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, 1 December 2016

FFF262 - BLUE BUTTERFLY BUSH

Rotheca is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae. Estimates of the number of species in the genus vary from about 35 to as many as 60. Three of the species are native to tropical Asia, with the rest occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. The type species for the genus is Rotheca serrata. It had originally been named Rotheca ternifolia, but this name is now considered illegitimate.

Rotheca myricoides (blue butterfly bush) is native to tropical East Africa and is cultivated as an ornamental throughout the tropics. Rotheca serrata is from tropical Asia and has some medicinal use there. In the 20th century, Rotheca was rarely recognised as separate from Clerodendrum. Rotheca was revived in 1998 as a result of phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences. It can easily be distinguished from Clerodendrum by a combination of morphological characters.

Rotheca myricoides (also known by its older name Clerodendrum ugadense) is more commonly referred to as the blue butterfly bush. It is called this because of the shape of its flowers. In the early summer, it produces beautiful light blue and lavender flowers that bloom into a shape that resembles a butterfly. It is an evergreen shrub that gets up to 3 metres tall and just as wide. It is native to Kenya and Uganda in East Africa. It enjoys partial shade and requires regular watering.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

FFF261 - CONGO COCKATOO

Impatiens niamniamensis, common name Congo cockatoo or Parrot Impatiens, is a species of flowering plant in the family Balsaminaceae. It comes from tropical Africa and can be found from Cameroon through central and East Africa, up to Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola. It grows in moist and shaded bushlands, at an elevation of 350–2,400 metres above sea level.

Impatiens niamniamensis grows about 60–90 centimetres long. This evergreen, perennial species has an erect, succulent, brown stem resembling wood. Leaves are simple, ovate-oblong or elliptical, spirally arranged, about 10 cm long. This plant produces bright and colourful bird-shaped flowers (hence the common name Congo cockatoo) with a long, curled nectar spur. These unusual flowers are usually scarlet red and yellow and can reach a length of about 3.5 centimetres. Fruits are explosive capsules of about 14–16 mm.

These plants can tolerate temperatures as low as about 2˚C,  but they won’t survive even a light frost. Temperatures of 7˚C and above are ideal for this tender perennial. It prefers a location in full shade, especially if you live in a warm, sunny climate. Although the plant will grow in partial sunlight in a cool climate, it won’t tolerate bright sunlight or hot summers. The plant performs best in rich soil, so dig in plenty of compost or well-rotted manure before planting. Water the plant regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but never soggy. As a general rule, one weekly watering is sufficient unless the weather is hot, but always water immediately if the foliage begins to look wilted.

A layer of bark chips or other organic mulch keeps the roots moist and cool. Pinch the growing tips of newly planted to encourage full, bushy growth. Cut the plant back by about 10-15 cm if it begins to look tired and leggy in midsummer. Fertilise the plant twice during the growing season, using a general purpose liquid or dry fertiliser. Don’t overfeed because too much fertiliser creates a full, bushy plant at the expense of blooms. Always water immediately because fertiliser may scorch the roots.

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

FFF260 - 'RICE FLOWER' PIMELEA

Pimelea ferruginea is a small shrub in the family Thymelaeaceae native to southwest Western Australia. It was described by Labillardiere in 1805. Shown here is the hybrid Pimelea 'White Solitaire', which has beautiful balls of snow white flowers that contrast nicely with the small, glossy dark green leaves. It is a lovely compact shrub.

This makes a wonderful dwarf feature shrub for the front of a sunny garden bed or in a pot or rockery situation. Trim back behind the spent flower heads at the end of spring. Good in sun or part shade, and does best in well drained soil types. Feed with a good low phosphorus plant food in spring.

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

FFF259 - GEUM 'LADY STRATHEDEN'

Geum commonly called avens, is a genus of about 50 species of rhizomatous perennial herbaceous plants in the Rosaceae family, widespread across Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, and New Zealand. They are closely related to Potentilla and Fragaria.

From a basal rosette of leaves, they produce flowers on wiry stalks, in shades of white, red, yellow, and orange, in midsummer. Geum species are evergreen except where winter temperatures drop below −18 °C. Geum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the grizzled skipper.

The cultivars 'Lady Stratheden' (shown here), and 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The semi-double blooms of 'Lady Stratheden' are golden yellow, saucer-shaped and like magnets to bees. This hybrid of the Chilean native, Geum chiloense, is easily grown from seed and offers an airy, old-fashioned look to the summer garden. Throughout the year, this hardy, clump-forming perennial offers a low mound of fuzzy scalloped leaves. The foliage is evergreen in all but the coldest of winters.

