Lady Slipper Orchid

Pitcher Orchid. Photo credit: Randy Neufeldt

Cypripedium species are members of the orchid family. Most are native across much of North America and some parts of Europe. Also referred to as lady slippers, these interesting plants have only two leaves branching out from the center. The flower itself resembles a slipper or moccasin, which is what spawned its name. These dainty blooms (ranging from white, yellow and deep pink to nearly purple) remain tightly closed with exception to the small opening in the front.

Many of these plants are considered to be endangered in some areas due to over collecting from the wild. According to Indian lore, these plants were thought to induce dreams and were once used as a sedative. Unfortunately, they also happen to be a favorite food source for many insects and deer.

Collecting and transplanting from the wild is strongly discouraged both because of its rarity and low survival rate. However, various species are grown commercially and can be obtained for gardening purposes so growing a lady slipper wildflower in your own garden is possible.

Lady slippers prefer to grow within their natural environments – shady woodland areas. Interestingly enough, lady slippers require the aid of fungus in spreading their seeds, and a single plant can live up to 20 years or more if left alone.

By Nikki Phipps
Source: Planting Flower Bulbs

 

Posted on: October 12, 2015 8:00 pm

Dendrobium spectible – the Alien Orchid

The flowers of Dendrobium spectabile defy description. The bizarre 3-inch blossoms have sepals and petals that are extremely twisted — sometimes wrapping around each other and keeping the buds from opening. The colors are a blend of yellow, burgundy and white but give the impression of a washed-out tan. The throat has a “hinged” mechanism that bounces with air movement, attracting a specific pollinator in the wild. The grower can simulate this bounce by gently shaking the flower. The blooming duration is about six weeks, and older plants can easily produce 100 blossoms or more.

Fragrance is a highly coveted trait in orchids, though few genera offer it. This Aussie Dendrobium’s semi-sweet aroma is strong from across the room, day or night. Even Oncidium Sharry Baby, the famous chocolate-scented Dancing Lady, cannot compete with the intensity.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, by Arthur Chadwick

Alien Orchid. Photo credit: Randy Neufeldt

Posted on: October 12, 2015 7:57 pm

Sunflowers — cheery and happy flowers

Sunflowers are cheery and happy flowers that make you feel better instantly whenever you look at them. It is one of best flowers that you can give someone who’s in need of some instant encouragement. It has fascinated people and their minds all over the world since a long time. ~Buzzle

 

 

Posted on: October 11, 2015 10:54 am

Hydrangeas – Grandmother’s old-time flower

Hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful flowers. Inflorescence in the genus Hydrangea comes in groups. Hydrangea has long been a popular flowering shrub. The flowers are considered by many as Grandmother’s old-time flower. Hydrangea Day is celebrated on the 5th of January every year.

There are 3 types of flower blooms in Hydrangea
Mophead – Globe shaped flower cluster, the most commonly recognized form of Hydrangea bloom.
Panicle – Long, somewhat cone-shaped flower cluster (particularly in Oakleaf Hydrangeas).
Lacecap – Flattened cluster of what appear to be tiny, immature buds surrounded at the edges by typical 4 to 5 petal flowers.

Source: The Flower Expert

Common Name: Wild or Smooth Hydrangea. Botanical Name: Hydrangea arborescens.

Posted on: October 10, 2015 9:56 pm

Rose – gulab flower

 

Health Benefits of Rose

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” says Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which is so very true of the rose that has captured the minds and hearts of people through the ages. The rose, however, has proved its veritable worth owing to its exhaustive use in health and medicine.

A rose is a woody, thorny plant of the rosaceae family. There are more than one hundred species of roses, with large showy flowers in many different colors. Roses are considered native to Asia, but are also grown in Europe, northern Africa, and North America.

Medicinal Uses of Rose Flower

The medicinal uses and health benefits of a rose (gulab flower) are many.

Rose petals are used in making rose oil that is steam distilled by crushing. The byproduct of steam distillation is rose water, which is an excellent relaxing agent, soothes the nerves and adds flavor to a variety of dishes across the world. Rose essence is rich in flavanoids, tannins, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B3, C, D and E, making it beneficial in skin care. Some of the uses of rose oil, water, and essence are as follows.

