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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prunus mume Flowers

Type of Flower 
Prunus mume: 
Prunus mume is an Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum and Japanese apricot.The flower is usually called plum blossom.This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees.Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot.The fruit of the tree is used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine. 
The tree's flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a seasonal symbol.
Prunus mume originated in the south of mainland China around the Yangtze River and was later introduced to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.It can be found in sparse forests, stream sides, forested slopes along trails and mountains, sometimes at altitudes up to 1,700–3,100 metres (5,600–10,200 ft), and regions of cultivation. 
The plant is known by a number of different names in English, including Chinese plum and Japanese apricot. An alternative name is ume,from Japanese, or mume, from the scientific name.Another alternative name is mei, from the Chinese name. 
The flower is known as the meihua (梅花) in Chinese, which came to be translated as "plum blossom" or sometimes as "flowering plum".The term "winter plum" may be used too, specifically with regard to the depiction of the flower with its early blooming in Chinese painting.
In Chinese it is called méi (梅) and the fruit is called méizi (梅子). The Japanese name is ume (kanji: 梅; hiragana: うめ), while the Korean name is maesil (hangul: 매실; hanja: 梅實). The Japanese and Korean terms derive from Middle Chinese, in which the pronunciation is thought to have been muəi.The Vietnamese name is mai or mơ (although mai may also refer to a different plant, Ochna integerrima, in the south of Vietnam).
Prunus mume is a deciduous tree that starts to flower in mid-winter, typically around January until late February in East Asia. It can grow to 4–10 metres (13–33 ft) tall. The flowers are 2–2.5 centimetres (0.79–0.98 in) in diameter and have a strong fragrant scent.They have colors in varying shades of white, pink, and red.The leaves appear shortly after the petals fall, are oval-shaped with a pointed tip, and are 4–8 cm long and 2.5–5 cm wide.The fruit ripens in early summer, around June and July in East Asia, and coincides with the rainy season of East Asia, the meiyu (梅雨, literally "plum rain").The drupe is 2–3 centimetres (0.79–1.18 in) in diameter with a groove running from the stalk to the tip.The skin turns yellow, sometimes with a red blush, as it ripens, and the flesh becomes yellow. The tree is cultivated for its fruit and flowers.
Growing Prunus mume select a site with good sun, a full day of sun is best, but they will bloom in high filtered shade or a half day of sun. Prunus mume is not particular about soil, but will do better if the site is not very wet or dry. 
For the best growth, you can prepare a bed of improved soil. I recommend putting a layer of compost 4-6 inches over an area at least 25 square feet (5' x 5'), and tilling the compost into the existing soil. Prunus mume will usually do fine in regular garden soil, even if it has a lot of clay. 
I would dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball will be even with the surrounding soil, but not any lower. You can place the plant in the hole while still in the pot to get the depth right. Once the pot is removed, place the root-ball in the hole and adjust the plant for depth and vertical orientation. Step back and view from two angles if you want a trunk that is straight up and down. With time, Prunus mume tends to have a gnarled look, rather than a single straight stem. Staking is usually necessary only if the plant seems loose, or is moving in the wind. Backfill the hole with soil that came out of the hole and firmly pack the soil around the roots. I usually make a ridge of dirt around the root-ball which makes a basin in which water can collect, and slowly soak into the soil. Water well after planting. The first year, the tree needs to be watered 1-2 times/week with a deep watering that gets water down to all the root-ball. The frequency of watering depends on the heat, and how established the plant has become. 
Frtilize lightly in March and May in the South, or April and June in the North. Mulch with any organic mulch like pine bark or wood chips. The plant can be trained to a desired shape by pruning and staking. Lower limbs can be cut off to have a tree form. Without pruning, it will make a small tree 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Dead branches and crossed branches can be removed in winter.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Tigridia Flowers

