Thursday, 30 October 2014


Nigella is a genus of about 14 species of annual plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native to southern Europe, north Africa, south and southwest Asia. Common names applied to members of this genus are nigella, devil-in-a-bush or love-in-a-mist.

The species grow to 20–90 cm tall, with finely divided leaves; the leaf segments are narrowly linear to threadlike. The flowers are white, yellow, pink, pale blue or pale purple, with five to 10 petals. The fruit is a capsule composed of several united follicles, each containing numerous seeds; in some species (e.g. Nigella damascena), the capsule is large and inflated.

Several species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Nigella damascena has been grown in English cottage gardens since Elizabethan times, commonly called love-in-a-mist. Nigella hispanica is a taller species with larger blue flowers, red stamens, and grey leaves. Nigella seeds are self-sowing if the seed pods are left to mature. The dried seed capsules can also be used in flower arrangements.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 23 October 2014


Iris germanica, the German Iris, is a species in the genus Iris in the Iridaceae  family. Iris germanica grows up to 120 cm high and 30 cm wide. The roots can go up to 10 cm deep. It is a rhizomatous perennial that blooms in mid-Spring to early Summer. Lifting, dividing and replanting the rhizomes is best done once flowering has finished as this is when the plant grows the new shoots that will flower the following year. The rhizomes are placed on the surface of the soil facing towards the sun and with at least 45 cm of open ground in front of them - this allows two years growth and flowering.

The plant is held in place by removing half the leaf mass to reduce wind rock and by using the old roots as anchors in the soil. The rhizome is placed on well dug ground and the roots placed either side into 10cm deep grooves. The soil os then gently firmed around the roots, so holding the plant steady. New roots and leaves are created rapidly as the rhizome moves forwards. Hundreds of hybrids exist representing every colour from jet black to sparkling whites. The only colour really missing is bright scarlet. It is a European hybrid, rather than a true wild species.

This specimen shown here is the hybrid 'Golden Eclipse', with lovely large, fragrant blooms.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 16 October 2014


Gerbera L. is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber († 1743) who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus. It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy.

Gerbera species bear a large capitulum with striking, two-lipped ray florets in yellow, orange, white, pink or red colours. The capitulum, which has the appearance of a single flower, is actually composed of hundreds of individual flowers. The morphology of the flowers varies depending on their position in the capitulum. The flower heads can be as small as 7 cm (Gerbera mini 'Harley') in diameter or up to 12 cm (Gerbera ‘Golden Serena’). 

Gerbera is very popular and widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers. The domesticated cultivars are mostly a result of a cross between Gerbera jamesonii and another South African species Gerbera viridifolia. The cross is known as Gerbera hybrida. Thousands of cultivars exist. They vary greatly in shape and size. Colours include white, yellow, orange, red, and pink. The centre of the flower is sometimes black. Often the same flower can have petals of several different colours.

Gerbera is also important commercially. It is the fifth most used cut flower in the world (after rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, and tulip). It is also used as a model organism in studying flower formation. Gerbera contains naturally occurring coumarin derivatives. Gerbera is a tender perennial plant. It is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds, but resistant to deer. The soil should be kept moist but not soaked.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Pelargonium crispum is an erect, much-branched shrub that grows up to 700 mm tall. The young stems are soft and green and become woody when older. The leaves are lemon-scented, fan-shaped and the leaf margins are crisped. The leaves are distichous, meaning that they are arranged one above the other in two opposite rows. The flowers are single or in clusters of 2 or 3 and are borne on short peduncles. They are white to dark pink and about 25 mm in diameter. The flower tube is about 5–8 mm long. The species flowers from August-April with a peak in September and October (in Southern Hemisphere).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Thursday, 2 October 2014


Clivia miniata (Natal lily, bush lily) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to damp woodland habitats in South Africa (Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces) as well as in Swaziland. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico.

It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and flowers are red, orange or yellow, with a faint, but very sweet perfume. It is sometimes known in cultivation as "Kaffir lily". However, this name is also confusingly applied to the genus Schizostylis, and in any case is best avoided as it is considered an offensive ethnic slur in South Africa.

With a minimum temperature of 10 °C (50 °F), in temperate regions C. miniata is normally cultivated as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, along with the variety C. miniata var. citrina. It contains small amounts of lycorine, making it poisonous.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.