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1. Every Friday post a photo that includes one or more flowers.
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When to Post:
inlinkz will be available every Thursday and will remain open until the next Wednesday.

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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Thursday, 31 August 2017

FFF301 - PURPLE LEAF PLUM

Prunus cerasifera, or the purple leaf plum is a small deciduous tree commonly planted for its deep reddish-purple leaves and white/pale pink flowers that are among the first to appear in Spring. Although it is short lived, it is fast growing and great for use as a specimen or shade tree.

It is in the Rosaceae family, and this like many of the stone fruits are part of the Prunus genus. Purple leaf plum grows to approximately 4-6 m tall and wide at maturity, and has a rounded shape. It should be planted in a location with full sun. The leaves will turn green if grown in the shade. Most cultivars for sale have the reddish-purple leaves, there are ones with green foliage also available.

Flowers are small, fragrant and either white or pale pink. Purple leaf plum is one of the first trees to flower in the spring, with the blossoms appearing before the leaves. Although the fruits are small at only 3 cm, they are edible. These little gems can be yellow, purple, or red, depending on the cultivar chosen. Birds love to eat these fruits off the tree, too.

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

FFF300 - DAFFODILS

Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family. Various common names including daffodil, daffadowndilly, narcissus, and jonquil are used to describe all or some members of the genus. Narcissus has conspicuous flowers with six petal-like tepals surmounted by a cup- or trumpet-shaped corona. The flowers are generally white or yellow (orange or pink in garden varieties), with either uniform or contrasting coloured tepals and corona.

Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically, but formally described by Linnaeus' in his "Species Plantarum" (1753). The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The number of species has varied, depending on how they are classified, due to similarity between species and hybridisation. The genus arose some time in the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene epochs, in the Iberian peninsula and adjacent areas of southwest Europe.

The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection. The English word 'daffodil' appears to be derived from "asphodel", with which it was commonly compared.

The species are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North Africa with a centre of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, particularly the Iberian peninsula. Both wild and cultivated plants have naturalised widely, and were introduced into the Far East prior to the tenth century. Narcissi tend to be long-lived bulbs, which propagate by division, but are also insect-pollinated. Known pests, diseases and disorders include viruses, fungi, the larvae of flies, mites and nematodes. Some Narcissus species have become extinct, while others are threatened by increasing urbanisation and tourism.

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Thursday, 17 August 2017

FFF299 - VIOLETS

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, including the type species.

Viola odorata is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, florist's violet, or garden violet.

The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour. References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. The leaves are edible and contain mucilage.

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

FFF298 - PEACH BLOSSOM

The peach (Prunus persica) in the Rosaceae family is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine.

The specific epithet persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia (modern-day Iran), whence it was transplanted to Europe. It belongs to the genus Prunus which includes the cherry, apricot, almond and plum. The peach is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.

Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterised by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes (fuzz-less fruit); genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin. China alone produced 58% of the world's total for peaches and nectarines in 2014. Spain accounted for 39% of global export volume in 2013.

Prunus persica grows to 4–10 m tall and has a trunk 15 cm in diameter. The leaves are lanceolate, 7–16 cm long, 2–3 cm broad, pinnately veined. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; they are solitary or paired, 2.5–3 cm diameter, pink, with five petals and delicately fragrant.

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