Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers are beautiful and fragrant. Changing seasons have a profound effect on plant and animal life. Spring is the time of renewal of plant life.
Take a moment and enjoy the myriad of colors that Spring Flowers have to offer :

Agapanthus plants are native to South Africa, spreading across the Western Cape through to the Eastern Cape. Agapanthus grow in the shade from trees to get protection from the hot sun.
The Agapanthus africanus' anthers, like the petals, are bluish because the pollen is lilac in colour. Agapanthus africanus shares this characteristic withAgapanthus caulescens and Agapanthus coddii. Bees visit and pollinate the Agapanthus flowers. The Agapanthus seeds are dispersed by wind. Agapanthus africanus are lily-like blooms and come in clusters made up of many bell-shaped flowers. The Agapanthus clusters are globe-shaped or pendular. Agapanthus flowers are in various shades of blue, from a dusky, powder blue to an almost indigo-purple, but there are some white varieties as well.

Facts About Agapanthus

  • Agapanthus is a showy widely grown plant for its exotic blue or white flowers that bloom from late spring until the beginning of autumn, depending on the species.
  • The perennial Agapantus grow from an underground rhizome each year.
  • The tender Agapantus africanus species is evergreen while the hardier Agapantus campanulatus species, coming from moister, mountain grasslands, have slightly smaller flowers and die down during winter and re-emerge again the following spring.
  • Agapanthus is suspected of causing haemolytic poisoning in humans, and the sap causes severe ulceration of the mouth.
  • Agapanthus contains several saponins and sapogenins that generally have anti-inflammatory (reduce swelling and inflammation), anti-oedema (oedema - swelling due to accumulation of fluid), antitussive (relieve or suppress coughing) and immunoregulatory (have influence on the immune system) properties.


Ornamental plants of Amaryllidaceae family are mistakenly called lilies. Amaryllidaceae species can be distinguished from members of the lily family (Liliaceae) by the anatomical placement of the ovary. Amaryllidaceae species are considered more advanced in evolution than the lilies. Sometimes the amaryllis family is included in the Liliaceae.
Amaryllis is cultivated for its beautiful and colorful flowers. The Amaryllis flower stem is erect, 5-60 cm tall, 1-3 cm in diameter, and hollow. The Amaryllis stem bears 2-5 large flowers at the apex, each flower 10-20 cm broad, with six brightly coloured tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). A stunning amaryllis flower with dark red markings, or different colors appear on the stalks. Common size bulbs often produce two 20-22 inches stems. Huge amarylllis flowers up to 6 inches across will also appear.

Facts About Amaryllis

  • Amaryllis is a perennial flowering plant.
  • Amaryllis bulbs are 3-11 cm in diameter, and produce 3-7 long-lasting leaves of 10-60 cm long and 1-5 cm broad.
  • Amaryllis have narrow, flat leaves and with lily-like flowers borne on separate, leafless stalks.
  • Amaryllis are widely distributed throughout the world, especially in flatlands of the tropics and subtropics.
  • The Amaryllis hybrids are known as Hippeastrum.


The common garden Hyacinth, Hyacinth orientalis, originated in Anatolia and was brought to Europe in the 16th century. The Hyacinth bulb produces a dense, compact spike of flowers, 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) tall.
Hyacinth are highly fragrant, bell-shaped flowers with reflexed petals. The waxy, densely-packed florets come in shades of white, peach, orange, salmon, yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender and blue.
The 7-8 leaves are strap shaped, and a fleshy, glossy green. The Hyacinth bulb is a light purple or cream in color and covered with dry, papery, skin-like layers.

