Tuesday, 28 April 2015

DESKTOP 637 - GUM TREES

Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs (including a distinct group with a multiple-stem mallee growth habit) in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia. There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, mostly native to Australia, and a very small number are found in adjacent areas of New Guinea and Indonesia. One species, Eucalyptus deglupta, ranges as far north as the Philippines. Only fifteen species occur outside Australia, with just nine of these not occurring in Australia.
 

Species of eucalyptus are cultivated widely in the tropical and temperate world, including the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East, China and the Indian Subcontinent, though most species do not tolerate frost. In Australia, many of the eucalypts are called "gum trees".

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

DESKTOP 636 - WHASSUP?

The Rainbow Lorikeet, (Trichoglossus haematodus) is a species of Australasian parrot found in Australia, eastern Indonesia (Maluku and Western New Guinea), Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In Australia, it is common along the eastern seaboard, from Queensland to South Australia and northwest Tasmania. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. Several taxa traditionally listed as subspecies of the Rainbow Lorikeet are increasingly treated as separate species. Rainbow Lorikeets have been introduced to Perth, Western Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; and Hong Kong.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme.

DESKTOP 635 - CANDLES

This post is part of the I Heart Macros meme.

Friday, 24 April 2015

DESKTOP 633 - CONTRAIL

Contrails are clouds formed when water vapor condenses and freezes around small particles (aerosols) that exist in aircraft exhaust. Some of that water vapor comes from the air around the plane; and, some is added by the exhaust of the aircraft. The exhaust of an aircraft contains both gas (vapor) and solid particles. Both of these are important in the formation of contrails. Some elements of the exhaust gasses are not involved in contrail formation but do constitute air pollution. Emissions include carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons such as methane, sulfates (SOx), and soot and metal particles.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

DESKTOP 632 - ALUMINIUM PLANT

Pilea cadierei (aluminium plant or watermelon pilea) is a species of flowering plant in the family Urticaceae, native to China and Vietnam. It is an evergreen perennial growing up to 30 cm tall by 21 cm broad, with dark green oval leaves, each leaf having four raised silvery patches (hence the name "aluminium plant"). With a minimum temperature of 15°C, it is cultivated as a houseplant in temperate regions. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. The specific epithet cadierei refers to the 20th-century botanist R.P. Cadi√®re.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

DESKTOP 631 - PORT PHILLIP BAY

View of Port Phillip Bay from Mornington, with the Melbourne city skyline in the distance.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

DESKTOP 630 - NANDINA

Nandina domestica commonly known as nandina, heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Nandina.

Despite the common name, it is not a bamboo but an erect evergreen shrub up to 2 m tall by 1.5 m wide, with numerous, usually unbranched stems growing from ground level. The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas, 50–100 cm long, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, with the individual leaflets 4–11 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; old leaves turn red or purple again before falling. The flowers are white, borne in early summer in conical clusters held well above the foliage. The fruit is a bright red berry 5–10 mm diameter, ripening in late autumn and often persisting through the winter.

N. domestica, grown in Chinese and Japanese gardens for centuries, was brought to Western gardens by William Kerr, who sent it to London in his first consignment from Canton, in 1804. The English, unsure of its hardiness, kept it in greenhouses at first. The scientific name given to it by Carl Peter Thunberg is a Latinised version of a Japanese name for the plant, nan-ten. Nandina is widely grown in gardens as an ornamental plant. Over 65 cultivars have been named in Japan, where the species is particularly popular and a national Nandina society exists. In Shanghai berried sprays of nandina are sold in the streets at New Year, for the decoration of house altars and temples.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,

and also part of the Trees & Bushes meme.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

DESKTOP 625 - PHOTINIA SKY

Photinia is a genus of about 40–60 species of small trees and large shrubs, but the taxonomy has recently varied greatly, with the genera Heteromeles, Stranvaesia and Aronia sometimes included in Photinia. They are a part of the rose family (Rosaceae) and related to the apple.
 

The botanical genus name derives from the Greek word photeinos for shiny and refers to the often glossy leaves. Most species are evergreen, but deciduous species also occur. The small apple-shaped fruit has a size of 4 to 12 mm and forms in large quantities. They ripen in Autumn and often remain hanging on the bush until well into the winter. The fruits are used as food by birds, which excrete the seeds with their droppings and thereby distribute the plant.
 

