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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/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

FFF189 - HELLEBORE

Helleborus niger, commonly called Christmas rose or black hellebore, is an evergreen perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is poisonous. Although the flowers resemble wild roses (and despite its common name), Christmas rose does not belong to the rose family (Rosaceae).

The plant is a traditional cottage garden favourite because it flowers in the depths of winter. Large-flowered cultivars are available, as are pink-flowered and double-flowered selections. It has been awarded an Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It can be difficult to grow well; acid soil is unsuitable, as are poor, dry conditions and full sun. Moist, humus-rich, alkaline soil in dappled shade is preferable. Leaf-mould can be dug in to improve heavy clay or light sandy soils; lime can be added to 'sweeten' acid soils.

The cultivar illustrated is Helleborus 'Anna's Red'. This beautiful variety has stunning deep flower colour. Deep magenta blooms which adorn the plant in winter and early spring, make this is one variety that is very popular. 'Anna's Red' is a vigorous grower with a tidy habit. Plant alongside our other varieties for maximum impact. Hellebores provide stunning results when mass planted in shady areas of the garden.

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Thursday, 25 June 2015

FFF188 - CATTLEYA ORCHID

Perhaps no other orchid surpasses the Cattleya in popularity amongst orchid fanciers around the world. And it is the Cattleya which means "orchid" to the lay person, if they are asked to think about orchid types. It is the Cattleya which has been the mainspring of the orchid industry and it is the Cattleya which has done most to stimulate interest in orchid growing as a hobby.

Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids from Costa Rica and the Lesser Antilles south to Argentina. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after William Cattley who received and was the first to bloom a specimen of Cattleya labiata. William Swainson had discovered the new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil, in 1817 and shipped to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens for identification. Swainson requested that a few plants be later sent to Cattley, who was able to bloom one a full year before the plants in Glasgow.

These orchids are widely known for their large, showy flowers, and were used extensively in hybridisation for the cut-flower trade until the 1980s when pot plants became more popular. The flowers of the hybrids can vary in size from 5 cm to 15 cm or more. They occur in all colours except true blue and black. Many of these species and hybrids are very fragrant. The specimen below is a Cattleya mossiae hybrid and is fragrant.

The typical flower has three rather narrow sepals and three usually broader petals: two petals are similar to each other, and the third is the quite different conspicuous lip, featuring various markings and specks and an often frilly margin. At the base, the margins are folded into a tube. Each flower stalk originates from a pseudobulb. The number of flowers varies; it can be just one or two, or sometimes up to ten.

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

FFF187 - JAPONICA

Chaenomeles japonica is a species of Japanese Quince in the Rosaceae family. It is a thorny deciduous shrub that is commonly cultivated. It is shorter than another commonly cultivated species C. speciosa, growing to only about 1 m in height. The fruit is called Kusa-boke (草木瓜) in Japanese. Chaenomeles japonica is also popularly grown in bonsai.

It is best known for its colourful spring flowers of red, white or pink. It produces apple-shaped fruit that are a golden-yellow colour containing red-brown seeds. The fruit is edible, but hard and astringent-tasting, unless bletted. The fruit is occasionally used in jelly and pie making as an inferior substitute for its cousin, the true quince, Cydonia oblonga.

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Thursday, 11 June 2015

FFF186 - WILLOW-LEAF WATTLE

Acacia iteaphylla (F.Muell. ex Benth.) occurs naturally in South Australia extending from the Flinders Ranges across to the Gawler Ranges and the Eyre Peninsula. Commonly called Willow-leaf Wattle, this shapely decorative shrub is hardy and fast growing and flowers intermittently throughout the year with a peak flowering period in spring. It is versatile in its habit growing to a height of 2-4 m with some forms becoming upright, whilst others are pendulous and bushy.

The slender phyllodes of A. iteaphylla are from 50 -100 mm long and are broadly linear with a small gland at the base. They are blue-green in colour and arranged alternately, almost at right angles to the stems. The perfumed flower heads are produced in clusters of pale yellow balls which contrast pleasingly with the foliage. The buds are attractively enclosed by conspicuous pale, brown-tipped bracts. The flowers are followed by masses of flattened blue-green seed pods which become brown when mature.

