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Our gardens, a month-by-month pictorial diary of what's looking good now => Our Gardens => Topic started by: John J on March 30, 2016, 04:07:25 PM

Title: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on March 30, 2016, 04:07:25 PM
Our original thread would seem to have disappeared into the ether somehow. Attempts are being made to find and reinstate it but in the meantime I will continue on this additional thread. I am doing this mainly because I will be flying to Athens on Sunday and I had hoped to complete my list before I left. So, here goes from where I left off:-

Thymus x citriodorus
Also variety 'Variegata'.

Thymus vulgaris compactum

Trachelospermum jasminoides
Also the pale yellow flowered variety T. jasminoides'Star de Toscana'. Both took time to establish but are showing signs of really 'taking off' this year.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on March 30, 2016, 04:21:09 PM
Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea'
Sprawling ground cover.

Tradescantia sillamontana
Very drought tolerant, in fact takes all that the summer months can throw at it but suffers badly in the winter, more from the wet than the cold I suspect.

Tropaelum majus
Allowed to self-seed at will, especially in our 'orchard' area as they provide colour in the spring and can be cleared away as they die down in the summer.

Tulbaghia violaceae

No U, so on to V:-

Verbena bonariensis
Another self-seeder that is allowed to get away with it in certain areas.

Viburnum suspensum
Grown in partial shade and given regular water.

Viburnum tinus
One of the unsung heroes of Mediterranean gardens, an ever reliable standby that flowers each winter with little attention, or water.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on March 30, 2016, 04:29:21 PM
Vitex agnus-castus
A plant that has many a story/myth attached to it. Ours might perform a bit better with a little more water than they currently get.

Vitex trifolia 'Purpurea'

Now for W:-

Wisteria sinensis
Doesn't seem to really appreciate the heat at this low altitude, or the rationed water. Produces flowers in spring but the foliage is nowhere near as lush as that on plants grown at higher elevations.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on March 30, 2016, 04:40:49 PM
Almost forgot the one and only Z:-

Zantedeschia aethiopica
Several dotted around that return regularly each year.

