The rules for posting are simple!

1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
2. Please only post photos you have authority to use.
3. Include a link to this blog in your post - http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.com/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
5. Visit other blogs listed ... comment & enjoy!

When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

FFF253 - 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 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.

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Thursday, 15 September 2016

FFF252 - DIEFFENBACHIA

Dieffenbachia is a genus of tropical flowering plants in the family Araceae. It is native to the New World Tropics from Mexico and the West Indies south to Argentina. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental, especially as a house plant, and has become naturalised on a few tropical islands. Dieffenbachia prefers medium sunlight, moderately dry soil and average home temperatures of 17–27 °C. Indoors it should be watered about twice a week.

Dieffenbachia is a perennial herbaceous plant with straight stem, simple and alternate leaves containing white spots and flecks, making it attractive as indoor foliage. Species in this genus are popular as houseplants because of their tolerance of shade. The flowers are green/white and have the typical spathe of arums. The common name, "dumb canes" refers to the poisoning effect of raphides, which can cause temporary inability to speak.

Dieffenbachia was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna to honour his head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (1796–1863).

With a minimum temperature tolerance of +5 °C, Dieffenbachia must be grown indoors in temperate areas. They need light, but filtered sunlight through a window is usually sufficient. They also need moderately moist soil, which should be regularly fertilised with a proprietary houseplant fertiliser. Leaves will periodically roll up and fall off to make way for new leaves. Yellowing of the leaves is generally a sign of problematic conditions, such as a nutrient deficiency in the soil. Dieffenbachia respond well to hot temperatures and dry climates.

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Thursday, 8 September 2016

FFF251 - CAMELLIA 'MARGARET DAVIS'

Camellia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Theaceae. They are found in eastern and southern Asia, from the Himalayas east to Japan and Indonesia. There are 100–250 described species, with some controversy over the exact number. The genus was named by Linnaeus after the Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, who worked in the Philippines, though he never described a camellia.

This genus is famous throughout East Asia; camellias are known as cháhuā (茶花) in Chinese, "tea flower", an apt designation, as tsubaki (椿) in Japanese, as dongbaek-kkot (동백꽃) in Korean and as hoa trà or hoa chè in Vietnamese. Of economic importance in the Indian subcontinent and Asia, leaves of C. sinensis are processed to create the popular beverage, tea. The ornamental Camellia japonica, Camellia oleifera and Camellia sasanqua and their hybrids are represented in cultivation by a large number of cultivars.

The flower below is the Camellia japonica 'Margaret Davis' variety, Australian Registration No.54. It has received the “William Hertrich Award”, 1969; the “Sewell Mutant Award”, 1976 and the “William E. Woodroof, Hall of Fame Award”, 1979. Chinese synonym: ‘Kuancaidai’.

Margaret Davis was born Margaret E G Reardon in 1908, her birth registered at Katoomba, New South Wales. She married Arthur Davis in 1929 at Vaucluse. She was the second woman to hold a pilot’s licence in Australia (Nancy Bird Walton was the first  and she also had a camellia named after her!)

Margaret Davis wrote several gardening books – 'Living Flower Arrangements' in 1971; 'Gardening in Pots' 1973, and 'Balcony, Terrace and Patio Gardens' in 1997. The movement that eventually became The Garden Club of Australia Inc. was founded at a meeting called by Margaret Davis at Red Cross House Sydney. Most of the thirty or so people who attended this meeting had worked together for the previous six years organising a Sydney version of the Chelsea Flower Show to raise funds for the Red Cross.

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

FFF250 - CLIVIA MINIATA

Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. Common names are Natal lily or bush lily. They are herbaceous evergreen plants, with green, strap-like leaves. Individual flowers are more or less bell-shaped, occurring in umbels on a stalk above the foliage; colours typically range from yellow through orange to red. Many cultivars exist, some with variegated leaf patterns. Species of Clivia are found only in South Africa and Swaziland. They are typically forest undergrowth plants, adapted to low light (with the exception of C. mirabilis from the Western Cape).

Clivia miniata grows into large clumps and is surprisingly water wise. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico. It is a popular plant for shady areas and is commonly seen growing in older established suburbs in most Australian states. It is also popular in New Zealand, Japan, China and southern parts of the USA , particularly California. It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and various varieties have flowers that are red, orange or yellow, sometimes with a faint, but very sweet perfume.

