Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fraxinus excelsior – Ash


General Information
Common Name Ash, European Ash
Scientific Name Fraxinus excelsior 
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height  20–35 m (66–115 ft)
Spread 6-10 m (20-33 ft)
Growth Rate Fast
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green
Flower Color Green, Dark Red
Type Tree
Native Europe, western Asia
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Scrophulariales
Family Oleaceae – Olive family
Genus Fraxinus L. – ash
Species F. excelsior

Ilex aquifolium - Holly
Fraxinus excelsior commonly known as Ash also called European Ash. It is among the most widely distributed of European Broad-leaved trees. It is the last native tree to come into leaf (mid-May) and the first to become bereft of foliage in autumn, though its fruits (‘bunches of keys’) often persist in large numbers throughout the winter.
The greenish-grey twigs are in pairs and are knobbly because of the swollen leaf-scars. The prominent large black winter buds are oppositely set. So, too, are its compound-pinnate leaves, 6-9 inches long, comprising 7-15 leaflets with serrated margins and channeled leaf-stalk.
The flowers, which appear well before the leaves, are purple, short-stalked and in dense, almost knobbly clusters, the precocious flowering giving a purplish tinge to the whole crown. Some trees are male and some female, some trees carry both sexes. The winged fruiting strap-shaped ‘keys’, likewise in clusters, each contain a seed at the base. When planted green they will germinate, but if allowed to become ripe and brown on the tree (usually by August they remain in clusters throughout the winter, appearing in silhouette as hanging bats or swarms of birds a waiting migration, until scattered by the March winds.
Ilex aquifolium - Holly
The grey-green bark is smooth and thin for some years, but eventually turns grey, roughens and fissures, diagonally or crisscrossed, into a regular pattern. The tree grows tall and slender, with an open rounded crown. It has a tendency to fork, generally due to frost, but occasionally to the Ash Bud moth, destroying the terminal bud.
Ash likes alkaline soils, where it regenerates freely form fallen seed. Silviculturists prefer to plant it on deep rich soils, away from frost pockets. Its wood, yellowish or greyish-white with sometimes a pale brow heartwood, is tough, elastic and cleaves easily. Among its important uses are sports goods (tennis-rackt frames, billiard cues and hockey sticks), oars, bar-hurdles, tent pegs, tool handles and furniture. It burns well – ‘ash wet or ash dry is fit for a Queen to warm her slippers by’. It is not a good hedgerow tree, being a ‘robber’ of adjacent soils on farmland.

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly : Leaves

Ilex aquifolium - Holly : Flowers

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly : Flowers

Ilex aquifolium - Holly : Flowers

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Ilex aquifolium - Holly

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab


General Information
Common Name Grandidier's Baobab
Scientific Name Adansonia grandidieri
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 25-30 m (80-100 ft)
Spread up to 15 m (up to 50 ft)
Growth Rate Moderate
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green
Flower Color White
Type Tree
Native Africa
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae
Order Malvales
Family Bombacaceae – Kapok-tree family
Genus Adansonia L. – adansonia
Species A. grandidieri


Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab


Adansonia grandidieri common name is Grandidier's baobab. This is the biggest and most famous species of baobabs. This is also a long living tree like other species of baobabs. Grandidier's baobabs have massive cylindrical trunks. Grandidier's baobab used to inhabit dry, deciduous forest, especially near seasonal rivers or lakes. However, today it is mainly found in open, agricultural land or degraded scrubland.  The trunks store considerable water, as much as 1000 gallons have been tapped from one. The tree grows up to three meters across, covered with smooth, reddish-grey bark. They can reach 25 to 30 m (80-100 ft) in height. 
Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab
At certain times of the year the flat-topped crowns bear bluish-green palmate leaves.  At fall, the leaves will slowly begin to fall and at the end of December the Baobab will be completely dormant. When the tree is bare of leaves the branches look like roots sticking up, making it look as though it has been planted upside down. It blooms white flowers in mid spring. The seeds and the fruits pulp are also source of rich vitamin C like other Baobab, and cooking oil is extracted from the oil-rich seeds. The fruit is either collected from the ground, or wooden pegs are hammered into the trunk so the tree can be climbed to collect the fruit.
Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab


Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab : Flower

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab : Flower


Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab : Flower

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab : Seed

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab : Young Plant

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Adansonia grandidieri - Grandidier's baobab