That is my list completed. Obviously not a comprehensive list as I have undoubtedly accidentally overlooked some plants on my wanders around the property, notebook and pencil in hand. Also I have deliberately omitted some plants that are still only seedlings, or unproven cuttings that may or may not survive into adulthood. Hopefully it has given some insight into the range of plants that we are currently growing. It has certainly forced me to do something that I have been threatening for a long time, and that is to compile a card index system of those same plants. The next challenge is to attempt to keep said system up to date.  ;D
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on March 31, 2016, 11:22:46 AM
In the previous post I forgot to mention that we also have a variety of pots of cactus and succulents that I omitted as they have not yet been positively identified.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 19, 2019, 08:18:43 AM
I realise that it is 3 years since this subject was last addressed and I have been considering for some time that maybe I should make an attempt at producing a more comprehensive, illustrated version, ie with a photo/photos of all the plants mentioned. This may be one way of ensuring that I maintain my card index system up to date, and also with the current temperatures beginning to climb rapidly to the point were working out in the sun is not an option be a method of keeping in touch with the garden and the plants. That's the theory, who knows if it will work in practice, only time will tell.
Number 1 in my card index is; Abutilon x hybridum. Apparently this plant is such a mongrel mix of several other abutilon species that its actual parentage is unknown. Our plant has proven slow to establish and mature and is still relatively small even though we have had it for several years. It is growing in a shaded area. This year it is beginning to produce more flowers than previous years, perhaps due to the abundant rain we experienced last winter.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on May 19, 2019, 10:41:03 AM
Great,
I will look forward to seeing all the named plants
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on May 19, 2019, 03:23:47 PM
Looking forward to your posts on this too.
Whilst on the subject of Abutilon I have been amazed by the performance of my Abutilon megapotamicum. When we moved house I brought it with me as I had had it in a pot being unsure of its hardiness. Not knowing where to place it, as space is much more limited now , I repotted it into a large stone trough that stands outside the wall bounding our small front garden. This is a cold spot and receives no direct sunshine at any time. Amazingly the Abutilon has not only survived but has grown steadily and is already back in flower.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 19, 2019, 05:48:36 PM
Encouraged by the positive responses, thank you, I'll post the next one this evening as tomorrow I may be busy.
Acanthus arboreus an unusual, red-flowered acanthus from Africa. Ours was obtained from Sparoza in 2012. Unlike many acanthus it does not disappear in the summer but continues to grow, and grow, as is implied by the species name, arboreus (tree-like). Knowing this we gave ours plenty of space but over the 7 years it has filled it and now really needs to be pruned back. I am contemplating trying to borrow a suit of armour from the local medieval museum in order to do this as this is one VICIOUS plant!
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 20, 2019, 07:45:14 AM
Found time to add our second acanthus, Acanthus mollis. Mollis meaning soft, pliant, the exact opposite of the previous plant.
Well known as the symbol of the MGS, and the pattern for the capitals of the Corinthian columns.
Native to SW Europe and NW Africa it has become a popular garden plant, needing little or no attention apart form tidying up once its growing season ends.
Easily grown from even the smallest root cutting, so much so that it can become invasive.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 21, 2019, 03:27:13 PM
Acca sellowiana, Pineapple guava. Our plants were grown from seeds obtained from Chiltern Seeds in UK at least 20 years ago.
Beautiful flowers that have edible petals and plum-sized fruit that need a spell of cold to ripen fully, something that they do not get here in our garden.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 22, 2019, 07:19:32 AM
Our Aeonium arboreum atropurpureum is situated at the side of our entrance driveway and is in full sun for most of the day. It produces large, conical spires of small yellow flowers in winter, that have by now gone over. It is less attractive in summer when the rosettes of leaves close up as a protective measure against the intense heat.
Last December we acquired a cutting of 'Zwartkop' that appears to be settling but we'll see how it survives the summer.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 23, 2019, 06:36:16 AM
Bulbs are very useful in mediterranean gardens, adding colour and interest. Our Agapanthus africanus are just beginning to play their part.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Alisdair on May 23, 2019, 12:40:47 PM
John, presumably that really is Agapanthus africanus? (I know you're a stickler for names!) I grow it too, seeds originally from our SA member Barbara Knox-Shaw. As I expect you know, most of the "A. africanus" and "its" hybrids/cultivars are really the somewhat different - and easier to grow - A. praecox. See this SANBI note (http://pza.sanbi.org/agapanthus-praecox).
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 23, 2019, 01:10:04 PM
Alisdair, you could very well be right. Not being able to provide a definitive answer I stuck with the name given by the supplier, who is slightly more reliable than most we encounter, I have to say. I guess the best I can say is the jury is still out regarding its true identity.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 24, 2019, 07:48:12 AM
