The rules for posting are simple!

1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
2. Please only post photos you have authority to use.
3. Include a link to this blog in your post - http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.com/
4. Leave the link to your FloralFridayFoto post below on inlinkz.
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

FFF308 - DUTCH IRIS

Iris is a genus of 260-300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colours found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. Irises are popular garden flowers. The showy graceful blooms of Dutch Iris (Iris xiphium - also called Spanish Iris!) provide height and colour in mid- to late spring.

Definitely one of the easiest and most reliable spring bulbs to grow, they perform well in both open sunny positions as well as in part or full shade. Flower colour varies from white and yellows through to many shades of blue and purple in either single colour standards and falls through to a combination of both. They are very frost hardy and prefer a sunny position with ample moisture during growth, but none during their dormancy in summer. They can be grown in pots and terrace planters and are ideal as cut flowers for vases and arrangements. Dutch Iris grow to a height of 40 to 50cm.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

FFF307 - WARATAH

Telopea speciosissima or the “waratah” is a native Australian plant with spectacular flowers. Robert Brown (1773-1858) named the genus Telopea in 1810 from specimens collected in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Sir James Smith (1759-1828), a noted botanist and founder of the Linnaean Society in England, wrote in 1793: 'The most magnificent plant which the prolific soil of New Holland affords is, by common consent, both of Europeans and Natives, the Waratah. It is moreover a favourite with the latter, upon account of a rich honeyed juice which they sip from its flowers'.

The generic name Telopea is derived from the Greek 'telopos', meaning 'seen from afar', and refers to the great distance from which the crimson flowers are discernible. The specific name speciosissima is the superlative of the Latin adjective 'speciosus', meaning 'beautiful' or 'handsome'. 'Waratah', the Aboriginal name for the species, was adopted by early settlers at Port Jackson.

Telopea is an eastern Australian genus of four species. Two are confined to New South Wales, one to Tasmania and one extends from eastern Victoria into New South Wales. Telopea belongs to the family, Proteaceae, which is predominantly Australian and southern African. The Waratah is a stout, erect shrub which may grow to 4 metres. The dark green leathery leaves, 13-25 cm in length, are arranged alternately and tend to be coarsely toothed. The flowers are grouped in rounded heads 7 to 10 cm in diameter surrounded by crimson bracts, about 5 to 7 cm long. It flowers from September to November and nectar-seeking birds act as pollinators. Large winged seeds are released when the brown leathery pods split along one side.

The species is fairly widespread on the central coast and adjoining mountains of New South Wales, occurring from the Gibraltar Range, north of Sydney, to Conjola in the south. It grows mainly in the shrub understorey in open forest developed on sandstone and adjoining volcanic formations, from sea level to above 1000 metres in the Blue Mountains. Soils within its range tend to be sandy and low in plant nutrients. Rainfall is moderately high. Waratah plants resist destruction by bushfires, a natural element of their habitat, by regenerating from the rootstock. Flowering recommences two years after a moderate fire.

The Waratah is a spectacular garden subject in suitable soil and climate; it flowers prolifically and tends to be long-lived. The Waratah occurs naturally in at least ten national parks in the geological formation, know as the Sydney Basin. Brisbane Water, Dharug and Macquarie Pass National Parks are among the areas where this species is conserved. Waratahs are cultivated north of Sydney and in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria. They are grown in Israel, New Zealand and Hawaii for the cut flower trade. It was introduced to England in 1789 but cannot survive English winters out of doors except in the south-west coastal regions, and it rarely flowers in glasshouses. It is also cultivated in California.

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Thursday, 5 October 2017

FFF306 - QUINCE FLOWERS

The quince (Cydonia oblonga) is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits). It is a small deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossom and other ornamental qualities.

The tree grows 5 to 8 metres high and 4 to 6 metres wide. The fruit is 7 to 12 centimetres long and 6 to 9 centimetres across. It is native to rocky slopes and woodland margins in South-west Asia, Turkey and Iran although it can be grown successfully at latitudes as far north as Scotland. The immature fruit is green with dense grey-white pubescence, most of which rubs off before maturity in late autumn when the fruit changes colour to yellow with hard, strongly perfumed flesh.