The natural range of these species is restricted to warm temperate Asia, from the Himalaya east to Japan and south to India and Thailand. They have, however, been widely cultivated throughout the world as ornamentals for their white flowers and red fruits. The red colour of the new leaves in spring, contrasted against the dark evergreen older leaves, has given the plant the popular name "Red Robin" to the cultivar Photinia fraseri, shown below.

This post is part of the Skywatch Friday meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

DESKTOP 624 - WALLFLOWER

Erysimum (wallflower) is a genus of flowering plants in the botanical family Brassicaceae, that includes about 180 species, both popular garden plants and many wild forms. The genus Cheiranthus is sometimes included here in whole or in part. Erysimum has recently been ascribed to a monogeneric cruciferous tribe, Erysimeae. This tribe is characterized by sessile, stellate and/or malpighiaceous  trichomes, yellow to orange flowers and multiseeded siliques.

Most wallflower garden cultivars (e.g. Erysimum 'Chelsea Jacket') are derived from E. cheiri (often placed in Cheiranthus), from southern Europe. They are often attacked by fungal and bacterial disease, so they are best grown as biennials and discarded after flowering. They are also susceptible to clubroot, a disease of Brassicaceae. Growth is best in dry soils with very good drainage, and they are often grown successfully in loose wall mortar, hence the vernacular name.
 

There is a wide range of flower colour in the warm spectrum, including white, yellow, orange, red, pink, maroon, purple and brown. The flowers, appearing in spring, usually have a strong fragrance. Wallflowers are often associated in spring bedding schemes with tulips and forget-me-nots. The cultivar 'Bowles's Mauve' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Monday, 13 April 2015

DESKTOP 621 - PETRONAS TOWERS

The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)'s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The buildings are a landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.

This post is part of the Blue Monday meme,
and also part of the Our World Tuesday meme.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

DESKTOP 619 - WARRANDYTE

The Yarra River at Warrandyte, an outer suburb of Melbourne, about 24 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

DESKTOP 617 - AGERATUM

Ageratum, is a genus of 40 to 60 tropical and warm temperate flowering annuals and perennials from the family Asteraceae, tribe Eupatorieae. Most species are native to Central America and Mexico but four are native to the United States. They form tussocks or small hills. They grow to a height of 75 cm. The opposite leaves are cordate or oval, hairy or tomentose. The margins are slightly toothed or serrate. The leaves form compact clusters. The fluffy flowers are lavender-blue, pink, lilac, or white; and spread in small compound umbels. They give small, dry fruits.

Ageratums are grown for their flowers, especially A. houstonianum. Most common ageratums, "Hawaii" for example, are a short 25 cm when fully grown. Tall ageratum are also available in seed catalogues. The blue-coloured varieties are most popular and common, but colours also include violet, pink and white. Their size and colour makes ageratums good candidates for rock gardens, bedding, and containers. They grow well in sun or partial shade, from early summer to first frost. They are quite easy to grow, producing a profusion of fluffy flowers all season long.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

DESKTOP 612 - BRIDGE

Japanese Bridge at Caribbean Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme,
and also part of the Weekly TopShot meme,
and also part of the Scenic Weekends meme 

and also part of the Friday Greens meme.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

DESKTOP 610 - BROMELIAD

The Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) are a family of monocot flowering plants of around 3,170 species native mainly to the tropical Americas, with a few species found in the American subtropics and one in tropical west Africa, Pitcairnia feliciana.The family includes both epiphytes, such as Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), and terrestrial species, such as the pineapple (Ananas comosus).
 

Many bromeliads are able to store water in a structure formed by their tightly-overlapping leaf bases. However, the family is diverse enough to include the tank bromeliads, grey-leaved epiphyte Tillandsia species that gather water only from leaf structures called trichomes, and a large number of desert-dwelling succulents. The largest bromeliad is Puya raimondii, which reaches 3–4 m height in vegetative growth with a flower spike 9–10 m tall, and the smallest is Spanish moss.
 

Only one bromeliad, the pineapple, is a commercially important food crop. Bromelain, a common ingredient in meat tenderiser, is extracted from pineapple stems. Many other bromeliads and their hybrids are popular ornamental plants, grown as both garden and houseplants. This is a flower of Aechmea fasciata.
 

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


DESKTOP 609 - DAISY CHAIN

This post is part of the Nature Footstep Digital Art Meme,
and also part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Greens meme.