Rafflesia heckbotii

A place for pretty plants to gather.

My social blog is a rather decadent vanity project... I always wanted a place where I can post in a semi-professional manner. Hence this blog has been born.
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heckbot:

THEY BROKE STREET DAY. AHAHAHA.

SWAG

Lupinus 

Lupines are in the bean family, Fabacaea. Lupinus houses close to 300 species. They are endemic to North America, the Mediterranean, the Andes and parts of Oceania and Africa. These herbaceous plants produce stunning spires of colours and have been bred to exhibit almost every colour of the rainbow. Open clearings dotted with lupines never fail to catch the eye and hearts of onlookers! A truly magical sight. Some species of lupin are cultivated for their fruit, the lupin bean, which are typically pickled. Improperly prepared lupin beans can cause “lupin poisoning”, which can cause some ugly symptoms for sure.

Lavandula angustifolia

Although it is commonly referred to as English lavender, this plant is actually native to the Mediterranean region. Large linear fields of these  evergreen shrubs creates one of the most unmistakable sights - and aroma - in the entire world. Lavender oil, an essential oil made by from distilling the flower spikes, is extracted from these plants and is used widely in the perfume industry.

milos-garden:

kihaku-gato:

botanicalbot:

Gladiolus species clockrise from top left: G. orchidiflorus, G. illyricus, G. liliaceus and G. alatus.


Although we principally think of gladioli as being those tall structural flowers used in sympathy arrangements, the genus Gladiolus contains close to 300 species and each one of them, in my opinion, is equally breathtaking.

G. orchidiflorus, G. liliaceus and G. alatus are all native to Southern Africa, which boasts an incredibly high number of unique Gladioli. G. illyricus is native to the Mediterranean. As you can imagine, they all like it dry!

I love gladioli. 

Can species Glads be cultivated in a similar way to their hybrid descendants? I WANNA GROW THEM ALL! <3 (okay… just the nicest ones lmao but still). These babies would totally get first place at the Milverton fair <3

One step ahead of you ! Currently working on germinating Gladiolus imbricatus.

Not as stunning as these but it has the bonus of being HARDY. None of that lifting bulbs in the fall nonsense !

The simple answer is yes! you CAN grow these gladiolus species! Most of them are winter bloomers and go dormant in the heat of the summer, so you must live in USDA zones 7 - 10 (or equivalent) if you wish to grow them outdoors.

For other folks who have hobby greenhouses? You can totally grow them in there during the cooler seasons (provided you don’t get freezing temperatures!)

Now I just need to get a job and get a krillion dollars so I can get a greenhouse and grow plants forever

(via thehopefulbotanymajor)

Gladiolus species clockrise from top left: G. orchidiflorus, G. illyricus, G. liliaceus and G. alatus.


Although we principally think of gladioli as being those tall structural flowers used in sympathy arrangements, the genus Gladiolus contains close to 300 species and each one of them, in my opinion, is equally breathtaking.

G. orchidiflorus, G. liliaceus and G. alatus are all native to Southern Africa, which boasts an incredibly high number of unique Gladioli. G. illyricus is native to the Mediterranean. As you can imagine, they all like it dry!

I love gladioli. 

Geissorhiza radians

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons


Sometimes called wine cups, due to their resemblance of a long stemmed glass filled halfway with red wine. G. radians, from South Africa, are in the Iris family, Iridaceae. These plants are rarely seen in cultivation and prefer areas with winter temperatures that range between 7-23 degrees Celcius. Such a shame that they can only by grown in a few select areas as there’s nothing that quite beats that striking combination of ruby red and sapphire blue! 

Rosa sericea var, pteracantha

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons


A very unique entry in the realm of the roses. The appropriately named wingthorn rose, is grown not for its flowers, but for its showy thorns. The thorns start off bright red on new growth and are actually quite pliable at this stage, it’s when the canes age further that they become brittle and hard. At first glance the flowers appear unremarkable but they actually have only four petals when roses usually bear a minimum of five… Yes, that’s a big deal!

These plants can be difficult to find, sadly.

Oncidium varicosum

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons

O. varicosum is just one of a few hundred species of Oncidium. The genus Oncidium, along with a few others in the Orchidaceae family are currently undergoing extensive DNA testing and being recategorized accordingly… Taxonomic headaches aside, this is still an exceptionally gorgeous orchid!

Organizing orchids must be a nightmare.

Alcea rosea


All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons


Hollyhock. These 3 to 8 feet tall plants are perhaps the quintessential cottage garden plant. Hollyhocks typically finish their growing cycle in two years and are thus usually classified as biennials (leafs out the first year, flowers the next and finally dies in the fall). A. rosea is in the Malvaceae family, which houses many plants with similar-shaped flowers such as Hibiscus, cotton and okra.

I love hollyhocks!

Iris japonica

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons

Its common name is the Fringed or Crested Iris and despite its specific epithet being japonica, this plant is native to China. These wild species of Iris are exceptionally beautiful, almost like silk tissue delicately painted with blots of blue and gold. These flowers are virtually unheard of hear in Eastern Ontario as they prefer warmer, Mediterranean-like climates (USDA 7-9 is considered ideal) where they can be used as groundcovers and spring-blooming perennials.

Paeonia cvs

all imags borrowed from Wikimedia Commons

An extremely important and well loved garden plant, Paeonia is the sole genus in the family Paeoniaceae. Peonies are famous for their giant, often fragrant blooms that burst open in late spring… Indeed some modern cultivars have flowers that are so large that their stems can only buckle under their sheer enormity! Peonies enjoyed in our gardens are often hybrids of the 30 herbaceous and 8 woody species with P. lactiflora or the Chinese Peony being one of the most common in use (as well as its extensive use in the cut flower industry).

Dicentra eximia ‘Burning Hearts’

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons.

Today I’m focusing on a single cultivar of a widely loved garden plant. D. eximia is valued for both its deep cerise flowers and its ferny blue-gray foliage. ‘Burning Hearts’, an award winning cultivar introduced in 2008, offers some of the deepest richest colours ever seen on any Dicentra species and indeed appears almost blood red streaked with burgundy/almost black markings in some images.

Dicentra, along with several over genera were once in their own taxonomic family titled Fumariaceae but are now categorized under Papaveraceae, the poppy family, instead.

Rotheca myricoides

All images borrowed from Wikimedia Commons.

One of many plants commonly called “Butterfly bush”. This plant is native to Africa but has found its way into cultivation throughout the world… And it’s not hard to see why! Like its common name suggests, the beautiful flowers of this plant are like flocks of blue morpho butterflies flitting delicately in the wind. These plants belong to the Lamiaceae family, which is famous for housing the mints and salvias. The genus Rotheca was once clumped together with Clerodendrum.

I wasn’t aware of this plant until very recently, actually… Sort of kicking myself for that one. It’s truly lovely.

Rosa banksiea var. lutea

All images are gathered from Wikimedia Commons.

Also known as the Lady Banks rose. This plant grows quickly and can smother nearby shrubs with its thick lianas (long stemmed woody vines). The largest rose plant in the world is a Lady Banks rose located in Tombstone, Arizona. It would take two or three adults, arms linked, to encircle the trunk (not extreme impressive compared to some plants, but let’s keep in mind that this is a rose we’re talking about!) and the sprawling canes require a network of supports to grow on.