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Flower Blog Archive - December 2005

The Flower Expert welcomes the flower enthusiasts to the special feature - Flower Blogs where the flower lovers can share the knowledge about flowers and flower related topics with the flower admiring community world-wide.

For any general questions and doubts on flower blogs and blogging, you are requested to go through Frequently Asked Questions on Flower Blog.

In addition, the Step-by-Step Guide To Flower Blog gives you a a detailed notes on how to blog on flowers.

Post your comments on anything related to Flowers & Floral Industry. You can create a blog instantly without the hassle of username and password. And you can also view our monthly .

Improving Floral Scent in Flowers

A Iarge number of cut flowers have lost their scent during the selection and breeding processes due to, on the one hand, a focus on maximizing post-harvest shelf-life, shipping characteristics, and visual esthetic values (i.e., color, shape), and on the other hand, to the lack of selection for the scent. trait. This loss of scent has long been recognized as a major problem in the floriculture industry. Engineering transgenic plants with improved scent quality would ameliorate this problem. The goal of the proposed research is to create transgenic plants with modified scent quality and to transfer this technology to the floriculture industry. Crops with improved scent quality and newly introduced aromas offer possibilities to expand markets and increase grower's income.
Bioengineering of floral scent requires an understanding of the molecular and biochchemical basis of floral scent production, along with the availability of cloned genes encoding enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of floral volatiles and promoters directing the expression of these genes to the proper tissue (petals and at the proper time (stage of development Until ntil recently. the majority of floral scent research has been concentrated mainly on the chemical composition of floral fragrance or emitted volatiles but has tailed to identify specific enzymes or genes involved in the biosynthesis of these components. Learn more about the research paper.

History of The Dutch Flower

Cultivation of flowers in the Netherlands goes back to a long horticultural tradition that developed as a result of the early urbanization of the western part of the country. Land scarcity and nearby markets created the right conditions for horticulture. Three regions figured in this: one north of Amsterdam (near Alkmaar), one south of Amsterdam (around Aalsmeer), and one near Rotterdam and The Hague (Westland and Rijnsburg). Each specialized in different products: the first on vegetables, the second on trees, and the last on vegetables and flower bulbs. Over the decades this last group of growers have switched to flower-growing because of the high returns, the limited possibility to expand their growing area, and the availability of nearby markets.
As early as 1887, vegetable growers started the first auction at Broek op Langedijk as a form of self-protection against the powerful wholesalers who could pit the small independent growers against each other. Soon after, growers in other regions, amongst them those around Aalsmeer and the Westlands also started their own auctions. Export of flowers goes back a long way too, north-west Germany and Russia being sales destinations from quite early on.
In each region groups of traders started to buy the products and to develop their sales markets with the intermediation of the auctions, formed as cooperatives of which the growers were the owners. The auctions were an ideal place for not only price-setting, but also as a forum for an exchange of information regarding market tendencies.
The cooperative structure stimulated the growth of an education system that laid a strong knowledge base. From the primary school, a well elaborated hierarchy started to develop, making the sector a highly developed infrastructure of education, knowledge, innovation, agronomy, information, and marketing services. This was also true of other sectors in the Dutch agricultural structure, such as the dairy industry. With the investment in physical infrastructure -- roads/waterways/rail -- the stage was set for phenomenal growth after the Second World War. On the demand side, the market was continuously expanding because of increasing disposable incomes in Western Europe. Conditions were thus ideal for farmers to innovate and adopt new methods and new varieties. Read the history of Dutch Flower.

Lilies can be Poisonous for your Cat

Do you know that lilies are poisonous to your cat?
These poisonous flowers are beautiful to have around your home but unfortunately they are lethal to your cat. It has only been in the last 5 years the phenomenon was recorded . We know that certain flowers are poisonous to cats, in the case of lilies if the cat swallows any part of the flower, stem, leaf or stamen it can suffer poisoning. Without treatment the cat's kidneys will fail in 36 to 72 hours.
keep lilies out of the way of your cat, or if you want to be completely safe avoid them altogether.

