Thursday, May 20, 2010
Although early experimental crosses using the common un-colored "Johnny-jump-up" or "Pied Heart's-Ease" (Viola tricolor) a pretty weed of grain fields and hedgerows, were also being made by William Richard, gardener to Lady Mary Elizabeth Bennet (1785–1861), daughter of the Earl of Tankerville, at Walton-on-Thames. The modern garden pansy had its origin in the Iver, Buckinghamshire, estate of James, Lord Gambier, whose gardener William Thompson began about 1813 crossing various viola species with Viola tricolor. A yellow viola, V. lutea, and a wide-petalled pale yellow species of Russian origin, V. altaica were among the crosses that began the new hybrids, today classed as Viola x Wittrockiana. A round flower of overlapping petals was an early aim of Robinson's trials; in the late 1830s he found a chance sport that no longer had narrow nectar guides of dark color on the petals but a broad dark blotch on the petals, which came to be called the "face." Developed in Gambier's garden and released to the public in 1839 with the name "Medora," this pansy and its progeny, including "Victoria," rapidly became popular with gardeners and breeders throughout Europe.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansy
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Annual herbaceous plants die completely at the end of the growing season or when they have flowered and fruited, and they then grow again from seed.
Herbaceous perennial and biennial plants have stems that die at the end of the growing season, but parts of the plant survive under or close to the ground from season to season (for biennials, until the next growing season, when they flower and die). New growth develops from living tissues remaining on or under the ground, including roots, a caudex (a thickened portion of the stem at ground level) or various types of underground stems, such as bulbs, corms, stolons, rhizomes and tubers. Examples of herbaceous biennials include carrot, parsnip and common ragwort; herbaceous perennials include peony, hosta, mint, most ferns and most grasses. By contrast, non-herbaceous perennial plants are woody plants which have stems above ground that remain alive during the dormant season and grow shoots the next year from the above-ground parts – these include trees, shrubs and vines.
Some relatively fast-growing herbaceous plants (especially annuals) are pioneers, or early-successional species. Others form the main vegetation of many stable habitats, occurring for example in the ground layer of forests, or in naturally open habitats such as meadow, salt marsh or desert.
Some herbaceous plants can grow rather large, such as the Musa genus, to which the banana belongs.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbaceous
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By morphological characters, the adults can be separated from the other scarabs by the combination of the following characters: epipleuron easily recognizable, border lateral of elytra sinuate and antennal insertion visible from above. Six tribes are normally recognized: Stenotarsiini, Schizorhinini, Gymnetini, Goliathini, Cetoniini, and Cremastocheilini, the last four are also found in the New World. The tribe Gymnetini is the biggest of the American tribes, and Goliathini is mainly found in the rainforest regions of Africa.
In an episode of Mythbusters, the flower beetle, as well as cockroaches and fruit flies, were tested to determine their resistance to radiation in the event of a nuclear holocaust. In the end, the flower beetle was the only species tested to live 30 days past exposure to 100,000 rads (100 times the lethal dose to human beings).
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_beetle
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The major floats are usually produced by the parishes of Jersey. Miss Battle of Flowers, the overall winner of the Miss Parish contests, rides on her own specially made float. There was also formerly a Maid of Honour who rode with the Miss Battle but this has now been dropped. The tradition of having a Mr Battle to escort Miss Battle was in abeyance for a number of years, but Kyran Bracken revived the rôle in 2007, and 2008 saw Christopher Biggins occupying the role.
The 'Battle' itself originally consisted of dismantling the floats to provide floral ammunition for a literal battle of flowers between participants and spectators, but this aspect has long been abandoned. Since 1989, a nighttime Moonlight Parade with the floats festooned in lights has been introduced. The Moonlight parade ends with a large fireworks display.
