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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/

Friday, 13 February 2015

Saintpaulia - African Violets

African violets, Saintpaulia were perhaps the first plants that I was fascinated with. There is this picture of me at around four or five holding one and beaming ecstatically. Strangely in the past whenever I tried growing them they only lasted a few weeks before dying either from over watering or lack of watering. Due to this I considered it one of the few plants that I could not grow which is weird since they are supposed to be easy to care for. Although I have heard from some people that many people are unable to keep them alive for longer than their flowering period.

So I have been quite delight that my streak of bad luck with African Violets appears to have ended. I bought one (above) several months ago and after it survived several weeks I bought three more. I was hoping to get more colours because I wanted to be able to show the wide range of colours and shapes of these beautiful plants. Here (below) are the four plants that I got.
Since then two have grown significantly. Last week I transplanted those two into bigger pots and have been contemplating transplanting the other two even though their size does not really justify that. I am also going to see if I can propagate some from leaf cuttings, with the intention of doing a post on that since I have not done any propagation posts for a while.


I still hope to be able to get some more colours eventually. However, I may end up simply asking if I can take some photos since my room is kind of running out of space to put plants, and with fussy plants I have come to the conclusion that once I have found a place that a plant likes I should just leave it where it is happy.

Close up of Saintpaulia, showing fine hair on leaf stalks
I also find that if there is the likelihood of others interacting with the plants they tend to die or suffer although this is more due to accidental, unconscious actions and even well meaning acts that are detrimental so depending on where I am living that can limit what I can have and where I can place my plants. For example I have been thinking of putting some of my plants in the living-room/kitchen but am waiting for spring when I will be sure that use of the heaters will have ended since the heaters are under the windows and the only suitable place to place the plants, not to mention being out of the way from people accidentally bumping them or stepping on them if I put them on the floor.
Close up of Saintpaulia flowers and flowerbuds
Among the colours I'm hoping to find are white, pink and some doubles as well as yellow which I was told does not exist although I have seen yellow cultivars advertised on some sites and collections. That appears to be either new and/or rare.



Binomial Name: Saintpaulia
Common names: African Violet (English); Kaaps violtje (Dutch); Violette Africaine, Violette du Cap (French); Usambraveilchen (German); violetta africana (Italian); Violeta africana (Spanish); (Samoan); 

Echte Usambaraveilchen

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: Asteranae – Asterids
Order: Lamiales –
Family: Gesneriaceae – 
Genus: Saintpaulia – 
Species: Saintpaulia inonatha, Saintpaulia rupicola, Saintpaulia brevipilosa


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:
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • The Plant List: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • University of Tennessee Herbarium Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Our House Plants Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Texas A & M University: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Entry for Saintpaulia ionatha
  • WWW.Gesneriads: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Dave's Garden Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Grow African Violets
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Saintpaulia
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Gesneriaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Lamiales
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Asterids
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Amaranthaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Caryophllales

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, 11 February 2015

Celosia revisited

I did a post on the genus Celosia last year but found some more species and thought it might be a good idea to do a follow up post on these to show the range and variety of the genus.
Here are two Celosia plants I had last year. As you can see from the flower structure they are quite different other than the furriness of the flowers.

Celosia
 The frustrating thing has been trying to identify them because so far all I have been able to find indicates that they are most likely different cultivars of Celosia argentea even though given how different the flowers look you would expect them to be distinct species. In the process of trying to identify them I came across various sources which point out that many so called species are actually synonymous for the same species. So in other words people have accorded different names to plants no doubt based on their difference in appearance where as in fact they are considered to be simply variations of the same species.
It seems that this issue is one still being thrashed out in botanical circles. That makes for an interesting if frustrating situation for those trying to pinpoint information on plants on this genus. I suppose that means I will be doing additional posts as I come across more of this genus and more information as to differentiating the different ones.
I will also keep an eye out and try to score some photos of other varieties and colours.

Celosia

Celosia argentea, Bristol 2014

Celosia argentea, Bristol 2014


Celosias are a genus of flowering plants in the plant family Amaranthaceae which have furry looking flowers. The familial name Amaranthaceae comes from the Greek ἀμάραντος (amarantos), which means "unfading."

Binomial Name: Celosia cristata
Common names: Celosia, Woolflower, Cockscomb, Crested cock’s comb (English); crête de coq (French); Silber-Brandschopf  Vulu (Samoan); Celosiau (Spanish); Mufugu (Swahili), Chi Kuan (Chinese)
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: Caryophyllanae –
Order: Caryophyllales –
Family: Amaranthaceae – Pigweed (English) Amaranthes (French)
Genus: Celosia – 
Species: C. cristata, C. argentea, C. spicata
C. argentea 'spicata', C. argentea 'cristata'

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/