Extinct Protea Species

More than one-third of protea species are listed in the Red data book of plants, which lists species threatened or potentially threatened by mankind. Amongst our proteas some 35 species are considered to be ‘Endangered with extinction", and a further 46 species are Vulnerable to extinction. The former category is used for species in imminent danger of extinction, whereas the latter is used for species that will become extinct if the threats to which they are exposed continue unabated.
Another 76 species are listed as "Rare" because their small population or limited distribution range would make them vulnerable if their habitat were to be developed or transformed in any way. The following three species are extinct both in the wild and in cultivation.
Mace Pagoda (Mimetes stokoei) - Thomas Stokoe discovered this species in 1922, but did not remember where he had seen it. Three years later, however, he found its flowers for sale in the Adderley Street market, and the flower-picker led him to the only population ever known: in the Highlands State Forest above Kleinmond. It is not known precisely why the species became extinct, but the following hypothesis seems likely. The exact locality was kept a close secret, and only after the area had been bucket to set up an experimental orchard in the early 1960s was it realized that the habitat of M. stokoei had probably been destroyed. A single plant grew from seed in the soil and a tripod was erected to protect it. Ironically, wind broke the plant against the tripod before it had a chance to flower. The species has not been seen again.
Wynberg Conebush (Leucadendron grandiflorum) - L. grandiflorum was described in 1806 only from a male plant ldgran.jpg (15027 bytes)grown in George Hibbert’s garden in England. No herbarium specimen has been found, so a description and a drawing are the only existing evidence that this species once occurred. Seed was collected on ‘Wynberg Mountain’ (presumably Wynberg Hill’ by James Niven in about 1800, and no plant has been seen since. Nothing else is known about this species, although it is clearly related to the Crown Conebushes. However, some confusion has been caused by the name L. grandiflorum having also been given to what is now L. tinctum and allied species in the Sun Conebush grouping.
Diminutive Powderpuff (Sorocephalus tenuifolius) - The runt of the Powderpuffs (or Clusterheads), not only is this species difficult to see in the wild, but it can also be easily mistaken for Palmiet Unispoon - Spatalla prolifera. It was first collected by James Niven in about 1800 in ‘alpine, moist places near the Breede River’, and was subsequently grown in George Hibbert’s garden, near Clapham, in England. Christian Krauss also collected it ‘in stony ground near Elim’. Both these localities are considered erroneous as they have not been relocated. In about the 1940s Thomas Stokoe found a population of S. tenuifolius on the farm Arieskraal in the Palmiet River Valley near Elgin. This population, comprising about 700 plants, was ploughed up in 1985 for an apple orchard. The Cape Department of Nature Conservation rescued and grew some plants, giving them to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Unfortunately they did not survive and it was believed that the species became totally extinct in 1987.

Edible Flowers

Yes!!...There are flowers that have been used for edible purposes viz., cooking, aromatic drinks, wines and spirits throughout history, including a recipe in the earliest surviving cookbook by the Roman Apicius for brains with rose petals.
Some of the edible varieties include herb flowers, cloves, capers, roses, safflower, violets, chrysanthemum, nasturtium, marigold, jasmine, hibiscus, dandelions, ratafia; orange, peach, plum and squash blossoms; red poppy, hyssop, mimosa, lemon flowers, garlic flowers, forget-me-nots, primula, lotus blossoms, primrose, honeysuckle, pinks, daisys, rocquette flowers, fuchsias, carnations, chive flowers, pansies, gladiolus, tulips, yucca, hollyhock, bean blossoms, mustard flowers, and elderflower.
But, since there are poisonous flowers as well, don't try the flowers you are not aware of. Further, don't eat flowers from a florist. Many florist served flowers are pesticide-sprayed .
Nasturtiums are one of the most widely recognized edible flowers. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus), are grown worldwide, both as garden flowers and for culinary uses. The brilliant yellow, orange or red flowers and peppery flavored leaves are used in salads. The flowers may also be chopped and used to flavor butters, cream cheese and vinegar; the immature flower buds and seed pods may be pickled and used like capers.

World's Largest Lotus Flower Park!

Sanshui City of south China's Guangdong Province has built a lotus flower world which has collected most of the already identified varieties of lotus flowers on earth.
Some 300 varieties of lotus flowers are available at the flower world, which covers an area of about 66.7 hectares. And more than 40 hectares of the flower world's total area is used to cultivate lotus flowers of red, yellow, white, purple and blue colors, florists said.
In Chinese culture, lotus flowers are also in association with purity and loftiness. Lotus Flowers have been valued by the Chinese as the beautiful flower emerging unstained from the filth.

Flowers & Workplace Productivity

Researchers at Texas A&M University recruited 101 participants to take part in The Impact of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity study. During the eight-month scientific study, participants took part in emotional, creativity and attentional demand protocols, in conditions that were carefully controlled, yet were similar to those in many office workplaces.
Subjects were asked to perform a series of tasks in one of three environmental office conditions, selected at random: with fresh flowers and plants; with abstract sculpture; or with no embellishments at all. Throughout each session, subjects self-rated their moods four times, executed two creativity tasks and completed one attentional demand test. Researchers measured the number of ideas participants generated, their ideas' originality and flexibility, and other responses, using data extracted from the tests, which included Torrance Tests of the Creative Thinking and Profile of Mood States.
The research lends weight to growing scientific evidence that flowers and plants, as well as other aspects of nature, have a beneficial impact on state of mind and emotions.