The event has recently been the target of much criticism over fears that the transportation of foreign and exotic flowers to the island is unnecessarily increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Battle_of_Flowers
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The event was popularized in 1841 by the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written by British journalist Charles Mackay. According to Mackay, at one point 12 acres (5 ha) of land were offered for a Semper Augustus bulb. Mackay claims that many such investors were ruined by the fall in prices, and Dutch commerce suffered a severe shock. Although Mackay's book is a classic that is widely reprinted today, his account is contested. Many modern scholars believe that the mania was not as extraordinary as Mackay described, with some arguing that the price changes may not have constituted a bubble.
Research on the tulip mania is difficult because of the limited data from the 1630s—much of which comes from biased and anti-speculative sources. Although these explanations are not generally accepted, some modern economists have proposed rational explanations, rather than a speculative mania, for the rise and fall in prices. For example, other flowers, such as the hyacinth, also had high prices on the flower's introduction, which then fell dramatically. The high prices may also have been driven by expectations of a parliamentary decree that contracts could be voided for a small cost—thus lowering the risk to buyers.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania
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A stolon is similar to a rhizome, but, unlike a rhizome, which is the main stem of the plant, a stolon sprouts from an existing stem, has long internodes, and generates new shoots at the end, such as in the strawberry plant. In general, rhizomes have short internodes; they send out roots from the bottom of the nodes and new upward-growing shoots from the top of the nodes. It is a method of reproduction for plants. A stem tuber is a thickened part of a rhizome or stolon that has been enlarged for use as a storage organ. In general, a tuber is high in starch, for example, the common potato, which is a modified stolon. The term tuber is often used imprecisely, and is sometimes applied to plants with rhizomes.
Some plants have rhizomes that grow above ground or that lie at the soil surface, including some Iris species, and ferns, whose spreading stems are rhizomes. Plants with underground rhizomes include ginger, bamboo, the Venus Flytrap, Chinese lantern, Western poison-oak, hops, Alstroemeria, and turmeric, and the weeds Johnson grass, bermuda grass, and purple nut sedge. Rhizomes generally form a single layer, but in Giant Horsetails, can be multi-tiered.
If rhizomes are broken into pieces, each piece may be able to give rise to a new plant. This is a process known as vegetative reproduction and is used by farmers and gardeners to propagate certain plants. Examples of plants that are propagated this way include hops, asparagus, ginger, irises, Lily of the Valley, Cannas, and sympodial orchids.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizome
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Dried lotus seeds past their prime oxidize to a yellow brown colour. However, this is not necessarily an indicator of freshness since sellers of dried lotus seeds may choose to bleach their products with hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide, or other more toxic chemicals.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_seed
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The famous ancient Chinese city Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peonies. Throughout Chinese history, peonies in Luoyang are often said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.
In Japan, Paeonia lactiflora used to be called ebisugusuri ("foreign medicine"). In kampo (the Japanese adaptation of Chinese medicine), its root was used as a treatment for convulsions. It is also cultivated as a garden plant. In Japan Paeonia suffruticosa is called the "The King of flowers" and Paeonia lactiflora is called the "prime minister of flowers."
Pronunciation of 牡丹 (peony) in Japan is "botan." Before the Meiji period, meat taken from quadrupeds was seldom consumed in Japan due to Buddhism. Thus in cases where such meat was handled, it was paraphrased using the names of flowers. The term botan was used (and is still used) to paraphrase wild boar meat. This comes from the flowery resemblance of the sliced meat when spread over a dish. Another example is sakura (cherry blossoms) which stands for horsemeat.
In 1957, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law to make the peony the state flower of Indiana, a title which it holds to this day. It replaced the zinnia, which had been the state flower since 1931.
Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony thus causing this magnificent flower to be given the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers. It was named after Paeon, a physician to the gods, who obtained the plant on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. Once planted the Peony likes to be left alone and punishes those who try to move it by not flowering again for several years. Once established, however, it produces splendid blooms each year for decades (Taken from The Language of Flowers, edited by Sheila Pickles, 1990).
Peonies are also extensively grown as ornamental plants for their very large, often scented flowers.
