Notice

Please note that all content (photographs and text) are copyright of the author. I have licenced the contents of my blog under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License:This means that you can repost and use material for non commercial use only and as long as you give credit to me as the author and include the same conditions for anyone else to use the material likewise.Refer to the link for more information: Creative CommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Mirabilis jalapa: The Four O'clock or Marvel of Peru, a plant that can tell the time!

I was first introduced to Mirabilis jalapa as a child in Samoa by Aunty May Sa'aga who lived across the road from us and had some in her garden. She kindly gave me some seeds when I begged for some. I was skeptical about the story about them opening at four o'clock but on a latter observation realized that they did indeed open around four o'clock.

Mirabilis jalapa Four-O'clock / Marvel of Peru
In Samoa they pretty much consistently opened around that time but in Bristol, England I have found that they seem to open a bit later. Mind you there are two variables which might affect the ones I have at the moment. The first being that I have them indoors and the amount of sunlight hey get might not be adequate although they do get a full dose of the afternoon sun. The second factor is that summer days here are longer than in Samoa and at the moment it is sometimes still light around nine or ten o'clock.
Mirabilis jalapa Four-O'clock / Marvel of Peru

This is probably the critical factor, because these are vespertine flowers. Therefore the time in which they open has more to do with the cycle of the sun than human time keeping. They definitely do not heed any daylight savings time either. After all they are pollinated by moths, so opening too early is pointless. That said I must admit that my observations of the opening times of Mirabilis jalapa in Samoa was not exactly governed by any strict scientific method let alone over different times of the year.
Mirabilis jalapa Four-O'clock / Marvel of Peru
It would be interesting to find out what times they do actually open over a 12 month period and to compare this with opening times in other parts of the world. I suppose you would need to include readings of sunlight as well.

The seeds I got from Aunty May gave me a handful of plants but I ended up with many more because they flowered profusely and produce lots of seeds which from memory were quite viable. The seed starts of green and turns black after which it falls off. You can pick them before they fall off but you need to wait until the whole seed has turned black otherwise, if there are any green spots left then it has not fully matured.

Unfortunately at the time I had a couple ducks that another neighbor Uncle William Arp gave to me in exchange for a bag of chicken feed from my parents. It turned out that the luscious green leaves of my Four-o'clocks were quite tasty to two feathered connoisseurs of green leaves and on the morning that they had discovered this I came out to find every single plant completely stripped of all its leaves.

Strangely, although I recently came across some warnings about the plant being toxic, I cannot recall the ravenous ducks suffering any ill effects after their illicit predawn feast.

In Bristol I came across some being sold in a store, except in this case it was not seeds but the corm. I grew some in pots that I placed in windows while others I left outside on the roof.I later bought some seeds through Amazon.


Binomial Name: Mirabilis jalapa
Common names: Marvel of Peru, Four O'clock (English); (Dutch); Belle-de-nuit, Merveille du Pérou (French); Wunderblume (German); Bella di note(Italian): Dondiego de noche, Donpedros Periquito, Marvilla o Cavellina (Spanish)

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: . – .
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Caryphylanae
Order: Caryophyllales –
Family: Nyctaginaceae – 
Genus: Mirabilis – 
Species: Mirabilis japala


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [February 11 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Just a quick update and some random photos of plants and critters

Sorry, I have been busy with assignment, exams and other stuff. But will be getting some more posts published soon. Hopefully I will be able to do a a whole stack of them so that next time I get bogged down with studies and other stuff I will have a few completed posts all ready and set to go. Then all I will have to do is publish them on a regular basis.  I have done that before and it worked just fine.
Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora) one of the plants I will be doing a post on.
 The thing is doing a proper post takes time since I want to include all the relevant information about the plants and critters I cover. This means looking up the taxonomical data, checking it against the Integrated Taxonomic Information System,which is the one I have decided to use in order to standardize my posts. That is a fairly simple thing if I know the name of the plant, that is either the scientific (binomial) or common (vernacular) name since then I can do a search to find the other names.
Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) one plant that I have long been meaning to write a post on

