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

Thursday, 27 August 2015

FFF197 - JONQUILS

Narcissus jonquilla (Jonquil, Rush daffodil) is a bulbous flowering plant, a species of Narcissus (daffodil) that is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa, but has naturalised throughout Europe and the United States. It bears long, narrow, rush-like leaves (hence the name "jonquil", Spanish junquillo, from the Latin juncus = "rush"). It is in the Amaryllidaceae family of plants.

In Spring it bears heads of up to 5 scented yellow or white flowers. It is a parent of numerous varieties within Division 7 of the horticultural classification. Division 7 in the Royal Horticultural Society classification of Narcissus includes N. jonquilla and N. apodanthus hybrids and cultivars that show clear characteristics of those two species. N. jonquilla has been cultivated since the 18th century in France as the strongest of the Narcissus species used in Narcissus Oil, a component of many modern perfumes.

Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia.

We are seeing all sorts of narcissi blooming in Melbourne at the moment, a clear indication of Spring's imminent arrival!

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

FFF196 - THYME PINK-BELLS

Tetratheca thymifolia, commonly known as Black-eyed Susan or thyme pink-bells, is a small shrub in the family Elaeocarpaceae found in southeastern Australia. It was first described by English botanist James Edward Smith in 1804. Its specific name is derived from the Latin word folium "leaf" and thymus "thyme". The generic name is derived from the Ancient Greek tetra "four", and theke "sac, box" and relates to the four-celled anthers.


Tetratheca thymifolia grows as a tough-stemmed shrub up to a metre high. Flowering occurs mainly from September to November but individual flowers can be seen at any time of year. The 2.5 cm diameter flowers have a strong fragrance on hot days. The species occurs in southeastern Queensland, through New South Wales and into East Gippsland in eastern Victoria, where it is found in heathland or eucalyptus woodland on sandy soils.

Introduced to horticulture in 1824 in England, Tetratheca thymifolia has been cultivated to some degree since. Several forms have been selected for horticulture, including Tetratheca 'Bicentennial Belle', which originates from a naturally occurring population near Bega, New South Wales. This form reaches 0.7 m tall by up to 0.9 m wide, and is freely suckering. It was registered with the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority in 1985 by Austraflora Nursery in Montrose, Victoria. It flowers all year, with peaks in spring and autumn., and has larger flowers than the species. Overall, Tetratheca thymifolia does best in well-drained acidic soils in a sunny or semi-shaded aspect, and tolerates light frosts. It is grown in container gardens or rockeries

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Thursday, 13 August 2015

FFF195 - SPRING STAR

Ipheion uniflorum is a species of flowering plant, related to the onions, so is placed in the allium subfamily (Allioideae) of the Amaryllidaceae. It is known by the common name spring star, or spring starflower. Along with all the species of the genus Ipheion, some sources place it in the genus Tristagma, but research published in 2010 suggested that this is not correct. It is native to Argentina and Uruguay, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental and reportedly naturalised in Great Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is a small herbaceous perennial growing from a bulb and producing flat, shiny, green, hairless, grasslike leaves up to 30 cm long. The foliage has an onion-like scent when crushed. The stem grows up to 20 cm tall and bears a solitary showy flower in spring (hence the Latin name uniflorum - "single flower"). Each honey-scented, star-shaped flower has six pointed lobes up to 3 cm long in shades of very pale to deep purple-blue.

Ipheion uniflorum has been grown in the UK since 1820, when bulbs collected from near Buenos Aires arrived in the country. It is recommended for growing in a well-drained position outside or as a long-flowering pot plant in an unheated greenhouse. Various named forms are in cultivation, some of which may be hybrids. 'Wisley Blue' is a clear lilac blue; 'Froyle Mill' is a deeper violet blue; 'Album' is white. The cultivar 'Alberto Castillo', also white, has larger flowers and was collected in the 1980s by Alberto Castillo, the owner of Ezeiza Botanical Garden, from an abandoned Buenos Aires garden. In the USA, the species is stated to be hardy to USDA Zone 5, and is recommended for massing in borders, alpine gardens and other areas, or it can be naturalised in lawns.

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Thursday, 6 August 2015

FFF194 - DAPHNE

Daphne odora (winter daphne) is a species of flowering plant in the family Thymelaeaceae, native to China, Japan and Korea. It is an evergreen shrub, grown for its very fragrant, fleshy, pale-pink, tubular flowers, each with 4 spreading lobes, and for its glossy foliage. It rarely fruits, producing red berries after flowering. The Latin specific epithet odora means "fragrant".

It grows best in fertile, slightly acid, peaty, well-drained soils. It grows in full sun or partial shade, and is hardy to −10 °C, possibly lower. In Korea, the plant is also poetically called "churihyang" - a thousand mile scent - referring to the fragrance of the foliage. In Japan, the plant is more commonly known as "jinchoge".