Peonies tend to attract ants to the flower buds. This is due to the nectar that forms on the outside of the flower buds, and it not required for the plants' own pollination or other growth.
Peonies are a common subject in tattoos, often used along with koi-fish. The popular use of peonies in Japanese tattoo was inspired by the ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi's illustrations of the Suikoden, a serialized novel from China. His paintings of warrior-heroes covered in pictorial tattoos included lions, tigers, dragons, koi fish, and peonies, among other symbols. The peony became a masculine motif, associated with a devil-may-care attitude and disregard for consequence.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peony
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Dried lotus seeds that are sold in packages or in bulk at many Asian markets must first be soaked in water overnight prior to use due to their hardness and toughness. They can then be added directly to soups and congee, or used in other dishes.
Fresh lotus seeds are sold in the seed heads of the plant and eaten by breaking the individual seeds out of cone shaped head. The soft rubbery shell that surrounds each seed should be removed before consuming.
Crystallized lotus seeds (蓮子糖), made by drying lotus seeds cooked in syrup, are a well-loved Chinese snack and are eaten especially near Chinese new year.
The most common use of the seed is in the form of lotus seed paste (蓮蓉), which is used extensively in Chinese pastries. The paste is also used in Japanese cuisine, as an ingredient in cakes and other dessert items.
When cooked in clear soups, lotus seeds are believed in Chinese medicine to "clear heat" (清熱) and be particularly nutritious and restorative to one's health, which may explain the prevalence of their use in Chinese cuisine.
Other ingredients that are considered "cooling" or restorative in Chinese medicines, which are often cooked in a sweetened soup with lotus seeds include:
• Azuki beans (紅豆)
• Job's Tears (薏仁)
• Dried jujubes (紅棗)
• Mung beans (绿豆)
• Asian pear (雪梨)
• Snow fungus (银耳 or 白木耳)
Lotus soups sometimes also include a whole chicken, other poultry, or fish for similar medicinal purposes.
The bitter dried germ of the lotus seed can also be found sold as a restorative tisane (蓮子心茶).
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_seed
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The plant's association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson "blossoms" sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.
Poinsettias are popular Christmas decorations in homes, churches, offices, and elsewhere across North America. They are available in large numbers from grocery, drug, and hardware stores. In the United States, December 12 is National Poinsettia Day.
Big Spring, Texas is well known for its poinsettias as the "lighted poinsettia capital". When the Comanche Trail Festival of Lights first began the dam at the big spring held four huge poinsettias made of rebar welded together in the shape of a poinsettia flower. Each flower was made up of 5 leaves. The leaves were decorated with red Christmas lights. The four poinsettia flowers were an awesome sight to see entering Big Spring from the south. Each year more flowers were added to the dam and inside the park until Comanche Trail Park has by 2006 added seven poinsettias, making a total of eleven lighted flowers on the dam and countless flowers inside the park, making Comanche Trail Park the Christmas Poinsettia capital.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poinsettia
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The flowers, seeds, young leaves, and "roots" (rhizomes) are all edible. In Asia, the petals are used sometimes for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food. In Korea, the leaves and petals are used as a tisane. Yeonkkotcha (연꽃차) is made with dried petals of white lotus and yeonipcha (연잎차) is made with the leaves. The rhizome (called ǒu (藕) in pinyin Chinese, ngau in Cantonese, bhe in Hindi, renkon (レンコン, 蓮根 in Japanese), yeongeun (연근) in Korean) is used as a vegetable in soups, deep-fried, stir-fried, and braised dishes and the roots are also used in traditional Asian herbal medicine. Petals, leaves, and rhizome can also all be eaten raw, but there is a risk of parasite transmission (e.g., Fasciolopsis buski): it is therefore recommended that they be cooked before eating.
Lotus rootlets are often pickled with rice vinegar, sugar, chili and/or garlic. It has a crunchy texture with sweet-tangy flavours. In Asian cuisine, it is popular with salad, prawns, sesame oil and/or coriander leaves. Lotus roots have been found to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, while very low in saturated fat.
