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, 15 February 2018

FFF325 - CERATOSTIGMA

Ceratostigma, or leadwort, plumbago, is a genus of eight species of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Common names are shared with the genus Plumbago.

They are flowering herbaceous plants, subshrubs, or small shrubs growing to 0.3–1 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 1–9 cm long, usually with a hairy margin. Some of the species are evergreen, others deciduous. The flowers are produced in a compact inflorescence, each flower with a five-lobed corolla; flower colour varies from pale to dark blue to red-purple. The fruit is a small bristly capsule containing a single seed.

Ceratostigma willmottianum shown here is a species of flowering plant native to western China and Tibet. It is an ornamental deciduous shrub that grows to 1 metre in height, with pale blue plumbago-like flowers appearing in autumn as the leaves start to turn red.

Ceratostigma is derived from Greek, meaning 'horned stigma’. This is in reference to the ‘shape of the stigmatic surface’. Willmottianum was named for Miss Ellen Ann Willmott (1858-1934), a keen gardener and plant introducer from Warley Place, Essex.

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Thursday, 8 February 2018

FFF324 - STEPHANOTIS

Stephanotis floribunda syn. S. jasminoides (Madagascar jasmine, waxflower, Hawaiian wedding flower, bridal wreath) is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to Madagascar. Growing to 6 m or more, it is an evergreen woody climber with glossy, leathery oval leaves and clusters of pure white, waxy, intensely fragrant tubular flowers. Grown commercially, the trumpet-shaped blooms are in season year-round, provided they are given enough light and water, and are a popular component of bridal bouquets.

It is a vigorous climber, tough-stemmed, bearing dark green leathery leaves, which grow in pairs at regular intervals along the vine. It grows best in sunny, tropical conditions, or inside. They can grow from 2–6 meters, and are widely cultivated as garden plants. They can flourish for years, grown indoors on a sunny windowsill. They can be moved outside or into a greenhouse during the summer.

Few resources are published relating to the culture of this woody vine. In areas where the outside winter temperature drops below 4 °C, Stephanotis floribunda can be wintered over in greenhouse or household settings. During the summer growth season, this vine requires full sun, abundant water, high humidity and a balanced fertiliser. The vine will need to be trellised due to the vigorous growth habit. As temperatures begin to cool, pots should be brought indoors and placed in the sunniest location available. If the temperature in the home is on the cool side, the vines slow in their growth and thus should be watered very infrequently. Kept on the cool, sunny and dry side, the plants will "rest" until the outside temperatures begin to rise again, at which time they may be eased back into full sun.

They may continue to grow during this period, but growth is often slower and less vigorous. When the weather warms, moving the vines into a full sun exposure too quickly will result in leaf blister and sun burns on the plant, rendering it less attractive and damaging the plant's ability to produce food. In ideal conditions, these vines may be kept in bloom all year, but this is difficult in the home setting, especially where Australian possums, to which the leaves are highly attractive, are present.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Stephanotis floribunda appears to do best if root bound, thus it is best to not plant the vines in an over-sized container. The soil mixture used should have a high content of loam and peat moss with generous drainage material such as perlite or coarse sand. A citrus-type soil mixture works well in most home situations. A soil mixture that retains too much water will lead to root rot.

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Thursday, 1 February 2018

FFF323 - CANNA

Canna (or canna lily, although not a true lily) is a genus of 19 species of flowering plants. The closest living relations to cannas are the other plant families of the order Zingiberales, that is the Zingiberaceae (gingers), Musaceae (bananas), Marantaceae, Heliconiaceae, Strelitziaceae. Canna is the only genus in the family Cannaceae. The APG II system of 2003 also recognises the family, and assigns it to the order Zingiberales in the clade commelinids, in the monocots.

The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the New World, from the southern United States (southern South Carolina west to southern Texas) and south to northern Argentina. The species have large, attractive foliage, and horticulturists have turned it into a large-flowered and bright garden plant. In addition, it is one of the world's richest starch sources, and is an agricultural plant. Although a plant of the tropics, most cultivars have been developed in temperate climates and are easy to grow in most countries of the world as long as they receive at least 6–8 hours average sunlight during the summer, and are moved to a warm location for the winter.

The name Canna originates from the Latin word for a cane or reed. The flowers are typically red, orange, or yellow or any combination of those colours, and are aggregated in inflorescences that are spikes or panicles (thyrses). Although gardeners enjoy these odd flowers, nature really intended them to attract pollinators collecting nectar and pollen, such as bees, hummingbirds, sunbirds, and bats. The pollination mechanism is conspicuously specialised.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

FFF322 - INDIAN HAWTHORN

Rhaphiolepis is a genus of about fifteen species of evergreen shrubs and small trees in the family Rosaceae, native to warm temperate and subtropical eastern and southeastern Asia, from southern Japan, southern Korea and southern China south to Thailand and Vietnam. In searching literature it is well to remember that the name commonly is misspelt "Raphiolepsis". The genus is closely related to Eriobotrya (loquats), so closely in fact, that members of the two genera have hybridised with each other; for example the "Coppertone loquat" is a hybrid of Eriobotrya deflexa X Rhaphiolepis indica.

The best known species is Rhaphiolepis indica (Indian hawthorn) from southern China, grown for its decorative pink flowers, and popular in bonsai culture. Rhaphiolepis umbellata (Yeddo hawthorn) from Japan and Korea has blunter leaves and white flowers. It is the hardiest species, tolerating temperatures down to about −15 °C. Its fruit is edible when cooked, and can be used to make jam.

Indian hawthorn is a mainstay horticultural specimen in temperate climates. It is often found in commercial as well as in private landscapes. Often it is trimmed into small compact hedges or balls for foundation plants. It has been successfully pruned into a standard form as well as small dwarf-like trees up to 3 metres in height. It is apt to develop leaf spot.

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

FFF321 - PINCUSHION PROTEA

Leucospermum (Pincushion, Pincushion Protea or Leucospermum) is a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Proteaceae, native to Zimbabwe and South Africa, where they occupy a variety of habitats, including scrub, forest, and mountain slopes. They are evergreen shrubs (rarely small trees) growing to 0.5-5 m tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, tough and leathery, simple, linear to lanceolate, 2-12 cm long and 0.5-3 cm broad, with a serrated margin or serrated at the leaf apex only.

The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences, which have large numbers of prominent styles, which inspires the name. The genus is closely related in evolution and appearance to the Australian genus Banksia. Shown here is a Leucospermum patersonii hybrid. An excellent ornamental hardy shrub for most well-drained soils and full sun positions. It is a relatively fast growing landscape shrub for coastal or inland gardens. The two-tone orange-red flowers make a great long stemmed cut flower. Grown commercially.

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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).

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