Thursday, 22 February 2018

DESKTOP 1668 - PINK HIBISCUS

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, and shoeblackplant, is a species of tropical hibiscus, a flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae, native to East Asia. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5–5 m tall and 1.5–3 m wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers.

Numerous hybrids have been developed in a variety of flower colours. This is one of many plant species with a genetic characteristic known as polyploidy, in which there are more than two complete sets of chromosomes, unlike most other species. A side effect of polyploidy is a condition where the appearance of the offspring may be quite different from the parent, or indeed any ancestor, essentially allowing possibly random expression of all (or any) of the characteristics of all the generations that have gone before. Because of this characteristic, H. rosa-sinensis has become popular with hobbyists who cross and recross varieties, creating new named varieties and holding competitions to exhibit and judge the many resulting new seedlings and often strikingly unique flowers.

The flowers of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis are edible and are used in salads in the Pacific Islands. The flower is additionally used in hair care as a preparation. It is also used to shine shoes in certain parts of India. They can also be used as a pH indicator. When used, the flower turns acidic solutions to a dark pink or magenta colour and basic solutions to green. It is also used for the worship of Devi, and the red variety is especially prominent, having an important part in tantra. In Indonesia, these flowers are called "kembang sepatu", which literally means "shoe flower". In several countries the flowers are dried to use in a beverage, usually tea.

The shrub is widely grown as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and subtropics. As it does not tolerate temperatures below 10 °C, in temperate regions it is best grown under glass. However, plants in containers may be placed outside during the summer months or moved into shelter during the winter months.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

DESKTOP 1667 - GLENELG, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Glenelg is a popular beach-side suburb of the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, it has become a popular tourist destination due to its beach and many attractions, home to several hotels and dozens of restaurants.

Established in 1836, it is the oldest European settlement on mainland South Australia (the oldest being Kingscote on Kangaroo Island), with the proclamation of the colony of South Australia. It was named after Lord Glenelg, a member of British Cabinet and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.Through Lord Glenelg the name derives from Glenelg, Highland (previously Inverness-shire), Scotland. In Scottish Gaelic the name is Gleann Eilg. The name Glenelg is noteworthy for being a palindrome.

This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

DESKTOP 1666 - CHINESE NEW YEAR

Melbourne, with its large Chinese community, celebrates the Chinese New Year with much joy and great festivity. At Southbank in front of the Crown Casino foreshore all sorts of take place. Crown’s Chinese New Year Festival and Riverwalk Hawker’s Bazaar has become an annual tradition in Melbourne’s Lunar New Year celebrations and has continued to expand its offerings every year. Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog!

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

Thursday, 15 February 2018

DESKTOP 1661 - ASTILBE

Astilbe chinensis, commonly known as false goat's beard, tall false-buck's-beard or Chinese astilbe, is a plant in the saxifrage family, Saxifragaceae.

It is a herbaceous plant with alternate, pinnately compound leaves, on thin stems. The flowers are purplish-pink, borne in summer. The plant prefers full sun and is planted in moist clay soils.

The variety shown here is the hybrid Astilbe chinensis, "purpurkerze".

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

DESKTOP 1659 - ST MALO, FRANCE

Saint-Malo is a historic walled port city and commune (with the commune expanded beyond the walls in 1968), in Brittany on the English Channel coastline of northwestern France. It is a subprefecture of the Ille-et-Vilaine. Traditionally known for its independent streak, Saint-Malo was in the past notorious for privateering (the "cité corsaire"). Today the city is a major tourist destination, with many ancient structures.

St Malo has several districts, the most popular being intra muros or ‘inside the walls’. The tall granite buildings, most of which were restored after being bombed during the war, house an interesting mix of cosy hotels, restaurants to suit all tastes and shops by the dozen. The Musée de la Ville tells you all you need to know about the town’s history and includes some fascinating maritime objects like the prow of a ship.

Opposite the old town are two little islands that can be reached at low tide (heed the warnings or you’ll get trapped there!). On one is the Vauban-built Fort National and on the other is the tomb of the writer and politician Chateaubriand, who was born in St Malo in 1768. Long sandy beaches sweep east from the old town to the district of Rothéneuf. Here you’ll find the former house of one of St Malo’s most famous sons, Jacques Cartier, who discovered Canada; the 15th-century Manoir de Limoëlou houses a fascinating museum dedicated to the explorer.

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