Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lets Talk Flower Names and its Characteristics

As mentioned on my earlier post, Tanty Anna came over with a bunch of Peonies or Pfingsrose in German again.  These are all from her garden and apparently, she has quite a bit of it.  She had also earlier on offered to give me one of her mature plant to take home so that I don´t have to wait that long for our miniature Sarah Berhnard to start flowering!  Now, I bought Sarah Berhnard because I like my flowers in certain colours and shape.  So, I was kinda in a dilemma and was uncertain if she should dig the whole plant out just for me.  But after this surprise gift, I am having a hard time deciding which one I like best!

Anyway, I did some research on each to find out more about its characteristic.  The information here has been mainly extracted from wikipedia and the likes.

Peony Henry St. Claire is a brilliant double red bomb, late midseason with fine stems, it makes a good cut flower. The color carries a long distance in the field and the foliage is a glossy dark green making it easy to pick out of the hundreds of other varieties we grow. Plant in full sun. Week 5 bloom date rating.

Peony Edward F Flynn has brilliant deep red double flowerer and is perhaps one of the very best to be introduced by A.M. Brand, later blooming than most other red double peonies. It is similar to Phillipe Rivoire but with stronger growth, more robust foliage and larger flowers. Plant in full sun. Good cut flower. Week 5 bloom date rating.

This is Peony Doreen.  Peony Doreen has large rounded light rose-pink outer petals that cradle a center of pink and yellow staminodes. The fragrant Japanese type flowers blooms Mid to Late-mid, season on strong 32” stems. A very distinct and striking peony for your garden. Plant in full sun. Week 6 bloom date rating.

Digitalis purpurea  (Foxglove, Purple Foxglove/Lady's Glove or Fingerhut in German), is an herbaceous biennial or short lived perennial plant. The leaves are spirally arranged, simple, 10-35 cm long and 5-12 cm broad, and are covered with gray-white pubescent and glandular hairs. The foliage forms a tight rosette at ground level in the first year.

The flowering stem develops in the second year, typically 1 to 2 m tall, sometimes longer. The flowers are arranged in a showy, terminal, elongated cluster, and each flower is tubular and pendent. The flowers are typically purple but some plants, especially those under cultivation, may be pink, rose, yellow, or white. The corolla is spotted inside the bottom of the tube. The flowering period is early summer, sometimes with additional flower stems developing later in the season.

The fruit is a capsule which splits open at maturity to release the numerous tiny (0.1-0.2 mm) seeds.

Due to the presence of the cardiac glycoside digitoxin, the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are all poisonous to humans and some animals and can be fatal if eaten.

Delphinium or Rittersporn (in German) is a genus of about 300 species of perennial flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also on the high mountains of tropical Africa.  The leaves are deeply lobed with 3-7 toothed, pointed lobes in a palmate shape. The plants flower from late spring to late summer, and are pollinated by butterflies and bumble bees. All parts of the plant contain an alkaloid delphinine and are very poisonous, causing vomiting when eaten, and death in larger amounts. In small amounts, extracts of the plant have been used in herbal medicine.

Larkspur as it is also known, especially tall larkspur, is a significant cause of cattle poisoning on rangelands in the western United States.  Larkspur is more common in high-elevation areas, and many ranchers will delay moving cattle onto such ranges until late summer when the toxicity of the plants is reduced. Death is through cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects, and can occur within a few hours of ingestion.

Iris is a genus of 260 species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species.  As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower.

And last but not least, the Poppy or Mohn in German.  All species of poppies are attractive and most are cultivated as ornamental plants. A few species have other uses, principally as sources of drugs and foods. The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is so widely used, for both drugs and food, that its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It yields opium and opiates, poppy seed for use in cooking and baking, poppyseed oil for both culinary and other uses, and is also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Symbolism of Poppies
  • Poppies have long been used as a symbol of both sleep and death: sleep because of the opium extracted from them, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.  Poppies used as emblems on tombstones symbolize eternal sleep. This symbolism was evoked in the children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in which a magical poppy field threatened to make the protagonists to sleep forever. 
  • The poppy of wartime remembrance is Papaver rhoeas, the red-flowered corn poppy. This poppy is a common weed in Europe and is found in many locations, including Flanders, the setting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields," by the Canadian surgeon and soldier John McCrae. In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand artificial poppies (plastic in Canada, paper in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand) are worn to commemorate those who died in war.
  • The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is the state flower of California.
  • In Mexico, Grupo Modelo, the makers of Corona beer, used red poppy flowers in most of its advertising images until the 1960s.
  • A poppy flower is depicted on the reverse of the Macedonian 500 denars banknote, issued in 1996 and 2003.
  • The girls' given name Poppy is taken from the flower.
  • Poppies (Amapolas in Spanish) are commonly featured as the central flower in Puerto Rican wedding.
  • Artificial poppies (called "Buddy Poppies") are used in the veterans' aid campaign by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which provides money to the veterans who assemble the poppies and various aid programs to veterans and their families.
There you have it ... there is so much to flowers than meets the eyes.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love the Peonies. Never seen Doreen before. Is iris wintergreen?

  3. Oh I love this - and I was just asking if the flowers in your previous post were peonies. So colourful and large... a rather generous and welcoming flower, ja? :)

  4. I reckon not so common here ah Bree? But I guess you now see them at your sis´s place in France too next year :-P Iris is not wintergreen. It will wilt around summertime (I think) ... you looking for wintergreen plants?

  5. Jaja, one of those flowers you won´t miss out coz it really is huge. Haha. Hey, If I am not mistaken, you do plant some stuff at your place too, ja?

  6. Yes, looking for wintergreen perennials only
    , any idea?

  7. I´ve spotted something like these in our garden during winter .. didn´t know what its called until I found some picture here. I find them not bad .. wintergreen and perennials ah :-P Can check this out if you like it ...

  8. In my opinion some of the most beautiful flowers, colours are so vibrant! They really brighten up any garden or bouquet.


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