Saturday, May 25, 2013

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple

General Information
Common Name Norway Maple
Scientific Name Acer platanoides
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 20–30 m (66–98 ft)
Spread 9–13 m (30–45 ft)
Growth Rate Moderate
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green, Orange
Flower Color Green
Type Tree
Native Europe, northwest Asia and nort USA
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Sapindales
Family Aceraceae – Maple family
Genus Acer L. – maple
Species A. platanoides


Acer platanoides – Norway Maple
Norway Maple scientific name Acer platanoides was introduced from Scandinavia in the seventeenth century, and has since enriched Britain’s scenery with its bright spring blossom and rich autumn foliage. In height it reaches some 98 feet.
The twigs are stout and shiny, generally tinged with red before turning brown. The small winter buds are set oppositely, and are bluntly pointed, with shiny reddish-tinged scales. The leaves when unfolding show rust-red tints. They are palatably five-lobed, sharply angled, bright green, rather shiny, with a long slender stalk which is tinged with red and contains milky sap. In autumn the leaves show a standard good yellow, and later brilliant orange-brown colors for a brief spell.
Acer platanoides – Norway Maple in Autumn
The greenish-yellow flowers of both sexes are found together in an erect or spreading inflorescence in the form of a corymbs panicle, and appear in early April before the leaves unfold. The fruit consists of two winged seeds – the well-known double ‘samara’ (or ‘keys’), set at an angle of about 1600. They are green at first, becoming brown before they spin away. 
The bark is thin, dark grey to brown, with short, smooth, narrow, and shallow fissures. The wood is white or grayish, fine-textured, hard and fairly heavy. It is used for furniture and turnery goods. If cut when dormant in winter and early spring the tree freely ‘bleeds’ its sugary sap.
Foresters sometimes cultivate Norway Maple for timber, but more often their chief objective is to form with its an attractive belt around other tree-crops. Unfortunately it suffers much harm, particularly in the crown, from the grey squirrel, which is attracted be its sweet sap.
Acer platanoides – Norway Maple : Flowers

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple : Seeds

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple : Leaves

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple : Leaves & Seeds

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple : Log

Acer platanoides – Norway Maple


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

General Information
Common Name Pleomele, Song of India
Scientific Name Dracaena Reflexa
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 4 – 5 m(13 – 18 ft)
Spread 1 – 2 m (3 – 8 ft)
Growth Rate Slow
Bloom Time Winter
Color Green with white Margin
Flower Color White, Red
Type Shrub
Native Madagascar and Tropical Areas
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Solanales
Family Asparagaceae
Genus Dracaena
Species D. Reflexa

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India
Dracaena reflexa, commonly called Pleomele or the Song of India is a tender evergreen shrubs or small tree native to Madagascar and Mauritius. But this is a tropical tree. It may reach a height of 4–5 m, rarely 6 m in ideal, protected locations, D. reflexa is usually much smaller, especially when grown as ahouseplant. It is slow-growing and upright in habit, tending to an oval shape with an open crown. This is a full sun tree. In too much shade, plants may grow spindly with the variegated leaves losing their variegation. Plants like high humidity and consistent year-round temperatures.  The shiny leaves are narrowly lance-shaped, green in the middle and bordered with pale yellow that frames each leaf. There is greener version. The leaves spiral upwards from the stems to tip in a wild fashion that creates the Song of India's messy and unpredictable crown. It blooms greenish-white flowers in mid winter. Flowers are sometimes followed by orange-red berries. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are especially showy. Dracaena reflexa is a popular ornamental plant, both in the landscape and the home. People plant it in their home or garden as an ornamental tree.