♥ Rose water is an effective astringent that reduces swelling of capillaries beneath the skin.

♥ Rose petal tea is efficient in cleansing the gall bladder and liver, and it helps improve bile secretion. Rose petals are dried and crushed to make tea.

♥ Rose tea also helps in alleviating mild sore throats and bronchial infections. The tea cools the body and reduces fever-related rashes.

♥ Rose petals are an important ingredient in eye washes as well, as it is antiseptic in nature.

♥ Rose water benefits include nourishing the scalp and improving hair growth. It is medicinally used as an antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory product. It is also used to treat dry scaly skin, dermatitis, and eczema.

♥ Rose essential oil is used along with carrier oils such as almond or grape fruit to treat various illnesses like hemorrhage, liver problems, nausea, fatigue, ulcers, asthma, dehydration, and bacterial infections of the stomach, colon, and urinary tract.

♥ Rose leaves are used in preparing rose water from the Persian variety. Rose water prepared from rose leaves brings relief from constipation, clears blood, and soothes the mind. In addition, it is used on the treatment of measles and chicken pox.

There are no known side effects related to the use of rose water or rose oil; nevertheless, it is best to consult when using any product as a means of treatment.

Source: Diet Health Club
Link source

 

Posted on: October 10, 2015 9:42 pm

Pink Magnolia

Our pink magnolia started dying after my little sister passed a way, leaving my dad a broken heart. He loved this tree so much. Then the tree died completely several months before my dad passed a way. Who knows our magnolia tree grew back recently more beautiful then ever. My father would be so happy if he were here to witness the new life of his gorgeous flowers. ~Jendhamuni

Magnolia is very attractive flowering plant that belongs to the family Magnoliaceae. There are around 210 species of magnolia that differ in size, shape, color of the flower and type of habitat. Magnolia trees originate from Southeast Asia and North America, but they have been naturalized to almost all continents in the world because of their beauty. Magnolia usually grows on acidic soils that are rich in nutrients, in areas that provide enough moisture and direct sunlight. It is often planted in parks and on the golf courses because of its ornamental morphology and ability to provide shade. Unfortunately, some species of magnolia are facing uncertain future due to habitat loss as a result of increased human activity.

Interesting Magnolia tree Facts:

  • Size of magnolia tree depends on the species. Smaller species are only 15 feet tall. Larger species can grow 80 feet in height. Magnolia has pyramidal crown that can reach 30 to 50 feet in diameter.
  • Magnolia has dark green, oval shaped leaves that are covered with layer of wax. Leaves are evergreen and they are alternately arranged on the branches. Leaves have leathery texture and entire margin.
  • Magnolia has brown or grey bark that is smooth when the plant is young. As the plant gets older, bark turns from smooth into scaly.
    Magnolia produces 1 ½ to 3 inches wide flower that consists of up to 18 leathery tepals (fused petals and sepals). Flower contains both male and female reproductive organs (monoecious plant).
  • Color of the flower depends on the species and it can be white, yellow, pinkish, purple and green.
  • Flower of magnolia has pleasant scent that resembles the smell of tropical fruit.
  • Magnolia blooms from April to June. First flowers develop seven years after planting.
  • Bees are main pollinators of magnolia.
  • Magnolias are ancient plants. They exist on the planet at least 95 million years. Since they appeared before bees, magnolias slowly changed their flowers to become more attractive to bees (to ensure successful pollination).
  • Magnolias do not produce nectar. Instead, they have pollen enriched with proteins which bees use as food. Flowers release sugary scent which attracts pollinators.
  • Magnolia produces cone-like brownish fruit that can reach 2 to 10 inches in length. Kidney-shaped seed can be red, orange or pink in color. Seed of magnolia is favorite food of many birds.
  • Magnolia is resistant to most pests and diseases. Some species are prone to fungal infections. Larvae of certain insects eat different parts of magnolia tree.
  • Bark and flowers of magnolia are used in traditional Asian medicine. Leaves of magnolia are used for wrapping of food in Asia.
  • Wood of magnolia is used for the production of pallets and furniture.
  • Magnolia can live more than 100 years.

Source: Softschools

 

Posted on: October 6, 2015 9:36 pm