Wreath Lechenaultia

Wreath lechenaultias really brighten up the Australian desert.

  • Wreath lechenaultias are perennial plants, native to the woodland and desert habitats of the Southwest Australia savanna area, located in
    the Australian state of Western Australia.
  • The scientific name of a wreath lechenaultia plant is Lechenaultia macrantha and it is from the family Goodeniaceae, a family of flowering plants.
  • Wreath lechenaultias generally grow to a height of up to 15 centimetres (6 inches) and reach a diameter of 1 metre (3.3 feet).
  • The blooms of wreath lechenaultia plants typically range from pink to red, and they are a white or yellow colour in the middle.
  • Wreath lechenaultias grow best in full sun and in a fairly dry, well-drained soil that consists of sand or small pebbles.
Wreath Lechenaultia, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Flower, Desert, Ring, Australia, Bloom, Pink, Flower
A Wreath Lechenaultia
Image courtesy of Derrin Images
  • Wreath lechenaultia plants bloom during late winter months and spring, and the flowers are usually produced around the outer edge of the plant, forming a wreath-like shape around the foliage.
  • Each flower of the wreath lechenaultia plant consists of five petals and is roughly 3 to 3.5 centimetres (1.2 to 1.4 inches) in diameter.
  • Wreath lechenaultias are commonly grown for decorative purposes, both on the ground or in hanging baskets, though they tend to be difficult to grow.
  • Kurt Krausse, a German botanist, was the first to scientifically describe the wreath lechenaultia, doing so in 1912.
  • Wreath lechenaultia plants tend to sprout after the event of a bushfire, and new plants can be grown from cuttings.
Lechenaultia Macrantha, 2010, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lechenaultia_macrantha
Lechenaultia Macrantha, 2016, Australian native Plants Society (Australia), http://anpsa.org.au/l-macr.html
Lechenaultia Macrantha (Wreath Lechenaultia), 2016, Home Design Directory, http://www.homedesigndirectory.com.au/gardening/plant-finder/plant-descriptions/lechenaultia-macrantha/?plant-id=449
Lechenaultia Macrantha – Wreath Lechenaultia, n.d, Gardening With Angus, http://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/lechenaultia-macrantha-wreath-lechenaultia/


Parrot’s Beak

Parrot’s beaks are delicate bursts of vivid colour.

  • Parrot’s beaks are a species of perennial flowering plant, native solely to the Canary Islands, located off the north-west coast of Africa.
  • The scientific name of the parrot’s beak plant is Lotus berthelotii and it is from the family Fabaceae, the family of legumes.
  • The blooms of parrot’s beaks are red to orange coloured and resemble the beak of a parrot.
  • ‘Parrot’s beaks’ are also known as ‘coral gems’, ‘pelican’s beaks’,  ‘lotus vines’, ‘cat claws’, and ‘pigeon beaks’ or by the Spanish for the same name – ‘pico de paloma’.
  • A parrot’s beak plant will generally grow to a height of 15 to 30 centimetres (6 to 12 inches), and it is a creeper, so it tends to spread to a diameter of approximately 61 cm (24 inches) if grown on the ground.
Parrot's Beak, Flower, Red, Yellow, Group, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Flower, Vegetation, Canary Islands
Parrot’s Beak
Image courtesy of Emma Forsberg/Flickr
  • Parrot’s beaks typically bloom during the late spring and early summer months.
  • Parrot’s beaks grow best in conditions of full sun, and while they can be grown in part shade, they will usually not produce as many flowers.
  • The leaves of parrot’s beaks are small and very narrow, and are a green-grey in colour.
  • Parrot’s beaks are fittingly pollinated by birds, and are extremely rare or extinct in the wild.
  • The parrot’s beak plant is typically grown for ornamental purposes, especially as a ground cover or carpet, and it is also grown in hanging baskets or pots.
Lotus berthelotii, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_berthelotii
Parrot’s Beak, 2016, Better Homes & Gardens, http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/parrots-beak/
Parrot’s Beak, Coral Gem, Pelican’s Beak, 2016, Dave’s Garden, http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1250/#b
Plant Profiles: Lotus Berthelotii, 2013, Garden at Heart, http://gardenatheart.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/plant-profiles-lotus-berthelotii.html


Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate cosmos is a delicacy for the eyes.