Shown here is the 'Miniata Sahin Twin' cultivar. They are called Twins as they often flower twice per year, once in Autumn and then again in Spring. It is a low growing, broadleaf variety, ideal for growing on a patio, used as a tub specimen or planting in the ground in a shady position. This variety will grow to a height of 45 cm and 70 cm wide. Their orange clustered flowers are heavy bloomers and are followed by attractive, red, berry-like fruit. Sahin Twin are considered as one of the appealing orange flowering clivias in the world. It is an ideal plant for a shady area or can be used as a indoor plant.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

FFF249 - ALMOND BLOSSOM

The almond (Prunus dulcis, syn. Prunus amygdalus) is a species of tree in the Rosaceae family, native to the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and North Africa. "Almond" is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree. Within the genus Prunus, it is classified with the peach in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated shell (endocarp) surrounding the seed.

The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed, which is not a true nut, inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Almonds are sold shelled or unshelled. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seedcoat, which is then removed to reveal the white embryo.

The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm  in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 5 -10 long, with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm petiole.

The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in late winter to early spring. Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of 300 to 600 hours below 7.2 °C to break dormancy.  Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

FFF248 - HEBE 'BLUE GEM'

Hebe is a genus of plants native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands, and South America. It includes about 90 species and is the largest plant genus in New Zealand. Apart from H. rapensis (endemic to Rapa), all species occur in New Zealand. This includes the two species, H. salicifolia and H. elliptica, that have distributions extending to South America.

The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe. There are differing classifications for the genus and some botanists include Hebe, together with the related Australasian genera Chionohebe, Derwentia, Detzneria, Parahebe, Heliohebe and Leonohebe, in the larger genus Veronica (hence its common name 'Shrubby veronica').

Hebe has four perpendicular rows of leaves in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are perfect, the corolla usually has four slightly unequal lobes, the flower has two stamens and a long style. Flowers are arranged in a spiked inflorescence. Identification of Hebe species is difficult, especially if they are not in flower.

The plants range in size from dwarf shrubs to small trees up to 7 metres, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystems. Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. At higher altitudes smaller-leaved species grow, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.

Hebes are grown in many gardens and public areas; they attract butterflies. Hebes cope with most soil types, and can be propagated easily from both seed and cuttings. Wild Hebe hybrids are uncommon; however, there are many cultivated hybrids, such as Hebe × franciscana 'Blue Gem', shown here.


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Thursday, 11 August 2016

FFF247 - PAPER DAISIES

Rhodanthe, also known as sunray or pink paper daisy, is a genus of Australian plants in the pussy's-toes tribe within the daisy family, Asteraceae. The name Rhodanthe is derived from Greek rhodon, rose and anthos, flower. Many Rhodanthe species were formerly classed under different genera, including Helipterum, Podotheca, Acroclinium and Waitzia.

Rhodanthe chlorocephala subspecies rosea (shown here) is the most widely grown subspecies and is commonly known as “Pink and White Everlasting”, “Rosy Sunray”, “Pink Paper-daisy” and “Rosy Everlasting”. It grows naturally in the south of Western Australia extending into South Australia. Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea is an erect annual herb 20-60cm high with clumps of glabrous (hairless) grey-green stems and leaves 1-6cm in length. It has a large single flowering head at the tip of each stem. Flower heads grow to 6cm diameter, gradually decreasing as the flowering season progresses.

The colour of the bracts varies from deep pink (almost red) through pale pink to pure white, with a yellow or black centre. Stems branch early in the season. You can encourage this habit (to create more blossoms) by pinching out the growing tips. Rhodanthe chlorocephala subsp. rosea is adaptable and ephemeral, springing up whenever conditions are right e.g. during warm, sunny weeks anytime of the year. It prefers full sun to dappled shade and grows well in open woodland. Grown in full shade it tends to be long and spindly.

It thrives in well-drained sandy soils and tends to be smaller when grown in heavy, clay soils. It generally flowers from August to November in the wild but with sufficient water and warmth it will flower at other times. It flowers 10 to 12 weeks after germination and the flowers last a good two weeks. The flowering period lasts 4 to 10 weeks. Fruit appear approximately 4 weeks after flowering.

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