Fig Flower!!

Have you ever seen a fig tree in bloom?
No?
However they do bloom but in a very unusual way and they attract very unusual pollinators also. The tiny fig that will become the fruit later on is like a goblet with an opening at the far end. Inside the goblet are the minute flowers facing the cavity inside it.
Who would visit and pollinate such a flower?
There are minuscule wasps that are able to identify the figs, find the little hole and crawl inside. It is such a tight fit that quite often they lose their wings in the process, which doesn't matter because they will never fly again. They proceed to lay their eggs on the stigmas (the female part) of the flower, the egg cells are just below them) so their larvae will feed on some of the seeds; while doing so they end up pollinating the other flowers ensuring that the fig will set seed and grow into a mature fruit and also ensuring that their babies will have room and board while growing up.
After that they die without ever leaving the fig. When the babies reach maturity they fly out of the maturing fig carrying pollen and repeating the whole thing. So, let us face it, each time that we eat a fig we are also swallowing one or more dead wasps. But don't worry about it, they are really tiny and besides they are just animal protein.

Genes controlling Flower Development

Identifying genes based on patterns of gene expression in specific organs or at specific stages of development is a useful approach to improving our understanding of complex biological processes. Scientists Vivian Irish at Yale University in Connecticut, Rob Martienssen at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, and their colleagues used a strategy known as gene trapping to identify numerous genes involved in the regulation of flower development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
The gene trap technique involves genetic transformation of Arabidopsis plants with a reporter gene whose activity is visualized in a simple assay, leading to the rapid identification of genes that show specific patterns of expression. In this case, the researchers isolated 80 different gene trap Arabidopsis lines identifying genes that show distinct patterns of expression in flower petals and/or stamens (the pollen-bearing organs).
The research is one of the first large-scale gene trap studies in the area of flower development, and provides extensive information on many genes likely to have critical roles in this essential stage of plant reproduction. Learn more about the genetics of flower development.

Restoring flower fragrances

Would-be scent engineers aim to resurrect lost floral fragrance. Read save the flowers , an article from science news.

Iris, Iris & Iris

As the term Iris (rainbow) implies, iris flowers come in multiple colors. Irises are wonderful garden plants. You can certainly find some that will grow for you, if you just give them light. Some grow in deserts, some in swamps, some in the cold far north, and many in temperate climates.
Babiana, also known as Blue Freesia, Freesia, Sparaxis, also known as Wand Flowers, Tritonia, Watsonia, Tiger Flowers, Leopard Flowers, Shell Flowers of Tigridia, Cypella are the popular varieties of iris flowers.
They typically grow in open to woodland sites. Most of the irises that a gardener would grow would be in the beardless iris group or the bearded iris group. The beardless iris group is a very wide group; beardless irises usually won't even crossbreed unless they're closely related. The bearded iris group must be more closely interrelated since many will crossbreed with each other often producing fertile seedlings.
Bearded irises are the most popular irises. The `true' bearded iris hybrids (section Iris) derive from a wide variety of species belonging to the series Pumilaie, mostly smaller irises, and the series Elatae, mostly larger irises. The American Iris Society classifies bearded irises into six groupings based on size: miniature dwarf, dwarf, intermediate, miniature tall, border, and tall. Another, more exotic, group of bearded irises are the Aril irises (section Hexapogon) which includes Oncos (subsection Oncocyclus) and Regelias (subsection Regelia). These interbreed with the true bearded iris to produce what are called Arilbred irises.

Perfect Peony

Peonies (Paeonia lactiflora) are the great favorites in China. The peony flowers have been in cultivation in China for thousands of years, and have been grown as garden and outdoor cut flower plants in Europe and the US for many years. Cut flowers were, however, available only for a few weeks a year during the natural flowering season in late spring.
Until recently, however, very little was known on the flowering physiology of the plant. We have found that flower bud initiation starts after the old leaves senescence in the summer and continues until late autumn when they become dormant. Release from dormancy requires a period of low temperatures, and can be accelerated by GA treatment. After the release from dormancy the plants may start growing and blooming under mild-warm temperatures (Wilkins and Halevy 1985; Byrne and Halevy 1986). This basic information enabled the development of a practical method for extending the flowering season and obtaining cut flower production in the winter, 2–3 months before the natural flowering season (Halevy et al. 1995).
Plants are grown under ambient natural cold temperatures of the early winter. After sufficient cold units are accumulated, the structures are covered with polyethylene at mid-winter and the plants are drenched with GA solution. Sprouting and flowering soon follow. Thus, peony culture is found to have been a good ornamental crop.

