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, 11 January 2018

FFF320 - CREPE MYRTLE

Crepe myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica) are among the world's best-loved flowering trees. They are native to eastern Asia and are hardy in most parts of Australia. They are deciduous, vase-shaped trees about 6-8m tall. The tree is often severely pruned and grown as a shrub 3-4m tall.

Trusses of white, pink, mauve or purple blooms appear in late summer. The petals are ruffled, with a crepe-like texture. In autumn the mid-green leaves turn yellow, orange or red (depending on the variety) before falling. Unpruned crepe myrtles develop beautifully coloured, smooth, mottled trunks.

There is an Australian native crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia archeriana), which grows to around 7m tall and has pinkish mauve flowers. The Indian Summer Crepe Myrtle range (Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei) which is widely planted in Melbourne as a street tree, has been specially bred to resist powdery mildew, a fungal disease that can be seen on some older crepe myrtle varieties. Each cultivar is named after an American Indian tribe, and they range in size from around 3-6m fully grown. Illustrated here is the variety "Tonto".

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Thursday, 4 January 2018

FFF319 - BLUE SPIDERWORT

Tradescantia virginiana, the Virginia spiderwort, is the type species of Tradescantia (spiderwort) in the family Commelinaceaenative to the eastern United States. Spiderwort is commonly grown in gardens and many garden spiderworts seem to be hybrids of T. virginiana and other Tradescantia species (e.g. T. ohiensis).

Tradescantia virginiana is a herbaceous plant with alternate, simple leaves, on tubular stems. The flowers are blue, purple, or white, borne in summer. It is is a perennial forb/herb. It likes most moist soils but can adapt to drier garden soils. Plants may be propagated from seed but they are more easily started from cuttings/divisions, in which latter case they will preserve the parent plant's characteristics.

Tradescantia virginiana is found in eastern North America, west to Missouri, south to northern South Carolina and Alabama, and north to Ontario, Vermont, and Michigan. Much of the northern range, however, may represent garden escapes rather than indigenous wild populations. It is an attractive garden plant and many showy hybrids  bear striking, large blue flowers, such as this one illustrated, T. virginiana 'Zwanenburg Blue'.

Look closely at a bloom and you'll notice tiny hairs covering the stamens. Under normal circumstances, they're the same blue colour as the flower. However, as Steve Bender and Felder Rushing revealed in their classic, best-selling book, "Passalong Plants", in the presence of radiation the hairs turn pink. Thus, spiderwort is an essential part of any garden near nuclear plants! Your very own natural Geiger counter in your garden...

Spiderwort had many uses in First Nation’s culture as food and medicine. The seeds are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder (although they are somewhat bitter to taste). Leaves can be made into a tea or tossed into salads, soups, etc. The root can be collected all year round. The flowers can be tossed on top of a salad and eaten. (Dried, powdered flowers were once used as a snuff for nosebleeds).

Externally, this plant can be used as a poultice to help heal wounds and haemorrhoids. Internally the leaves and roots are a valuable alternative medicine used by medical herbalists for their patients as an antidiarrhoeal, analgesic, anthelminthic, antiperiodic, astringent, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, vermifuge, and vulnerary. Also, drinking spiderwort tea is supposed to be a good for increasing breast milk (galactagogue).

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!
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Thursday, 28 December 2017

FFF318 - GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY

Cardiocrinum giganteum, the giant Himalayan lily, is the largest species of any of the lily plants, family Liliaceae, growing up to 3.5 metres high. It is found in the Himalayas, China and Myanmar (Burma).

Two varieties are recognised:
C. giganteum var. giganteum - up to 3 metres tall, the outer part of the flower greenish and the inside streaked with purple - Tibet, Bhutan, Assam, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim
C. giganteum var. yunnanense - 1–2 metres tall, the outer part of the flower white and the inside streaked with purplish red - Myanmar, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan.

The plant was first described scientifically in 1824 by Nathaniel Wallich. The species was introduced into commercial production (as Lilium giganteum) in Britain in the 1850s. A bulb grown from seed collected by Major Madden flowered in Edinburgh in July 1852, while those collected by Thomas Lobb were first exhibited in flower in May 1853.

Cardiocrinum giganteum is a standout in any garden. With its flower stakes topping out at 3 metres and its ability to produce 20 heavily perfumed trumpet-shaped flowers, it is bound to be a focal point. Be prepared to be patient for these results; most bulbs take 3 to 4 years to settle in and bloom. During that time, while the bulb grows and expands, the plant earns its keep with attractive heart shaped leaves that are reminiscent of full size hostas. The bulb also develops offsets, or baby bulbs along the side of the mother, ensuring future blooms.