That way I can include both the scientific and common names. Since I am multilingual and know that I have readers that speak other languages as well as being interested in etymology, translation and language issues (see my other blog: The Blood of Souls), I also try and find out what the common names are for the plants and animals that I cover.
Asiatic rhinoceros beetle or coconut rhinoceros beetle (
Oryctes rhinoceros) One of the critetrs I have already done a post on but might do another post on.
 Plus if the plant has any interesting stories associated with it or has any special properties or uses (medical, culinary or other) then I also try to include this information. When medical or traditional medical use pops up is usually when things get bogged down since I want to check and verify the information against actual scientific journals rather than just repeat stuff (which tends to be the standard practice with far too many people reporting on such things). I also have been including the links and references to my sources.
A Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

With the animals I do the same in terms of taxonomy, names and any relevant / interesting information. I guess I should find a way of including the other four kingdoms (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Fungi and Protists) in the title somehow since I have covered some of them in posts already in relation to their interaction with either a plant or animal or in relation to medical properties (see my post on Sensitive grass) or their impact on agriculture.
Jasper and Jasmine two kittens who I have a long outstanding post to complete on who are fascinating due to being examples of chimerism and mosaicism.

Also I guess I will be posting some more pictures of certain lunatic felonious felines I have had the fortune to know since I still have a lot of photographs I took and have never used. For example I need to dig up the long post I wrote on chimerism and mosaicism in relation to Jasper and Jasmine. That one got bogged down first because of the genetics involved and then because I came across some fascinating cases in humans.
In the meantime I continue to accumulate photos and will probably get even more since I am hoping to visit some botanical gardens as well as some other places to stock up on more photos to use for my blogs (since all the photos I use are my own). This sometimes dictates the nature of the posts while on other occasions it directs the places I go in search of a specific subject I need a photo of in order to be able to include a photo for a post. 

Two examples of the genus Celosia
For example if I want to get photos of different varieties of a plant or compare different species of the same genus I cannot complete a post until I track down what I need to photograph. This means that I will also be able to do more posts on places to visit in terms of where to go to see certain plants or animals.
Pebble of the Ninja Cat Clan. One of the less salubrious of adorable if the felonious felines
I will also be doing some more posts with details on how to grow and or propagate certain plants. These take time to produce since as I use my own photos I need to grow and or propagate them myself since that is the only way I can get photos of the various stages of development. Plus, it is not exactly acceptable to pull up plants in gardens just so you can take a picture of the root system, is it?  One that I will soon be able to write up and photograph is two ways of propagating African Violets: By leaf cuttings and by division since my efforts in both cases have been successful. The first by intent and the later by serendipity.
Several  examples of African violet cultivars
Anyway ... basically I hope to be able to get a whole lot of posts sorted over the next few months as well as gather more photos and material to serve as fodder for future posts.
On the other hand I also still have a lot of editing work to do on the old posts since I still need to check stuff, add references and links as well as reformat the layout of the taxonomical data and basically tidy them all up.
Sharon-fruit or Persimmons (
Diospyros kaki)

Hopefully I will be able to do most of these but don't worry I will still be catering to the Eye Candy crowd who want photos of beautiful flowers and nice scenery to look at. Oh and a couple of other things. The first is that I finally set up a Deviant Art account in which I have slowly been uploading some of my photos and art work onto the site. These can made into various products from postcards to coasters and art prints via the Deviant Art Portal. These will be supplemental to the postcards and greeting cards I have already had made but which will only be available in Samoa.
Setting up the Deviant Art account was to enable people outside of Samoa who might want some of these to be able to get them too.
I am also hoping to be able to get a book published this year using crowdfunding but still have some preliminary work to do on that.

Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [April 16 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Magnolias and Cherry Trees in Hyde Park

In April I went to London to visit some friends for Easter Sunday Lunch and the Massacre of Golden Chocolate Bunnies. On the way I had to make my way through Hyde Park which had some flower beds.