Sages and Daffodils Fight Alzheimer's Disease

Sage and daffodils may be able to help the thousands of people in the UK who suffer from Alzheimer's Disease.
In a report on memory, the Alzheimer's Disease Society say research by Professor Elaine Perry and her team at Newcastle General Hospital shows that sage could have a similar effect as Aricept on acetycholine.
The first person to note the positive effects of sage was 18th century herbalist John Hill. He said sage slowed the memory's "rapid decay".
The Society says there is also research going on into the effect of smells on memories. Researchers seeking new drugs for treating people with Alzheimer's are using daffodils to investigate how smells can stimulate memories.
Know more about the research which would be a boon for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Change the Color of Your Flowers!!

Very soon you can get your favorite flowers in beautiful colors you love!!
Two Auckland scientists are working on research they hope will create new colours of a flower successfully created for the export market.
West Coast Orchids of West Auckland, run by doctors David and Nancy Beck, have received government support for their latest research project which follows earlier scientific innovation that transformed a small bromeliad specimen into a long-stemmed flower with valuable commercial returns.
The power of the export success with Red Dragon has resulted in the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology investing $517,000 through its Technology New Zealand suite of schemes. The investment will be used for further research to develop new flower colours and pest control measures.
The unique, brilliantly red, single spike bromeliad, Red Dragon, is believed to be the first of its type in the world. Scientific innovation was used to transform a small specimen into a long-stemmed flower with valuable commercial returns.
The colour change programme is in its infancy. It involves taking single cells to grow a new plant in a process called somaclonal variation. Learn more about the innovative research and gear up for changing the colors of your favorite flowers.

Winter Annuals for Seasonal Color

Ralph Mitchell, the county extension director/horticulture agent for the Charlotte County Cooperative Extension Service opines that indeed early winter is the perfect weather to grow annual flowers that appreciate the slightly chillier temperatures.
Garden centers are packed with annual flowers - alyssums, begonias, geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, snapdragons, pansies and petunias ready to plant and enjoy. Get ready to enhance the color of your garden. Happy gardening!!

How to get your Christmas cactus to flower?

Christmas cactus plants are easy to grow but are sometimes difficult to get to bloom. A medium light intensity and a soil high in organic matter are recommended. Do not allow the plant to dry out, water when the soil surface begins to feel dry. The plant may be kept drier in fall. Any fertilizer may be used according to label directions.
Cool temperatures or long nights are required to induce blooming. The plants bloom when given night temperatures near 55 degrees and day temperatures below 65 degrees.
Flowering is related to day length and night temperatures. The temperature range for flower bud development is 55 to 60 degrees for a six week period. If temperatures remain in this range they will develop buds regardless of day length. If temperatures get above that range, the plant will need 13 hours of uninterrupted darkness each night. Get your Christmas Cactus Bloom.

Flower Pruning workshop

Pruning is a regular part of plant maintenance involving the selective removal of specific plant parts. Although shoots and branches are the main targets for removal, roots, flower buds, fruits and seed pods may also be pruned.
Landscape designer Pamela Homfelt will hold a Free mini-workshop on proper pruning techniques @ 9601 Ridgehaven Court, Kearny Mesa, San Diego, CA on January 28th, 2006 at 9:30 am.
Pamela will demonstrate pruning of various types of shrubs, small trees and perennials throughout the low water use demonstration garden. Proper pruning will create healthy plant growth and textural interest, and promote a longer and more prolific bloom season.

Know Flower Meanings to Your Quilts

Flowers had subtle meanings. Janna Sheppard, a young woman, became intrigued by the Victorian language of flowers and decided to combine it with her love for quilting. The result is an informative and interactive book: “Courtship Quilts — Inspired by the Victorian Language of Flowers.”
The book makes it relatively simple for someone to wrap a loved one with a warm custom quilt. You can get a copy of the book from Sweetheart Quilt Shoppe, 517 N. Denver Ave, Loveland, Colorado.

The Exalted Flowers

Pinks are among the oldest of garden flowers and their history is rich and complex. According to Stuart and Sutherland in Plants from the Past, "Almost all . . . have been in gardens for so long, and are so diverse, that several have lost contact with any known wild species." Theophrastus first named these southern European natives Dianthus by combining the Greek words dios ("divine") and anthos ("flower"), an allusion to their heavenly fragrance and color.
Although Sweet William ( Dianthus barbatus ) and carnations ( D. caryophyllus ) are also important members of this genus, the principal ancestor of our evergreen, mat-forming pink is D. plumarius -- the grass pink.
The evolution of the word "pink" is interesting in its own right. Plants of Colonial Days (1959) states that pinks derived their name from pinksten or pfingsten, the German name for flowers that bloomed at Pentecost, or Whitsuntide. Other sources say that the word pink comes from the "pinked" or jagged edge of the petals, as though cut by pinking shears. Read more about the lovely Pinks.

Selling flowers for a living

I read an article a few days back about how young girls (some of them less than 10 years old) in Bangladesh are forced to sell flowers to make a living. What a shame

Unique Orchids

Orchids are unique, for they are the most evolved of the flowering plants. These plants have evolved to have specialized requirements for habitat. Each orchid species will germinate and grow only when these habitat requirements are optimal. Orchids are also unique in their methods of fertilization, seed production, germination, and pollination strategies.
Orchids are considered monocots, distinguished from other angiosperms by having only one cotyledon, or the leaf that first emerges from the seed. Monocots typically have flower parts in groups of three or six, and this is exemplified by the structure of the orchid flower.
Many terrestrial orchids take over 10 years to flower following germination. During the plant’s entire life cycle, the symbiotic relationship between orchid and fungus is maintained. The fungus continues to supply nutrients and energy to the plant, allowing it to survive its time underground. The orchid may supply some photosynthetic products (sugars and starches) to maintain the fungus. Some terrestrial orchids, such as several Corallorhiza species, contain no chlorophyll and depend entirely on the fungus to for their nutrition. Many orchids can remain underground for many years, building food reserves and energy to commence flowering and reproduction.
Aren't the orchids unique?

Amazingly Amaryllis!!

Amaryllis plants come from South America, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. There isn't a great deal of variation in temperature or day length, but there is a wet season and a dry season. Amaryllis flower naturally after the dry season.
Amaryllis is a common name; the genus is actually Hippeastrum. There are more than 60 species. Most of the bulbs that are commercially available are complex hybrids of only a few species. Hybridizers are now working to produce plants with repeat bloom, unusually shaped and patterned flowers, novel flower colors, fragrant flowers, miniature plants and plants with evergreen foliage.
Amaryllis are often sold as gift plants at this time of year. The flowers are fully formed inside the bulbs, so all the bulb needs is to be potted, watered and grown in good light. Sometimes the leaves will appear first; sometimes the flower scape. But it should bloom within six to 12 weeks, without fail.
Getting the plant to bloom in following years involves keeping it growing strongly after the flowers fade. Clip off the flower scape when the flowers are faded. Sometimes there will be a second scape. Clip that one off too when the flowers are gone. Give the plant good light. Fertilize it regularly with any houseplant fertilizer and turn it if it is leaning towards the light source. Keep the soil moist; not wet. Water when the soil surface dries out.
The plant can be moved outdoors for the summer when the weather is reliably warm. There is a bulb fly that lays its eggs on the foliage. The larvae destroy daffodil bulbs as well. If you have trouble keeping daffodils in the garden, don't put amaryllis plants outside.
Around Labor Day, stop watering and give the plant a dry period. The foliage may wither or it may not, depending on the variety. Keep the plant in bright light until the foliage dies. Clip dead foliage off. After three months or so, new growth should appear. Start watering the plant again and repeat the cycle.

Flower Screen Savers - CD

A CD was released on Exotic Tropical Flower Screen Savers of selected 30 of the best and most spectacular flowers.
You can buy it online.

History of Dahlias

The history of dahlias is very interesting. The first dahlia tubers arrived in Europe at the end of the 18th century, sent over to Madrid by the Spanish settlers in Mexico. Andreas Dahl, after whom the plant is named, regarded it as a vegetable rather than a garden flower, but interest switched from the edible tubers to the blooms when the first varieties with large, double flowers were bred in Belgium in 1815.
Within a few years nearly every colour we now admire had been introduced and Victorian catalogues listed hundreds of varieties. The favourites in those days were the Ball and Small Decorative Dahlias. Today it is the Large Decorative and Cactus varieties which capture the public fancy. Fashions change but the popularity of this late summer flower continues to increase.

Poinsettias

The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima Wild., is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae. The poinsettia is a native plant of Mexico . It is the symbol of purity and regarded as the Christmas Flower.

Fragrance in Flowers

Fragrance, or scent, in plants was important historically in gardens, particularly in "grandma's garden" and Victorian gardens. Once again this trait of plants is becoming important in gardens, especially "cottage gardens."
Fragrance is an elusive quality, in that it may be fleeting and change over time. The human nose detects scents in small quantities (often parts per billion). Scents are actually the reaction of certain cells in the nose to volatile compounds emitted by essential oils in plant parts. These oils may come from roots, stems, leaves, or most commonly from flowers.
Scents actually have a function, usually for pollination by insects. The lighter colors of whites, pinks, and yellows have a pleasant but faint fragrance if any. These colors usually attract moths and butterflies for pollination, insects that see rather than smell.
Composite (daisy) and umbel (Queen Anne's lace, for instance) flowers often smell unpleasant, as these odors attract flies for pollination. Self-pollinating flowers that need no insects for pollination, or flowers attracting bees by sight rather than smell, often have no fragrance. New highly bred cultivars of flowers, often annuals, likewise may not have fragrance. Feel the fragrance...

Genetics of Flowers

Genes play a significant role in controlling flowering and the understanding of genetics in flowering has advanced significantly in recent years. Much research has been focussed on the flowering of Arabidopsis thaliana and certain agricultural crops such as peas.
It has been shown in many species that mutations can alter the patterning of flowering. A mutation is an "error" in reading (transcribing) an organism's DNA, or a "mistake" in the DNA itself which causes a change in the appearance or function of a part of that organism.
Learn more about the interesting research article.

Flowers & Philately

There are more than fifty postal seal allusive to the flower in Colombian philately. Without any doubt one of the richest countries in flower variety and beauty in the world, among them Colombia points out more than 3500 orchid species that grow all along and across the national geography of Colombia.
Since the thirties decade Colombian philately started editing stamps and seals with the floral theme, these editions include coffee plants, which besides their leaves and fruits, allow to see a small its tiny and beautifil flower; and the Cattleya trianaei, Colombian National Flower.
Besides other allusive editions such as: Colombian Orchids (1947), 75 years of the universal postal union UPU (1950), Colombian flowers (1960), V national philatelic exposition (1965), 1st National Orchid Exposition (1967), VI International orchid congress, X National Philatelic exposition EXFIME (1972),...
Scientists, illustrators, photographers, Colombian and foreign artists have contributed to the inventory and classification of such different species in the Colombian floral theme, that the national postal administration shows to the world through these small pieces of paper.

The Magic of Flowers!!

For more than 5000 years, people have cultivated flowers although there is no known reward for this costly behavior. In three different studies Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Holly Hale Rosario, Patricia Wilson & Terry R. McGuire show that flowers are a powerful positive emotion "inducer".
In Study 1, flowers, upon presentation to women, always elicited the Duchenne or true smile. Women who received flowers reported more positive moods 3 days later.
In Study 2, a flower given to men or women in an elevator elicited more positive social behavior than other stimuli.
In Study 3, flowers presented to elderly participants (55+ age) elicited positive mood reports and improved episodic memory.
Flowers, thus have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory for both males and females. Learn more about the findings of a great research on flowers.

Care for Cut Flowers

Some very essential tips on how to take care of cut flowers:
  • The less you handle your flowers, the longer they will last.
  • As soon as you pluck flowers or buy the flowers, soak the stems in a large bowl of cold water for an hour or more. Put a few ice cubes in the water. Take the flowers out of the bowl one at a time while you are arranging them.
  • Flowers will stay fresh longer if you take them out of their vase every day and soak the stems in cold water for an hour.
  • Strip the leaves off all stems wherever they go below the surface of the water.
  • Flowers & Fun

    Do you know what kind of flowers grow in outer space?
    Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba), Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), Star Clusters (Pentas lanceolata), Cosmos.

    Amaryllis - New Ideas

    Amaryllis bulbs are big and usually are planted one to a pot, but the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center recommends planting three to five bulbs in a single, broad-bottomed container to create an amaryllis garden.
    Just like planting bulbs outdoors, it's more pleasing if all the bulbs in the cluster are the same color and type. Learn more about this new idea.

    Need for Gardening Education

    School gardens, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation, can be a powerful tool to improve the quality of nutrition and education of children and their families in rural and urban areas in developing countries, if they are integrated with national agricultural, nutrition and education programmes.
    Since 1997, over 150 school garden microprojects have been supported by FAO's TeleFood programme in more than 40 countries. Larger FAO technical cooperation projects are under way, including capacity-building for long-term national school garden programmes.
    The main benefit of school gardens is that children learn how to grow healthy food and how to use it for better nutrition. This can best be done if the fresh garden produce - such as fruits and vegetables - contributes to an existing school meal programme which provides the bulk of the diet.
    school gardens also serve for environmental education and for personal and social development by adding a practical dimension to these subjects. Read More...

    Mammal Pollinated Flower!!!

    Do you know? Not only butterflies and bees pollinate flowers. Mammals also do so.
    The honey possum is uniquely adapted among marsupial mammals to obtain food from flowers. It prefers nectar from banksias, bottlebrushes, hakeas, dryandras, melaleuca and eucalypt, foraging deep within flowers with its long snout and brush-tipped tongue.

    Flower power

    Research found that epigenetic regulation of the FWA homeodomain transcription factor affects the induction of flowering in plants.
    A great research paper.

    Fashionable Floral Trends in Holiday Decorating

    Do you love to create beautiful home decor with fresh flowers?
    FTD Master Floral Designer Keith White, AIFD, defines the latest in-vogue color palettes and provides great suggestions for incorporating flowers into holiday decorating that celebrates the season with style and grace...Read the great article on how to enhance the beauty of your home.

    Dutch investment in Ethiopia

    The distinctiveness of Ethiopian flowers leads to greater demand and much more. Read this article

    English Lavenders are very useful

    Lavenders are extremely fragrant. Butterflies are attracted to this plant.
    Lavenders have many uses. They can be made into potpourri, oils, stored in clothing drawers to keep a fresh scent and to ward off moths. The flowers are also used as antiseptics and in aromatherapy. They are also used as herbs and blossoms can be candied to be used as cake decorations as well.
    Besides all, they are athe best addition to any landscape. Long live Lavenders!!

    Flower Fragrance in Lucknow

    Having come to know of the Flower Show by the NBRI at Lucknow through The Flower Expert News, I went to the show. The chrysanthemums on display there are just splendid. Besides chrysanthemums, there were wide varieties of plants & flowers. For our local people, the flower show was a welcome break from the everyday routine life.
    More and more such shows & exhibitions should be organised. They help in rejuvenating the energies, which I found to have happened with me.
    A fresh air, a fresh breath, fragrant environment,...I don't find anything else would replace the joy.

    Kangaroo Paw

    kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos manglesii) is Western Australia's floral emblem. The inflorescence of the plant resembles the paw of a kangaroo.
    They are native to the south-west of Western Australia. They grow in a variety of soils. They have strap-like, slightly fleshy leaves growing from an underground rhizome, from 12-15 cm to 1 m, or more.
    Colour and form varies according to species and growing conditions. They flower from spring to summer.
    Really a beautiful flower.

    Flowers And Bees

    Approximately one lakh flower species are being pollinated by bees. Think once... if there are no bees all the one lakh flower species may cease to exist.
    Sounds hard... but it is a fact.

    Buying Poinsettias Can Be A Charity!

    The Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center Greenhouse is bursting with a dazzling selection of potted poinsettias for holiday decorating or gift giving.
    And, it offers area residents have a unique opportunity to purchase fresh poinsettias and support a worthwhile project at the same time.
    You can help the mentally challenged just by buying flowers.
    Let us buy poinsettias @ Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center Greenhouse.

    Flower Wine...!

    Yes!! Flowers like Dandelion, Red Clover, Rosemary are used to prepare Wine.
    Wanna try it on you own?
    Read how to prepare...

    interesting thing about Catesetum belonging to Orchids

    Here is one of the most unique developments among species of this highly evolved family -- the orchids.
    The Catesetum flowers are hermophrodite. The orchids named Catesetum has male flowers equipped with an antenna-like trigger device which is attached to the column. When irritated by a curious, unsuspecting insect visitor, it fires the pollen-charged anther cap onto the insect's body, where it adheres.

    Netherlands invites Indian flower growers to procure quality materials

    The Netherlands government has invited Indian floriculture industry to procure quality planting materials for growing in India and subsequently for exports.
    Usually most of these planting materials are protected by intellectual property rights (IPRs). While purchasing these planting materials a contract is signed by the importing party for exports of an estimated quantity. There have been cases when the importing party tried to export more than this estimated quantity by multiplying the imported planting materials. This had caused problems with the excess consignments being rejected.
    The agriculture counsellor of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in India, Arnold Parser said, “Land for cultivation is shrinking in the Netherlands. We would appreciate Indian growers to procure quality planting materials from the Netherlands and other countries for growing and exports. India, with its vast land mass, has varying agro-climatic zones and it is easy for the growers in this country to grow different floriculture plants grown in other parts of the globe..."

    Flower business in Vietnam

    A surge in the popularity of foreign hybrid flowers is threatening to put traditional floriculturists out of business. Read this interesting article

    Research Says Poinsettias are not Poisonous

    Since 1919 most Americans have thought the poinsettia plant is poisonous.
    A Society of American Florists poll in 1995 found that 66 percent of the population still believed this myth to be true.
    The myth got started in 1919 when an Army officer’s 2-year-old child died of poisoning at a base in Hawaii. The doctors there weren’t likely to know much about the exotic flower, but when they learned that the child had been fussing with a poinsettia leaf, they concluded it was the cause of death.
    The myth was proved to be wrong. Know More...

    Largest flower bouquet

    The largest bouquet was made from 101,791 roses and measured 31.55 m long, 7.3 m wide with an area of 148 m©˜. It was created by Ashrita Furman (USA) and members of the Sri Chinmoy Centre for Sri Chimnoy's 73rd birthday in Jamaica, New York, USA on August 27 2004

    QVC Parent Buys ProFlowers Parent

    Hoping to build a powerful stable of online properties, Englewood, CO-based Liberty Media, owner of the QVC home shopping network, bought e-tailer Provide Commerce in a deal worth $477 million.

    The all-cash deal gives Liberty Media control of Provide's family of Websites, which include ProFlowers, fruit and produce merchant Cherry Moon Farms, and meats seller Uptown Prime.

    Liberty said it would seek to leverage the connection between QVC and its new Websites. That echoes IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s strategy following its purchase earlier this year of Cornerstone Brands. IAC is the parent company of home shopping network HSN; Cornerstone Brands’ catalog titles include Frontgate, Garnet Hill, and The Territory Ahead. Liberty, in fact, owns a minority stake in IAC.

    Oriental poppy

    Oriental poppy flowers are the focal point in the garden when they are in full bloom in late spring to early summer.
    The plant's huge flowers may be up to 6 inches across on stems up to 4 feet tall. They come in many colors including red, salmon, orange, crimson, and white.
    Oriental poppies perform poorly in regions with hot summers, and the flowers may need staking to keep from flopping over when in full bloom.
    I really love the oriental poppies.

    FTD.com lets shoppers order online through their cell phones

    FTD Inc.’s FTD.com is the first retailer to participate in the mGifts wireless ordering service launched today by Juice Wireless Inc.’s MobileBday.com, Juice Wireless said today.

    The mGifts service sends a text message to a consumer`s cell phone as reminder of someone’s birthday, providing a link to make an online purchase through FTD.com directly from an Internet-capable wireless phone, a spokesman for Juice Wireless says. The text message also includes a toll-free phone number for consumers who prefer to place an order by phone.

    "At FTD.COM we offer our customers the most convenient and reliable way to order flowers and gifts, be it over the phone or on the Internet," said Dan Smith, executive vice president of FTD.COM. "We believe the mGifts program by Juice Wireless extends that convenience, and we are excited to participate and offer our services through this mobile venue."

    To participate, consumers log in at MobileBDay.com and enter the names, e-mail addresses and birth dates of people to whom they want to send gifts. After sending a confirmation e-mail to those people to verify their birth dates and e-mail addresses, MobileBDay.com sends text message reminders to the gift sender.

    Juice Wireless expects to name several other participating retailers within the next few months, the spokesman says.

    Five questions: Bill Strauss

    Bill Strauss is president and chief executive officer of San Diego-based Provide Commerce, an online retailer that is best known for its ProFlowers.com business. The ProFlowers site includes Cherry Moon Farms, which sells fruit gift baskets, and Uptown Prime, which sells premium beef and seafood. Strauss was previously part of the senior management team at ChipSoft, the maker of TurboTax, which was acquired by Intuit in 1993.
    Read the Interview

    FTD Florists Get Avaya IP Telephony Contact Center

    Business communications applications provider Avaya Inc. announced on Monday it was chosen by FTD, a flower delivery service based in Sherwood, Ark., in order to integrate Internet telephony into its contact center operations.

    "We needed a communications solution that delivered on two important business requirements," said Larry Johnson, FTD technology executive vice president. "Since a significant segment of our consumer business is based on phone and Internet sales, reliability was a must. We were also seeking new efficiencies to improve our bottom line, including greater flexibility in meeting the seasonal demands of this business. Avaya delivered on both those fronts with a new converged voice and data network and IP contact center applications."

    Read Further

    Interflora to position itself as the 'flower experts'

    Interflora plays up 'expert' status after brand revamp Interflora has revamped its branding for direct marketing and other communications activity to position itself as the 'flower experts'. Read Further

    Ground-breaking demutualisation of Interflora

    The winner of our Best Corporate Finance Deal of the Year Award is PricewaterhouseCoopers for its handling of the ground-breaking demutualisation of Interflora and its acquisition by a new company backed by 3i, Interflora management and members. Read further

    Fashionable Floral Trends in Holiday Decorating

    Read this interesting article on Fashionable Floral Trends in Holiday Decorating Courtesy of ARA Content.

    Do You Know How Tulips Got Their Name?

    Tulips got their name from their resemblence with the colourful Turkish tulband (turban). The word was later corrupted to tulipan, and much later, abbreviated to tulip.

    A Tip For The Flower Lovers

    Primroses provide a nice variety of color for the winter season.
    They look great with winter pansies along the patio in containers.
    Try out.

    Queen of the Night!

    Epiphyllum oxypetallium, also known by the common names, Queen of the Night & Orchid cactus, is indeed breathtakingly beautiful
    Jean Husby writes on the amazing flower
    It is indeed more than a gift for the Flower fans. Read the interesting write up and know how beautiful the world is.

    Christmas cactus !!

    Flowers of the Christmas cactus usually appear during the short days of December.
    Flowers form at the center of the outermost tip of each branch. Blossoms hang down loosely. Sections of petals fountain out of each other in a long, graceful arc.
    A great article by Dan Daly.

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