Type of Flower 
Tigridia Common names include tiger-flowers or shell flowers, is a genus of bulbous or cormous plants, belonging to the family Iridaceae. They have large showy flowers and one species, Tigridia pavonia, is often cultivated for this. The approximately thirty five species in this family grow in the Western Hemisphere, from Mexico to Chile. The tigridia flower is short lived, each often blooming for only one day, but often several flowers will bloom from the same stalk. Usually they are dormant during the winter dry-season. Its roots are edible and were eaten by the Aztecs of Mexico who called it cacomitl and its flower  "Jaguar flower". The genus name means "tiger-like" and alludes to the coloration and spotting of the flowers of the type species Tigridia pavonia.
Species of Tigridia include:
  • Tigridia alpestris 
  • Tigridia bicolor 
  • Tigridia chiapensis 
  • Tigridia dugesii 
  • Tigridia durangense 
  • Tigridia ehrenbergii 
  • Tigridia flammea 
  • Tigridia hallbergii 
  • Tigridia huajuapanensis 
  • Tigridia immaculata 
  • Tigridia inusitata 
  • Tigridia matudae 
  • Tigridia meleagris 
  • Tigridia mexicana 
  • Tigridia molseediana 
  • Tigridia multiflora 
  • Tigridia orthantha 
  • Tigridia pavonia 
  • Tigridia philippiana 
  • Tigridia seleriana 
  • Tigridia vanhouttei 
  • Tigridia violacea

Thirty species of Tigridia shell flowers are found, mainly from Mexico and Guatemala, and are members of the Iridaceae family. Tiger flowers resemble the gladiola, with 3 to 6 inch flowers in colors of pink, red, white, yellow, cream, orange or scarlet. Triangular shaped petals of solid colors adorn the outer edges of the flower with a center that has a tiger skin or seashell-like appearance. 
The pleated foliage has the appearance of a fan, adding to the beauty of the growing tiger flower. This foliage dies back in fall.
Growing tiger flower provides brightly colored, though short-lived, blooms in the summer garden. Also known as Mexican shell flowers, the species is botanically named Tigridia pavonia, as the center of the flower center resembles a tiger’s coat. Tigridia shell flowers in the garden appear in succession, for 2 to 3 weeks, offering a spectacular showing of the beautiful blooms.
Plant Tigridia shell flowers in the garden in spring. Tiger flowers are semi-hardy and can be damaged at temperatures of 28 degrees F. and below. Those in zones with cold winters should lift the bulbs and store them during winter. In warmer areas where bulbs are not lifted, tiger flower care includes division every few years. 
When planting Tigridia shell flowers in the garden, plant them 4 inches deep and 4 to 5 inches apart. You may also want to plant them in masses throughout the garden for a colorful summer show when they bloom. 
Plant tiger flowers where they’ll get hot afternoon sun. You can also grow tiger flower in containers, but they should be protected from winter rains. 
Tiger flower care is simple if you plant them in rich and well-draining soil and provide moisture regularly. 
Fertilize with a weak mixture of liquid fertilizer a few times prior to bloom.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ruta Graveolens Flowers

Type of Flower 
Ruta Graveolens: 
Ruta graveolens commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace — is a species of Ruta grown as a herb. It is native to the Balkan Peninsula. It is now grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially because of its bluish leaves, and also sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions. It also is cultivated as a medicinal herb, as a condiment, and to a lesser extent as an insect repellent.
Blooms appear in these approximate colours: Yellow and Painter yellow. The blooms display an average of 4 petals. Leaves appear approximately as a Teal green and Celadon Green colour. It is a flowering edible herb that typically grows as a semi-evergreen, which is defined as a plant that is evergreen in mild areas but otherwise deciduous. Common rue is known for growing to a height of approximately 1.46 feet (that's 45.0 cm in metric) with a forb habit. This plant tends to bloom in late spring. This plant is a great attractor for butterflies, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Common rue is a great choice.
Surface sow seed (needs light to germinate) in peaty soil at 68°F (20°C) to germinate in 7-28 days. Transplant to full sun and fertile soil that is not too wet (keep well watered until it is established). This plant enjoys rocky soil. Try to plant in a location that enjoys partial sun / full sun and remember to water moderately. Use Zone 6 - Zone 11 as your guideline for the appropriate climate for this plant. Ensure your soil is peat-rich and has a ph of between 6.6 and 8.5 as Common rue is a weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Common rue is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.
Rue was thought to protect against plague, and since people also rubbed their floors with fresh rue to repel fleas, it probably actually did protect them. Like other bitters (wormwood, for instance), rue has been used to get rid of worms. The rutin in rue is antispasmodic and thus good for intestinal cramps and coughs. However, an excess of rue causes vomiting, can interefere with the liver, and can even be fatal; don’t use during pregnancy. Fresh leaves can cause dermatitis in senstive people, especially on hot sunny days when the essential oil is strongest. It can also interact negatively with blood thinning agents.