Plants are not long lived, senescing within 8 to 10 years. Daphne generally do not react well to root disturbance, and may transplant badly. D. odora is also susceptible to virus infection, which causes leaf mottling. All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and a range of domestic animals and some people experience dermatitis from contact with the sap. Daphne odora is propagated by semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

FFF193 - INFESTATION!

Aphids, also known as plant lice and in Britain and the Commonwealth as greenflies, blackflies, or whiteflies (not to be confused with "jumping plant lice" or true whiteflies), are small sap-sucking insects, and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. The damage they do to plants has made them enemies of farmers and gardeners the world over, though from a zoological standpoint they are a highly successful group of organisms.

Their success is due in part to the asexual reproductive capabilities of some species. About 4,400 species are known, all included in the family Aphididae. Around 250 species are serious pests for agriculture and forestry as well as an annoyance for gardeners. They vary in length from 1 to 10 millimetres. Natural enemies include predatory ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, crab spiders, lacewings, and entomopathogenic fungi such as Lecanicillium lecanii and the Entomophthorales.

There are various insecticides that can be used to control aphids, including synthetic insecticides and plant extracts/products that are thought to be more eco-friendly. For example, neem and lantana products can be used to protect plants against aphids. For small backyard infestations, simply spraying the plants thoroughly with a strong water jet every few days may be sufficient protection for roses and other plants. An insecticidal soap solution can be an effective household remedy to control aphids and other soft-bodied arthropods. It will only kill aphids on contact and has no residual action against aphids that arrive after application. Soap spray may damage plants, especially at higher concentrations or at temperatures above 32 °C. Some plant species are known to be sensitive to soap sprays.

Integrated pest management of various species of aphids can be achieved using biological insecticides based on fungi such as Lecanicillium lecanii, Beauveria bassiana or Paecilomyces fumosoroseus. Aphids may also be controlled by the release of natural enemies, in particular lady beetles and parasitic wasps. However, since adult lady beetles tend to fly away within 48 hours after release, without laying eggs, it requires repeated application of large numbers of lady beetles to be effective. For example, one large, heavily infested rose bush may take two applications of 1500 beetles each. In reality the only cost effective situation in which mass release of natural enemies makes sense is in closed or semi closed environments such as glasshouses or polytunnels.

This post is also part of the Friday Greens meme.

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

FFF192 - BOUGAINVILLEA

Bougainvillea is a genus of thorny ornamental vines, bushes, and trees with flower-like spring leaves near its flowers. Different authors accept between four and 18 species in the genus. They are native plants of South America from Brazil west to Perú and south to southern Argentina (Chubut Province).

Bougainvillea are also known as Bugambilia (Mexico), Napoleón (Honduras), veranera (Colombia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama), trinitaria (Colombia, Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic & Venezuela), Santa Rita (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Bonggang Villa (Philippines) or papelillo (northern Peru).

The vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m tall, scrambling over other plants with their spiky thorns. The thorns are tipped with a black, waxy substance. They are evergreen where rainfall occurs all year, or deciduous if there is a dry season. The leaves are alternate, simple ovate-acuminate, 4–13 cm long and 2–6 cm broad. The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white, but each cluster of three flowers is surrounded by three or six bracts with the bright colours associated with the plant, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Bougainvillea glabra is sometimes referred to as "paper flower" because the bracts are thin and papery. The species here illustrated is Bougainvillea spectabilis. The first European to describe these plants was Philibert Commerçon, a botanist accompanying French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville (hence the generic name), during his voyage of circumnavigation, and first published for him by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789. It is possible that the first European to observe these plants was Jeanne Baré, Commerçon's lover and assistant whom he sneaked on board (despite regulations) disguised as a man (and who thus became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe).

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Thursday, 16 July 2015

FFF191 - NUTMEG PELARGONIUM

Pelargonium × fragrans is a pelargonium hybrid between Pelargonium odoratissimum and Pelargonium exstipulatum. It is in the subgenus Reniforme along with Pelargonium sidoides and Pelargonium abrotanifoliumPelargonium comes from the Greek; Pelargos which means stork. Another name for pelargoniums is storksbills due the shape of their fruit. Fragrans refers to the fragrant leaves.

Pelargonium × fragrans, like its parent Pelargonium odoratissimum, is a small, spreading species which only grows up to 30 cm high and 60 cm wide. It has small white flowers and its leaves are waxy, green and ovate with slightly fringed edges. It has a sweet, slightly spicy, eucalyptus-like ("nutmeg") scent.

Nutmeg-Scented Pelargonium makes a nice scented border in zones 9 and up, and a great summer bloomer for other zones. In Zone 8, during a very cold winter, it dies back but returns fairly reliably. If the winter is milder, Nutmeg Pelargonium will stay evergreen and even bloom early in Zone 8.

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