Saturday, August 30, 2008

Acalypha rhomboidea: flowers

Acalypha rhomboidea, known in English as common three seed mercury and in French as ricinelle rhomboïde is an annual native to much of eastern and central North America, with spikes of green flowers interspersed with leaves.

These plants volunteered in the garden, and when I found out they were a native plant I couldn't bear to pull them out, even if they aren't conventionally showy. I think they look kind of cool, actually.

Amaranthus cruentus: flower

[Photo: Amaranthus cruentus.]Amaranthus cruentus, known in English as "red amaranth", "purple amaranth", and "Mexican grain amaranth", and in French as amarante rouge, is an annual native to Central America. Although they are a source of nutritious grain, they are also often grown as ornamentals, rapidly growing to two metres or more with large, showy dark red flowerheads.

The ancestor of this plant volunteered in the backyard a few years ago. It was maybe three metres tall, with dark purple leaves. It self-seeded all over the place; unfortunately, many of the grandchildren have green rather than purple foliage and some even had boring green flowers.

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity': flower

[Photo: Cosmos bipinnatus PurityCosmos bipinnatus, known in English and French by the genus name, is an annual native to Mexico and the southwestern United states. Blooms may be in different shades of pink; plain white; picotée or with a darker ring around the yellow centre disk.

I got the seeds for this cultivar, 'Purity' (an heirloom variety), from Urban Harvest, a great Toronto source for organic seeds, plants, and amendments.

Solidago canadensis: flowers

[Photo: Solidago canadensis.]Solidago canadensis, known in English as Canada goldenrod and in French as verge d'or du Canada, is a perennial native to most of North America. Its bright yellow/gold plumes of tiny flowers are a familiar sight in late summer and early autumn.

This is a clump of volunteers in the garden. Polinators love them!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Physostegia virginiana: flowers

Physostegia virginiana, known in English as obedient plant and in French as physostegia or physostégie, is a perennial native to much of eastern and central North America. It has spires of pink blossoms with a unique property: each flower is attached by a kind of hinge, and if you push it into a new position it will stay there (hence the English common name).

I photographed this lovely clump at Earl Beatty Public School.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Oxalis stricta: flowers

[Photo: Oxalis foliage and flowers.]Oxalis species, known as wood sorrel in English or oxalide in French, are a group of small flowering plants with three-part leaves that may be confused with clover; however the flowers are quite different than clover, being single with five petals. There are a number of species of Oxalis with yellow flowers, and I'm not sure which one this is, but it volunteered all over the garden so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt and assuming it's the native Oxalis stricta species.

Papaver rhoeas 'Double Shirley Mix': flowers

Papaver rhoeas, known in English as field poppy and in French as coquelicot is an annual native to south-eastern Europe and Asia Minor. It bears large showy red flowers with papery petals, each flower lasting only one day. 'Double Shirley Mix' has flowers with red, light red, white, and bicolour flowers. Deadheading is important to ensure prolonged blooming; the poppies in our garden set seed and died when I went away for a week. Field poppies are easy to grow; direct-sow their seeds in a sunny spot in early spring, or even the autumn before. They will self-sow.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Geranium robertianum: flowers

Geranium robertianum, known in English as herb Robert, redshank, bloodwort, fox geranium, or red robin, and in French as herbe à Robert, is an annual or biennial native to North America. Unlike the plants commonly known as "geraniums" (which are really Pelargoniums), this wild geranium has finely divided somewhat fern-like leaves and single dainty five-petaled pink flowers.

I suppose it's cheating to include this photo in this blog as it was taken in Almonte, in eastern Ontario, rather than Toronto, and growing wild rather than in a garden. But it certainly could be grown in Toronto gardens...

Coriandrum sativum: flowers

[Photo: Coriandrum sativum in bloom (with Symphyotrichum novi-belgii (mauve flowers)).]Coriandrum sativum, known in English as "cilantro", "Chinese parsley", or "coriander", and in French as coriandre, is an annual herb native to southwest Asia and north Africa. Its leaves are deliciously (or revoltingly, to some people) fragrant, and its seeds are an important ingredient in Indian cooking. By the time it bolts, like in this photo, the leaves are no longer good for eating, but the delicate flowers are pretty and there are the seeds to look forward to. I find that cilantro self-seeds to some extent.

Arctotis stoechadifolia: flower

[Photo: Arctotis stoechadifolia flower.]Arctotis stoechadifolia, known in English as "blue-eyed African daisy" and in French as oreille d'ours, is tender perennial (grown as an annual in Toronto) native to South Africa.

