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Plant Classification

I. GENERAL TERMINOLOGY

1. By growth habit:

  • Succulent plants – herbaceous or herbs (succulent seed plants possessing self-supporting stems)
  • Vine – a climbing or trailing herbaceous plant (Liana – a climbing or trailing woody plant)
  • Trees – having a single central axis
  • Shrub – having several more or less upright stems

2. By leaf drops:

  • Deciduous – no living leaves during dormant (winter) season (apple)
  • Evergreen – retaining functional leaves throughout the year (spruce)

3. By life span:

  • Annuals – plants that normally complete their life cycle during a single growing season (lettuce, spinach, marigold)
  • Biennial – plant that normally completes its life cycle during a period of two growing seasons (celery, carrot, parsnip)
  • Vegetative (often rosettes) during the first growing season. The winter following the first growing season provides the low temperature necessary to stimulate to ‘bolt’ or to send up a seed stalk during the second growing season. Carrots, radish and beets are harvested as annuals at the end of the first growing season after they develop over-wintering storage organs.
  • Perennial – plants that grow year after year, often taking many years to mature.
    Unlike annuals and biennials, the perennial does not necessarily die after flowering (fruit trees; asparagus, rhubarb whose above ground parts are killed each year (in temperate regions) but roots remain alive to send up shoots in the spring; subtropical perennials such as tomato and eggplant are considered annual in temperate regions; Rubus (raspberries) has perennial roots and biennial shoots)

4. By temperature tolerance:

  • Tender plant – damaged or killed by low temperature
  • Hardy plant – withstands winter low temperatures
  • Wood hardy – a whole plant is winter hardy
  • Flower-bud hardiness – ability of flower buds to survive low winter temperatures (peach, ginkgo tree)

5. By temperature requirements:

  • Cool-season crop – prefers cool temperatures (peas, lettuce, cole crops)
  • Warm-season crop – prefers warm temperatures (tomato, pepper)

6. By habitat or site preference:

  • Xerophyte – prefers dry sites
  • Shade plants – prefers low light intensity
  • Acid loving – prefers low pH soils
  • Halophyte – prefers salty soils (in contrast to glycophyte – plants which are not salt-tolerant and are damaged fairly easily by high salinity)

II. HORTICULTURAL PLANT CLASSIFICATION

 

1. Edibles

A. Vegetables

Plants grown for aerial portions:

  • Cole Crops (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
  • Legumes (bean, peas)
  • Solanaceous fruit crops (Capsicum pepper, eggplant, tomato)
  • Cucurbits or vine crops (cucumber, melon, squash, pumpkin)
  • Greens or pot herbs (chard, dandelion, spinach)
  • Mushrooms (Agaricus, Lentinus)
  • Other vegetables (asparagus, okra, sweet corn)

Plants grown for underground portions:

  • Root crops:
    Temperate (beet, carrot, radish, turnip)
    Tropical (cassava, sweet potato, taro, yam)
  • Tuber crops (Jerusalem artichoke, potato)
  • Bulb and corm crops (garlic, onion shallot)

B. Fruits

Temperate (Deciduous):

  • Small fruits
    Berries (blueberry, cranberry, strawberry)
    Brambles (blackberry, raspberry)
    Vines (grape, kiwifruit)
  • Tree fruits
    Pome fruits (apple, pear, quince)
    Stone fruits (apricot, cherry, peach, plum)

Subtropical and tropical (Evergreen):

  • Herbaceous and vine fruits (banana, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple)
  • Tree fruits
    Citrus (grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange)
    Non-citrus (avocado, date, fig, mango, mangosteen)

C. Nuts

  • Temperate (almond, chestnut, filbert, pecan, pistachio)
  • Tropical (Brazil nut, cashew, macadamia)

D. Beverage Crops

  • Seed (cacao, coffea)
  • Leaf (tea, mate)

E. Herbs and Spices

  • Culinary herbs (dill, rosemary, sage)
  • Flavorings (peppermint, spearmint)
  • Tropical spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pepper)

2. Ornamentals

A. Florist Crops

  • Cut flowers (rose, carnation, chrysanthemum, alstroemeria)
  • Flowering pot plants (geranium, poinsettia, Easter lily, gloxinia)
  • Foliage plants (philodendron, ficus, aglaonema)
  • Bedding plants (petunia, impatiens, marigold, zinnia)

B. Landscape Plants

  • Trees
    Deciduous (maple, elm, aspen, oak, willow)
    Evergreen (pine, juniper, spruce)
  • Shrubs
    Deciduous (lilac, azalea, privet)
    Evergreen (juniper)
  • Vines (ivy, bougainvillea, pyracantha)
  • Herbaceous perennials (penstemon, peony, columbine)
  • Ground covers (ivy, vinca, juniper)

C. Lawn and Turf Plants

Bermudagrass, bluegrass, fescue, perennial ryegrass, buffalograss

3. Industrial Crops

  • Drugs and Medicinals (digitalis, quinine, opium poppy)
  • Oil Seeds (oil palm, jojoba, tung)
  • Extractives and Resins (Scotch pine, Para rubber tree)
  • Insecticides (pyrethrin, neam plant)

III. NOMENCLATURE (SCIENTIFIC PLANT CLASSIFICATION)

Early classification started by the Greek philosopher Theophrastus who classified all plants into annuals, biennials, and perennials according to life spans, and into herbs, shrubs, and trees according to their growth habits.