Facts About Hyacinths

  • An ancient Greek legend describes the origin of the Hyacinth. Two of the gods, Apollo and Zephyr, adored a handsome young Greek called Hyakinthos. Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos the art of throwing a discus.
    Zephyr, who was the god of the west wind, was overcome with jealousy and he blew the discus back. It struck Hyakinthos on the head and killed him. From his blood grew a flower, which the sun god Apollo named after him.
  • The word 'Hyacinth' has also surfaced in an ancient language (called'Thracopelasgian'), which was spoken 4,000 years ago.
  • The wild Hyacinth is a native of Turkey and the Middle East, along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Hyacinths were grown in Europe in the time of the Greeks and Romans. Both Homer and Virgil noted the sweet fragrance.
  • After this, the Hyacinth faded from history, and did not reappear until the 16th century when it was reintroduced into Western Europe from Turkey and Iran. Leonhardt Rauwolf, (a German doctor) collected some Hyacinths when he visited Turkey in 1573.
  • Hyacinths have been cultivated commercially since the second half of the 16th century. They became very popular in 18th and early 19th century Europe.
  • The bulbs are now grown commercially in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands Hyacinths are also grown as cut flowers.
  • The common garden Hyacinth is cultivated to a minor extent in the Netherlands for the perfumery trade. However, most Hyacinth perfume sold is synthetic, based primarily upon phenylacetaldehyde. Hence, the Hyacinth is also called the Dutch Hyacinth.
  • The normal bloom time for Hyacinths is March to April.
  • March 7th is the World Hyacinth Day.
  • In the Victorian language of flowers the Hyacinth flower symbolizes sport or play, and the blue Hyacinth signifies sincerity.

Decorative Dahlia

Decorative dahlias have fully double blooms showing no disc. The ray florets are either involute, scarcely involute, not involute, or revolute at apex and either come to a point, abruptly come to a point or indention.

The Orchids are one of the most exquisite and fascinating flowers in the world. In fact, so fascinated is the world with the Orchids that many countries have adopted different varieties of orchids as their respectiveNational Flowers. Orchids are proliferated across most countries. The orchid flowers are especially prolific in the tropics, where the majority of the species grow on the trunks and branches of trees. In the temperate zones, such as southern Australia, most Orchids grow on the ground.

o flowering plant has captured the attention of humans, or stirred their passions, in quite the way that Orchids have. In the past, Orchids have been hunted and collected in almost every part of the world. Today, millions of people remain devoted to the plant and its exotically beautiful "faces." The human fascination with these strangely compelling flowers is often refered to asObsession with Orchids.
In 1735, Carl Von Lin (Linnaeus), a Swedish botanist, used the wordOrchidaceae (taken from Orkhis), which led to further discoveries carried on by Darwin. Orchids belong the the family Orchidaceae. There are 2 different growth types of Orchids. Generally Orchids are divided into Monopodial, Sympodial varieties. Monopodial Orchids have a central stem of growth. Monopodial Orchids have no pseudobulbs, but produce new growth from the crown of the plant. Flowers are produced from the stem between the leaves, usually alternately from side to side.
Sympodial Orchids possess a rhizome, which sends out a shoot. This develops into a stem and leaves and eventually produces flowers. Later, from the base of this growth, a new shoot develops and goes on. The buds are often protected by a sheath.

Categories in Orchids

Depending on their growth habits, Orchids are generally divided into three main categories-
  • Epiphytic Orchids are grown perched high in the trees clinging to branches or in the trunk apex of the tree. They derive their nutrients from the air, rain, and any decaying vegetation, which the roots can contact. Epiphytic Orchids have specialised aerial roots, which have a white spongy layer of cells called velamen. This protects the inner root tissues and absorbs water. These roots will also often dangle free in the atmosphere.
  • Lithophytic Orchids are seen covering the bases and forks of trees or filling crevices in rocks, and absorb a maximum supply of nutrients from decaying mosses.
  • Terrestrial Orchids are seen under the ground, having a symbiotic relation with a special fungus, which in turn supports the orchid with the essential nutrients.
Orchids make up the world's most diverse plant family with the number of species estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000 in over 800 genera.
Orchids are broadly constituted into five Sub-Families-
1. Cypripedioideae
2. Epidendroideae
3. Neottiodeae
4. Orchidoideae
5. Vandoideae


The word Tulip is thought to be a corruption of the Turkish word 'tulbend' for turban. The Tulip was introduced by a famous Austrian biologist Carolus Clusius. Tulips plants belong to the genus Tulipa, in the lily family, Liliaceae. Tulips bloom on bulbous plants, with large, showy flowers with six petals. There are around 100 species of Tulips, which actually came from the Central Asia where they grew wild. Turkish growers first cultivated tulips as early as 1,000 AD.

