The sweet-smelling pelargoniums are confusing.
- Pelargoniums are a group of 200-250 species of flowering perennial plants, from the Geraniaceae family, the family of geraniums.
- ‘Pelargoniums’ are also known as ‘storksbills’ and ‘geraniums’, and although they are commonly confused with and called ‘geraniums’, they are different to the species of the same name.
- Pelargoniums are native mostly to South Africa, although some species are native to Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand and other parts of Africa.
- ‘Pelargoniums’ is derived from the word ‘stork’ in Greek, ‘pelargos’, while the common name for the plant, ‘storksbill’ refers to the seed head’s shape.
- Pelargoniums have flowers that can be white, cream, pink, mauve, purple, orange and red in colour, and they bloom mainly in spring and summer.
- Pelargoniums are evergreen and can also survive in drought and strong sunlight, and the shape and texture of the leaves vary significantly, depending on the species.
- Pelargoniums have 5-petalled flowers, which are distinguished by colours and patterns; with two petals at the top and three below.
- Some species of pelargoniums have useful perfume-smelling scents, including mint, rose, fruits and spices.
- Most pelargonium flowers and leaves can be eaten, and they are used in the flavouring, of primarily, desserts.
- Pelargonium oil, extracted from scented leaves, is sometimes used as a relaxing agent, while parts of the plant can be used to treat sicknesses and injury.
Pelargonium, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelargonium
Plant Profile: Pelargoniums, 2011, Gardening Australia, http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1866723.htm
Do not get lost in the Jeita Grotto!
- The Jeita Grotto is two different but connected caverns of limestone, known as the ‘Lower Grotto’ and the ‘Upper Grotto’.
- The Jeita Grotto complex is 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) in length.
- The Jeita Grotto is located in the mountainous area of Lebanon, just north of Beirut, where it is the longest cave in the Middle East, and a popular tourist attraction.
- The UpperCave of the Jeita Grotto contains many amazing formations, including the longest stalactite known to humans, with a length of 8.2 metres (27 feet).
- The Jeita Grotto was first discovered by the modern world in 1836, by William Thomson, a missionary from America.
- During 1873 and 1874, two expeditions were carried out by engineers, W Maxwell and H Huxley who worked for a local water company, and friend Daniel Bliss, who placed a ‘time capsule’ (a bottle with a written note) in one of the caves, which has since been welded into a stalagmite.
- During the Lebanese civil war in 1978, the Jeita Grotto was publicly closed and used mainly as storage facility for equipment needed for the war, and it was reopened in 1995.
- The Lower Grotto of the Jeita Grotto contains an important water source with rapids, and quiet, peaceful areas, and during winter, the lower sections is sometimes closed due to high water levels.
- The Jeita Grotto was one of the finalists in the bid to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2011.
- During its history, the Jeita Grotto has been known as ‘Grottoes of Nahr-al-Kalb’, ‘Djaita Grottoes’ and ‘Jehita Grottoes’.
Jeita Grotto, 2013, Beautiful World, http://www.beautifulworld.com/asia/lebanon/jeita-grotto
Jeita Grotto, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeita_Grotto
One of the fastest growing cities in the world…
- Dubai is a city located in the Arabian Desert and on the southeastern part of the Persian Gulf located in the United Arab Emirates, Middle East, and occupies an area of 4,110 square km (1,588 square miles).
- In 2012, Dubai was the wealthiest city in the Middle East and the 27th wealthiest city in the world and is nicknamed the ‘City of Gold’, due to its significant trade in gold, and includes 250 gold retail outlets in the city.
- The main religion of Dubai is Islam, and Arabic is the official language with English being the second.
- Dubai is the home of its ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.
- Dubai’s population of over 2 million people originate from over 200 countries, with only a little over 15% of them being nationals, and over 50% of the expatriates are Indian.
- Up until the 1930s, Dubai was a significant exporter in pearls, when the industry gave way due to war, the Great Depression and the production of artificial pearls.
- Dubai has an important role in trade, as the city is located near the Persian Gulf, a main trading water route, which really kicked off in the 1900s, and then in 1966, oil was found in Dubai, which contributed to a huge increase in the population, mainly expatriates, although the oil industry now only makes up a small percentage of the city’s revenue.
- Dubai is a great tourist destination attracting visitors with no less than 70 shopping malls and 600 fancy hotels, and attracted 10 million people in 2012, ranking it in the top ten most visited cities in the world.
- Dubai achieved the world’s tallest skyline in 2010, and is home to some of the largest and most unique hotels, gardens, buildings and entertainment centres, and one hotel is nicknamed as a ‘seven star hotel’.
- Dubai is the home to the Burj Khalifa, an apartment and office building, which became the tallest building in the world in 2010, measuring 829.8 meters (2,722 feet) in height.
Dubai, 2013, Wikipedia, < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai>
Dubai Department of Tourism, 2012, Dubai Government, < http://www.dubaitourism.ae/en>