A low growing form of A. iteaphylla has been recognised. It differs from other known forms in having low arching, slightly pendulous branches and grows to 0.5 m high by 4 m across. This plant, which originated as a variant in a batch of seedlings, has been registered as the cultivar Acacia 'Parsons Cascade'. To retain its low spreading growth habit the cultivar should be propagated only from cuttings as it will not necessarily breed true from seed.

Acacia iteaphylla grows best in a well drained sunny position. It is moderately frost tolerant and moderately salt tolerant. It can be propagated from cuttings taken between February and April. Seed germinates readily but should be scarified or treated with boiling water before sowing. Light pruning throughout the development of the plant will keep it vigorous and encourage bushiness. An application of a complete fertiliser in spring and a slow release fertiliser in autumn is also recommended.

Pests noted on A. iteaphylla are the acacia bug, which rasps the leaf tissue causing brown lesions to appear on leaves and stems, and scale insects. Chemical control of acacia bug is difficult as the insect is usually no longer present when the damage is noticed. Affected parts of the plant should be pruned out. Scale insects may be controlled by chemical means but low toxicity products should be selected. Consult a local horticultural specialist for advice.

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

FFF185 - DRYANDRA

Banksia ser. Dryandra is a series of 94 species of shrub to small tree in the plant genus Banksia. It was considered a separate genus named Dryandra until early 2007, when it was merged into Banksia on the basis of extensive molecular and morphological evidence that Banksia was paraphyletic with respect to Dryandra.

They are found only in the southwestern corner of Western Australia. They have never been popular among gardeners among the rest of Australia due to the plants' dislike of the humid and subtropical conditions which dominate the east coast. Endemic to Western Australia, Dryandra occurs virtually throughout the South West Botanic Province, and also, to a much lesser degree, in southwest parts of the Eremaean Province.

The series was named in honour of Swedish botanist Jonas C. Dryander. They are arguably among the most attractive and showy of all members of Proteaceae. Banksia ser. Dryandra species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the Dryandra Moth.


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Thursday, 28 May 2015

FFF184 - SALVIA

Salvia patens 'Blue Angel' is a striking garden plant with delightful blue flowers. Since the 1838 discovery of this herbaceous species from Central Mexico, Salvia patens has been a mainstay of the perennial garden. Blue Angel is one of the smallest of the full-sized varieties of the so-called 'gentian sages'.

Well branched and compact, this variety has 6 cm flowers that are a deep, royal blue and bloom from Summer into Autumn. It is a reliable perennial, returning year after year in Zones 8 to 11. However, it is so lovely that it is worth growing as a summer bedding plant in colder zones. Blue Angel likes regular watering and rich, well-drained soil. It grows in full sun or partial shade and can handle moist corners of the garden. Use it as a path edging, border, ground-cover or container plant. British horticulturist Graham Stuart Thomas called Salvia patens 'the best plant in cultivation.'

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

FFF183 - PHALAENOPSIS

Phalaenopsis (Blume,1825), commonly known as the "Moth Orchid", is an orchid genus of approximately 60 species in the Orchidaceae family. Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade, through the development of many artificial hybrids. The generic name means "moth-like" as the flowers of some species supposedly resemble moths in flight.

They are native throughout southeast Asia from the Himalayan mountains to the islands of Polillo, Palawan and Zamboanga del Norte in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines and northern Australia. Most are epiphytic shade plants; a few are lithophytes. In the wild, some species grow below the canopies of moist and humid lowland forests, protected against direct sunlight; others grow in seasonally dry or cool environments. The species have adapted individually to these three habitats.
If very healthy, a
Phalaenopsis plant can have up to ten or more leaves. The inflorescence, either a raceme or panicle, appears from the stem between the leaves. The orchids bloom in their full glory for several weeks. If kept in the home, the flowers may last two to three months.

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