The stamens can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea called liánhuā cha (蓮花茶) in Chinese, or (particularly in Vietnam) used to impart a scent to tea leaves. The lotus seeds or nuts (called liánzĭ, 蓮子; or xian liánzĭ, 鲜莲子, in Chinese) are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn, phool makhana. They can also be boiled until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to make a tong sui (sweet soup). Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste becomes one of the most common ingredients used in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku, and rice flour pudding.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Flower
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The fruit is a false berry 5–16 millimetres (0.20–0.63 in) diameter with a flared crown at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally blueish-purple when ripe. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Blueberry bushes typically bear fruit in the middle of the growing season: fruiting times are affected by local conditions such as altitude and latitude, so the height of the crop can vary from May to August depending upon these conditions.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry
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Kalmia is named after the Finnish botanist Pehr Kalm, who collected it in eastern North America during the 18th Century.
The leaves are 2–12 cm long, simple lanceolate, and arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are white, pink or purple, in corymbs of 10-50, reminiscent of Rhododendron flowers but flatter, with a star-like calyx of five conjoined petals; each flower is 1–3 cm diameter. The fruit is a five-lobed capsule, which splits to release the numerous small seeds.
The foliage is toxic if eaten, with sheep being particularly prone to poisoning, hence the name lambkill used for some of the species. Other names for Kalmia, particularly Kalmia angustifolia, are sheep-laurel, lamb-kill, calf-kill, kill-kid, and sheep-poison, which may be written with or without the hyphen. (See species list below.) "Kid" here refers to a young goat, not a human child, but the foliage and twigs are toxic to humans as well.
It has also been called spoonwood because Kalm was told by Dutch settlers of North America that Native Americans made spoons from the wood. Given its toxicity, this may be folklore rather than scientific fact.
Kalmias are popular garden shrubs, grown for their decorative flowers. They should not be planted where they are accessible to livestock due to the toxicity.
Kalmia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some lepidopteran species including Coleophora kalmiella which feeds exclusively on Kalmia.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmia
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Like standard sunflowers, the florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, and they mature into what are traditionally called "sunflower seeds." These are actually the fruit (an achene) of the plant, and the inedible husk is the wall of the fruit, while the true seed lies within the kernel.
Red sunflowers in the bud stage exhibit heliotropism. At sunrise, the faces of most sunflowers turn toward the east. Over the course of the day, they move to track the sun from east to west, while at night they return to an eastward orientation. This motion is performed by motor cells in the pulvinus, a flexible segment of the stem just below the bud. As the bud stage ends, the stem stiffens and the blooming stage is reached. Heliotropism is not a trait of sunflowers once they reach the blooming stage.
The stem of the flower can grow up to 3 metres (9 ft 10 in) tall. Multiple cultivars of red sunflowers exist; varieties include "Prado Red" and "Red Sun."
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_sunflower
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For many centuries extracts of milk thistle have been recognized as "liver tonics." Research into the biological activity of silymarin and its possible medical uses has been conducted in many countries since the 1970s, but the quality of the research has been uneven.Milk thistle has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), toxin-induced liver damage (including the prevention of severe liver damage from Amanita phalloides (death cap) mushroom poisoning), and gallbladder disorders. Reviews of the literature covering clinical studies of silymarin vary in their conclusions. A review using only studies with both double-blind and placebo protocols concluded that milk thistle and its derivatives "does not seem to significantly influence the course of patients with alcoholic and/or hepatitis B or C liver diseases." A different review of the literature, performed for the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, found that, while there is strong evidence of legitimate medical benefits, the studies done to date are of such uneven design and quality that no firm conclusions about degrees of effectiveness for specific conditions or appropriate dosage can yet be made.
A review of studies of silymarin and liver disease which are available on the web shows an interesting pattern in that studies which tested low dosages of silymarin concluded that silymarin was ineffective, while studies which used significantly larger doses concluded that silymarin was biologically active and had therapeutic effects.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_thistle
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The yellow flowers of the plant produce hairy seed pods, with each pod containing roughly a half dozen seeds. These seeds are harvested just prior to the pods becoming ripe and bursting.
White mustard seeds are hard round seeds, usually around 1 to 1.5 millimeters in diameter, with a color ranging from beige or yellow to light brown. They can be used whole for pickling or toasted for use in dishes. When ground and mixed with other ingredients, a paste or more standard condiment can be produced.
The seeds contain sinalbin, which is a thioglycoside responsible for their pungent taste. White mustard has fewer volatile oils and the flavor is considered to be milder than that produced by black mustard seeds.
The blooming season of this plant (February-March) is celebrated with the Mustard Festival, a series of festivities in the Wine Country of California (Napa and Sonoma counties).
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_mustard
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The table below lists some of the known melliferous plants, and indicates the flowering period, as well as the resources harvested by bees (Nectar, pollen, propolis, and honeydew). It is worth noting that each plant does not produce the same quantity or quality of these resources, and even among species the production can vary due to region, plant health, climate, etc.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melliferous_flower
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Lambertia formosa grows as a spreading shrub to 2 m (7 ft) tall, with one or more stems arising from a woody base known as a lignotuber. The new growth is covered with a fine brownish hair. The stiff leaves are arranged in whorls of 3, or sometimes up to 4 to 6, on the stems, and are linear to narrow-oblanceolate in shape. Measuring anywhere from 1 to 8 cm (0.4–3 in) in length and 0.2-0.7 cm wide, they have a pointed tip or apex. Flowers are seen at any time of year, but more often over spring and summer (September to January). The inflorescences are made up of seven smaller individual flowers, known as florets, and can be shades of red or pink in colour. The perianths are 4.5 cm (1.6 in) long, with the styles protruding another 1-1.5 cm (0.5 in) beyond. Flowering is followed by the development of (2 cm - 3 cm x 1 cm - 2 cm) fruit which have two (1 cm - 1.5 cm) sharp horny protuberances, and a 0.5 cm 'beak', initially pale green in colour before fading to a grey-brown.
Endemic to New South Wales, Lambertia formosa is found in on or east of the Great Dividing Range from the vicinity of Braidwood north to Port Stephens, as well as some parts of Northern New South Wales around Grafton and between Red Rock and Yamba. Predominantly found on sandy or rocky soils, it grows in heathland, mallee shrubland and dry sclerophyll forest.
Lambertia formosa regenerates after bushfire by resprouting from its woody lignotuber. Flowering peaks two or three years after a fire. The flowers are pollinated by honeyeaters, which perch as they consume the nectar.
Lambertia formosa is readily grown in a home garden given a sunny position and fair drainage. It is bird attracting.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambertia_formosa
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The Puyallup River valley, in which part of Tacoma, and all Puyallup, Sumner and Orting lie, has rich glacial soil. In 1925 the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommended bulb growing to replace the decaying hops industry.
Soon, the trademark bulb fields sprung up, most notably Van Lierop's bulb farm in Puyallup, along Shaw Road. Daffodils and tulips became the best crops.
The Daffodil Festival was established in 1926 as an annual, formal garden party of Mr. And Mrs. Charles W. Orton in Orting. In 1934 the parade section of the festival was established, as a procession of automobiles decorated with daffodils.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daffodil_Festival
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Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissus_%28genus%29
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Sunflower oil, extracted from the seeds, is used for cooking, as a carrier oil and to produce margarine and biodiesel, as it is cheaper than olive oil. A range of sunflower varieties exist with differing fatty acid compositions; some 'high oleic' types contain a higher level of healthy monounsaturated fats in their oil than even olive oil.
The cake remaining after the seeds have been processed for oil is used as a livestock feed. Some recently developed cultivars have drooping heads. These cultivars are less attractive to gardeners growing the flowers as ornamental plants, but appeal to farmers, because they reduce bird damage and losses from some plant diseases. Sunflowers also produce latex and are the subject of experiments to improve their suitability as an alternative crop for producing hypoallergenic rubber.