Our Agave attenuata plants are all too small to produce the swan-neck-like flower spikes, but maybe one day.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 25, 2019, 07:08:14 AM
We have a variety of aloes so I have bundled a few together. Unfortunately none in flower at the moment, just a rather sad looking end-of-season Aloe vera.
Aloe arborescens
A.vera
A.variegata
A. ferox
A. ciliaris
A. juvenna
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 26, 2019, 05:23:44 AM
Lemon Verbena Aloysia triphylla has fragrant leaves that make a refreshing cold drink for the summer, especially when combined with those of Melissa officinalis, Lemon Balm.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Alisdair on May 26, 2019, 07:34:44 AM
What's the little creature in sunglasses on the Aloysia, John?  8)
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 26, 2019, 08:20:11 AM
Alisdair, I believe it is a Red Soldier Beetle, apparently commonly known in UK as the Hogweed Bonking Beetle due to the fact that it spends much of its short life mating! :o The second photo I got of it is not much clearer.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on May 27, 2019, 05:47:22 AM
Much as I love all scented leaf plants ,enjoying brushing my fingers over them to release the scent, beware of the Melissa that, with its propensity to seed , can soon take over areas of the garden and swamp other subjects!
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 27, 2019, 05:56:35 AM
Exactly, Carole, fortunately ours is under the fruit trees so has ample space to spread and can be kept under control.
Last year we obtained a plant from Gryllis nursery in Greece that we believe to be Alpinia zerumbet. Obviously too small to perform as yet but we look forward to one day seeing it in bloom.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 28, 2019, 05:18:01 AM
A plant that does bloom every year and is one of the stars of the Spring display is Alyogyne huegelii 'Santa Cruz'.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 29, 2019, 05:51:28 AM
Several years ago we acquired an Annona cherimola tree (Cherimoya, Custard apple). Last year it produced quite a few flowers but no fruit. When I looked into things more closely I realised why. The whole process of pollination undergone by this tree is complicated and I won't bore you with it here. Suffice it to say that should it flower this year we'll be looking for a small paint brush!  ::)
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 30, 2019, 05:05:46 AM
Another plant that we obtained from Sparoza, Anthyllis barba-jovis is very drought tolerant.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on May 31, 2019, 05:58:44 AM
Aptenia cordifolia can be used as a ground cover in succulent areas.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 01, 2019, 05:12:05 AM
Our Norfolk Island Pine Araucaria heterophylla deviates from the vertical due to the fact that when it was very young the apical growing point was damaged, so one of the lateral, side buds had to take over dominance.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 02, 2019, 04:43:40 AM
The Grecian Strawberry Tree, Arbutus andrachne makes up a lot of the understorey of the pine forests on the Troodos Range, along with the Cyprus Golden Oak, Quercus alnifolia.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 03, 2019, 05:51:29 AM
Devil's Fig, Prickly Poppy, Argemone mexicana is an annual that we grew from seed and that reappeared every spring until a couple of years ago when it failed to show. Then this year 2 plants put in an appearance a long way from where they had originally been sown. In fact they are in a newly created succulent area and so we will have to attempt to collect seed before it drops and relocate them to a more suitable site.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 04, 2019, 07:27:45 AM
Bauhinia forficata, B. variegata and B. variegata 'Candide'.
Our B. variegata trees were grown from seed collected 20 years ago from street trees in Lemesos.
The photos were not taken recently as none of the trees are currently in flower. The B. variegata have all finished and the B. forficata doesn't flower until the hottest time of the year, ie July/August. This may be one reason it is not as popular as its cousins, the flowers rapidly wilt in the heat. Another could be the fact that it's branches and twigs are covered in small spikes that can come as a nasty shock to the unwary.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on June 05, 2019, 06:04:56 AM
Spectacular John and how satisfying to have had them so long often growing them from seed.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 05, 2019, 06:28:19 AM
Our Elephant's Foot Palms (Beaucarnea recurvata) are of a size that could only belong to very small elephants as yet, and as they apparently take at least 10 years to flower we may have a long wait before that happens.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 06, 2019, 05:21:52 AM
From elephant's feet to Elephant's Ears, the Bergenia cordifolia are not in flower at this time so are pretty boring.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on June 06, 2019, 05:13:42 PM
Forgive me for jumping in here but your
Quote
"boring"
Bergenia cordifolia should look something like this in the winter .
There are quite a few in troughs on the pavements in Sparta , I don't see them anymore in Corinth
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 07, 2019, 05:22:26 AM
Thanks for the photo, Hilary. I wasn't referring to the plant in general but to mine in particular, they struggle badly in our garden for some reason, while at higher altitudes they can do very well.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on June 07, 2019, 05:28:07 AM
Sparta is definitely wetter than Corinth and I suppose higher
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 07, 2019, 07:02:00 AM
When I first saw the South American epiphyte, Billbergia nutans, growing so well in pots in the dry heat of Sparoza I was surprised. They are a very shallow rooted plant that obtain the majority of their water via their leaves. I planted ours in the ground and over the years it outgrew its allotted space so I eventually got around to moving it, while at the same time reducing it in size. Apparently one of its common names of Friendship Plant is due to the fact that it is considered easy to split and share with friends. I did not find this to be the case when, over the winter, I had to take a saw to it to get a small enough piece to replant in a new location. The rough treatment does not seem to have done it any permanent harm and it appears to be settling into its new home. We'll see how it survives the coming summer.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 08, 2019, 06:01:32 AM
Bosea cypria, as its name suggests, is a Cyprus endemic. Not by any means a spectacular plant to look at, nor is it particularly rare, or even uncommon, however it does have an interesting history. Its story goes back in time to the period before the continents as we know them today were formed.
The Bosea genus contains just 3 species. All have their origins on the shores of the giant, ancient Tethys Sea. Subsequent tectonic plate movement isolated them in specific areas, Bosea cypria in Cyprus, B. yevamora in the Canary Islands and B. amherstiana in the Himalaya.
This is not an isolated example. For instance the Cedrus genus has only 4 species and they follow much the same pattern as the Bosea. Cedrus brevifolia is confined to Cyprus, with C. libani close by in the Near East and Turkey. C. atlantica grows in Morocco/Algeria, not far from the Canaries, and C. deodara is found in the Himalaya.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on June 08, 2019, 07:26:20 AM
Interesting
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 09, 2019, 06:22:49 AM
Our Bougainvillea spectabilis has had its periodic extreme pruning in order to confine it to its allotted space, otherwise it becomes totally unruly. This task involves a fair amount of blood (quite literally), sweat (copious amounts) and tears (well, almost), on my part to complete. It takes a little time before it flowers following this indignity but it's well worth it when it does.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 10, 2019, 03:23:23 PM
We have 2 Brugmansia suaveolens, a yellow-flowered variety and a pink one, the latter is not in flower at the moment.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 11, 2019, 02:28:50 PM
We have had our Brunfelsia pauciflora for several years and it flowers well annually but it never really looks totally happy. Maybe a deficiency in an element that we have not been able to identify.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 12, 2019, 06:31:44 AM
We have 2 Buddleja davidii that have established reasonably well in the shade under a large tree.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on June 12, 2019, 09:28:05 AM
If you think the problem you have with your Brunfelsia pauciflora is the colour of the leaves , this photo might reassure you.
We saw it in one of the hothouse we visited in Madrid last year
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 12, 2019, 10:25:40 AM
Exactly right, Hilary, the leaves always look rather pale and chlorotic no matter what we feed it.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 12, 2019, 10:32:50 AM
With regard to today's post and the Buddleja davidii. I used some old photos as our plants had not yet begun to flower and I thought they would look a bit dull and boring. When I returned from a shopping trip at lunch time my wife pointed out that one of them had suddenly burst into bloom. So I took a photo, complete with Green Shield Bug!
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 13, 2019, 06:20:53 AM
Another buddleja, this one Buddleja madagascariensis. A rather lax plant that we have found will grow up and over everything if left to its own devices. Attractive orange-yellow flowers but with a smell that I find unpleasant while some don't seem to mind it.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 14, 2019, 09:34:00 AM
In the challenging climatic conditions prevailing in our garden many plants take a long time, years in some cases, to establish. A case in point is our Calliandra californica that we obtained 7 years ago and is not much larger now than it was then.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 15, 2019, 04:55:10 AM
We have a mature Callistemon viminalis tree that flowers well every spring, just caught the last of them.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 16, 2019, 07:31:51 AM
 Carissa macrocarpa is planted outside our retaining wall and hangs over. Out there it gets no supplementary water except for what might seep under the wall when we water the succulents on this side. The flowers are pleasantly scented and if planted en masse it could make an effective security fence with its compact growth and vicious thorns.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 17, 2019, 06:58:24 AM
Carthamus tinctorius is an annual but it comes back every year and is such a beautiful plant that I couldn't resist including it here.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 18, 2019, 11:22:41 AM
We acquired our Centaurea akamantis from the Agricultural Research Institute in 2006. A rare Cyprus endemic, known from only 1 location, it was being trialled for suitability as a garden plant.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 19, 2019, 06:58:26 AM
As is the case with many of our plants Ceratostigma plumbaginoides took time to acclimatise and establish but has now taken off.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 20, 2019, 09:13:00 AM
Another plant with sky blue flowers, Commelina erecta, spreads freely and needs to be kept in check.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 21, 2019, 06:48:59 AM
Our Clerodendrum x speciosum has been in flower for a few weeks while the C. chinense is only now beginning and the C. bungei has yet to join in.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 22, 2019, 05:54:32 AM
The Convolvulus cneorum is not in flower at the moment whereas the C. oleiofolius has a few. The photos show the distinct difference in leaf shape and size between the two.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 23, 2019, 06:27:41 AM
Although our Correa backhouseanna is not presently in flower I've included it as a success story because it has not only established well but cuttings taken from it have provided 2 young plants for other parts of the garden.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 24, 2019, 06:04:40 AM
Eleven years ago we acquired a small Crithmum maritimum plant that has grown slowly into a mound that provides a touch of green throughout the hottest months of the year. The flowers are not spectacular but the leaves appear to be a favourite food of the caterpillars of the Swallowtail butterfly.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 25, 2019, 08:11:20 AM
The Firecracker Plant, Dicliptera suberecta is a must have for heat and drought tolerance. Ours came from a friend in Greece.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on June 26, 2019, 05:43:04 AM
Looks like an attractive plant in all ways with striking flowers of a beautiful colour - must look out for it John - you are a mine of information.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 26, 2019, 06:36:12 PM
Bit late today, been a busy day.
Despite the marked difference in flower shape these are both Dietes, D. bicolor and D. grandiflora.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 27, 2019, 06:01:16 AM
Our Persimmon, Diospyros kaki, is still small but manages to produce 1 or 2 fruit each year. In October 2017 we acquired a specimen of its cousin, Diospyros nigra, that goes under the common name of Chocolate Pudding tree. Apparently the fruit have the taste and consistency of chocolate pudding. We are eagerly awaiting the first signs of fruit in order to test this out. Unfortunately not this year.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 28, 2019, 07:14:03 AM
Duranta erecta survives quite well with limited water, but the pale flowers don't stand out in the high light intensity of the summer months. Much more striking are the darker flowers of its cousin D. erecta 'Sweet Memories'.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 29, 2019, 06:40:46 AM
Last year we obtained an Echeveria pulvinata from a specialist cactus nursery here on the island. It seems to have settled well and begun to flower.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on June 30, 2019, 08:47:27 AM
Echinopsis oxygona, and we also have E. backebergii.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 01, 2019, 06:59:36 AM
The flowers of Eleagnus angustifolia may be small but they have a strong scent. The fruit are an acquired taste that I have never acquired having, to my mind, the consistency of cotton wool.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 02, 2019, 06:40:01 AM
Emilia coccinea is described as an annual but ours has been growing and flowering in a pot for at least 2 years to date.
Probably named after someone but just who Emilia was is apparently not known.
Nor is it clear who the Flora is in its common name of Flora's paintbrush.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 03, 2019, 12:21:55 PM
Epiphyllum oxypetalum is a night-flowering cactus that needs to use all means possible to attract nighttime pollinators. So it produces enormous flowers that are very pale, to show up in the dark, and emits a powerful aroma. To appreciate them you need to stay awake as they open late and by the morning are hanging like limp rags.
I don't have a current photo of ours but we do also possess a number of the many hybrids that have been bred from the species. These have the benefit of being more colourful than the parent, open during the day and stay open for as long as 3 days. On the down side they have lost the amazing scent.
We have;
Madagascar
Orange Crush
Desert Moon
King Midas
and also Elektra, JT Barber, Ambrosia.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 04, 2019, 06:24:52 AM
This Australian native is well named, Eremophila glabra. Eremos = desert, phila = friend, and we have certainly found ours to be drought tolerant.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 05, 2019, 06:32:54 AM
Eriocephalus africanus is another drought tolerant shrub.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 06, 2019, 06:18:39 AM
Some years ago we acquired a specimen of Eugenia uniflora. This is reputed to grow into a tall tree but ours has remained stubbornly small. Nor has it shown any sign of flowering or setting fruit. Maybe one day we'll be able to sample one of its cherry-like berries.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 07, 2019, 07:01:42 AM
Euphorbia dendroides displaying the ultimate adaptation to drought tolerance, a form of aestivation, a complete shut-down during the summer months.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on July 07, 2019, 08:18:20 AM
Interesting John - would be great to see photos of its emergence from this state.......
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 07, 2019, 10:34:10 AM
Carole, the first photo was taken in autumn last year as it was beginning to reemerge and the second a few years ago in its full glory.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on July 08, 2019, 03:54:51 AM
Many thanks John - that is amazing to see.......and I have added to my vocabulary  :)
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 08, 2019, 06:41:53 AM
The genus Euphorbia must be the most diverse in the Plant Kingdom with regard to the size, shape, etc of the plants that comprise it. Today's Euphorbia flanaganii couldn't be more different to yesterday's E. dendroides.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on July 09, 2019, 06:40:22 AM
One of the most useful too John with many varieties providing year long structure and interest in the garden with minimal care.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 09, 2019, 06:49:05 AM
Exactly, Carole, one of them being Euphorbia milii (not for nothing known as the Crown of Thorns) that needs little or no attention. It has slotted into the role usually occupied by cactus and succulents.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 10, 2019, 06:15:04 AM
Another unusual variation, Euphorbia trigona.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 11, 2019, 05:12:52 AM
Regular readers of the Forum will perhaps be aware of my particular interest in Cyprus endemics. Today we have one that is, I'm pleased to say, fairly common in the Troodos range, Aphrodite's Spurge, Euphorbia veneris.
As it is not currently in flower I had to resort to posting an old photo.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Hilary on July 11, 2019, 04:48:36 PM
A bright  photo to start the day with. Do you know which month the photo was taken?
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 11, 2019, 06:39:17 PM
Hilary, I don't have exact information on this particular photo but from experience of their flowering pattern I'd say it was probably April, a couple of years ago.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 12, 2019, 11:11:33 AM
Acquired around 4 years ago as something of a novelty plant Farfugium japonicum 'Aureomaculatum' is planted in the shade of a mature tree and given extra water every so often.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 13, 2019, 06:56:55 AM
Obviously not in flower now but such an unusual one that I couldn't resist resurrecting an old photo. The bulbs of Ferraria crispa were obtained from good friend and Forum Moderator, Fleur, last year.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 14, 2019, 06:57:02 AM
Many people find gardenias to be temperamental and difficult to grow, as did we until we found a local nursery that grafts them onto the rootstock of a wild variety. Gardenia thunbergia is native to South Africa and not prone to the problems experienced by others of its clan.
The first photo is of Gardenia thunbergia, the second is G. jasminoides in a container, and the last of G. jasminoides 'Radicans' in the ground.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 15, 2019, 06:58:33 AM
Gasteria carinata var verrucosa, an interesting little plant, if only for its name.  8)
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 16, 2019, 05:31:37 AM
The fairy wands of Gaura lindheimeri wave in the breeze in front of a wild Verbascum sinuatum.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 17, 2019, 06:21:49 AM
Gynura procumbens, sometimes known as Longevity Spinach, has a multitude of claims made regarding its ability to combat a wide range of diseases, etc. I first heard about this plant a few years ago from a man who had survived a very serious medical condition and was following a regime of only eating healthily, growing his own food organically and researching everything he could find about plants such as this. We acquired 2 plants and intended to follow the recommended action of eating 2 or 3 leaves a day but in the usual daily rush we often forget! :-[
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 18, 2019, 06:09:50 AM
Hamelia patens is native to the Americas, sub-tropical and tropical regions, so they will take the heat but do benefit from supplementary watering. Apparently their fruit is a small berry that is edible but our 2 plants have never produced any. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they are pollinated by humming-birds and they are in short supply in Cyprus. :D
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 19, 2019, 08:51:11 AM
The ever popular Helichrysum italicum and ever useful H. petiolare, good for ground cover, cascading over walls or down slopes.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 20, 2019, 05:48:45 AM
Hibiscus mutabilis.
Hibiscus platanifolius.
One of a whole range of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plus the more delicate flower and variegated leaves of the variety 'Cooperi'.
Hibiscus syriacus.
Hibiscus tiliaceus
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 21, 2019, 01:24:25 PM
Jacaranda mimosifolia must be one of the most spectacular flowering trees. Our 3 are not currently in flower the photo was taken one spring.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 22, 2019, 10:52:23 AM
Various species of Kalanchoe.
K. beharensis, also K. beharensis 'Fang'.
K. blossfeldiana.
K. orgyalis.
K. thyrsiflora.
K. tomentosa.
'Fang' seems to have got added on at the end instead of alongside its species. ???
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 23, 2019, 07:58:14 AM
Our Lagunaria patersonii is around 15 years old and is currently covered in seed pods. These pods are full of small, irritating hairs that have led to the tree being given common names such as 'Cow Itch Tree'. The photo of the flower is from earlier.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 24, 2019, 06:02:27 AM
Lantana camara, a very drought tolerant shrub that can become invasive in certain circumstances. It has been banned in some countries for that reason. We have never had that problem as ours get no supplementary water and need all their strength merely to survive. They are not to everyone's taste as the variety of their flower colour makes them difficult to coordinate with other plants.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on July 24, 2019, 07:34:49 AM
You may have come late to gardening John but the variety of plants that you grow never ceases to amaze me. The Lagunaria is a new one to me - I would think it looks very attractive when in bloom.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 24, 2019, 10:04:18 AM
You are right, Carole, it is an attractive tree in flower. I seem to recall that there should be more info about it in the Trees and Shrubs section from a few years ago.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 25, 2019, 06:41:32 AM
Leonotis leonurus is described as moderately drought tolerant, but as it originates from damp grasslands in southern Africa we find that ours need some supplementary water to survive.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 26, 2019, 12:25:04 PM
The flowers of Limoniastrum monopetalum have mostly gone over now but I am including it as it is such a tough plant that stands up to all our particular climate can throw at it.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 27, 2019, 06:30:08 AM
Limonium perezii is fairly drought tolerant and grows in poor soil, Limonium sinuatum grows near the sea and is even more drought resistant.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 28, 2019, 05:07:02 AM
Our Loropetalum chinense struggles a bit in the heat and needs some TLC but it's worth it when it flowers.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 29, 2019, 08:12:57 AM
A very useful drought-tolerant, summer-dormant plant is Medicago arborea. The first photo was taken this morning and the other one spring.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 30, 2019, 07:58:51 AM
Today we have one of those plants with a name that the taxonomists like to test us with from time to time, Megaskepasma erythrochlamys. Fortunately its a monotypic genus, meaning there is only one species to remember the name of.  8)
Our mature plant is not in flower at this time of the year. We took cuttings from it that rooted quite easily and so have some small plants that are growing on well.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 31, 2019, 06:17:09 AM
I believe this to be Melaleuca nesophila. I left it a bit late to take the photo and so the little pink pom-poms are rather past their expiry date.  :-[
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on July 31, 2019, 06:20:55 AM
When I was going through the Hs I skipped over Hedychium as none of them were in flower, but 'Tara' has begun to open.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 01, 2019, 07:49:11 AM
We have 3 Melia azedarach trees, 2 grown from seed from the original in the late 1990s, the tree shown below being one of them. As the flowers appear in spring along with the new foliage they are long gone. What we have now are this year's berries along with those from last year. We used to be visited by Egyptian Fruit Bats who took the mature berries but we haven't seen any for the last few years, although we do sometimes see evidence that they may have been overnight. Sadly their numbers are declining as their roosts are being systematically destroyed or at least rendered uninhabitable.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 02, 2019, 02:56:13 PM
We got our Melianthus major from Sparoza 7 years ago. As can be seen the flowers have long gone but the leaves and seed pod can be quite striking in their own way.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 03, 2019, 06:04:31 AM
Mespilus germanica despite its specific name does not come from Germany but is native to southern Europe and the Middle East. It was known to the Ancient Greeks and was possibly introduced to northern Europe by the Romans. The fruit is unusual in needing to be almost rotten (bletted) before it can be eaten. We grow ours for its novelty value and its attractive flowers.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 04, 2019, 06:25:49 AM
In 2014 we went on the MGS Excursion to Morocco led by Chris Gardner and in the gardens of Chellat, Rabat, we saw a tree with daisy-like flowers, Montanoa grandiflora. My wife decided that she wanted one and a few years later our good friend, and Forum Moderator Fleur, found one for her in Greece. It isn't looking its best in the summer heat and is nowhere near to producing flowers like the ones shown on the tree in Morocco. Maybe one day.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 05, 2019, 05:58:37 AM
Cyprus is the island of Aphrodite, in Ancient Greece she was referred to as the Cyprian, having been born of the foam off Paphos. In deference to those of a delicate disposition I won't relate how this came to be possible. Anyway, those familiar with the painting by Botticelli will be aware that she was born fully grown and completely naked. She initially hid her charms behind a Myrtle bush and so Myrtus communis became one of the plants that were considered sacred to the goddess.
We have several bushes in our garden, some that produce the usual black berries and others that are white.
In the past they were often offered at a meal and a few berries were chewed between courses in order to freshen up the mouth and taste buds ready for the next dish, but this is another tradition that seems to have fallen by the wayside.
My wife sometimes uses them to make a liquor, Mirto, in the same way as she produces Limoncello.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 06, 2019, 06:49:32 AM
The small white flowers of Nandina domestica have been replaced by berries that will turn bright red. They are held on the plant for a long time providing a splash of colour over the winter.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 07, 2019, 05:29:43 AM
The ubiquitous Nerium oleander. We have different colours but this double pink variety is one of the few that I know of that has a scent.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 08, 2019, 06:40:01 AM
