Canna (lat. Canna) is the genus in the monotypic family Cannaceae (Latin Cannaceae) of the order Zingiberales, including more than fifty species of herbaceous plants. In nature they grow in Central and South America, India and China. It was brought to Europe by Portuguese sailors in the 16th century, but cultivation of cannas was began only in the 17th century. The name originates from the Greek word “cana” meaning “reed”. And as a matter of fact, the canna stalk resembles this plant. The Latin word “cana” means “pipe”, and the ancient legend says that the flowers of canna grew on the site of a fire in which one of the Indian chiefs burned a wampum wrapped in a tube with a peace treaty, thus provoking a bloody war and bright red petals of cannas looked like the tongues of that fire or the blood shed in that war. For the flower growers, the value of canna is not only in its beautiful flowering, but also in large ornamental leaves of dark green, dark purple, red-bronze and even purple hues.
The word “anemone” is translated from Greek as “daughter of the wind” because anemone flowers tremble from the slightest gust of the wind. The flower is part of Ranunculaceae family (aka buttercup) and is a perennial herbaceous plant. It can be found in temperate climates of flatlands and hilly regions of both hemispheres. Anemone plant has over 160 species blooming in different seasons and very diversely in colors and types, which may confuse even an experienced gardener. This article will tell you all about growing anemones.
Dragon flowers, or snapdragon, or antirrhinum (lat. Antirrhinum) is a genus of herbaceous plants in the family Plantaginaceae that involves about 50 species of perennials including trailing ones. It is native to the warm climate zones and grows mainly in North America. The Russians call this plant "doggies", the British – "snapdragon", the French – "wolf mouth", and the Ukrainians – "little mouths." Its name was derived from the Greek word "antirrinum" that means "nose-like". In Ancient Greek mythology, the first Hercules’ labour was to kill the Nemean lion that was famous for its ferocity and invulnerability. The Goddess Flora gifted Hercules with a beautiful flower that she created in honor of his victory and that she called a "lion's mouth." Since then, in Greece it has become a tradition to gift snapdragons to heroes. Snapdragon flowers have been cultivated for about five hundred years, and breeding works were started by German scientists in the XIX century. Today about 1,000 varieties of snapdragon are grown in the gardens of the world. The most interesting fact is that the basis of this diversity of species and hybrids is a single species – common snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus).
Rhododendron plant (lat. Rhododendron) is a genus of semi-deciduous, deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs in the heath family that according to various sources contains from 800 to 300 species, including such popular indoor plants as azaleas that are nicknamed “indoor rhododendrons”. The word “rhododendron” is made up of two parts: “rhodon” that means “rose”, and “dendron” that means “tree”. So literally rhododendron is a rosewood or a tree with roses. And azaleas really look like roses. In nature rhododendrons mainly grow in the Northern Hemisphere – in Southern China, Japan, the Himalayas, North America and Southeast Asia. Mostly they can be found in the coastal zone of rivers, seas and oceans, in the half-shade of the underbrush and on the northern slopes of the mountains. Some of the rhododendrons grow 12 inches in height, and some species are creeping shrubs. The flowers of this genus differ in size, color, and shape. The smallest of them are very tiny while the largest of them reach 8 inches in a diameter. Today a garden rhododendron has about 3,000 forms, species and varieties.
Phlox (lat. Phlox) is a genus of herbaceous plants in the family of Polemoniaceae that includes about seventy species and about forty of them are cultivated. In Europe phlox was brought in the middle of the 18th century, since then breeders have created about 1,500 varieties of beautiful and fragrant flowers. Phlox is a Greek word meaning “flame”. This name was given to the plant by Carl Linnaeus in 1737 as the flowers of some species are extremely bright. Phlox is native to North America and its harsh climate made this plant easy-to-grow and tenacious. In addition, phloxes are very fragrant and bloom for a long time.
Delphinium (lat. Delphinium) is a genus of herbaceous plants in the family of Ranunculaceae. The common name is larkspur. There are about 450 species of annual and perennial plants. Annual delphiniums that include about 40 species are sometimes referred to an adjacent genus Consolida. Delphiniums grow in China (about 150 species) and throughout Southeast Asia, in the mountains of tropical Africa, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. It is believed that the unopened delphinium flower looks like a dolphin's head, but there is an opinion that the delphinium flowers received its name in honor of the Greek city of Delphi, in the vicinity of which they grew in a great amount. Anyway, all florists will agree that this luxurious flower will decorate any flower garden.
Adonis flower (lat. Adonis), or pheasant’s-eye, belongs to the genus Ranunculaceae, that includes, according to different sources, from 20 to 45 species of herbaceous annuals and perennials growing in Europe and some regions of Asia with a temperate climate. Adonis plant prefers a mild summer. Its Latin name comes from the Greek myth and was given in honor of the son of the Cyprian king, Aphrodite's lover, Adonis, who died when hunting a wild boar. The blood of Adonis colored the flowers and plants in red, so the name “adonis” should refer only to species with red flowers, although there are not many of them in the genus. According to another version, the name of the flower comes from the name of the Assyrian god Adon. Adonis had become popular in cultivation only by the end of the XVII century, but since then adonis is constantly grown in parks, gardens and flower beds. Planting and caring for adonis in the open ground, as well as a description of plant species are the topics of this article.
Ageratum plant belongs to the genus Asteraceae. Its representatives are native to North and Central America, as well as East India. The name of the plant comes from the Latin word “ageratos” which means "ageless", and, in fact, a cut flower of ageratum stays fresh for a long time. In Europe the ageratum became popular in the 19th century, in Russia it is called the "long-flowering". It is grown in gardens for its fluffy flowers that look like pompoms being collected in dense blue inflorescences. In addition, it is a minimal care plant. There are about 60 species of ageratum.
Hydrangea is a flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae and according to various sources there are from 30 to 80 species in nature. Among them there are shrubs and small trees that grow mostly in East and South Asia, China, Japan, the Far East and the Americas. The plant is named in honor of Hortense Princess about which nothing is known today. When botanists systemized the plant, hydrangea received the Greek name “hydrangea”, which is translated as “a vessel of water” – a form of seed capsules resembles a jug, and the plant itself loves water. In Japan the plant is called “Ajisay” meaning “a flower of purple Sun”. Hydrangea was taken from Japan to Europe in 1820. Initially it was grown as a houseplant due to a low winter hardiness, but breeders were so enthusiastic about the cultivation of hydrangeas that by the mid of 20th century more than 100 garden varieties had been created. Now bigleaf hydrangea is presented widely enough by twelve popular species.
Lavender plant (lat. Lavandula) belongs to the genus of family Lamiaceae that includes about 30 species. Lavender plant grows naturally in the Canary Islands, Eastern and Northern Africa, Australia, Arabia, India, and Southern Europe. There are only two species that are cultivated all around the world – lavandula latifolia (French lavender) and lavandula angustifolia (English lavender), or medical lavender. Plant’s name is derived from the Latin word “lava” that means “to wash” and refers to the use of lavender in Ancient times – the Romans and the Greeks used the plant for washing and cleaning. Today lavender plant grows not only in private gardens, but it is widely used commercially for precious essential oils’ extraction.