Traditionally, several Native American groups planted sunflowers on the north edges of their gardens as a "fourth sister" to the better known three sisters combination of corn, beans, and squash. Annual species are often planted for their allelopathic properties.
However, for commercial farmers growing commodity crops, the sunflower, like any other unwanted plant, is often considered a weed. Especially in the midwestern US, wild (perennial) species are often found in corn and soybean fields and can have a negative impact on yields.
Sunflowers may also be used to extract toxic ingredients from soil, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. They were used to remove uranium, cesium-137, and strontium-90 from soil after the Chernobyl disaster (see phytoremediation).
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower
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Many indigenous American peoples used the sunflower as the symbol of their solar deity, including the Aztecs and the Otomi of Mexico and the Incas in South America. Francisco Pizarro was the first European to encounter the sunflower in Tahuantinsuyo, Peru. Gold images of the flower, as well as seeds, were taken back to Spain early in the 16th century. Some researchers argue that the Spaniards tried to suppress cultivation of the sunflower because of its association with solar religion and warfare.
During the 18th century, the use of sunflower oil became very popular in Europe, particularly with members of the Russian Orthodox Church because sunflower oil was one of the few oils that was not prohibited during Lent, according to some fasting traditions.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower
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What is usually called the flower is actually a head (formally composite flower) of numerous florets (small flowers) crowded together. The outer florets are the sterile ray florets and can be yellow, maroon, orange, or other colors. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds
The florets within the sunflower's cluster are arranged in a spiral pattern. Typically each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other. This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower
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Monday, May 17, 2010
A curious aspect of this plant is that flowers of different colors can be found simultaneously on the same plant. Additionally, an individual flower can be splashed with different colors. Another interesting point is a color-changing phenomenon. For example, in the yellow variety, as the plant matures, it can display flowers that gradually change to a dark pink color. Similarly white flowers can change to light violet.
The flowers usually open from late afternoon onwards, then producing a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance, hence the first of its common names. In China, it is called the "shower flower" (Chinese: 洗澡花; pinyin: xǐzǎo huā) or "rice boiling flower" (煮饭花; zhǔfàn huā) because it is in bloom at the time of these activities. In Hong Kong, it is known as "purple jasmine" (紫茉莉). Despite their appearance, the flowers are not formed from petals – rather they are a pigmented modification of the calyx.
The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued moths of the Sphingidae family, such as the sphinx moths or hawk moths and other nocturnal pollinators attracted by the fragrance.
M. jalapa hails from tropical South America, but has become naturalised throughout tropical and warm temperate regions. In cooler temperate regions, it will die back with the first frosts, regrowing in the following spring from the tuberous roots. The plant does best in full sun. It grows to approximately 0.9 m in height.
The single-seeded fruit are spherical, wrinkled and black upon maturity (see picture), having started out greenish-yellow. The plant will self-seed, often spreading rapidly if left unchecked in a garden. Some gardeners recommend that the seeds should be soaked before planting, but this is not totally necessary. In North America, the plant perennializes in warm, coastal environments, particularly in USDA Zones 9–10.
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The species flowers are pink, fading to nearly white, very fragrant, about 1⁄2 inches (1.3 cm) across when expanded, few or many in clusters at ends of branches. Calyx of 5 dry overlapping sepals; corolla salver-shaped, the slender, hairy tube spreading into 5 equal lobes; 10 stamens; 1 pistil with a column-like style and a 5-lobed stigma.
Stem: Spreading over the ground (Epigaea = on the earth); woody, the leafy twigs covered with rusty hairs. Leaves: Alternate, oval, rounded at the base, smooth above, more or less hairy below, evergreen, weather-worn, on short, rusty, hairy petioles.
Slow growing, it prefers moist, acidic (hummus) soil, and shade.Epigaea repens is the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts.Curiously, the lower part of the flower petal of Epigaea repens tastes remarkably similar to Lychee berries.