Nigella ciliaris is an annual but I have included it as a special case. It is quite common in some countries but has not been recorded in the wild in Cyprus for over 100 years, so is on the verge of being declared extinct on the island. It has been found in a garden and we were fortunate enough to acquire a few seeds. For the last 2 years they have germinated and we have collected seed, along with the ones that have sown themselves. Next spring we will again be waiting anxiously to see if any germinate.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: Umbrian on August 08, 2019, 07:19:46 AM
Absolutely gorgeous John - well done with your conservation work to keep it going  :)
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 09, 2019, 06:41:55 AM
Just one of our water-lilies (Nymphaea) that is open today.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 09, 2019, 02:35:13 PM
Another of our water-lilies that opened up later in the day.
Among the things to be aware of when taking photos, light levels, shadow, focus, etc, etc, I have never heard mentioned that of  an over-affectionate cat looking for attention.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 10, 2019, 06:22:08 AM
Oenothera biennis add their brand of bright yellow to a sunny day.
I passed over the Ipomoea carnea ssp fistulosa as it had finished flowering but it has begun a second flush.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 11, 2019, 06:25:28 AM
Pallenis maritima a useful drought resistant ground cover.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 12, 2019, 06:18:44 AM
I'm going a little out of sequence here as our Pavonia missionum has produced its first flower. The small plant was grown from seed sent to us by David in Rome, thanks David.
We also have a Pavonia praemorsa, that we got from Sparoza a few years ago, that is currently in a pot and flowers intermittently all year round.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 13, 2019, 06:22:05 AM
Pancratium maritimum is beginning to flower. The original seeds were collected from a beach in Crete in 2010.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 14, 2019, 06:06:51 AM
Paulownia tomentosa, known to the Chinese as Empress tree or Princess tree and to the western world by the less romantic name of Foxglove tree. No flowers at this time of year but plenty of buds already formed and waiting to burst out next spring. Easily grown from seed and very fast to mature.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 15, 2019, 05:44:07 AM
Persea americana fruit are swelling nicely and should be ripening in a month or so.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation - Persea americana
Post by: Alisdair on August 15, 2019, 09:20:23 AM
Do you know which avocado cultivar that is, John?
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 15, 2019, 10:23:11 AM
Not absolutely certain but we believe it to be a 'Hass'.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 16, 2019, 06:14:39 AM
Plumbago auriculata covers itself in flowers that reflect the pale blue of the summer sky. It needs to be kept an eye on, however, as it can quickly outgrow its allotted space.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 17, 2019, 12:09:59 PM
Podranea ricasoliana only has a few flowers at this time. We also have Pandorea jasminoides but that has no flowers at present.
Both these plants used to be included in the genus Bignonia along with Campsis, Tecoma but all were moved out and given new names. Pandorea was named after the character from Greek mythology, Pandora (she of the famed box), as the type-species was associated with an insect plague on its native Norfolk Island. When it came to naming Podranea the taxonomists seem to have suffered an imagination failure as the best they could come up with was an anagram of Pandorea.  :-\
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 18, 2019, 06:57:44 AM
Today we have the tongue-twisting Pseudogynoxis chenopodioides.  ??? Much easier when it was called Senecio confusus, although now when my wife says she has a 'confused old man' in the garden there's no mistaking which one she's referring to!  :-[
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 19, 2019, 04:36:21 AM
As well as the usual guava Psidium guajava we also have Psidium cattleianum, Strawberry guava, and an unknown variety grown from seed collected from an unlabeled tree that we came across on our travels.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 20, 2019, 06:00:06 AM
Still on fruit, we have a variety of Pomegranate bushes. Our latest acquisitions produce large, tasty fruit, but on the downside they don't appear to keep well.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 21, 2019, 08:36:22 AM
I'm cheating today as our Retama raetam is way past its flowering stage for this year, so I have a photo of a bush on a hillside in Morocco taken on the MGS Excursion to that country in 2014, led by Chris and Basak Gardner.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 22, 2019, 11:58:19 AM
Ruellia simplex with a visitor. These plants seed themselves around our property, popping up all over the place.
Title: Re: A to Z of plants continuation
Post by: John J on August 23, 2019, 09:44:15 AM
Several years ago someone had the bright idea that the entrance to our village would benefit from the introduction of a fountain, complete with lion. It was not connected to a water source and so has never functioned in the manner for which it was intended.
Years later the current village council asked my wife and myself if we could help to improve certain designated areas of the village. One of the things I did was to plant the fountain with Ruschia pulvinaius in an attempt to simulate the effect of water spilling over the rim of the bowl.
I'll leave it up to individuals to decide whether or not it was successful.