Plant Taxonomy

Plant Taxonomy

The modern taxonomy for plant classification is based on Linnaeus (a 18th century Swedish physician, now considered “father of taxonomy”) who revolutionized the fields of plant and animal classification.

1. The Plant Kingdom

Kingdom Plantae
Division (Anthrophyta)
Class (Dicotyledonae)
Order (Rosales)
Family (Rosaceae)
Genus (Malus)
Species (pumila)
Variety
Form
Individual

Horticulture deals with mostly family, genus, species, and cultivars.

– Botanical names are binomial.
– Underline or italicize genus and species: Genus species (or Genus species)
– Do not underline the family and cultivar names: Rosaceae, Golden Delicious
– Variety names may be underlined.

Examples:
Juniperus communis var. depressa (Prostrate Juniper)
Malus domestica cv. Red Delicious (Red Delicious Apple)
Malus domestica ‘Red Delicious’ (Red Delicious Apple)
Malus pumila cv. Red Delicious (Red Delicious Apple)

2. Some frequently used terms

Variety – a group of variants within a species which have similar characteristics.
Cultivar – cultivated variety
Ecospecies – a subdivision of species that are formed by ecological barrier. i.e., Cercis canadensis (Redbud)
Clone – a group of plants all of which arose from a single individual (the ortet) through asexual propagation.
Clonal cultivar – asexually propagated clones (potato, rose, etc.).
Pure line cultivar – homozygous inbred lines grown from seed.
Hybrid cultivar – a cultivar composed of hybrids between genetically diverse parental lines uniform phenotype, genetically heterozygous)

A botanical name (binomial name) is a formal scientific name conforming to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants (ICN) and, if it concerns a plant cultigen, the additional cultivar and/or Group epithets must conform to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). The purpose of this name is to have a single name that is accepted and used worldwide for a particular plant or plant group.

Examples of names governed by the ICN for Cultivated Plants:
Clematis alpina ‘Ruby’ : a cultivar within a species; the cultivar epithet is in single quotes and capitalized.
Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ : a cultivar within a hybrid between two or more species.
Rhododendron boothii Mishmiense Group : a Group name; both the name of the Group and the word “Group” are capitalized and not enclosed in quotes.
Paphiopedilum Sorel grex : a grex name; the name of the grex is capitalized but the word “grex” (if present) is not and quotes are not used.
Apple ‘Jonathan’ : permitted use of an unambiguous common name with a cultivar epithet.
+Crataegomespilus : a graft-chimaera of Crataegus and Mespilus.

In scholarly texts, at least the first or main use of the binomial name is usually followed by the “authority” – a way of designating the scientist(s) who first published the name. The most valuable initial function of author citations in biology is probably to distinguish between homonyms, in other words taxa which coincidentally share the same name but in fact represent different entities. In botany, it is customary (though not obligatory) to abbreviate author names according to a recognised list of standard abbreviations (Rubus ursinus Cham. & Schldl. or Rubus ursinus Cham. et Schldl. or Rubus ursinus von Chamisso & von Schlechtendal or Rubus ursinus von Chamisso et von Schlechtendal).

The multiplication symbol × (not italicised) indicates a hybrid in the Latin binomial nomenclature.
Placed before the binomial it indicates a hybrid between species from different genera – intergeneric hybrid:
× Fatshedera lizei, a hybrid between Hedera helix and Fatsia japonica
For Interspecific plant hybrids the multiplication sign goes before the epithet:
Dianthus × allwoodii, a hybrid between Dianthus caryophyllus × Dianthus plumarius
The hybrid may get a normal botanical name for naturally occurring hybrids:
Iris albicans, a sterile hybrid which spreads by rhizome division.

In botany, the correct name according to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) is the one and only botanical name that is to be used for a particular taxon, when that taxon has a particular circumscription, position and rank. If there are two or more legitimate names for the same taxon (with the same circumscription, position and rank), then the correct name is the one which has priority, i.e., it was published earliest, although names may be conserved if they have been very widely used. Validly published names other than the correct name are called synonyms.
The correct name has only one correct spelling, which will generally be the original spelling (although certain limited corrections are allowed). Other spellings are called orthographical variants.

See also Plants Dictionary



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Goldfish & Koi fish

This is an overview for water-scape lovers who wishes to populate their pond; it is about forms and colours available for most popular ornamental cold water fishes: the goldfish and koi fish.  The goldfishes listed here may be suitable suitable for your pond, please inform yourself before making any decision.  Some of the goldfishes can be to delicate for outdoor ponds. The koi fishes are more suitable for outdoor ponds, but they are lot bigger, so they will need a big pond. Also you have to consider that you have to find a solution to keep predators away from your pond especially for small fishes. Also, depending of where you are, if your pond is not suitable to winter your fish you can bring them inside (in a tube or aquarium).

GOLDFISH

There are over 100 types of goldfish! All of the goldfish breeds belong to one of two types. The two types are the ORDINARY goldfish and FANCY goldfish. Ordinary goldfish have only one tail, while fancy goldfish have two tails.