Facts about Tulips

  • There are now over 3,000 different registered varieties of cultivated Tulips.
  • Every year billions of Tulips are cultivated, a majority of which are grown and exported from Holland.
  • Historically, Europe considered Tulips as the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Tulips grow wild over a great territory from Asia Minor through Siberia to China.
  • Tulips were first cultivated and hybridized by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Tulips symbolise imagination, dreaminess, perfect lover, and a declaration of love.
  • Fresh out of onions? Use your Tulip bulbs instead! Tulip bulbs are a good replacement for onions in cooking.

Classification of Tulips

The following classification of Tulips is based on the time of bloom. Tulips can be divided into early, mid, and late season flowering Tulips.
  • Early Flowering Tulips:-These Tulips bloom in March and early April. Early Flowering Tulips are Species Tulips, Kaufmanniana (eg., Waterlily), Fosteriana (eg.,Red Emperor), Single Early(eg., Apricot Beauty ), Double Early, Greigii Tulips etc.
  • Midseason Flowering Tulips:- These bloom in April and early may. Eg., Triumph, Swan Wings Tulip, Darwin Hybrids, Parrot Tulips.
  • Late Flowering Tulips:- These Tulips bloom in May. Eg., Single Late, Double Late, Viridiflora Tulips, Lily-Flowered, Fringed Tulips, Rembrandt Tulips, Multi Flowering Tulips.


Freesia Flowers

Freesia plants grow from a corm (a solid bulb, as in Gladiolus). The Freesia orm sends up a tuft of long narrow leaves and a slightly branched stem. Freesia Flowers are borne as loose one-sided spikes of narrowly funnel-shaped flowersalong a side few leaves. Some excellent Freesia varieties (old-fashioned) for fragrance include: Athene, Allure, Demeter, Excelsior, Golden Wave, Mirabel, Pink Westlind, Snowdon, and Welkin.
The tender, cormous plant, Freesia originated in South Africa. The leaves on Freesia are sword shaped and light green and may be up to 1 feet high. Freesia Flower stalks are slender and about the same height. As many as 8 funnel-shaped Freesia flowers form a loose cluster at the top of each stalk. Where the flowers begin, the stem makes a sharp bend so that the Freesia flowers face upward.

Facts About Freesia

  • Freesia bloom was named by Dr. Freese (1785-1876) , a native of Kiel, Germany.
  • The flowers come in a great variety of colors - white, golden yellow, orange, red, pink, mauve, lavender, purple and bicolors.
  • Freesia perfume has a light, sweet, soap-like floral scent - trendy in soaps, lotions and so forth.
  • Freesia flower bouquets are also used for gifting on special occassions. Freesia flowers are symbolic of innocence.
  • Freesia are very poularly used in the perfume, scented oils and baths and other related industries.

Sweet Pea

Native to the eastern Mediterranean region from Sicily east to Crete, the Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) flowers come in a wide range of colors.

weet Pea is an annual climbing plant, growing to a height of 1-2 m, where suitable support is available. Sweet Pea Flowers bloom in lavender, pink, purple, red, white, yellow in colors among others, and are 2-3.5 cm broad. Sweet Peas are often grown by gardeners for their bright colours and the sweet fragrance that gives them their name.
There is a great deal of variation in the fragrance and intensity of smell in Sweet Pea flowers. The strength of fragrance of a Sweet Pea is sensuous and captivating and depends on a number of factors, such as rain, high temperatures, time of day and the age of the flower. Certainly, some of theolder varieties from the Eckford lines are the most reliably fragrant Sweet Pea flowers.

