Greater periwinkles are greater than lesser periwinkles.
- Greater periwinkles are also known as ‘big leaf periwinkles’, ‘large periwinkles’, ‘blue periwinkles’ and ‘blue buttons’.
- The scientific name of greater periwinkles is ‘Vinca major’ and is from a family of six species of Vinca.
- Greater periwinkles are native to Europe and North Africa and are from the family ‘Apocynaceae’, which is typically known as the dogbone family.
- Greater periwinkles grow up to 50-70 cm (1.6 – 2 .3 feet) in height and spread 2-5 metres (6.6 – 16.4 feet) wide.
- Greater periwinkles are ground vines with dark green coloured leaves that are glossy and sit in pairs opposite each other, with flowers that can bloom all year round, but generally in spring and summer.
- The flowers of greater periwinkles can be white or blue in colour but are typically coloured in purple shades and are 3-5 cm(1.2 – 2 inches) in diameter.
- Greater periwinkles are an invasive weed in parts of Australia, New Zealand and United States, due to the ease of propagation from waste plant material.
- Greater periwinkles are often mistaken for lesser periwinkles (Vinca minor) due to their similarities, although the flower and leaf sizes are larger in the greater, which also has tiny hairs on the leaves, that the lesser doesn’t.
- The stems of greater periwinkles can be used for basket weaving and the plant is also used medicinally, although it is poisonous if large portions are consumed.
- Greater periwinkles are happy to grow in shady areas and send down roots from their runners, making them easy to grow from cuttings.
Vinca Major, 2013, Plants for a Future, <http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Vinca+major>
Vinca Major, 2013, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinca_major>
Ground asparagus… though not an asparagus bearer, though.
- Ground asparagus is also known as basket asparagus, Sprenger’s asparagus and asparagus fern.
- Ground asparagus is from the family Asparagaceae, which is the family of asparagus and flowering plants.
- Ground asparagus have tiny bell like flowers that are white to palish pink in colour and bloom in spring and last until autumn.
- Ground asparagus is a small perennial, low lying, scrambling shrub that has a number of stems coming from the ground that have ferny looking cladodes (water storing leaf like segments) and small thorns attached.
- Ground asparagus is easily grown from the rhizomes and through seeds that birds spread, making it an invasive weed in many areas.
- South Africa is the native home of ground asparagus, where it is found in coastal areas.
- The scientific classification for ground asparagus is Asparagus aethiopicus, although it is often confused with Asparagus densiflorus, which it is often called, and is similar in appearance.
- Ground asparagus have berries that start off green and ripen to a red colour, and grow to 5 to 8mm (0.2 to 0.3 inches) in diameter.
- Although ground asparagus is known as an invasive weed in a number of countries in the world, especially Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the United States, it is still used for decoration in shady areas or rocky gardens.
- The berries of ground asparagus are poisonous, causing symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ground (Basket) Asparagus, n.d, Weeds Australia, <http://www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/asparagusweeds/docs/Asparagus_Weeds_BPMM-5.pdf>
Ground Asparagus, n.d, Weeds Australia, <http://www.weeds.org.au/cgi-bin/weedident.cgi?tpl=plant.tpl&state=&s=&ibra=all&card=H03>
Trumpeting Creeping Flowers – NOT.
- Orange trumpet creepers are also known as ‘flame vines’, ‘venusta vines’, ‘Japanese honeysuckles’ (although the vine isn’t a honeysuckle), ‘Chinese cracker flowers’ and ‘golden showers’.
- Orange trumpet creepers are from the family Bignoniaceae, and are a relative to Jacarandas.
- The scientific name of the orange trumpet creeper is ‘pyrostegia venusta’, a combination of Greek and Latin words meaning ‘ beautiful flame covering’.
- Orange trumpet creepers are large and long evergreen vines that grow quickly and flower mainly in winter, although they often flower in autumn and sometimes during spring.
- Orange trumpet creepers have beautiful, grouped, tubular, red, orange or yellow coloured flowers, that are 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 inches) in length.
- Orange trumpet creepers can grow up to 30 meters (98 feet) in length and are a popular garden plant because of their stunning flowers and their good foliage that can grow over and cover large supports like fences, tanks, carports, and large archways.
- Orange trumpet creepers are native to Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
- Orange trumpet creepers can be easily grown from cuttings and the plant can sometimes spread due to branches taking root in the ground.
- Orange trumpet creepers are found in forest, shrubby and rocky habitats and they prefer warmer climates and do not like the cold.
- Orange trumpet creepers are considered a weed in some countries and are said to be an invasive plant in some areas because they are easily grown and can smother trees and native vegetation.
Orange Trumpet Creeper, 2006, Burkes Backyard, <http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Climbers/Orange-Trumpet-Creeper/2109>
Pyrostegia Venusta, 2011, Some Magnetic Island Plants, <http://www.somemagneticislandplants.com.au/index.php/plants/299-pyrostegia-venusta>
Rix, M 2011, Pyrostegia Venusta, Kew, <http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Pyrostegia-venusta.htm>
They like to put on a show!
- The tibouchina is also known as ‘glory bush’, ‘princess flower’, ‘lasiandra’ and ‘glory tree’.
- Tibouchinas are flowering, evergreen shrubs or trees.
- Tibouchinas have stunning large purple flowers, although there are a few varieties with pink or white flowers.
- Tibouchinas flower in Autumn and are an attractive and popular garden plant.
- Tibouchinas are from the family Melastomataceae and there are over 350 species.
- Tibouchinas are native to tropical areas of South America, especially Brazil; the Caribbean; and Mexico.
- Tibouchinas grow to 0.5 to 6 meters (1.6 to 20 feet) depending on the species.
- Tibouchinas are susceptible to cold weather and frost.
- Tibouchinas are classified as an invasive weed in Hawaii.
- Tibouchinas generally like an acid soil type, and sometimes the edges of the leaves have a burnt appearance due to the soil not being acidic enough, which can be rectified by the addition of sulphur.
Tibouchina organensis (Glory Bush), n.d., Backyard Gardener, <http://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/pda_23c4.html>