To get a better idea of the different types of goldfish (Carassius Auratus that belongs to Cyprinidae family), hare you will find a detailed list about goldfish.

Black Moor Goldfish

Black Moor Goldfish

Black Moor Goldfish

Originally Black Moor Goldfish were always black. Recently other colors and variations of the Moor Goldfish have become available:

  • red
  • red & white
  • calico
  • black & white (panda moor)
  • chocolate
  • brown
  • blue
  • bronze
  • lavender
  • chocolate
  • tricolored

Projecting eyes aside, black moor gold fish have long flowing fins, and deep bodies. Their tail is considered veiltail, and there scales are metallic with a velvet like appearance. That velvety appearance can fade if the black moor reaches old age.

As the Black Moor Goldfish has poor vision they are not generally suited for an outdoor pond. Black Moor gold fish also have a sensitivity to prolonged exposure to low temperatures.

Bubble Eye Goldfish

Bubble Eye Goldfish

Bubble Eye Goldfish

Bubble Eye Goldfish, otherwise known as suihogan in Japan, is instantly recognizable small twin tailed fancy variety of goldfish. This goldfish has eyes that are nearly completely surrounded by a fluid filled sac. The bubble eye has an egg shaped body, and does not have a dorsal fin. Coloration, like most goldfish can be varied, but bubble eye goldfish are typically metallic red/orange. Other color variations can include:

  • red
  • red-and-white
  • black
  • gold
  • calico

Bubble Eye goldfish, due to vulnerability of the eye sacs, are best kept in their own aquarium with no rocky, or pointy, furnishings. The bubble eye goldfish are relatively poor swimmers due to their impaired vision, and can not compete with more active goldfish. Their ‘bubbles’ can also be easily damaged by being sucked into the filter intake. Keep the Bubble Eye goldfish in a tank with other goldfish.

Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eye Goldfish

The fancy Celestion eye goldfish have a pair of characteristic telescope eyes which are turned upwards. Celestial gold fish are part of a realtively small group of goldfish without a dorsal fin. They can vary widely in color, with either metallic of nacreous scales. Due to many issues that the upward oriented eyes, celestial gold fish are best kept in a tank with out celetial eyes. Young Celestials will have normal eyes that protrude slightly sideway and then over a period of 6 months will turn upwards.

Celestial Eye Goldfish should only be kept in aquariums with other celestial goldfish.

Comet Goldfish

Comet Goldfish

Comet Goldfish

Comet gold fish have an elongated body, with equally curved dorsal and ventral contours. Unlike the common goldifsh, it is not deep or heavily bodied. While many color option are available the most common colors are:

  • Red-Orange
  • Lemon Yellow

The main feature of comet variety in the large, deeply forked caudal fin, that can be almost as long as the body itself.

It requires plenty of swimming room and can swim exceptionally fast for short periods of time. Comet goldfish can be kept in a pond outside.

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish

It has a stock body with equally convex dorsal and ventral contours. The body is a brilliant metallic orange-red or yellow, and this vivid color extends into the fins. The dorsal fin has a long base, and the anal and caudal fines are not divided, and the caudal fin is moderately forked. Young fish are dark in color when hatched, and change to adult coloration at around one year of age – although not every fish changes color.

This fish is very hardy and does not need special care. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well. It is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish. Common Goldfish are suitable for ponds outside all year round.

Demekin Goldfish

Demekin Goldfish

Demekin Goldfish

A cross between a ryukin and a telescope goldfish. They have a high arched back with telescoped eyes.

Fantail Goldfish

Fantail Goldfish

Fantail Goldfish

The fantail has a relatively short body with deep, short caudal peduncle. Its body coloration is variable, depending on the scale formation and pigmentation. THe dorsal fin is held high, and in good specimens it should be around half the body depth. It has double anal and caudal fins.

The fantail can be kept in an outdoor pond all year round, providing the water is deep enough to ensure a warm layer at the bottom where it can lie dormant.

Jikins Goldfish

Jikins Goldfish

Jikins Goldfish

Slender in shape just like the common goldfish but the tail is completely spil outward. The color of this fish only comes in one kind. the body of the fish should be white and the fins, lips and gill plates should be red to orange.

The Jikin is a perfect pond fish, and will do wonderfully outside. I am thinking that the pond in fact would be the best environment for a jikin – the natural sunlight and ever present algae brings out the bright red color points to their fullest potential. Of course, a tank is a good place for the jikin as well, him not growing all that gigantic (around 23cm (9 inch)) does have its advantages.

Lionchu Goldfish

Lionchu Goldfish

Lionchu Goldfish

The Lionchu, or lionhead-ranchu, is a result from crossbreading a lionhead and a ranchu. A fancy goldfish criteria for the lionchu brings together the traditional side view characteristic of both the ranchu, and the lionhead. The deep body, curved back and tail placement of the ranchu have merged with the lionheads large headgrowth. Lionchus also lack a dorsal fin. Lionchu can grow to a length of 15cm (6inch) when mature. They need to live in a cool but not cold water environment that is kept between 18-25°C (65-78°F).

Lionhead Goldfish

Lionhead Goldfish

Lionhead Goldfish

The short, egg shaped body of the lionhead doesn not have a dorsal fin. In some respects the lionhead is simliar to the red-cap oranda, as both varieties have a raspberry-like growth on the head. The caudal fin should be held stiffly, and not allowed to drop.

