as "clock-flower" (שעונית) and in Greece as "clock plant" (ρολογιά); in Japan too, they are known as tokeisō (時計草, "clock plant"). In Hawaiian, they are called lilikoʻi; lī is a string used for tying fabric together, such as a shoelace, and liko means "to spring forth leaves".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Saturday 14 March 2015


These rock slab steps are rather oddly placed in a little nook of the Yarra Bend Park close to Dights Falls in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Whenever I visit this place I like to go up them and just take in a little bit of the mystery they seem to exude...

This post is part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Friday 13 March 2015


Twelve green bottles
Hanging on the wall
Twelve green bottles
Hanging on the wall
And if one green bottle
Should accidentally fall
There'll be eleven green bottles
Hanging on the wall...
I appreciate your comments and a link back to this page from your own blog post.
Please add your own GREEN post using the Linky tool below:

Thursday 12 March 2015


Jasmine (taxonomic name Jasminum) is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Eurasia, Australasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers. A number of unrelated plants contain the word "Jasmine" in their common names (e.g. "Cape Jasmine" = Gardenia).

Jasminum nitidum shown here is also known as the "Star Jasmine" or "Angelwings Jasmine". This species is native to the little known Admiralty Islands which lie in the Pacific north of New Guinea where it evolved in isolation. This quick-growing vine has glossy, green foliage giving it a tropical effect. It is also grown for its intensely fragrant flowers. The vine can be grown on a trellis, used as a ground cover, or planted in a container. Blooms from April to September. The up to 2 inch wide, white flowers have a very strong scent.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Friday 6 March 2015


The Granny Smith is a tip-bearing apple cultivar, which originated in Australia in 1868. It is named after Maria Ann Smith, who propagated the cultivar from a chance seedling. The tree is thought to be a hybrid of Malus sylvestris, the European Wild Apple, with the domestic apple M. domestica as the pollinator. The fruit has hard, light green skin and a crisp, juicy flesh. Granny Smiths go from being completely green to turning yellow when overripe. The acidity mellows significantly on ripening, and it takes on a balanced flavour.

I appreciate your comments and a link back to this page from your own blog post.
Please add your own GREEN post using the Linky tool below:

Thursday 5 March 2015


Clerodendrum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. Its common names include glorybower, bagflower and bleeding-heart. Estimates of the number of species in Clerodendrum vary widely, from about 150 to about 450. The genus is native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, with most of the species occurring in tropical Africa and southern Asia, but with a few in the tropical Americas and northern Australasia, and a few extending north into the temperate zone in eastern Asia.

Clerodendrum chinense (Chinese glory bower) is a perennial shrub up to 2.4 m tall. White or pink fragrant double flowers, 2 cm across, occur in dense inflorescences. The wild form is single-flowered. The flowers are very fragrant in the evening and attract butterflies. The leaves are large (6-10 cm long), opposite and simple with variable margins. The shrubs have a lot of lush green foliage and the flower head nestles in between the leaves, with individual flowers taking turns to bloom. Each bloom stays up to three days before withering. The flower head throws up flowers for a fortnight before another takes its place. Propagation is very easy. All you need to do is take cuttings of the stem or side branches, insert them in soil and water at regular intervals.

C. chinense is a highly invasive weed in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. This species has the capacity to move into a habitat and reproduce aggressively by root suckers. C. chinense is classified as a “major weed” in Hawaii, Fiji, Western Samoa, and America Samoa (PIER, 2012) where it grows commonly along roadsides and as an ornamental shrub in gardens. This species rapidly invades pastures and plantations wherever it is planted forming dense thickets that exclude other species.

In our garden in Melbourne it grows quite happily in a narrow, shady, side garden bed where many other plants struggle to survive. We keep it in check quite easily by pruning and uprooting young suckers as necessary - not a lot of hard work. The many clusters of deliciously fragrant flowers are reward enough.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.