While I'd expected to see more flowers Hyde Park seemed more about vast expanses of lawn with numerous paths and a scattering of trees. Given the size of Hyde Park and how I was trying to navigate across it using Google maps I suppose that impression may be mistaken. On top of that Google maps could not quite make up its mind as to where exactly I was which led me to taking me by a circuitous route instead of the straight bee line to the spot I wanted to get too did not help.

Nevertheless I did get to see some interesting sights which included a stream and small waterfall and some Mangolias and Cherry Trees.

I wanted to take a bit more time to explore and take pictures but was not sure how long it would take me to get across Hyde Park let alone find and navigate the streets and alleys I had to to get to my destination.
As it was, thanks to Goggle maps's uncertainty it was a good thing I did not linger. One area that I had hope to see were the lilies in the Italian Garden but they were empty when I passed them as the water lilies were no doubt still dormant.
Cherry Tree in Hyde Park
Hopefully I will be able to arrange another visit to London during the Waterlily blooming period. Well ... considering that I have yet to visit Kew Gardens that is something to add to my list of things to do.


 Binomial Name: Magnolia
Common names: Magnolia (English); (French); (Samoan); 

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Magnolianae –
Order: Magnoliales –
Family: Magnoliaceae – 
Genus: Magnolia – 
Species: Magnolia 


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [April 15 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Magnolia
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Magnoliaceae
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Entry for
  • The Plant List: Entry for
  • University of Tennessee Herbarium Entry for

  • Texas A & M University: Entry for
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Entry for

  • Dave's Garden Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Magnolia
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Magnoliaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Magnolias in Fort Royal Gardens Bristol

Last week I decided that since I was going to be in the area that I would make a quick visit to the Fort Royal Gardens. I knew that I would have missed the fine display of crocuses and some of the earlier Spring flowers but hope that the Magnolias at least would still be in bloom.

Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England

As you can see, I was not disappointed. As I came down the footpath from Fort Royal House I spied the blooms of one of the two Magnolias through a window of vegetation. Then, instead of continuing down the path I went left up a path that had previously been cordoned off, which led to an overlook of the small enclosure below the curtain wall that runs along one length of the enclosure that the two Magnolias are found. There I had a great view of the smaller Magnolia and a Cherry tree with white blooms which was on the street outside of the Gardens themselves. I'd never seen the Cherry tree because when you are inside the Gardens the boundary walls are too high and you have to walk through the small rear door / gate to see it.
Magnolia stellata in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England

Last year in March I saw two Baba Mama Martenitsa Dolls hanging from its branches. I did not see any this time. Either the person or people who hung them up there last time were no longer in Bristol or the dolls had been taken down already. If you want to know more about them click on the link to my previous post on them.
Magnolia stellata in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
Here (below) is the bigger tree although in truth it is not that much bigger although its flowers certainly are much bigger.

Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England


The ground below the bigger Magnolia was already strewn with fallen petals so I am glad I did not leave it too late to visit the gardens because I might have missed them altogether. I think that they will still be in bloom for another few weeks given that there were still a lot of flower buds developing. But, the thing about Magnolias is that when they are in bloom, they are worth visiting over and over again. That is unless you are lucky and have one in your garden or in a neighbors garden, which you can admire.
In Brussels there is one right across the street. There is also another one which is in a garden adjacent to Tillens Block. I have seen several other Magnolias throughout Bristol and hope that I will be able to take photos of the to show you the different colours and shapes.

Flowers of Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
The thing with some flowers is that sometimes even after their petals fall off or they dry up, they still somehow manage to look beautiful and or intriguing. If you want to see more Magnolias, scroll down to the Labels (on the right hand side) and look for Magnolia. That should take you to all the current posts that have Magnolias in them.

Close up of flower that has lost all its petals. Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
From what I have been able to find on line it appears that the smaller tree is a Magnolia stellata (although it might be a Magnolia x loebneri "Leonard Messel" AGM, which is a hybrid of Magnolia stellata and Magnolia Kobus which was created by Max Löbner.
The other one looks like Magnolia cylindrica although I'm not sure anymore after seeing other photos that show different looking flowers and fruit (which I never saw on this tree). However, it the flowers look a lot like the ones on the Missouri Botanical gardens website so i am going to assume that this is correct and that I just have never seen the fruit. Also it is a species in threat of extinction and listed on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. this is due to habitat loss in the Huang-Shan mountain range in Anhui Province, China.

