Thursday, July 31, 2014

Incredibly Rare Flowers

Flowers are one of the most natural and common beauties of the earth. They’re also one of the most preferred gifts for loved ones. Flowers have been a part of all kinds of occasions – bouquets during Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, decorations during a wedding, or the simple daily hobby of gardening. Flowers fill our lives in the most stunning ways.


Here are some Incredibly Rare Flowers we don't get to see everyday...
These are the rare, endangered and in some cases extinct in the wild flowers. The reason most of these carry the title of rare, is because humans do not have the ability to work in perfect harmony with nature. For example, Humans build a dam, the dam prevents a specific river from flowing freely, which prevents a specific frog or fish from breading, which results in a specific kind of bird not getting food, which results in a specific kind of flower not being pollinated, which can eventually lead to the extinction of that plant. In that one scenario of building a dam humans have basically killed off three species, and history is filled with hundreds of similar occurrences. Regardless of what drove them to become rarities, the following plants are far and few between, and having the opportunity to see one for yourself.

  • The jade vine is a rare woody vine native to the tropical rainforests of the Philippines. It is a member of the pea and bean family and is closely related to kidney beans. The plant carries claw shaped flowers which grow from hanging trusses; they can reach up to three meters in length. The flower’s color can vary from blue green to mint green. The species has proven extremely difficult to propagate, and is considered an endangered species due to the destruction of its habitat and a decrease in natural pollinators.

  • Corpse Flower, This fascinating flower is found mainly in low lying tropical rainforests of Indonesia. This is one of the world’s rarest, most endangered and largest flowers and it can reach a total width of over a meter. The Rafflesia’s survival is totally dependent on a specific vine called the Tetrastigma vine. As the Rafflesia is a bodiless, stem less, leafless, rootless parasite, it requires the vine for nourishment and support. It is also a carrion plant, which means that it releases a pungent rotten flesh smell when in bloom to attract flies and carrion beetles to aid in pollination. Once in bloom, the flower will only last about a week before dying.
  • Chocolate Cosmos, This is a dark red to brown species of Cosmos, native to Mexico. Sadly it has been extinct in the wild for over a hundred years. The species survives today as a single non fertile clone, which was created in 1902 by vegetative propagation. The flowers which are produced by the plant are a rich deep red to brown color and grow to about 3-4 cm in diameter. The flowers have a lovely vanillin fragrance in the summer (also found in vanilla beans, some coffee beans and some cacao beans), which also makes it a wonderful ornamental plant.
 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fun Stories about Flowers we see Everyday!

Scientists say there are over 270,000 species of flowers that have been documented and are living in the 21st Century. But scientists have yet to answer basic questions about these marvels of beauty... What led to their amazing diversity? Are there flowers that have not changed much during the evolution of this planet?

Fun Stories and History on some of our most Popular Flowers we see everyday!!!

Daisy


According to an old Celtic legend, the spirits of children who died in childbirth scattered daisies on the earth to cheer their sorrowing parents.
Beautiful gold hairpins, each ending in a daisy-like ornament were found when the Minoan palace on the Island of Crete was excavated. They are believed to be more than 4000 years old. Egyptian ceramics are also decorated with daisies.
This flower’s English name was day's eye, referring to the way this flower opens and closes with the sun. And primitive medical men drew the obvious conclusion that it was plainly intended to cure eye troubles. Assyrians crushed daisies and mixed them with oil to turn gray hair dark again.
Marguerite, the French word for daisy, is derived from a Greek word meaning "pearl". Francis I called his sister Marguerite of Marguerites and the lady used the daisy as her device, so did Margaret of Anjou the wife of Henry IV and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. There is an old English saying that spring has not come until you can set your foot on twelve daises.
King Henry VIII ate dishes of daisies to relieve himself from his stomach-ulcer pain. And a common remedy for insanity was to drink crushed daisies steeped in wine, in small doses for 15 days.

Lily


Lilies have been associated with many ancient myths, and pictures of lilies were discovered in a villa in Crete, dating back to the Minoan Period, about 1580 B.C.
Lilies are mentioned in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament, they symbolize chastity and virtue. In both the Christian and pagan traditions, the lily is a fertility symbol. In Greek marriage ceremonies the bride wears a crown of lilies and wheat… purity and abundance. Lilies are also a symbol of death, and at one time lilies were placed on the graves of children.
The lily has no true medicinal value, although In Elizabethan times, lilies were one of the ingredients in medicines to treatment fever, or for cleaning wounds, burns and sores.



Sunflower


These flowers always turn towards the sun. They originated in Central and South America, and were grown for their usefulness, not their beauty. In 1532 Francisco Pizarro reported seeing the natives of the Inca Empire in Peru worshiping a giant sunflower. Inca priestesses wore large sunflower disks made of gold on their garments.
Sunflowers represented different meanings in many cultures. In China they symbolized longevity. In the Andes Mountains, golden images of sunflowers were found in temples. And North America Indians in the prairies placed bowls of sunflower seeds on the graves of their dead.
King Henry VIII ate daisies to relieve his stomach ulcer pain


Queen Anne's Lace


Queen Anne's Lace was named for Queen Anne, wife of King James I of England. The Queen's friends challenged her to create lace as beautiful as the flower.
The root of Queen Anne's Lace, also called "wild carrot," stimulates pigment production in human beings. North African natives chewed it to protect themselves from the sun.
Tiny herb-like flower fossils date back 120 million years!

Snapdragons


We know that Snapdragons were common in the earliest gardens, but their actual origin is not known. Some botanists believe they grew wild in Spain and Italy. In the British countryside, children would gently squeeze the sides of the flower to open and close the "dragon's" mouth.