Facts About Sweet Pea

  • In the genus Lathyrus, there are 110 species and innumerable cultivars. In broad terms, the genus is commonly known as vetchling or wild pea. Some garden peas (Pisum sativum), such as English peas, podded peas and snow peas are edible.
  • The leaves on the Sweet Pea vine are pinnate with two leaflets and a terminal tendril.
  • Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are commercially available.
  • Henry Eckford, who hybridized and selected Sweet Pea vines for their best characteristics, introduced the "Grandifloras", which revolutionized the Sweet Pea.
  • In 1901, Silas Cole, head gardener to the Earl of Spencer, found a natural mutation of Sweet Pea and thus called "Multiflora".
  • In recent years, New Zealand has also been a source of new Sweet Pea varieties, especially the with the breeding efforts of Dr. Keith Hammett. He made great strides in the development of new color patterns, many striped varieties, short day flowering, with a focus on fragrance.
  • English gardeners call Sweet Peas the Queen of Annuals. These alluring annuals stand uniquely among garden flowers with their vivid colors, fragrance, and length of bloom in the garden.
  • The fact that Sweet Pea flowers are long-lasting cut flowers is the icing on the cake. Several stems in a plain vase make a lovely country-style bouquet.
Unlike most peas, the seeds of the sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) are poisonous, and should not be eaten. Sweet pea flowers are also not edible and are poisonous.



Zinnia is a genus of the annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. Zinnias come in 20 species of composite flowers. The flowers are ideal for indoor arrangements. Zinnias bloom in a wide variety of colors with large, mixed blooms.
ne of the easy to grow annual flower, Zinnias bloom from mid-summer all the way until frost. About 10 species of Zinnia are garden flowers but only theZinnia elegans is most popular. Zinnia elegans originated in Mexico and therefore, likes a arm-hot climate. The Zinnia plant's leaves are lance-shaped and sandpaper like in texture. The Zinnia plant's height ranges from 15 cm to 1 meter.
Zinnias come in an array of colors, multi-colors and hues. Zinnias come as yellow, orange, white, red, rose, pink, purple, lilac and multi-colored blooms. Zinnia varieties include both miniatures and giants that range from about a foot to over three feet tall.
Zinnia flowers come in a reage of appearances, from a single row of petals, to the dome shaped variety. Hardy plants,Zinnias have erect stems that bear opposite leaves and terminal flower heads. The Zinnia species with small, orange flowers is Zinnia augustifolia, while the species with red, purple, or yellow petals is Zinnia peruviana.
Did you know? Butterflies are particularly attracted to Zinnias. So, plant lots of Zinnias if you want many butterflies visting your garden!!

Facts About Zinnias

  • The name of the genus derives from the German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn's name
  • There are two species of zinnia that occasionally obtain attention as ornamental plants, the Zinnia grandiflora and Zinnia tenuifolia.
  • The common Zinnia of gardens, Zinnia elegans, is also called youth-and-old-age.
  • The most popular bedding plants, Zinnias originally grew as wildflowers native to the southwest United States, Mexico and Central America.
Did you know? Zinnia was the state flower of Indiana during 1931 - 1957.

About Rose

I'd rather have Roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. - Emma Goldman
Roses for the longest time have enjoyed the honor of being the most popular flowers in the world. The reason for popularity of the rose flower may be its wide variety in terms of color, size, fragrance and other attributes.

he rose has been a symbol of love, beauty, even war and politics from way back in time. The variety, color and even number of Roses carry symbolicmeanings. The Rose is most popularly known as the flower of love, particularly Red Rose.
Roses have been the most popular choice of flowers for the purpose of gifting across the world. They also act as a great addition to home and office decor. A bunch of roses or even a single rose works wonders aesthetically and considerably enlivens a place. Besides fresh cut rosesartificial flowers like silk roses in different colors are also widely used as decoration.

Some Interesting Facts About Roses

  • The birthplace of the cultivated Rose was probably Northern Persia, on the Caspian, or Faristan on the Gulf of Persia.
  • Historically, the oldest Rose fossils have been found in Colorado, dating back to more than 35 million years ago.
  • Roses were considered the most sacred flowers in ancient Egypt and were used as offerings for the Goddess Isis.

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