Binomial Name: Magnolia cylindrica
Common names: Huang-Shan Magnolia (English);


Binomial Name: Magnolia stellata
Common names: Star Magnolia (English); Magnolia étoilé (French); Magnolia estrellada (Spanish); Stern-Magnolie (German); Magnolia stellata (Italian)
 
 Binomial Name: Magnolia kobus
Common names: Kobushi Magnolia (English); Magnolia de Kobé (French); Magnolia kobus, Magnolia del Norte del Japón (Spanish); Kobushi-Magnolien (German); Magnolia stellata (Italian)
Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Magnolianae –
Order: Magnoliales –
Family: Magnoliaceae – 
Genus: Magnolia – 
Species: Magnolia 


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [April 16 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Strange Relatives: Theobroma cacao and Hibiscus

Who would have imagined that the cocao tree, Theobroma cacao (from which cocoa products like chocolate are derived) belongs to the same family as the hibiscus, Malvaceae. The small tree is native to the Central and Southern Americas and was cultivated and used by the native Mesoamerican civilizations for millennia for culinary, medicinal and ceremonial purposes. It was also used as currency much like pepper and salt was used as currency in various parts of the world.



On a recent visit to the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens in search of some other plants I found myself in the greenhouses looking a small tree whose leaves reminded me of the cocao tree. On closer inspection I was proven right when I saw the familiar miniature flowers.

Unfortunately it appeared that the tree was infected with Black pod disease. This is caused by Phytophthora a genus of seven species which can all cause this.


Additional Information:

Scientific Name: Theobroma cacao
Common names: Cacao tree, cocoa tree (English);  (French); (German); Violeta de barranca (Spanish);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Malvaceaeaceae
Genus: Theobroma – 
Species: Theobroma cacao– 

Scientific Name: Hibiscus
Common names: Cacao tree, cocoa tree (English);  (French); (German); Violeta de barranca (Spanish);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Malvaceaeaceae
Genus: Theobroma – 
Species: Theobroma cacao

Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [June 15 2014], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.
References:


On-line sources:

  • Royal Horticultural Society: Entry for
  • Kew Royal Botanical Gardens: Entry for Theobroma cacao
  • Official Website of the: Bristol University Botanical Gardens 
  •  
  • World of Pinguicula: Entry for 
  • Missouri Botanical gardens: Entry for 
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database: Entry for 
  • Seedaholic: Entry for 
  •  

Additional resources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Planting some Garden Onions, Allium cepa

 Garden Onion Allium cea -
Two red onions and a regular onion

During February while browsing through the selection of bulbs, seeds, seedlings and shoots I came across some packets of onion bulbs. They only had the red and brown varieties but since I tend to use red onions in my salads I picked up a bag of Red Baron seed bulbs.Since it was still cold outside and we'd had hail and generally typical winter weather I thought it best not to plant anything outside. Given the limited room in my bedroom I decided that to give the onions a head start I could try planting them in a cell tray and then transplant them later. That way by the time they had some leaves and a nice healthy set of roots I could transplant them into a bigger container and then put them outside on the roof. By then the weather should be more clement.

Garden Onion Allium cepa
The other thing was that I wanted to try out this mycorrhizal fungi preparation which is supposed to help the plants' growth by developing a secondary set of roots. In a nut shell mycorrhizal fungi have a symbiotic relationship with their hosts. In essence it improved the ability of their hosts to extract nutrients from the soil.
The whole topic is quite fascinating so I will be doing at least one post dedicated to discussing these fascinating organisms and their relationship with plants. That is aside from the other posts I have planned on fungi. So keep an eye out for these.
Garden Onion Allium cepa

A few weeks after I planted the bulbs in the seed tray most had sprouted leaves and when I pulled one up to check its roots I was pleased to discover that it had a nice set. I ended up potting that in a small pot all by itself. Then a few weeks later I got some planting troughs and transplanted the rest. I filled two planting troughs with ten (10) each and popped them out onto the roof.
Onions are in the two plastic terracotta pots on the right.

