Wild flower portrait: Winter Heliotrope

Winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) is found in damp places such as hedgerows and woodlands where it forms large patches of heart or kidney-shaped leaves. Petasites is from the Greek petasos, a broad-brimmed hat worn by shepherds. Fragrans of course means fragrant. It has hairy stems and pretty star-shaped flowers that have a delightful vanilla scent, though only male flowers are produced in the UK. True heliotropes are in the borage family, winter heliotropes in the daisy family. Though heliotrope is also used to describe the colour ‘pink-purple

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It was introduced, as an ornamental from the Mediterranean and North Africa and is now naturalised in lowland Britain though not frost resistant so very rarely found in the north of the country.

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It is one of the earliest sources of nectar for insects, flowering in January through to March. I discovered these clumps in the hedgerow near Trencrom Hill.

My first wild flower of the year. And not one to introduce to the garden as apparently they spread at an alarming rate and are difficult to eradicate. They are pretty though.

Macro Monday #33

(click to enlarge to full size)

yarrow---Achillea-millefolium

White Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a pretty little wild flower with tiny,  fragrant, white to rose, five petal flowers, forming flat-topped clusters. The foliage is equally pretty and delicate with long fern-like leaves.

Also known as: Common yarrow / nosebleed plant / old man’s pepper / devil’s nettle / sanguinary / milfoil / soldier’s woundwort / thousand-leaf / and thousand-seal and used historically to staunch blood from wounds as well as being used in many herbal remedies. The English name yarrow comes from the Saxon (Old English) word gearwe.

It attracts predatory wasps, ladybirds and hoverflies.

Flowers in Australia: 12

Daisies

Daisies are members of the Asteraceae, a diverse family of plants comprising about 20,000 species worldwide. In Australia there are almost 1,000 indigenous species comprising shrubs, sub-shrubs, perennial herbs, annuals and a few biennials.

The yellow one above (which I believe is Cosmos sulphurous some type of Coreopsis) can be seen en masse lining the Blue Mountain railway track and some are growing at Echo Point and in the Waverley cemetery.

Z is for Zinnia

Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, with a centre of diversity in Mexico. Wikipedia

Zinnia can be annuals, perennials or sub-shrubs, with branching stems bearing opposite leaves and solitary terminal flower-heads in summer. They can be grown in City/Courtyard Gardens, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Garden Edging or Patio/Container Plants.

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They neeed to be planted in an open space as they can suffer from mildew, and they love sun and heat. Don’t let them dry out though. There’s no better late-summer plant, with a brilliant range of colours and flowers that look as though they’ve been cut from velvet-coated cardboard.

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And so we come to the end of the April A to Z Challenge. I hope that you have enjoyed looking at a variety of flowers and plants during this month and that you have found something that you might like to grow in your garden that you haven’t tried before. I thank you for accompanying me on this journey and for all your likes and comments. It has been great to meet new bloggers and I have enjoyed visiting many different blogs this month.

It’s difficult for me to pick a favourite as I just love flowers and each and every one has a special place, including those I have had to leave out. But for those of you who have joined me on this challenge I really would like to know which was YOUR favourite from the ones I posted.

I hope new and old friends will continue to drop in and see what’s happening on here. New gardens to visit and old favourites to feature. And, as always, your comments are what makes it all worthwhile 🙂

Y is for Yarrow

Achillea millefolium, known commonly as yarrow or common yarrow, is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe, and North America.  Wikipedia

Y = Yarrow

Achilleas are traditional border flowers valued for their feathery foliage and striking flat, circular heads of flowers throughout the main summer season. They team well with other perennial flowers and are a vital ingredient of a traditional herbaceous border. They are also at home in island beds, cottage gardens and other perennial planting schemes. The variety ‘Coronation Gold’ has silvery foliage and flowers of gleaming golden yellow that are attractive to bees and butterflies.

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