  • Chocolate cosmos are a species of perennial flowering plant, that originated in Mexico.
  • ‘Chocolate cosmos’ is also known as ‘black cosmos’ and was once known as ‘black biden’.
  • The scientific name of chocolate cosmos is Cosmos atrosanguineus, formerly Bidens atrosanguineus, and it is from the family Asteraceae, the family of daisies.
  • Chocolate cosmos generally grow to be around 40 to 75 centimetres (1.3 to 2.5 feet) in height.
  • Chocolate cosmos are believed to be extinct in the wild, while many specimens today are clones of a non-fertile specimen, so those will not produce fertile seed.
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A Chocolate Cosmos
Image courtesy of Amanda Slater/Flickr
  • The blooms of chocolate cosmos plants are a deep brown to maroon colour, and they have a fragrance reminiscent of chocolate.
  • Chocolate cosmos grow best in sunny or mostly sunny conditions, and the plants grow from tubers that enable them to be divided.
  • Chocolate cosmos plants prefer warm climates if they are to be grown all year round, and they typically bloom during summer months and into early autumn.
  • Seed merchant, William Thompson from Ipswich in England, was the first known person to cultivate a chocolate cosmos plant, doing so in 1835, and the plant was described by English botanist, Joseph Hooker, shortly after, who obtained a specimen from Thompson.
  • Chocolate cosmos are commonly grown in gardens for decorative purposes or as cut flowers.
Cosmos, 2016, Pacific Bulb Society, http://pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Cosmos
Cosmos atrosanguineus, 2016, Heritage Perennials, http://www.perennials.com/plants/cosmos-atrosanguineus.html
Cosmos atrosanguineus, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmos_atrosanguineus
Schneider A, Caring for Chocolate Cosmos Plants: Growing Chocolate Cosmos Flowers, 2016, Gardening Know How, http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/cosmos/growing-chocolate-cosmos.htm



Bringing a leek on a boat will surely lead to calamity.

  • Leeks are somewhat leafy, edible vegetables that are thought to have originated in parts of the Mediterranean region, and they have been cultivated for thousands of years in a number of surrounding areas.
  • The botanical classification of the leek is Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum, and it is from the family Allium, the family of onions.
  • Leeks are mostly green in colour with large flat leaves that grow centrally around each other, and they form a thick stem at the base that is coloured white, and to encourage taller, whiter stems, the plants are usually grown in furrows and as they grow, soil is piled around the base of the plant.
  • The leek is embedded deeply in Welsh culture, likely stemming from the legend of Welsh soldiers wearing the vegetable in their hats to differentiate their foes from the enemy, the Saxons, in 640 AD.
  • Leek plants usually have a diameter between 2.5 and 6 centimetres (1 and 2.4 inches), and can reach 1.5 metres (5 feet) in height, though if purchasing them at a shop or market, the tops have usually been trimmed off and discarded, reducing their size down to around 60 centimetres (24 inches) or less.

Leek, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Vegetable, Food, Culinary, Green, Fresh

  • The white stem of a leek is the most commonly utilised part of the plant, and it can be sliced and eaten raw, or cooked by boiling, frying or steaming, and it is often used in soups, salads or eaten as a side vegetable.
  • Leeks were popular in Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek cuisines, even favoured by Roman Emperor Nero, who believed they had positive enhancements on one’s singing voice.
  • The flavour of leeks is commonly compared to onions, albeit lighter in flavour with a sweet tendency, and the vegetable has a crisp texture when raw, which sometimes softens, depending on the method of cooking.
  • The term ‘leek’ derives from the word ‘leac’ of the Ango-Saxon language, translated as ‘herb’ or ‘plant’, which is also the second part of the original term for ‘garlic’.
  • Leeks are very high in vitamin K and are high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C, and they have many other vitamins and minerals.
Block E, 2010, Garlic and Other Alliums: The Lore and the Science, pp 4, State University of New York, New York, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=6AB89RHV9ucC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
Leek, 2011, Fresh For Kids, http://www.freshforkids.com.au/veg_pages/leek/leek.html
Leek, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leek
Leeks, 2016, The World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=26
Leeks – A Short History, 2015, Leek Growers Association, http://wwwritish-leeks.co.uk/funfacts.php
White K & Zellner J, Onion, 2008, Hamilton C0llege, http://academics.hamilton.edu/foodforthought/our_research_files/allium.pdf



Flame Lily

If you have a burning passion for someone, give them a flame lily.