The handful left got distributed into other pots with other plants which will make things interesting considering I did not keep tabs which post they went into other than that they were mainly with other bulbs. I still have some more bulbs left and have been trying to decide if I should plant them too or at least pop them into a cell tray to at least get them started while I figure out what to do with them or where to put them because at the end of the day what am I going to do with thirty plus onions come harvest time?


Genus Name: Allium cepa
Common names: Onion, Garden onion (English);  (Danish);  (Dutch);  (German);  (French);  (Italian);  (Spanish);(Samoan);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Lilianae – Monocots, monocotyledons
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae – 
Subfamily: Lilioideae – 
Tribe: Amaryllidioeae – 
Genus: Allium – 
Species: Allium cepa

Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [February 26 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:

  •  
Articles:
  • Gianinazzi-Pearson, Vivienne "Plant cell responses to Arbuscular Mycorrhzial Fungi: getting to the roots of the symbiosis" in The Plant Cel, Vol 8, 1887-1883, October 1996. American Society of Plant Physiologists. P

PDF

PDF


pdf


On-line sources:



http://treesforlife.org.uk/forest/ecology/mycorrhizas/
http://www.thenaturalgardener.co.uk/mycorrhizal_fungi.php

http://www.rootgrow.co.uk/mycorrhizal-fungi.html
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=633


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Lilies

I picked this Lily up at a flower store. Unfortunately they did not have any indication as to the name, binomial let alone vernacular. I assume it is a hybrid since it seems that flower store tend to sell hybrids. But I could be wrong.

In any case it was quite striking and had a subtle scent unless you stuck your nose into it (like I did) to really get a lungful. There were three stalks and they each produced about three flowers.

I ended up taking some photos with different coloured backgrounds. The lighting in these might be a bit strange. That is because I took them at night and the bedroom light tends to give photos a weird yellowish tinge but I have a radiant heater which gives of a bright light which in some photos comes out as a orange glow.

Unfortunately although my camera does have a macro function it cannot take super macros. However, I did manage to get some halfway decent close ups in an effort to show the spikey bits at the base of the petals just around the stamens. You can also see the pollen grains on the anthers and some stuck on the stigma.

Latter I took some more photos during the day. This was a bit later and you can see all the pollen dusting the petals. The spikes at the base of the petals is not all that obvious which is a pity because they added to the exotic beauty of the flowers.
This is the best macro my camera could get. Eventually I will graduate to a more advanced camera with changeable lenses and I will get a lens specifically designed for macros. First I need to master the camera I have. So, sorry for not being able to provide photos that are more detailed.

These lilies are now withered although for some reason I expected them to stay green and hopefully produce another batch of flowers. I guess not. In any case I bought a handful of bulbs which are growing. So sometime soon, perhaps in a few months I will start having a blaze of colours, not to mention a profusion of scents. I am looking forward to taking lots of photos to share with everyone.

Genus Name: Lilium
Common names: Lily (English); Lilje (Danish); Lilie (Dutch); Lilien (German); Lys, Lis (French); Giglio (Italian); Lirio (Spanish);(Samoan); 

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Lilianae – Monocots, monocotyledons
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae – 
Subfamily: Lilioideae – 
Tribe: Lilieae – 
Genus: Lilium – 
Species: Lilium unknown species



Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [February 11 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:
  • Jefferson-Brown Michael, HRS Wisley Handbooks: Lilies, Royal Horticultural Society, 2008

On-line sources:

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Lilium
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Entry for
  • The Plant List: Entry for 
  • University of Tennessee Herbarium Entry for
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Entry for 

  • Dave's Garden Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Lilium
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Liliaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Liliales
  • Wikipedia: Entry for 

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/