This time of the year all plants are showing off their beautiful flowers.
The alluring, strong chocolate fragrance of this sunloving, bushy perennial is intriguing! From midsummer into fall these velvety, deep burgundy, 1 ½ to 2″ flowers bloom for weeks atop slender 10-15″ tall stems. Superb as a container plant; outstanding as a cut flower.
Fuchsia fans know how much fun it is to pot up a small plant and watch it grow in just a few weeks, into a stunning plant with flowers that resemble tiny ballerinas dancing down the sides of a hanging basket, or standard, or bush.
Luckily for fuchsia novices, this joy requires very little skill or hard work.
The genus Tropaeolum, native to South and Central America, includes several very popular garden plants, the most commonly grown being T. majus, T. peregrinum and T. speciosum. The hardiest species is T. polyphyllum from Chile, the perennial roots of which can survive underground when air temperatures drop as low as −15°C (5°F).
Plants in this genus have showy, often intensely bright flowers, and rounded, peltate (shield-shaped) leaves with the petiole in the centre. The flowers have five petals (sometimes more), a three-carpelled ovary, and a funnel-shaped nectar tube at the back.
The genus Gladiolus contains about 260 species, of which 250 are native to sub-Saharan Africa, mostly South Africa. About 10 species are native to Eurasia. There are 160 species of Gladiolus endemic in southern Africa and 76 in tropical Africa. The flowers of unmodified wild species vary from very small to perhaps 40 mm across, and inflorescences bearing anything from one to several flowers. The spectacular giant flower spikes in commerce are the products of centuries of hybridisation, selection, and perhaps more drastic manipulation.
I have some gladioli in my small back yard.
Just a spot of sunlight!
Gladioli are half-hardy in temperate climates. They grow from rounded, symmetrical corms, that are enveloped in several layers of brownish, fibrous tunics.
Their stems are generally unbranched, producing 1 to 9 narrow, sword-shaped, longitudinal grooved leaves, enclosed in a sheath. The lowest leaf is shortened to a cataphyll. The leaf blades can be plane or cruciform in cross section.