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It is also seen in the South Asia and widely spread in most of the cities with old XVIII-XIX century architecture in the Balkans. In Bangladesh, it is called "Time Fuul", meaning "Time Flower", because the flower has a specific time to bloom.
It is a small, but fast-growing annual plant growing to 30 cm tall, though usually less. However if it is cultivated properly it can easily reach this height. The leaves are thick and fleshy, up to 2.5 cm long, arranged alternately or in small clusters. The flowers are 2.5–3 cm diameter with five petals, variably red, orange, pink, white, and yellow. Numerous cultivars have been selected for double flowers with additional petals, and for variation in flower color.
It is widely grown in temperate climates as an ornamental plant for annual bedding or as a container plant. It requires ample sunlight and well-drained soils. It requires almost no attention and spreads itself very easy. In places with old architecture it can grow between the stones of the road or sidewalk.
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In addition to the mentioned seed pretreatments, seed germination is also assisted when disease-free soil is used. Especially when trying to germinate difficult seed (e.g. certain tropical fruit), prior treatment of the soil (along with the usage of the most suitable soil; e.g. potting soil, prepared soil or other substrates) is vital. The two most used soil treatments are pasteurisation and sterilisation. Depending on the necessity, pasteurisation is to be preferred as this does not kill all organisms. Sterilisation can be done when trying to grow truly difficult crops. To pasteurise the soil, the soil is heated for 15 minutes in an oven of 120 °C.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sowing
See Also : Perth Florist, Malaysia Florist, Thai Flowers, Fathers Day
Generally, a florist's shop will contain a large array of flowers, sometimes displayed on the street, or will have a large plate glass window to display the flowers. To keep them fresh, the flowers will be inside of a cooler and kept in water, generally in glass or plastic vases or other containers. Most shops have a cooler near the front of the store with large glass doors so that customers can easily view the contents. Some shops also have another cooler out of the customers' view where they keep extra stock and arrangements for customers' orders. Most stores have a back section in which the designers can work on orders with more privacy.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florist
See Also : Sydney Florist, Melbourne Florist, Brisbane Florist
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Flower Power originated in Berkeley, California as a symbolic action of protest against the Vietnam War. In his November 1965 essay titled How to Make a March/Spectacle, Ginsberg advocated that protesters should be provided with "masses of flowers" to hand out to policemen, press, politicians and spectators. The use of props like flowers, toys, flags, candy and music were meant to turn anti-war rallies into a form of street theater thereby reducing the fear, anger and threat that is inherent within protests. In particular, Ginsberg wanted to counter the "specter" of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who supported the war and had threatened to violently disrupt planned anti-war demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley. Using Ginsberg's methods, the protest received positive attention and the use of "flower power" became an integral symbol in the counter-culture movement.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_power
See Also : Flowers, Florist, Florists
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Love is in the air every time Valentine’s Day approaches or Mother’s Day arrives. How do we fill the gap in our hearts if we are all alone in this world, without a lifetime partner or having any sorts of relationship for us to call someone else, our love?
Is that why certain women become materialistic over time? Indulging in designer labels and parading them down the streets and in shopping malls to the envy of others, hoping it will provide some sort of self-gratification and self-satisfaction? Hoping that this self-created feeling will be a substitute for the love she long for? Yet we realise the more we spend, the deeper we immerse ourselves to the breaking point that we question ourselves on the true motivation behind it. Is it worth the while?
The higher the heels, the higher we fall. Similarly, the higher we attain and achieve in life, the more careful we have to be lest the fall will be too great.
What flowers from a florist, will complement a lady who has climbed the success ladder? Select from elegant lilies to romantic roses depicting class and style.
What about a homemaker who has become the head of the household, managing all issues at home? Bright cheery sunflowers to reflect her zest for life which has made her the perfect model for aspiring mothers and wives?Before you send flowers from a florist, check your intentions and imagine the recipient’s response and with that, remember to carve out the right words from your heart.