  • A flame lily is a species of perennial flower, native to a variety of habitats of south Asia, and south to south-eastern Africa.
  • Flame lilies’ are also known as ‘creeping lilies’, ‘fire lilies’, ‘climbing lilies’, ‘glory lilies’, ‘tiger claws’ and ‘gloriosa lilies’.
  • The scientific name of the flame lily is Gloriosa superba and it is from the family Colchicaceae, a family of plants that flower.
  • As flame lily plants tend to be climbers, they grow upwards or along the ground to 4 metres (13 feet) in length, while the flowers have a diameter of 4.5 to 7 centimetres (1.8 to 2.8 inches).
  • Typically, flame lily flowers are predominantly red or orange, transitioning into a yellow colour towards the centre, and they flower in summer and autumn.
Flame Lily, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Flower, Vegetation, Plant, Yellow, Red
Flame Lily
Image courtesy of Miltos Gikas/Flickr
  • The consumption of any part of flame lily plants can be fatal, with symptoms including numbness, vomiting, dizziness and breathing difficulties, and it is also toxic for most animals.
  • Flame lilies are considered an invasive weed in many countries outside of their native region, including Australia, a number of Pacific Islands and parts of the United States.
  • Flame lilies has been used in traditional medicine to treat cuts, worms, snakebites, skin issues and other health conditions.
  • By creating both seeds and having rhizomes that multiply, flame lilies are efficient at reproducing, and spreading.
  • Flame lilies grow best in partial shade, and they are commonly grown as cut flowers or for other ornamental purposes.
Gloriosa Superba, 2016, Queensland Government Weeds of Australia, http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/gloriosa_superba.htm
Gloriosa Superba, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloriosa_superba
Gloriosa Superba (Flame Lily), n.d, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/gloriosa-superba-flame-lily
Gloya Lily (Gloriosa Superba), 2014, NSW Department of Primary Industries, http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/62


Common Sunflower

You’ll need some shades if you visit a field of common sunflowers.

  • Common sunflowers are a species of annual flower, popularly cultivated for agricultural purposes, and are native to parts of the North American countries of Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
  • The scientific name of the common sunflower is Helianthus annuus and it is from the family Asteraceae, the family of daisies; and there are a large number of cultivars, these varying greatly in height and flower colour and size.
  • Common sunflowers flowers generally have yellow petals, although orange and red tones are available, surrounding a brown central disc, and the flowers are usually a diameter of 10 to 50 centimetres (4 to 20 inches) and bloom during autumn and summer months.
  • Contrary to popular belief, common sunflower flower heads do not continually change direction to face towards the sun, rather, they face east, though the flower buds do turn with the sun.
  • Common sunflowers, also known simply as ‘sunflowers’, grow best in full sun, and they grow to heights between 0.5 to 5 metres (1.6 to 16.4 feet), depending on the variety.
Common Sunflower, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Yellow, Large, Bright, Field, Plant,
Common Sunflower
Image courtesy of Stig Nygaard/Flickr
  • Seeds and oil can be extracted from common sunflowers, which are edible by both humans and livestock, and the oil is often used in cooking and in margarine, cosmetics, soap and paint.
  • Common sunflowers were introduced to Europe for food purposes in the 1500s by Spanish explorers, and this eventually spread to mass cultivation of the plants in Russia, Caucasus and Ukraine by the 1800s.
  • The central disc of a common sunflower features a spiral pattern that can be mathematically defined using a formula that is part of the Fibonacci sequence.
  • Common sunflowers are sometimes grown in domestic gardens for ornamental purposes; and they can be used to decontaminate soil and water from poisonous or otherwise harmful chemicals.
  • Common sunflower petals have been used by native Americans to create a yellow dye, and the seeds to produce a black or blue dye.
Helianthus annus, 2016, Wildflower Center, http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=HEAN3
Helianthus annus, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helianthus_annuus
Helianthus annus, n.d, Missouri Botanical Garden, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a583
Helianthus annus (sunflower), n.d, Kew Royal Botanic Garden, http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/helianthus-annuus-sunflower


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