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adansonia digitata - Baobab


General Information
Common Name Baobab
Scientific Name Adansonia digitata
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 10–25 m (33–80 ft)
Spread up to 15 m (up to 50 ft)
Growth Rate Moderate 
Bloom Time Winter
Color Green
Flower Color White
Type Tree
Native Africa
Classification
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Dilleniidae
Order Malvales
Family Bombacaceae – Kapok-tree family
Genus Adansonia L. – adansonia
Species A. digitata

Adansonia digitata - Baobab
Adansonia digitata common name is Baobab. Baobab is mainly native to Africa is associated with rainfall patterns of the Atlantic coast counties. It is very limited in Central Africa, and it is found only in the very north of Southern Africa. In Eastern Africa, the trees grow also in shrublands and on the coast. In Angola and Namibia, the baobabs grow in woodlands. It is also found in Dhofar region of Oman and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, Asia. This tree is also found in India, particularly in the dry regions of the country.
This is a large and distinctive tree. It grows up to 25m (80 ft). It is also a long living tree, some large individuals living to well over a thousand years of age. Leaves borne at the ends of branches, they are usually divided into 5‒7 leaflets attached to a central point. The tree bears very large, heavy, white flowers. The showy flowers are pendulous with a very large number of stamens. The fruits grow up to 35 cm long and 13 cm wide. They are filled with pulp that dries, hardens, and falls to pieces which look like chunks of powdery, dry bread. This is an important indigenous fruit tree, the fruit pulp (rich in vitamin C) is eaten on its own or mixed in porridge and is also used for making soft drinks. Seeds are used as a thickener for soups, and leaves are eaten as a vegetable or in soups.


Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab : Flower

Adansonia digitata - Baobab : Fruits

Adansonia digitata - Baobab : Fruit

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Adansonia digitata - Baobab

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

General Information
Common Name Grey Alder
Scientific Name Alnus incana
Sun Tolerance Full Sun
Height 16–22 m (50–70 ft)
Spread 6–9 m (20–30 ft)
Growth Rate Fast
Bloom Time Spring
Color Green
Flower Color Yellow, Red
Type Tree
Native Europe, North America
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 Alnus Mill. – alder
Species A. incana


Alnus incana - Grey Alder
The Grey Alder, Scientific Name is Alnus incana is introduced from Central Europe in 1780, is distinguished from the native Alder, A. glutinosa (L.) Gaertn, by its grey bark, downy young shoots, and pointed leaves, grey beneath, and its tendency to sucker vigorously. It thrives on even fairly dry areas and has been chosen for illustration because it is less common.
The native Alder is a moderately-sized tree with a narrow crown and short, spreading branches and grows in moist places, usually alongside streams, river, ponds and lakes.
Its winter buds, borne alternately o reddish-brown twigs which are rather tacky in their green state, are distinctly stalked and have a purple waxy bloom. The alternate leaves ( about 2-3 in broad and long) are either round or slightly obcordate, they are dark green, have a toothed margin, and are slightly tacky as they unfold, hence the specific name, glutinosa, sticky. Both sexes of flowers are borne on the same tree, before the leaves open. The male catkins are oblong, drooping, purplish or reddish-brown becoming yellow, and about an inch long. The female catkins are small, cylindrical and purplish-brown, after pollination they enlarge to a green oval or spherical shape, later becoming a brown woody cone-like structure about half an inch long,  which opens during the wintr permitting the numerous small winged seeds to escape. Many of the empty ‘cones’ persist on the tree well into spring. At first the bark is fairly smooth and greenish-brown, but later becomes fissured and dark grey. A height of over 75 feet can be attained, the tree is usually harvested before this, whereupon coppice shoots arise from the stool.
Alnus incana - Grey Alder
Alder is rarely planted – it springs up mainly from seeds that have been carried by water. It will grow in conditions of wetness of soil which few trees will tolerate. The timber is reddish, but bright orange when first cut, mellowing to dull brown. The wood is strong and easily worked but not naturally durable. Its uses include paper pulp and turnery goods such as broom heads and cheap tool handles. In earlier days it was valued for soles of clogs and for charcoal used in the manufacture of gun-powder.
An interesting point about Alder is that it bears on its roots curious nodules, like those of leguminous plants, in which live a bacterium, enabling it to take soluble nitrogen salts out of the inert nitrogen of the air, consequently the soils on which Alder grows are remarkable fertile. The tree is sometimes planted as fire-break in plantations.
Alnus incana - Grey Alder 

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder : Leaves & Green Fruits

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder : Flowers

Alnus incana - Grey Alder : Flowers

Alnus incana - Grey Alder

Alnus incana - Grey Alder


Alnus incana - Grey Alder