The lionhead is best kept in the indoor aqaurium, where its colorful feautres can be easily seen.

Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish

The red-cap oranda has a short, deep body, with a short slightly down tunred caudal peduncle. Some strains have a white body with a red coloration restricted to the raspberry-like growth on the head, known as the “wen.” The dorsal fin is held high, and the anal and caudal fins are double.

Like many of the goldfish strains with more fully developed fins, the oranda needs very clean water conditions to prevent fin damage and deterioration.

Panda Moor Goldfish

Panda Moor Goldfish

Panda Moor Goldfish

The panda moor is a fancy goldfish with a characteristic black-and-white color pattern and protruding eyes. Panda moors have delicate projecting eyes, deep bodies, and long flowing finnage. Like any other moor goldfish, pandas can grow very large. They are metallic-scaled and veiltailed. Young moors resemble bronze fantails and their protruding eyes gradually develop with age. They sport a velvety appearance in maturity. However, they may loose this velvet-like appearance with increasing age.

Because of their delicate eyes and poor vision, pandas are kept in an aquarium without sharp or pointed objects. They are sensitive to low water temperature levels.

Pearlscale Goldfish

Pearlscale Goldfish

Pearlscale Goldfish

The scales on this fish have a pearl-lke appearance: this is due to each scale having a domed, or raised, center. These fish are usually metallic or calico in color, and in most other respects, the strain appears to conform to the usual rounded body shape and “double” anal and caudal fins of the twin tailed group of goldfish.

Pearlscales are very sensitive to cold water and should not be exposed to temperature readings below 13°C (55°F).

Pompom Goldfish

Pompom Goldfish

Pompom Goldfish

A fancy goldfish, Pompoms have bundles of loose fleshy outgrowths on each side of the head, between the nostrils. With a similar body shape and finnage to the lionhead, the pompom supports it’s nasal outgrowths and not the headgrowth of the lionhead. These outgrowths are developed through selective breeding of the pompom.

Ranchu Goldfish

Ranchu Goldfish

Ranchu Goldfish

Refered to as the “King of Goldfish” by the Japanese, the Ranchu is a hooded variety of fancy goldfish. The egg shaped body of the Ranchu does not have a dorsal fin as a breeding standard. Much like the lionheads, a ranchu back should be arched and not flat. The head of the ranchu goldfish is probably the most prominent feature. While the headgrowth can take at least a year to develop, it should seem to begin from the bottom of the gill cover and move upward.

Ranchus are available in:

  • orange
  • red
  • white
  • red-and-white
  • blue
  • black
  • black-and-white
  • black-and-red
  • natural
  • chocolate

Ranchus with a pale-yellow bodies and bright red heads are considered rare.

Ranchus are well-adapted to water quality and pH fluctuations.

Ryukin Goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish

A very hardy and attractive variety of goldfish, the ryukin has a pointed head and a prounounced hump on the back behind the head. Varieties are long or short finned, triple or quadruple tail, with a high dorsal fin and caudal fin that is often twice as long as the Ryukin body. The Ryukin goldfish is one of la rather large goldfish reaching 20-25cm (8-10 inch) when good care and water mass available.

Ryukin goldfish are available in a variety of colors, including;

  • deep-red
  • red-and-white
  • white
  • calico

Ryukin goldfish is suitable for ponds outside where there in so much more water mass available.

Shubunkin Goldfish

Shubunkin Goldfish

Shubunkin Goldfish

This is similar to the common goldfish in body shape. Its coloration should include a combination of black, red, purple, blue, and brown, all appearing beneath nacreous or matte scales.
The London shubunkin has the ame finnage as the common goldfish, and the Bristol shubunkin has a large caudal fin with rounded lobes: this should be carried without dropping.

This variety is suitable for an aquarium or pond.

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Very similar to the Ryukin, the Telescope Eye has the obviously enlarged projecting eyes. The telescope eye goldfish has a deep body and long flowing fins. Also know as Demekins, Telescope eyes can grow quite large, and are available in the following colors:

  • red
  • red-and-white
  • calico
  • black-and-white
  • chocolate
  • blue
  • lavender
  • chocolate-and-blue
  • black

Due to the telescope eye’s poor vision, is more suitable for aquarium without sharp and pointed objects than ponds.

Tosakin Goldfish

Tosakin Goldfish

Tosakin Goldfish

Tosakins are a more rare breed of goldfish that are typically found in Japan. With a body shape like the Ryukin, the Tosakins tail fins open and spread flat causing the front ends to curl under.

Tosakin goldfish are best viewed from above, showing their pointed head, round trunk, and flat half circled tail that curls under.

Tosakin goldfish can be found in the following colors:

  • Red
  • Red and White
  • Iron Black
  • Calico

Because the Tosakin is a weak and poor swimmer Tosakin Goldfish should be kept in shallow water with no current. Slight changes in water chemistry can be very harmul, and Tosakin Goldfish are very weak throughout their first year.