I got the seeds for my African daisies from Florabunda Seeds, an Ontario nursery specializing in heirloom plants (they sell it under the old name, Arctotis grandis).

Ipomoea tricolor 'Heavenly Blue': flower

[Photo: Ipomoea tricolor Heavenly Blue.]Ipomoea tricolor, known in English as morning glory or grannyvine and in French as ipomée tricolor is a tender perennial* climbing vine native to the tropics of the Americas. The large trumpet shaped blossoms, which may be blue, purple, white, or pink, open early in the morning and close as the temperature rises. The cultivar shown, 'Heavenly Blue', has especially large blossoms in an exquisite true blue. Seeds are best directly sown in the garden after the last frost; soak them 24 hours before planting.

* grown as an annual in Toronto.

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Gazebo Red': flowers

Cosmos bipinnatus, known in English and French by the genus name, is an annual native to Mexico and the southwestern United states. Blooms may be in different shades of pink; plain white; picot&eeacute;e; or with a darker ring around the yellow centre disk.

I grew these cosmos from Mr. Fothergill's seed, purchased at Canada Blooms. Despite the cultivar name, and the photo of crimson flowers on the package, the flowers are not red, they are fuchsia. They are still pretty, but I do wish that seed sellers would be more honest instead of giving plants misleading names and descriptions and photoshopping their pictures.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Helianthus annuus 'Velvet Queen': flower

[Photo: flower of Helianthus annuus Velvet QueenHelianthus annuus, known in English as sunflower and in French as tournesol or grand soleil, is an annual native to the United States. As well as the famous very tall, very large, single yellow variety, there are dwarf varieties, and cultivars in cream, light yellow, orange, and rust. Pollen-less cultivars have been created for use as cutflowers, but for wildlife the pollen-bearing varieties are more appealing, as a source not only of pollon but seeds. The cultivar shown, 'Velvet Queen', is widely advertised with misleadingly red (Photoshopped?) images. It looks more rust-coloured to me.

Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Believer': flowers

[Photo: Symphyotrichum novi-belgii 'Believer' flowersSymphyotrichum novi-belgii, known in English as New York aster, is a flowering perennial native to eastern North America (though not the Toronto area apparently). The flowers are usually mauve, though there are cultivars in purple (like this one, 'Believer'), dark pink, and white.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rudbeckia hirta: flowers

Rudbeckia hirta, known in English as black-eyed Susan, gloriosa daisy, or yellow ox-eye daisy, and in French as Rudbeckie dréssé is a biennial native to most of North America.

These gorgeous flowers grew from seed I received for free from the High Park Nature Centre for Earth Day 2007. I threw them around in the garden but wasn't sure anything had grown until the second year, when suddenly there were big beautiful plants covered in blooms. It's amazing to me that one tiny seed can produce a 40-cm tall plant with 50 flowerheads on it. Each flowerhead lasts a long time; the flowerhead in the foreground, with a flatter centre that's light in the middle, is a younger bloom; as the blossoms age the centres become darker and more conical as seen in the background.

[Photo: Rudbeckia in bloom with nasturtium and hosta.]

Bees love these flowers!

Heliotropium arborescens: flowers

[Photo: Heliotropium arborescens.]Heliotropium arborescens, known in English as garden heliotrope or cherry pie and in French as héliotrope du Pérou or herbe de St Fiacre, is a tender perennial native to Peru, bearing clusters of small, dark purple flowers with a strong vanilla-like fragrance.

Here in Toronto, heliotrope is usually treated like an annual although it can also be grown as a houseplant. I bought a couple of small plants in the spring; they did not grow very much in the short Toronto summer, staying under 30 cm rather than the range of 60-150 cm often reported. It is just as well that they stay small since then they can be at the front of the border where their fragrance can be enjoyed best!

Matricaria recutita: flowers

Matricaria recutita, known in English as German chamomile, garden chamomile, or wild chamomile, and in French as camomille vraie, camomille sauvage, camomille allemande, or matricaire, is an annual native to Eurasia. The flowers are like tiny white daisies with spherical yellow centres, and have a lovely scent, like pineapple.

I got the seeds whence these plants grew from Florabunda Seeds, an Ontario nursury specializing in heirloom seeds.

Hibiscus syriacus: flower

[Photo: Hibiscus syriacus flower]Hibiscus syriacus, known in English as Rose of Sharon or Rose of Althea and in French as althéa, is a large shrub native to Asia. It is the national flower of south Korea and symbolizes immortality. The gorgeous blossoms may be mauve, pink, or white, often with a red centre, and appear in late summer. It self-sows readily.
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin