Saturday, February 14, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS is the Banana (Musa) flower

Banana - Musa - Musaceae Flower

The Banana plant is a pseudostem that grows to 6 to 7.6 metres (20-25 feet) tall, growing from a corm. Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 2.7 metres (9 ft) long and 60 cm (2 ft) wide] The banana plant is the largest of all herbaceous flowering plants. The large leaves grow whole, but are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look.
A single, sterile, male banana flower, also known as the banana heart is normally produced by each stem.

Banana hearts are used as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, steamed,
in salads, or eaten raw.

The female flowers are produced further up the stem and produce the actual fruit without requiring fertilization. The fruit has been described as a "leathery berry". In cultivated varieties, the seeds have degenerated nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit. The ovary is inferior to the flower; because of their stiff stems and the positioning of the ovary and flower, bananas grow sticking up, not hanging down.

Die Bananen (Musa) sind eine Pflanzengattung in der Familie der Bananengewächse (Musaceae) innerhalb der einkeimblättrigen Pflanzen. In der Gattung gibt es rund 100 Arten. Einige Arten bilden essbare Früchte, von denen diejenigen der Art Musa × paradisiaca zum Teil für die Nahrungsmittelproduktion angebaut werden. Die essbaren Früchte sind reich an diversen Vitaminen (Vitamin A und C), Mineralstoffen (insbes. Phosphor, Eisen, Kalium, Magnesium, Mangan, Kupfer), Zucker und Ballaststoffen.

Musa-Arten und -Sorten sind immergrüne, mehrjährige, krautige Pflanzen. Der aus Blattscheiden bestehende hohle Scheinstamm und die spiralig angeordneten Laubblätter geben den Bananen-Arten ein palmenartiges Aussehen. Die großen, einfachen, ganzrandigen Blätter sind in Blattstiel und Blattspreite gegliedert.
Wenn die Bananenstaude ein Alter von sieben bis neun Monaten erreicht hat, wächst bei ihr ein meist nach unten hängender, manchmal auch aufrechter Blütenstand mit meist rot-violetten Hochblättern. An der Unterseite eines jeden Hochblatts befinden sich Blüten in einer Reihe. Die zwittrigen oder eingeschlechtigen Blüten sind zygomorph und dreizählig.

pictures by guild-rez

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Wikipedia

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine' s Day..

How much can one person love another?

How much can one person love another?
A universe exists in time and space,
Placed within the boundaries of one place,
Pressed into a point far from forever.
Yet love comes to us from some quite other,
Visiting our sorrow with its grace,
Answering our rage with its embrace,
Lending us the wisdom of its wonder.
Even as I say this, you are there,
Nestling in where need undoes the day,
Taking up your small infinity.
Inside my window, you are everywhere,
Nor could I tell how much such love might weigh,
Even were it salient as the sea.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

TODAY'S FLOWERS ...African Violet - Usambaraveilchen

My African violets are in full bloom and feature multi-colour leaves and petals.

Saintpaulia, commonly known as African violet, is a genus of 6 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa, with a concentration of species in the Nguru mountains of Tanzania.
The genus is most closely related to Streptocarpus, with recent phylogenetic studies suggesting it has evolved directly from subgenus Streptocarpella. The common name was given due to a superficial resemblance to true violets (Viola, family Violaceae).
The plant is named after Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire (1860-1910), the district commissioner of Tanga province who "discovered" the plant in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in Africa in 1892 and sent seeds back to his father, an amateur botanist in Germany.

Das Usambaraveilchen (Saintpaulia ionantha-Hybride)
Ihren deutschen Namen hat die Pflanze, weil die Art Saintpaulia ionantha in den Usambara-Bergen gefunden wurde.
Der Namensteil Veilchen bezieht sich darauf, dass es zuerst violette, also veilchenfarbene, Saintpaulia gab;
mit den europäischen Veilchen ist die Pflanze dagegen nicht näher verwandt.
Der Botaniker Hermann Wendland benannte die Gattung Saintpaulia nach ihrem Entdecker,
dem deutschen Kolonialbeamten in Ostafrika Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire (1860-1940).

pictures by guild-rez
info: Wikipedia
Posted by Picasa