Veiltail Goldfish

Veiltail Goldfish

Veiltail Goldfish

The veiltail variety of goldfish has a modified Ryukin shaped body that is deep and round with a lengthy and graceful tail. There is no forking, or indentation, between the lobes of the square tail of the Veiltail goldfish. The caudal fin length should be equal to at least the length of the body of the fish. The anal fins should also be paired and relatively longer than other types of goldfish. The tail of the Veiltail is often held at a downwards angle, making it truly look like a veil.

Veiltails are less hardy than even other fancy goldfish, and therefore should never be over wintered in outdoor ponds. Care should be taken whenever they are placed in ponds as rapid temperature drops can lead to severe stress and loss of these delicate fish. They are also much more susceptible to disease and parasites.

 

Goldfish Genealogical Tree

Further more if you want to explorer the Goldfish forms and collours, the map bellow can help you:

Goldfish Genealogical Tree

Goldfish Genealogical Tree

KOI FISH

Koi are beautiful ‘ornamental’ versions of the common carp species (Cyprinus carpio).
Apart from their beauty and sturdiness as fish, koi has become legendary because of the fact that they can grow to very large sizes, and is limited relatively by the size of the pond that they reside in. And also they are renowned for their ability to live very long years.

Here’s a chart of the popular koi fish for reference:

Koy fish names

Koy fish names



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Drying bouquet and pressed flowers

Whether it is a wedding bouquet, graduation flowers or a rose from a first date, you can use preservation methods to help keep those visual reminders of cherished memories. Even if your goal is to save attractive flowers for decorating purposes only, you can capture the beauty of almost any cut flower by preserving them. While this is not difficult to do, it does require patience and an understanding of some of the different preservation techniques.

dried bouquet

dried bouquet

Dry the bouquet
Air-drying can be very successful with herbs, everlastings and ornamental grasses. This method works with roses as well. Choose perfect plants with long stems, removing the lower leaves. You can preserve flowers by hanging then to air dry. Divide into small bunches that are no more than 4cm (1.5 inch) thick at the stems. Tie stems together then open each bunch into a fan shape. Hang upside down in a warm, dry dark place. The heads should not touch. This process takes one to three weeks until they are completely dry but is the easiest. Check the flowers after one to two weeks. If they have not dried, leave them another week. The colors will usually be muted.

Silica gel
Another method of drying flowers is to use a desiccant drying mixture such as silica gel, borax, cornmeal or alum. The following recipe uses silica gel.
Pour 2-3cm (1 inch) of silica gel into a shallow, tin or plastic container with an airtight lid. Cut the stems of your flowers to fit the container. Arrange the flowers neatly on top of the silica gel inside the container. Place flowers face side up, unless drying flowers with flat faces, such as daisies. Spoon more silica gel carefully over the top of the flowers. Add enough to equal an additional inch, or to cover the petals completely. Keep the petals in as natural a shape as possible. Cover the container with its lid and set it aside for two to five days. The flowers are dry when they are crisp, but not brittle. Lift the dried flowers from the silica gel and brush away the crystals with a soft cosmetic or paint brush. Pour the silica gel in a shallow baking pan. Dry the silica gel for one hour in a 250-degree oven to prepare it for drying and preserving additional flowers.

Waxing flowers
You may want to experiment with waxing fresh flowers. This is simple: just melt some paraffin wax and plunge each individual flower into the wax. Remove and shake the excess wax off each flower. Put it into the refrigerator to set and harden.

Drying with glycerin
This method keeps some flowers soft and pliable for easier handling and less shedding. Try this method with eucalyptus, baby’s breath, statice and is the best way to preserve leaves.
Mix 1 part vegetable glycerine (available at Pharmacies) to 2 parts hot tap water, using enough to make the mixture about 5cm (2 inches) deep. Smash with a hammer the bottom 2-5cm (1-2 inch) of the flowers stems to help them absorb the glycerine quickly. Place the flowers stems in the glycerine-water mixture, and leave 3 to 5 days so the flowers can absorb the glycerine. Baby’s breath can take 1 to 2 weeks, wait until the stems turn tan. You can tell when the flowers have absorbed enough glycerine by the way they look and feel. A good way to test if they are ready is to let one stem air dry and compare it to the flowers in the glycerin after a few days. If the air dried flower feels dry and the flowers in the glycerine feel soft and look slightly darker in color they’re probably ready to be taken out of the glycerine mixture. Cut off the part of the stem that was setting in the glycerin. Allow the flowers to air dry for a week or so before storing. The glycerine/water mixture can be reused several times.

Consider that all drying techniques may require additional wiring techniques to support the weight of flowers and reshape the plant.

Display your dried flowers in the house as vase bouquet. Framed bouquet and displays are also to be considered for the wedding bouquet. If you wish to store your dried flowers for later use, seal them in airtight containers such as tins or plastic boxes sealed with masking tape, or in sealed cardboard boxes enclosed in airtight plastic bags.

pressed flowers

pressed flowers

Pressing
Most flowers and leaves are suitable for pressing except those with bulky centres of thick, fleshy leaves. You may wont to press some flowers by taking apart and press each individual flower section (leaves, petals, flowers, roots). Also you can cut odd shaped flowers or buds in half and open them for pressing. Further more you can press individual petals and assemble them after pressing to make flowers.
To press flowers you need a flower press or make your own press using heavy books and two pieces of plain cartboards. Place a piece of plain cartboard on your press or a book with hardcover. Add a layer of blotting paper. Position the flowers or leaves on blotting paper so they do not touch each other. On top of the flowers add another layer of blotting paper and on top of it add the other piece of cartboard. Now you have to close the press if you use one or to add another hardcover heavy book on top. If you are using books now is important to keep the pressed plants without moving them to not change their shape. Put the press in a place where can stay to dry several weeks. After few days tighten the press bolts again or add another heavy book on top as the flowers dry, they will shrink. Flowers can take between one and three weeks to dry; leaves and individual petals take one week.

