Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celosia argentea plumosa-Cockscomb flowers pictures

Celosia argentea plumosa or Cockscomb flowers are bold garden accents.
The vividly colored flower are arranged in spikes to resemble a plume of feathers, some upright flowers like ostrich plumes, others are crested, resemble rooster combs.
The long lasting flowers come in scarlet, yellow, pink rose, apricot, orange, purple, salmon and cream.
Celosia plumosa flowers bloom from early summer to late fall.
Celosia Argentea Plumosa-Cockscomb flower macro photo
Cockscomb flowers are beautiful cut flowers, very effective in borders, edging, beddings and can be dried for winter.

Celosia plumosa - Cockscomb flowers among hot chilly plants
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vriesea splendens-Flaming Sword bromeliad-Vriesea hybrids

There are many varieties of vriesea bromeliads, producing different shade of the flowering spikes and leaf variegation.
Vriesea splendens or Flaming Sword is appreciated as houseplant for its flat, bright red flower spike with small yellow flowers and its colorful foliage.
The maroon banded leaves are displayed in a rosette form and the colorful pattern is responsible for the plants other name, the Zebra bromeliad.

Vriesea bromeliads are slow growing plants, they need 3-4 year to flower.
Vriesea splendens-Flaming SwordThe flower spike will last for several weeks.
After flowering, the Flaming Sword produces one or more offsets, while the mother plant slowly dies back.
  • Light: bright indirect light year-round;
  • Temperature: keep in a warm room at 21-27 ° C (70-80° F) ;
  • Water: keep the soil moist at all times, and refill the vase every 2 weeks with fresh water. Mist weekly, and keep in a humid environment.
  • Propagation: after flowering, allow the pup (offset) to grow until it is at least 20 cm (8 in) tall, than detach it and pot it up;
The next picture shows another variety of Vriesea hybrids, having greed leaves and red or orange flower spikes.
Vriesea hybrids
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Pink-purple spotted carnation flower picture

The Carnation is said to be January's Birth Flower.
This is a beautiful variety of carnation flower, having pink petals dotted and spotted at the edges with purple.
Pink carnation flower with purple edges-macro photo
Pink-purple spotted carnation flower
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aechmea fasciata-Silver vase bromeliad flower

Aechmea fasciata or Silver Vase Bromeliad is native to Brazil, being among the most beautiful and probably the best known of all Bromeliads.
Bromeliads love the heat and humidity, thus they are found in the tropics, just like many ferns, cacti and orchids as well as in the temperate zone, along mosses, liverworts, lichens and algae.
Most of the species in this genus are air plants (epiphytes) growing upon other plant, such as trees, or sometimes upon building or even telegraph wire, absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air and rain.
Aechmea fasciata-Silver Vase Bromeliad
In other parts of the world, the urn plant (Aechmea fasciata) is appreciated as house plant for its colorful foliage and beautiful, long lasting bloom. The gray-green leaves with silver-gray bands are arranged in a vase-shaped rosette. From the center of the rosette rises the flower spike with light purple flowers surrounded by pink bracts and bract leaves. The flower lasts for several months under a wide range of temperatures, from 7 - 37° C (45 - 100° F).
Aechmea fasciata-Silver Vase Bromeliad-macro photo
  • Silver vase bromeliad prefers bright light, protected from direct sun.
  • Keep the soil evenly moist at all times, keep a small amount of water in the cup of the plant and mist with warm water in the summer.
  • Propagation is possible from seeds or offsets.
    Being a slow growing plant, Aechmea fasciata, like most varieties of Bromeliads are purchased when in flower, disposable after.
    Bromeliads produce side shoots (offsets) after flowering, which can be left on the mother plant or can be divided and rooted. It may take several years before the offset is mature enough to flower. The mother plant will die back slowly.
Bibliography: Wikipedia
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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Cornflower-Centaurea cyanus-Bachelor's button

Centaurea cyanus, Cornflower on its popular name, or Bachelor's button (Boutonniere flower) or Bluebottle, is a small annual flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe.
Cornflower is a lovely ornamental plant in gardens, flowering from June until August.
The wild variety, with its flowers of an intense blue color, grew as a weed in crop fields, hence its name. Due to over-use of herbicides by agriculturists, it is now endangered in its native habitat, however, through introduction as an ornamental plant, the Bachelor's button is now naturalized in many other parts of the world.
Centaurea cyanus-Cornflower pictureWith several cultivars, having a great variety of pastel colors including white, pink, lavender and a very dark, almost black, Centaurea is also a beautiful addition to wildflower bouquets.

Cornflower is on of the preferred flowers of chefs too, the edible flower being occasionally used as a culinary ornament or to add color to salads. Also, cornflowers are often used as an ingredient in some tea blends and herbal teas. A decoction of cornflower is helpful in treating conjunctivitis, and as a wash for tired eyes.
Blue cornflower picture-Bachelor's buttonCornflowers (Centaurea cyanus) are among the few blue flowers that are truly blue, most blue flowers being a darker blue-purple mix.
This is one of the reasons why cornflowers have been used and prized historically for their blue pigment called anthocyanin. This mysterious pigment was first detected in the blue cornflower 1913. Later the very same pigment was found in the red rose. In almost a century, the mystery of how one pigment could produce two different colors and why are roses red and cornflowers blue has not been totally understood by scientists. That is only nature's secret, so far.
Commercial flower growers are trying to breed blue flowers from plants that do not naturally produce blue blooms, like a true blue rose. The blue roses available in present are producing delphinidin, found naturally in delphiniums. Cornflower blue is a different, brilliant sky blue, a shade of azure.
Cornflower mosaic-different colorsSymbolism of cornflower

In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was believed to be a sign that the man's love was not returned.

Throughout Europe, the cornflower has been made the official symbol of Estonia, the Swedish province of Östergötlandand, it is one of the national flowers of Germany, of political parties in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, a common symbol for veterans in France.
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