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Results tagged “may-16”

May 16, 2014: Anemone blanda

A short entry from Taisha today, who writes:

A few weeks ago, I spotted a nice pop of purple (a colour that usually catches my eye) tucked away behind the Garden's amphitheatre. A closer look revealed it was Anemone blanda. In the Ranunculaceae, Anemone blanda is also known as the Grecian windflower or winter windflower. The genus Anemone is composed of about 120 species of perennials found mostly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Within the genus, members can be divided into three groups: woodland and alpine pasture species that flower in the spring, Mediterranean or Central Asia species with early summer blooms, and larger herbaceous species that flower later summer into autumn.

Anemone blanda, is a herbaceous perennial native to southeast Europe and Turkey. This species is valued for its daisy-like appearance in the spring. The winter windflower is a spreading species that is great for the garden and prefers well-drained soil with partial sun--making it good to plant under deciduous trees which can help provide its preferred conditions.

May 16, 2012: Aquilegia chrysantha

Aquilegia chrysantha

Today's photograph and write-up are both by Bryant DeRoy, the BPotD work-study student for this summer. Bryant writes:

Following the wonderful series by Katherine Van Dijk on white-flowered medicinal plants, I thought I would post something with a vibrant colour to mix things up a bit. This photo of Aquilegia chrysantha (golden columbine) was taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden. Aquilegia chrysantha is a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup family) and is native to the southwestern USA and Chihuahua, Mexico. In the USA, the species is found in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, as well as a a disjunction in Colorado. These herbaceous perennials are often found in shady moist canyons, usually in association with seeping water. Mature plants in typical growing conditions can range in height from 30cm to 120cm. Compared with other columbines, the inflorescence is relatively large, with the spurs projecting from the back of the corolla typically ranging from 4cm to 7cm in length.

Although Aquilegia chrysantha is known as a shade and moisture-loving plant in its native arid habitat, this species does perform well in gardening conditions outside its native range. The specimen pictured above was planted on a southwest-facing slope in full sun in Vancouver, British Columbia; mind you, "full sun" in springtime Vancouver (at the 49th parallel) is much less intense and more infrequent than full sun in the southwestern USA.

Columbine is derived from columbinus, meaning "dovelike" in Latin. Viewed from certain angles, the flowers resemble a cluster of five doves, with the petals (including the spurs) resembling the heads, necks and bodies of the 5 birds (very elongated in Aquilegia chrysantha!) and the spreading sepals imagined as wings. The genus name is derived from the Latin aquila for eagle, a reference to how the petals can resemble eagle talons. The foliage of this species is also of note for its fern-like and sometimes evergreen qualities. Once it has established, Aquilegia chrysantha will often self-sow, a potential benefit to gardeners who enjoy naturalizing plants.

May 16, 2011: Rhizophora mucronata

Rhizophora mucronata

Alexis wrote today's entry:

Today's photo was provided by Ton Rulkens (tonrulkens@Flickr). This photograph showing the sepals of Rhizophora mucronata was taken last month in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Thanks, Ton!

Rhizophora mucronata is a mangrove tree with a widespread native range from East Africa and India to southeastern Asia, northeastern Australia and islands of the South Pacific. Like other Rhizophora, this species grows in intertidal zones, has stilt roots, is tolerant of salt water, and prefers wet and silty growing conditions. Commonly known as red mangrove or Asiatic mangrove, this species has brown-black bark and leathery leaves that have distinct black dots on their undersurface. Its flowers have deeply lobed pale yellow to white sepals (as shown in the photo) and lanceolate petals of a similar colour that have hairy edges. Common to many flowers that are wind-pollinated, Rhizophora flowers have no fragrance.

Mangrove ecosystems play an important role in the natural environment by stabilizing sediments and acting as barriers against coastal and wind erosion. They protect many shellfish and fish species and also nearby coral reefs. Additionally, local people use mangrove trees for constructing houses and tools and develop surrounding areas for agriculture and shrimp & fish farming. According to the Forestry and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as of 2007, 3.6 million hectares or 20% of total mangrove area has been lost worldwide since 1980. Though some countries such as Bangladesh have increased their mangrove area through conservation efforts, many mangrove systems are still threatened by human activities like aquaculture, tourism, and infrastructure development. Rhizophora mucranata in particular is desired for restoration efforts.

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