Optional you can place small flowers between the pages of a heavy book. Check the flowers at the end of the week.

Heat pressing
This method is suitable for preserving colourful leaves in the fall and other flat plat materials.
You will need sheets of waxed paper and an iron. Place a piece of cardboard down on your ironing board. On top of that put a sheet of waxed paper. Arrange leaves or flat plants material on it without allowing them to touch. Put another waxed paper on top of plant material. Press it with hot DRY iron. Let the plant material to cool completely before handling. Peel from waxed paper and discard the paper.

The pressed flowers you can use them for herbarium or as cherished memories in a photo albums or frame them with care by creating spectacular one-of-the-kind arrangements. You even can reassemble or creating new features from detached individual dried plant parts.

 

preserving



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Indoor plants create clean air

Research has shown that indoor air pollution is now becoming one of the major threats to our health. These health issue include: asthma, allergies, chemical hyper-sensitivity and cancer.

NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Houseplants were able to remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours.
Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Science further proving the science.

Google Office - plants display

Google Office – plants display

Indoor plants improve air quality

We all know that plants are the lungs of Mother Earth and they are a very simple and effective way of treating and recycling air and water used by NASA to improve astronauts’ life quality when spending months in a small space station, surrounded by synthetic materials that constantly emit chemicals into the cabin. Astonishing, however, was the discovery that plants can remove many of the more than 300 chemicals found in the air of a spacecraft.

Plants and chemical pollution

The NASA study has proven that plants can remove airborne chemicals to some extent. But where do these chemicals go? Scientists of the German National Research Centre for Environment and Health exposed popular indoor plants to formaldehyde, one of the most common indoor air pollutant. They reported that enzymes in the plant leaves break down the toxic chemical into non-toxic components that can be used by the plant. This process is similar to the way a human liver rids the body from toxins. Research also shows that chemicals are translocated into the root system and the adjoining soil, where soil micro-organisms can break down the substances even further.

Plants as dust removal

Airborne chemicals aren’t the only health hazards indoors. Scientists of the Washington State University conclude that foliage plants can reduce indoor dust levels by up to 20%. And you don’t have to plant a jungle either. The plants they added to an office room occupied only around 5% of the volume.

Do plants promote biological pollution?

A concern could be the growth of fungi in the soil and on decaying plant matter. As long as the plant is healthy, however, this is not the case. The plant has its own defences against micro-organisms. It releases small amounts of its own disinfectant essential oils to control or destroy bacteria and fungi that invade the space between the leaves. We make use of this ourselves whenever we use disinfectants or room deodorizers that contain natural plant oils from, for example, citrus or pine trees. Experiments have shown that plants significantly reduce the number of microbes in indoor air. For example, when pots of citrus trees were added to a room, the air became almost sterile.

Do plants contribute to high humidity?

Another point of concern is the increase in humidity levels. Yes, plants transpire and increase the amount of water vapour in the air. The good news is that the increase depends very much on the humidity level that is in the room in the first place. On humid days, the rate of evaporation is very low and the humidity increase is only marginal. On dry days the plant ‘sweats’ significantly. This is to our benefit, because the indoor air is very often below the comfortable humidity level, as during the heating period. Cooling a room with an air conditioner also reduces the humidity significantly. Besides dehydration, dry air promotes cracked skin and lips, the drying of the mucus in airways and sinuses, and is a recognized trigger for asthma attacks. Allergens, bacteria and viruses can get easily past the dried-up defense mechanism. There is evidence that cases of the common cold are more frequent when the humidity is low.

The best indoor plants to improve air quality

By adding house plats to your living / work space, you improve the air quality and greatly enhance the health of your and your family. Many houseplants will purify the air in your home, but some more than others. Here is a list of some of the best plants and very popular for your house or office:

  • Aloe (Aloe vera)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
  • Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
  • Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
  • Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
  • Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)
  • Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)
  • Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
  • Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

 

Houseplants

houseplants for improving indoor air quality

The list can continue on and on again. The rate at which the plants metabolizes the substances depends on the growing conditions, such as the available light, the temperature, the humidity, and the nutrients that are available to the plant. Please be aware, however, that plants don’t remove the chemicals completely and different plants have different capabilities. A particular plant may be very good in removing formaldehyde, while another is better in destroying benzene.

Studies show that Americans spend ninety percent of their lives indoors, which means that good indoor air quality is vital for good health. Indoor plants will help reduce pollutants and purify the air in your home or office. The more plants you have, the better you will feel! By having plants in your home or office, you create your own micro-climate – the indoor weather.

Recommend number of plant: at least 15-18 good-sized plants (203mm (six- to eight-inch ) pot diameter) for a house or apartment of 167 square meters (1800 square feet).
According to the NASA study, the plants listed below proved effective in removing certain indoor air pollutants.

Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants

Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants



General Information ,

The 12 Climate Regions

1. Tropical wet
2. Tropical wet and dry
3. Semiarid
4. Desert (arid)
5. Mediterranean
6. Humid subtropical
7. Marine West Coast
8. Humid continental
9. Subarctic
10. Tundra
11. Icecap
12. Highland

Climate Map - World

Climate Map – World

1. Tropical wet climates
Tropical wet climates are hot and muggy the year around. They support dense tropical rain forests. Rainfall is heavy and occurs in frequent showers and thunderstorms throughout the year. Average annual rainfall varies from about 70 to 100 inches (175 to 250 centimetres). Temperatures are high, and they change little during the year. The coolest month has an average temperature no lower than 64 degrees F (18 degrees C). The temperature difference between day and night is greater than the temperature difference between summer and winter. Frost and freezing temperatures do not occur. Plants grow all year.

2. Tropical wet and dry climates
Tropical wet and dry climates occur in areas next to regions that have tropical wet climates. Temperatures in tropical wet and dry climates are similar to those in tropical wet climates, where they remain high throughout the year. The main difference between the two climates lies in their rainfall. In tropical wet and dry climates, winters are dry, and summers are wet. Generally, the length of the rainy season and the average rainfall decrease with increasing latitude. Not enough rain falls in tropical wet and dry climates to support rain forests. Instead, they support savannahs–grasslands with scattered trees.

3-4. Semiarid and desert (arid) climates
Semiarid and desert climates occur in regions with little precipitation. Desert climates are drier than semiarid climates. Semiarid climates, also called steppe climates, usually border desert climates. In both climate groups, the temperature change between day and night is considerable. One reason for the wide swings in temperature is that the skies are clear and the air is dry. Clouds would reflect much of the sun’s intense radiation during the day, slowing the rate of heating of the air near the surface. At night, clouds and water vapour would absorb much of the earth’s radiation–most of which consists of infrared rays–slowing the rate of cooling.
Semiarid and desert climates occur over a greater land area than any other climate grouping. They occur in both tropical and middle latitudes. They cover broad east-west bands near 30 degrees north and south latitude.
Middle latitude semiarid and desert climates are in the rain shadows of mountain ranges. Winds that descend the leeward slopes of these ranges are warm and dry. Middle latitude semiarid areas and deserts differ from their tropical counterparts mainly in their seasonal temperature changes. Winters are much colder in middle latitude semiarid areas and deserts.

5. Subtropical dry summer climates (Mediterranean)
Subtropical dry summer climates feature warm to hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. These climates, sometimes called Mediterranean climates, occur on the west side of continents roughly between 30 degrees and 45 degrees latitude. The closer to the coast the area is, the more moderate the temperatures and the less the contrast between summer and winter temperatures.

6. Humid subtropical climates
Humid subtropical climates are characterized by warm to hot summers and cool winters. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Winter rainfall–and sometimes snowfall–is associated with large storm systems that the westerlies steer from west to east. Most summer rainfall occurs during thunderstorms and an occasional tropical storm or hurricane. Humid subtropical climates lie on the southeast side of continents, roughly between 25 degrees and 40 degrees latitude.

7. Humid oceanic climates (Marine West Coast)
Humid oceanic climates are found only on the western sides of continents where prevailing winds blow from sea to land. The moderating influence of the ocean reduces the seasonal temperature contrast so that winters are cool to mild and summers are warm. Moderate precipitation occurs throughout the year. Low clouds, fog, and drizzle are common. Thunderstorms, cold waves, heat waves, and droughts are rare.

8. Humid continental climates
Humid continental climates feature mild to warm summers and cold winters. The temperature difference between the warmest and coldest months of the year in-creases inland. The difference is as great as 45 to 63 Fahrenheit degrees (25 to 35 Celsius degrees). Precipitation is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year, though many locations well inland have more precipitation in the summer.
Snow is a major element in humid continental climates. Winter temperatures are so low that snowfall can be substantial and snow cover persistent. Snow cover has a chilling effect on climate. Snow strongly reflects solar radiation back into space, lowering daytime temperatures. Snow also efficiently sends out infrared radiation, lowering night-time temperatures.

9. Subarctic climates
Subarctic climates have short, cool summers and long, bitterly cold winters. Freezes can occur even in midsummer. Most precipitation falls in the summer. Snow comes early in the fall and lasts on the ground into early summer.

10. Subarctic climates
Tundra climates are dry, with a brief, chilly summer and a bitterly cold winter. Continuous permafrost (permanently frozen ground) lies under much of the treeless tundra regions.

11. Icecap climates
Icecap climates are the coldest on earth. Summer temperatures rarely rise above the freezing point. Temperatures are extremely low during the long, dark winter. Precipitation is meager and is almost always in the form of snow.

12. Highland climates
Highland climates occur in mountainous regions. A highland climate zone is composed of several areas whose climates are like those found in flat terrain. Because air temperature decreases with increasing elevation in the mountains, each climate area is restricted to a certain range of altitude.



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Hardiness zone

Zonescale

Zonescale Celsius

The hardiness zones are informative: the extremes of winter cold are a major determinant of whether a plant species can be cultivated outdoors at a particular location; however, the USDA (United States by the Department of Agriculture) hardiness zones have a number of drawbacks if used without supplementary information.