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India : Flowers

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India : Flowers

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India : Flowers

Dracaena Reflexa - Pleomele - Song of India

Monday, May 20, 2013

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch - European White Birch

General Information
Common Name Silver Brich, Warty Birch
Scientific Name Betula pendula
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 15–25 ms (49–82 ft)
Spread 9-12 m (30-40 ft)
Growth Rate Moderate
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green, Yellow
Flower Color Brown
Type Tree
Native Europe, North America, Centaral Asia
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Hamamelididae
Order Fagales
Family Betulaceae – Birch family
Genus Betula L. – birch
Species B. pendula

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch
Betula pendula common name is Silver Birch, or European Warty Birch, seeds itself so freely in some areas that it is often ignored. However, it is a graceful, slender tree, usually with attractive white bark, and its timber is quite useful. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree, typically reaching 15–25 metres (49–82 ft) tall some trees exceptionally up to 39 metres (128 ft), with a slender trunk usually under 40 centimetres (16 in) diameter, but exceptionally to 1 metre (3.3 ft) diameter, and a crown of arched branches with drooping branchlets. The bark is white, often with black diamond-shaped marks or larger patches, particularly at the base. The shoots are rough with small warts, and hairless, and the leaves 3–7 centimetres (1.2–2.8 in) long, triangular with a broad base and pointed tip, and coarsely double-toothed serrated margins. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, produced before the leaves in early spring, the small 1-2mm winged seeds ripening in late summer on pendulous, cylindrical catkins 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 7 mm broad. Its purplish-brown twigs are slender, whippy and harsh to the touch and often pendulous. The young shoots are glabrous and bear little pale-colored rough warts. The small brown winter buds are alternate, many-scaled and pointed. In early spring they expand to show in mass a purplish bloom before the leaflets, first light-green then emerald, unfold. The leaves are about one inch broad and somewhat triangular, with a double-toothed margin, always sharply pointed, and hairless bout often rough to the touch. They usually turn yellow before falling.
The yellow male catkins droop like lambs tails, whereas the smaller pale-green female catkins are club-shaped and stand erect until they enlarge and become semi-mature, when they hang down. They open just after the leaves, and by August or September myriads of small winged seeds are produced are released on the winds. 
The tough, waxy bark is purplish-brown in young trees, with horizontal bands of lenticels, but on older trees the smooth, papery, peeling bark of the upper part is silver-white, with black diamond-shaped markings, and the base becomes increasingly rough and blackened. On many a tree, growths termed is tough, hard, clean and smooth, very pale brown or cream in color, with a dull surface. Its uses include turnery goods such as brush backs, reels and toys, and paper pulp. The branches are used for besom-heads and horse jumps. 
Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Leaves
The Hairy Birch, B. pubescens Ehrh, with short and soft downy twigs and grey or cherry-like bark, is the second of Britain’s two tall species of native birch. Hybridization and introgression occur between the two species. The terms ‘white birch’ and ‘silver birch’, and the obsolete scientific name Betula alba, have been applied to both of them. Few silvi-culturists make any distinctions between the birches.
Planting birch for timber has seldom been worthwhile economically: the millions growing in Europe. Foresters value the tree for its useful light cover, providing dappled shade which usually enables better trees, inter-planted among the birches, to respond. It is a useful natural pioneer tree, adapted to colonize open land and it coppices freely. In plantations care must be taken to remove whippy birch trees that thrash and damage more desirable species.

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Leaves

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Flowers

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Flowers

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Flowers

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Flowers
Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Seeds

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch : Seeds

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch

Betula pendula - Silver Birch - Warty Birch


Friday, May 17, 2013

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave


General Information
Common Name Giant Agave
Scientific Name Agave Salmiana
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 1 – 2 m (4 – 6 ft)
Spread 2 - 4.5 m (6 - 12 ft)
Growth Rate Slow
Bloom Time Summer
Color Green
Flower Color Yellow
Type Cactus & Succulents
Native Mexico
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida
Subclass Liliidae
Order Asparagales
Family Agavaceae
Genus Agave
Species A. salmiana


Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave salmiana is commonly known as Giant Agave is native to Mexico and plant in full sun where it is drought tolerant. This plant has also been in cultivation in Europe since the 19th century. It is a vigorous and evergreen plant. Its fleshy green leaves are strap shaped, up to 1.5m long with large spins (up to 8cm) arranged its leaf margins. When the plant matures and blooms the tall candelabra inflorescence rises to over 20 feet bearing yellow flowers that attract birds and bees. Each plant flowers once, usually after 20 years. After flowering it dies and produces rhizome like offsets which helps the spread of this plant. By its death it creates life and sustains its species. Some people cultivate Agave salmiana in their garden as an ornamental plant.



Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave : Flowers

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave : Flowers

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave : Flowers

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave : Flowers

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave : Flowers

Agave Salmiana – Giant Agave