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My best wishes to everyone for a wonderful holiday season, and may the New Year 2018 be filled with health, happiness, prosperity and of course lots of flowers!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

FFF317 - NORFOLK ISLAND HIBISCUS

Lagunaria is a monotypic genus in the family Malvaceae. It is an Australian plant endemic to Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island and parts of coastal Queensland. It has been introduced to many parts of the world. The genus was named in honour of Andrés Laguna, a Spanish botanist and a physician to Pope Julius III. It now consists of the single species Lagunaria patersonia, commonly known as the Pyramid Tree or Norfolk Island Hibiscus. It is not a true Hibiscus, however, but does belong to the same plant family, Malvaceae.

Recently, L. queenslandica from north-east Queensland has been recognised. The latter was previously regarded as L. patersonia subsp. bracteata but has been raised to species status on the basis of morphological and ecological differences. L. patersonia also is more robust in habit and has larger, scaly leaves. The two species also differ in their habitats with L. patersonia generally occurring in rainforest while L. queenslandica is found in non-rainforest areas often along rivers and creeks.

Norfolk Island hibiscus is a medium to large tree which can reach about 12-20 metres in height. It has dense, greyish-green leaves which are oval shaped to about 100 mm long and covered in soft hairs when young. The pink flowers are of typical hibiscus shape and appear in the leaf axils in spring and early summer. They are generally a pink to mauve but deeper coloured forms are in cultivation.

These trees are often planted along Melbourne streets and in parks and when in flower can be quite spectacular. The seed capsules are filled with irritating hairs giving rise to another common name, Cow Itch Tree. The "cow" part however appears to be a misnomer. In many parts of Australia, Lagunaria is considered a pest, and is commonly referred to as the Itchy Bomb Tree due to the tiny, almost invisible, hairs inside the seed pods which, if the seeds pods are split open, can lodge in the skin like tiny barbs of broken glass, causing a great deal of pain.

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so! 
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Add your own link to the Linky list below and say hello in a comment. Please visit other participants in the meme. I am swamped with work at the moment, so even though I appreciate your participation, I cannot visit all of your blogs...

Thursday, 14 December 2017

FFF316 - HEAVEN LOTUS

Gustavia superba is an understorey tree in the Lecythidaceae family, that grows in Central and North-Western South America. Common names include membrillo, sachamango and heaven lotus. The trunk is around 5-10m high with the leaves radiating from the top (like palms).

Gustavia grows naturally abundantly, especially in secondary forests. It appreciates lots of  moisture, sun and well drained soil. It branches little until mature, and has a bunch of leaves at the top, so that it resembles a palm. Seeds are dispersed by agoutis. The leaves are a favourite food of iguanas.

The flowers have big white/pink petals and the centre is pink and yellow and a compacted rounded mass of yellow/pink anthers in the centre. The flowers have a sweet fragrance.It bears rounded pear shaped fruit cauliflorously (on the trunk). Inside the hard green shell that contain several large seeds about 4 cm in diameter. The yellowish-orange pulp is edible, is usually boiled after which it is said to resemble meat in taste. It is rich in A, B and C vitamins.

The tree is not widely known outside its native range from Ecuador to Panama and Venezuela, but has been planted in tropical botanical gardens, including in Singapore (where it is referred to as 'pungol') and in Australia.

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!
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Thursday, 7 December 2017

FFF315 - CASANOVA ROSE

Rosa 'Casanova' is a floribunda/modern shrub rose raised by Fryers, UK. This very versatile rose will stand out wherever it is planted because of the bright warm orange blooms which hold well in all weather conditions and fade at the very last to a pale orange/pink.

Casanova has the most striking crimson new foliage which turns dark green and is so very disease-resistant. When the plant is so clothed with green foliage, the orange blooms stand out and put on a grand display. The rounded bush of 1 metre x 1 metre is never without flowers from very early in the Spring right through to Winter pruning.

There is a strong fragrance of floral spice when it is warm and still, and this rose is a brilliant one to pick in great branches for the vase – it holds up very well as a cut flower. Suited to mass planting or a low rose hedge.

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!
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Thursday, 30 November 2017

FFF314 - SWEET PEA

Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a flowering plant in the genus Lathyrus in the family Fabaceae (legumes), native to Sicily, Cyprus, southern Italy and the Aegean Islands. It is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1–2 metres, where suitable support is available.

The leaves are pinnate with two leaflets and a terminal tendril, which twines around supporting plants and structures, helping the sweet pea to climb. In the wild plant the flowers are purple, 2–3.5 centimetres broad; they are larger and very variable in colour in the many cultivars. The annual species, L. odoratus, may be confused with the everlasting pea, L. latifolius, a perennial.

Join me for Floral Friday Fotos by linking your flower photos below, and please leave a comment once you have done so!
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