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

Thursday, 30 October 2014

FFF154 - AUSTRALIAN BLUEBELL

Wahlenbergia stricta, or Australian Bluebell, Tall or Austral Bluebell, is an Australian wildflower from the Campanulaceae family. It is considered the most commonly encountered of the Wahlenbergias] It is found in all Australian states but not the Northern Territory.

It is often seen growing by the side of the road, enjoying the extra runoff. W. stricta is a perennial herb flowering mainly in spring or summer with pale blue bell-like flowers. The leaves are long and linear, 5–70 millimetres (0.20–2.76 in) long. The five-petalled flowers are erect on long, slender stems and about 6–20 millimetres (0.24–0.79 in) in diameter. It forms thin, carrot shaped tubers.

Australian bluebells are generally easily propagated by division or root cutting. The seed is a very fine, black powder. It germinates readily in a few weeks and is best directly sown into tubes or cells as the seed and plant are very small and hard to separate and prick out.

There are a number of common cultivars, including various shades of blue from a saturated blue similar to #00f through to white. Various double forms are available. To maintain a cultivar propagation must be by vegetative means (division or cuttings). Once established W. stricta is very hardy - the pot can be dried out completely and the plant reduced to a tuber, yet it will reshoot when the rain comes. It is hardy in a range of soils from sand to gravel, clay to humus.

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

FFF153 - SALVIA DISCOLOR

Salvia discolor (Andean sage) is a herbaceous perennial growing in a very localised area in Peru—it is equally rare in horticulture and in its native habitat. William Robinson wrote of its charms in 1933. The plant is scandent, meaning that it climbs without the use of tendrils, with wiry white stems growing from its base. Mistletoe-green leaves of various sizes grow in pairs about 1-2 in apart on the stem, with the undersides covered in white hairs.

The leaves, stem and flower buds all exhibit a strong and distinct odour of blackcurrant. The 1 in long deeply saturated dark purple/blue (almost black) flowers are held in a pistachio-green calyx, growing on 1 ft or longer inflorescences. The stems of the inflorescences are shiny and covered with glands, which frequently have insects stuck to them. It blooms during hot spells through summer and autumn and is a frequently grown ornamental on the French and Italian Rivieras, where it grows 1 metre high and wide. It has begun to appear as an ornamental in Melbourne gardens, now.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

FFF152 - BLUEBERRY FLOWERS

Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries from the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium (a genus that also includes cranberries and bilberries). Species in the section Cyanococcus are the most common fruits sold as "blueberries" and are native to North America (commercially cultivated highbush blueberries were not introduced into Europe until the 1930s).

Blueberries are usually erect. Prostrate shrubs can vary in size from 10 centimeters to 4 meters in height. In the commercial production of blueberries, the smaller species are known as "low-bush blueberries" (synonymous with "wild"), while the larger species are known as "high-bush blueberries". The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and 1–8 cm long and 0.5–3.5 cm broad.

The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is a berry 5–16 millimeters in diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark purple when ripe. They are covered in a protective coating of powdery epicuticular wax, colloquially known as the "bloom". They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: Fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the peak of the crop can vary from May to August depending upon these conditions.

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

FFF151 - SIERRA SUNSET

Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek ῥόδον rhódon "rose" and δένδρον déndron "tree") is a genus of 1,024 species of woody plants in the heath family (Ericaceae), either evergreen or deciduous, and found mainly in Asia. It is the national flower of Nepal. Most species have showy flowers. Azaleas make up two subgenera of Rhododendron. They are distinguished from "true" rhododendrons by having only five anthers per flower.

This variety is "sierra Sunset" and the flowers combine red, yellow, orange and cream colours in a spectacular blend. This hybrid was cultivated by the late Jack Lofthouse. The foliage is dark-green and lustrous on a dense full shrub. Height 1.3m, and flowers October (Southern Hemisphere).

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

FFF150 - WONGA WONGA VINE

Pandorea pandorana, commonly known as the Wonga Wonga Vine, is a species of woody climbing vine in the family Bignoniaceae. It is found in Australia, Malaysia and the southwestern Pacific region. It forms large pointed pods filled with papery seeds. It is easy to germinate, having two-lobed dicotyledons.

It is a popular garden plant, common cultivars include the yellow-flowered P. 'Golden Showers', the white-flowered P. 'Snowbells', and the pinkish P. 'Ruby Belle'. The wood was used as in making spears for woomeras in the Central and Western deserts.

Pandorea pandorana ranges in habit from a scrambling plant to a vigorous vine, growing on larger trees in forested habitats. It has glossy green leaves arranged oppositely along the stem. The pinnate leaves are around 8–16 cm long and have 3–9 leaflets of varying widths. The juvenile leaves are finer and have serrated margins, and more finely divided into 7–13 leaflets.

Flowering occurs in spring. The tubular or funnel-shaped flowers are highly variable in colour, ranging from cream-white or all-white to maroon-throated, burgundy or even yellow-orange. Flowering is followed in summer by 3–8 cm long and 1–2 cm wide oblong-shaped seed pods, which are initially bright green before turning brown and releasing numerous papery seeds around 1-1.5 cm in diameter which are released in large quantities.

Pruning is necessary to control the quick growing plant, which can overwhelm other plants in a small garden. The plant prefers full-sun to partial shade. It has been argued that the more sun it receives, the more flowers will bloom as a result. The species may be propagated by fresh seed or semi hard wood tip cuttings.

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

FFF149 - ORIENTAL LILIES

Lilium (members of which are true lilies) is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though their range extends into the northern subtropics. Many other plants have "lily" in their common name but are not related to true lilies.

The lilies illustrated here are Oriental hybrids (Division VII). These are based on hybrids within Lilium section Archelirion, specifically L. auratum and L. speciosum, together with crossbreeds from several species native to Japan, including L. nobilissimum, L. rubellum, L. alexandrae, and L. japonicum. They are fragrant, and the flowers tend to be outward facing. Plants tend to be tall, and the flowers may be quite large. The whole group are sometimes referred to as "stargazers" because many of them appear to look upwards. They are used extensively as a cut flower and are long-lasting in flower arrangements.

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

FFF148 - PERIWINKLE

Vinca major, with the common names bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle and blue periwinkle, is species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae, native to the western Mediterranean. Growing to 25 cm tall and spreading indefinitely, it is an evergreen perennial, frequently used in cultivation as ground-cover.

The genus name probably derives from the Latin word vincire, meaning bind, as the long creeping vines were used to prepare garlands. The species name major refers to the larger size in respect of the similar Vinca minor L.
Vinca major is a trailing vine, spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems to form dense masses of ground-cover individually 2–5 m across and scrambling up to 50–70 cm high. The leaves are opposite, nearly orbicular at the base of the stems and lanceolate at the apex, 3–9 cm long and 2–6 cm broad, glossy dark green with a leathery texture and an entire but distinctly ciliate margin, and a hairy petiole 1–2 cm long.

The flowers are hermaphrodite, axillary and solitary, violet-purple, 3–5 cm diameter, with a five-lobed corolla. The calyx surrounding the base of the flower is 10–17 millimetres long with hairy margins. The flowering period extends from early spring to autumn. Vinca major is a commonly grown ornamental plant in temperate gardens for its evergreen foliage, spring flowers, and ground-cover or vine use. Many cultivars are available, with differences in flowers, such as white to dark violet flowers, and different patterns and colours of variegated foliage. The cultivar 'Variegata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

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