Tuesday, 30 June 2015


This autumn tinted, small tree, Sumac or Sumach is also called the ‘Stags Horn’ or botanically Rhus typhina. It is in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. It is primarily found in Southeastern Canada, the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Appalachian Mountains, but is widely cultivated as an ornamental throughout the temperate world.

Trees can grow up to 8 m high and branches fork freely and are covered with thick velvety hair when young. Leaves divide into narrow oval, toothed and softly hairy drooping leaflets. The leaves are bright orange and red colours in autumn. Male flowers are greenish and female are red blooming on different trees. The cone-shaped, dull red, hairy heads remain on the tree throughout winter. Take care when touching the leaves and stems as the sap can be an irritant.

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

Friday, 26 June 2015


Agave geminiflora is a species of Agave endemic to the Mexican State of Nayarit. Common name is Twin Flowered Agave. Agave geminiflora can have 100-200 leaves which are linear, stiff, dark green, and have convex edges with white horny lines and curled threads. The flowers are 5 or 6 centimetres long on a tall inflorescence.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 25 June 2015


Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 525 and 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however some are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes.

Some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, and a few are small shrubs. A large number of species, varieties and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term "pansy" is normally used for those multi-coloured, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding. The terms "viola" and "violet" are normally reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials. Viola tricolor shown here is such an example.

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

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


Xeranthemum annuum (immortelle; everlasting) is an annual herb with an erect and branched stem, 20–50 cm high. The leaves are alternate, sessile, linear, densely white downy, the flower-heads are solitary, petal-like involucral bracts are spreading, pink, lilac, rarely white, tubular florets are purple. The fruit is an achene.

It is a native of Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Western Asia (Iran, Lebanon, Syria). It grows on sunny slopes, in vineyards, on river and lake banks, from lowlands to foothills. Flowers from May to August. A very popular garden plant, may be used as a cut or dried flower.

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


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.

Monday, 22 June 2015


Trachelium caeruleum (common name blue throatwort) is a species of flowering plant in the family Campanulaceae native to the Mediterranean, where its native range includes Algeria, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and Sicily. It has also become naturalised in a few areas, including New Zealand, the Azores, and parts of mainland Europe.

Growing to 120 cm tall by 30 cm wide, it is a woody-based erect herbaceous perennial, with oval leaves and dense cushions of violet-purple flowers in summer. The specific epithet caeruleum means "dark blue".

In temperate climates this plant is usually grown as a half-hardy annual for summer bedding schemes or planters. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. There are many cultivars with a variety of flower colours, including white, red, pink, and dark purple.

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

Sunday, 21 June 2015


Countryside near Healesville in the Yarra Ranges Shire. The Shire of Yarra Ranges is a local government area in Victoria, Australia, located in the outer eastern and northeastern suburbs of Melbourne extending into the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. It has an area of 2,469.9 square kilometres, and at the 2011 census, it had a population of 144,541.It was formed in 1994 by the merger of parts of the Shire of Sherbrooke, Shire of Lillydale, Shire of Healesville and Shire of Upper Yarra. It has rich farmland, vineyards and magnificent areas of native forest.

This post is part of the Scenic Weekends meme,
and also part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Saturday, 20 June 2015


The Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia here seen passing through the Yarra Bend Parklands. This is a location about 4.5 km from the City Centre.

This post is part of the Weekend Reflections meme.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Thursday, 18 June 2015


Chinese aster (Callistephus chinensis - Tall Paeony Duchess) comes in great mix of colours! There is yellow, scarlet, apricot, dark blue, pink, magenta, and more. Duchess Asters have huge, double blooms with incurved petals that grow on tall, upright plants with 5 to 8 floral stems. Aster Callistephus is an excellent cutting flower and has a long vase-life. Their flowers are similar to autumn chrysanthemums, but they bloom so much earlier in the season.

Asters grow quickly and bloom heavily. Start the Aster seeds in the spring 6 to 8 weeks before the end of frost season. The flower seeds are small, so press them into the soil gently and lightly cover them. Harden the Aster plants off for 10 to 14 days before transplanting outdoors in a sunny to part sun position.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Lobularia maritima (syn. Alyssum maritimum, common name sweet alyssum or sweet Alison), also commonly referred to as just alyssum (from the genus Alyssum in which it was formerly classified) is a species of low-growing flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae.

Lobularia maritima is cultivated in gardens, with many horticultural varieties with purple or pink flowers. The plant is best planted in early spring, but requires little maintenance when growing. Although an annual, it may re-seed in temperate climates. It will flower more profusely if spent blooms are trimmed. When grown in gardens, it is typically used as groundcover, as it rarely grows higher than 20 cm. It is also grown in cracks in paving and walls, and is especially associated with coastal locations. It prefers partial shade, and is resistant to heat and drought. Plants with darker-coloured flowers do better in cooler temperatures.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Sunday, 7 June 2015


Detail of a painting by Francesco Francia (from around 1515 CE) showing the infant St John the Baptist.

Thursday, 4 June 2015


Strange bedfellows make for interesting company...

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.


Centranthus ruber, also called red valerian, spur valerian, kiss-me-quick, fox's brush, and Jupiter's beard, is a popular garden plant grown for its ornamental flowers. A native of the Mediterranean region, Centranthus ruber has been introduced into many other parts of the world as a garden escape. It is naturalised in France, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States. In the US it can be found growing wild in such western states as Arizona, Utah, California, Hawaii, and Oregon, usually in disturbed, rocky places at elevations below 200 m. It is often seen by roadsides or in urban wasteland. It can tolerate very alkaline soil conditions.

It grows as a perennial plant, usually as a subshrub though it can take any form from a herb to a shrub depending on conditions; the plants are usually woody at the base. The leaves are generally 5–8 cm in length. Their form changes from the bottom to the top of the plant, the lower leaves being petioled while the upper leaves are sessile. The leaves grow in opposite pairs and are oval or lanceolate in shape.

The plant flowers profusely, and though the individual flowers are small (no more than 4 mm), the inflorescences are large and showy. The flowers are small in rounded clusters each with 5 fused petals and a spur. The most typical colour is a brick red or purplish red, but colors include deep crimson, pale pink, and lavender. Centranthus ruber 'Albus' (about 10% of individuals) has white blooms.

Flowering takes place in early Summer and, in cool Summer areas, continues sporadically throughout the summer and into Autumn. The cultivar 'coccineus' is especially long-blooming. The blooms have a strong and somewhat rank scent. They are pollinated by both bees and butterflies and the plant is noted for attracting insects. Seeds have tufts similar to dandelions that allow wind dispersal, and as such can become self-seed and become invasive if not properly controlled.

Both leaves and roots can be eaten, the leaves either fresh in salads or lightly boiled, the roots boiled in soups. Opinions differ as to whether either make very good eating, however. Although it is sometimes reported to have medicinal properties, there is no basis for this view, which is almost certainly due to confusion with true valerian, (Valeriana officinalis).

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.