Hardiness Zones

Hardiness Zones

Europe Hardiness Zones

Europe Hardiness Zones

United States Hardiness Zones

United States Hardiness Zones

Plant Hardiness Zones for Australia
Australian Hardiness Zones

As might be expected, the main factors determining average minimum temperature are altitude, latitude and proximity to the coast.

Zone 1 covers the alpine areas of south eastern Australia.
Zone 2 the tablelands of south east Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and the uplands of central Tasmania.
Zone 3 includes much of the southern half of the continent, except for localities on or near the coast. Many of our weather stations are on the coast or on off-shore islands (some of them are lighthouses) and these are often a zone or two higher than adjacent mainland stations because of the warming effects of the ocean in winter.
Zone 4, because of this warming effect, covers a broad area from coastal Queensland across the continent to Shark Bay and Geraldton in the west, also includes the Mornington Peninsula, areas adjacent to Spencer Gulf and Adelaide, the south western coastal zone, Sydney and the north coast of NSW, along with a number of localities dotted all around the southern coast of the continent.
Zone 5 covers, some of the Queensland coast, Western Australia north of Shark Bay and across the top end.
Zone 6 includes the Queensland coast north of Cairns, Cape York Peninsula and the coast of the Northern Territory.
Zone 7 is mainly restricted to islands off the north coast.

AHS Heat Zones

In addition to the USDA Hardiness zones there are the American Horticultural Society (AHS) Heat Zones.

The criterion is the average number of days per year when the temperature exceeds 30°C (86°F).

AHS Heat Zones

AHS Heat Zones



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Indoor Plants

It matters little whether an indoor garden is a few pots on a window-sill or a luxuriant garden room. Whatever the size of a collection of indoor plants, it adds a bright new dimension to the domestic scene. Even if you live in the country and have the green outdoors at the threshold, indoor plants bring a different view of the outdoor world into your home. Centuries of exploration, experimentation and imagination have culminated in today’s richness of choice for indoor gardeners. No matter what the outdoor climate, we can now enjoy the brilliant colours and fragrances of a great variety of plants from tropical rain forests and arid desserts. And we can do so simply by staying home and tending our indoor gardens.

Indoor Plants

Indoor Plants

The range of plants suitable for growing indoors is so vast, and widens so swiftly as commercial growers produce more and more exotic varieties, that the choice can be bewildering. What plants should you acquire? Should you narrow down your collection and begin to specialise in cacti, or orchids or bromeliads? Or should you broaden your horizons and search for splendid and startling new forms? In the end, of course, the answers to such questions must be dictated by personal tastes. Assuming that you can provide the right growing conditions for a plant, the ultimate decision as to whether it is right for you and your home is bound to depend on your instinctive reactions to one or more of the plant’s attractive features.

When considering a plant in a florist’s shop or at a nursery, however, do not forget that it is a living thing. Life means growth, and growth means change. You may find the current shape and size of the plant pleasing. Will they remain so? Only rarely do we buy mature plants, and a young specimen can shape up in surprising ways as it ages. A palm can take more than a decade to grow impressively tall and elegant. Some plants improve with age, but others deteriorate. The constant attraction of most permanent indoor plants lies in the foliage, but it sometimes lies in the flowers as well. Is the plant that you are contemplating buying going to flower attractively? When, and under what conditions? What will it look like during the annual rest period, if it has one? Questions like these are always worth asking. And there remains that basic question for the truly concerned gardener: how will this plant relate to the rest of the collection?

Plants Greats for Pots

Plants Greats for Pots

There is no reason why an outstanding collection of indoor plants should not include a broad range of different species. Certain colours and textures clash with one another or with room furnishings, however. Moreover, attractive-looking combinations can work badly just because the various plants require different amounts of warmth and light. For these and other reasons, relationships among plants are more important than is realised by the person who casually acquires a plant just because he or she ‘likes the look of it.’ An informed interest in relationships often inspires the indoor gardener to begin to concentrate on cultivating a single type of plant.

Some people are cactus or orchid enthusiasts, others are bromeliad or fern connoisseurs, still others specialise in gesneriads, and so on. This type of specialisation can be fun even on quite a small scale. In the genus Peperomia, for example, you can find infinite variety. Peperomias have leaves varying in shape from round to heart-shaped, in texture from smooth to hairy to quilted, in colour from dark green to olive and grey, in pattern from variegations of silver and cream to pinks and purples. A Ficus collection would have even greater possibilities. The genus includes creeping and trailing plants, shrubs and trees. And the foliage is as diverse as the natural habitats of the species, which come from such places as the rain forests of India, Malaysia, Africa and South America, and the cool, high altitudes of the Himalayas and northern China.

Variety. Diversity. Change. These words and what they stand for are at the heart of the world of indoor plants. A potted plant is not a dainty objet d’art. It is a fascinating organism, which will respond dynamically to all the appreciative care you can give it.
There are few reason to be surrounded by indoor plants:
– Indoor plants help people relax and increase speed on computer tasks involving mental concentration.
– Indoor plants reduce dust and increase relative humidity.
– Indoor plants reduce physical discomfort and do more than just give you something to focus on other than pain.



General Information