The leaves are alternately arranged, simple, 6–11 cm long, with an entire margin and densely pubescent with fine white hairs. The flowers, produced in spring after the leaves, are white or pink, 5 cm across, with five petals. Quince jam, jelly, paste and stewed fruit are all quite delicious and easily made. Quinces are also used as an ingredient in savoury food. You can find several recipes here.

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

FFF305 - CLIVIA

Clivia is a genus of monocot flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are from the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae. Common names are Natal lily or bush lily. They are herbaceous evergreen plants, with green, strap-like leaves. Individual flowers are more or less bell-shaped, occurring in umbels on a stalk above the foliage; colours typically range from yellow through orange to red. Many cultivars exist, some with variegated leaf patterns.

Species of Clivia are found only in South Africa and Swaziland. They are typically forest undergrowth plants, adapted to low light (with the exception of C. mirabilis from the Western Cape). Clivia miniata grows into large clumps and is surprisingly water wise. It is also reportedly naturalised in Mexico. It is a popular plant for shady areas and is commonly seen growing in older established suburbs in most Australian states. It is also popular in New Zealand, Japan, China and southern parts of the USA , particularly California.

It grows to a height of about 45 cm, and various varieties have flowers that are red, orange or yellow, sometimes with a faint, but very sweet perfume.

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Thursday, 21 September 2017

FFF304 - CINERARIAS FOR SPRING!

Cineraria is now generally treated as a genus of about 50 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to southern Africa. The genus includes herbaceous plants and small sub-shrubs. In the past, the genus was commonly viewed in a broader sense including a number of species from the Canary Islands and Madeira which are now transferred to the genus Pericallis, including the Florist's Cineraria (Pericallis x hybrida), seen here. The uses for Cineraria include topical application for the treatment of cataracts.

Celebrating the Vernal Equinox and the official arrival of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere!

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

FFF303 - CEANOTHUS

Ceanothus L. is a genus of about 50–60 species of shrubs or small trees in the family Rhamnaceae. Common names for members of this genus are California Lilac, Wild Lilac, and Soap Bush. "Ceanothus" comes from a Greek word meaning "spiny plant". The genus is confined to North America, with the centre of its distribution in California. Some species (e.g. C. americanus) are found in the eastern United States and southeast Canada, and others (e.g. C. coeruleus) extend as far south as Guatemala.

Most are shrubs 0.5–3 m tall, but C. arboreus and C. thyrsiflorus, both from California, can be small trees up to 6–7 m tall. The species illustrated here is Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (also known as blueblossom or blue blossom ceanothus), which is an evergreen shrub in the genus Ceanothus that is endemic to California. The term 'Californian lilac' is also applied to this and other varieties of Ceanothus, though it is not closely related to Syringa, the true lilac.

In late spring and early summer, this bushy evergreen shrub is smothered in clusters of of dark blue flowers among small, dark green, glossy leaves. It looks great in the middle of a south or west-facing mixed border, or as a specimen at the edge of a terrace or path. It requires protection from cold, drying winds. Each year, after the plant has flowered, take out dead, diseased or damaged shoots and trim back the flowered shoots to the required shape. Apply a 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted organic matter around the base of the plant in spring.

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

FFF302 - AZALEA

Azaleas are flowering shrubs in the genus Rhododendron, particularly the former sections Tsutsuji (evergreen) and Pentanthera (deciduous). Azaleas bloom in spring, their flowers often lasting several weeks. Shade tolerant, they prefer living near or under trees. They are part of the family Ericaceae.

Plant enthusiasts have selectively bred azaleas for hundreds of years. This human selection has produced over 10,000 different cultivars which are propagated by cuttings. Azalea seeds can also be collected and germinated. Azaleas are generally slow-growing and do best in well-drained acidic soil (4.5–6.0 pH). Fertiliser needs are low; some species need regular pruning.

Azaleas are native to several continents including Asia, Europe and North America. They are planted abundantly as ornamentals in the southeastern USA, southern Asia, and parts of southwest Europe.

While azaleas are nowhere near as popular as they were some years ago, they’re still hard to beat when it comes to producing a mass of garden colour in winter and spring. Azaleas vary in size from small, rather delicate shrubs that are happiest in pots, to the large, hardy indica varieties that seem able to survive all the climatic challenges that are thrown at them. The latter group includes salmon-pink ‘Splendens’, purple ‘Magnifica’ and white or bicoloured bloomers that can reach up to more than two metres tall.

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