The flowers are large, semi-double and rise from tall, well-branched, wiry stems. They first appear in late Spring, and if well cared for and deadheaded they will continue to bloom sporadically into Autumn. The blooms are followed by attractive fluffy seed heads. Avens grows best in full sun or partial sun with some afternoon shade. It manages well in average garden loam with ample drainage.

Plants can be short-lived if subjected to cold, wet soil conditions in Winter. Healthy clumps should be divided every three to four years. Popular and easy to grow, 'Lady Stratheden' is grown for its lovely, old-fashioned blooms, so it is a great candidate for cottage gardens or any informal perennials border. Its flowers also compliment garden fresh flower arrangements.

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Thursday, 3 November 2016

FFF258 - BOTTLEBRUSH & RAINBOW LORIKEET

This has been a very busy week and I am sorry I have not visited your blogs to see your contributions for last week's Floral Fridays. You all know that I always appreciate your photos and news from your part of the world. At least today I was able to grab the camera and rush out at lunchtime to take some photos in the garden and in the park across the road. We've had a glorious Spring day today and the flowers looked their best.

Callistemon species in the family Myrtaceae have commonly been referred to as bottlebrushes because of their cylindrical, brush like flowers resembling a traditional bottle brush. They are mostly found in the more temperate regions of Australia, especially along the east coast and typically favour moist conditions so when planted in gardens thrive on regular watering. However, two species are found in Tasmania and several others in the south-west of Western Australia. At least some species are drought-resistant and some are used in ornamental landscaping elsewhere in the world. This red bottlebrush is a common garden and street tree in Melbourne.

The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia and Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Several taxa traditionally listed as subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet are now treated as separate species Rainbow lorikeets have been introduced to Perth, Western Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Hong Kong.

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Thursday, 27 October 2016

FFF257 - KANGAROO APPLE

Solanum is the type genus of the family Solanaceae, which contains such well-known economic plants as the potato, tomato, tobacco, egg plant (aubergine) and many more. In Australia there are 117 species, of which 87 are endemic.  Solanum laciniatum or Kangaroo Apple, a common name shared with the closely related S. aviculare, occurs in temperate regions of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and associated islands on a range of soil types. It forms a large shrub 4 m high by 5 m wide.

Solanum laciniatum produces two types of foliage: Large lance-shaped or irregularly lobed juvenile leaves 300 mm long by 250 mm wide and smaller generally entire lance-shaped adult leaves 150 mm long by about 30-50 mm wide. Both types of leaf are a rich dark green on the upper surface, and a lighter green underneath, with conspicuous veins. They are held on dark green succulent stems, which turn black, then a rough light-brown, with age.

The five-petalled flowers are 30-50 mm across, bluish-purple, with bright yellow anthers. The flowers appear spasmodically in spring and summer in clusters of 3-5 in the leaf axils. The egg-shaped berries, 20-30 mm long, begin green and small when unripe and then become a bright orange-yellow with a warty appearance when ripe. The berries are poisonous while green, but edible once orange (then called the 'bush tomato'). The plant is also used as a rootstock for grafting eggplant.

Solanum laciniatum has been cultivated at the Australian National Botanic Gardens since 1969, with no frost damage or major pest or disease problems apparent. As a fast-growing species, hardy in most soil types and conditions, except salt spray, S. laciniatum is ideally suited as a screen plant, in the understorey of a wind break, or for bank and erosion stabilisation. It has also been used in soils with a high concentration of heavy metals when reclaiming mine wastes. For the home gardener S. laciniatum is ideal as a quick growing screen plant, while slower shrubs are establishing.

Since the mid 1960s S. laciniatum and S. aviculare have been cultivated and studied in the USSR, NZ, India, Egypt and other countries. The plants, and in particular the young foliage and green berries, contain a series of steroids (including the toxic alkaloid solasodine), which are of commercial value as raw material for the manufacture of contraceptives.

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Thursday, 20 October 2016

FFF256 - DEWFLOWER

Drosanthemum ("dewflowers") is a genus of succulent plants in the ice plant family, Aizoaceae, native to the winter-rainfall regions of southern Africa. Most species bear colorful flowers. The name Drosanthemum means "Dew-flower" in Greek, and refers to the characteristic shiny translucent papillae, which cover the succulent leaves and flower buds.

The species shown here is Drosanthemum hispidum (Linn.). It is a succulent, mound-forming perennial, 60 cm tall, 90 cm wide, leaves up to 2.5 cm long. These leaves and the stems are covered with papillae looking like dew drops or glassy beads, glittering in the sun, hence the common name. Flowers are profuse and a rich purple or lavender. Blooming in summer, this plant forms a dazzling mound of colour for the well-drained garden.

The plant requires full sun and regular watering in summer. It should be kept rather dry in winter, and it does better with good drainage. It is a salt resistant plant.

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