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Saturday, 18 April 2015

Magnolias and Cherry Trees in Hyde Park

In April I went to London to visit some friends for Easter Sunday Lunch and the Massacre of Golden Chocolate Bunnies. On the way I had to make my way through Hyde Park which had some flower beds.

While I'd expected to see more flowers Hyde Park seemed more about vast expanses of lawn with numerous paths and a scattering of trees. Given the size of Hyde Park and how I was trying to navigate across it using Google maps I suppose that impression may be mistaken. On top of that Google maps could not quite make up its mind as to where exactly I was which led me to taking me by a circuitous route instead of the straight bee line to the spot I wanted to get too did not help.

Nevertheless I did get to see some interesting sights which included a stream and small waterfall and some Mangolias and Cherry Trees.

I wanted to take a bit more time to explore and take pictures but was not sure how long it would take me to get across Hyde Park let alone find and navigate the streets and alleys I had to to get to my destination.
As it was, thanks to Goggle maps's uncertainty it was a good thing I did not linger. One area that I had hope to see were the lilies in the Italian Garden but they were empty when I passed them as the water lilies were no doubt still dormant.
Cherry Tree in Hyde Park
Hopefully I will be able to arrange another visit to London during the Waterlily blooming period. Well ... considering that I have yet to visit Kew Gardens that is something to add to my list of things to do.


 Binomial Name: Magnolia
Common names: Magnolia (English); (French); (Samoan); 

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Magnolianae –
Order: Magnoliales –
Family: Magnoliaceae – 
Genus: Magnolia – 
Species: Magnolia 


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [April 15 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Magnolia
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System: Entry for Magnoliaceae
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Entry for
  • The Plant List: Entry for
  • University of Tennessee Herbarium Entry for

  • Texas A & M University: Entry for
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: Entry for

  • Dave's Garden Entry for
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Magnolia
  • Wikipedia: Entry for Magnoliaceae
  • Wikipedia: Entry for

Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Magnolias in Fort Royal Gardens Bristol

Last week I decided that since I was going to be in the area that I would make a quick visit to the Fort Royal Gardens. I knew that I would have missed the fine display of crocuses and some of the earlier Spring flowers but hope that the Magnolias at least would still be in bloom.

Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England

As you can see, I was not disappointed. As I came down the footpath from Fort Royal House I spied the blooms of one of the two Magnolias through a window of vegetation. Then, instead of continuing down the path I went left up a path that had previously been cordoned off, which led to an overlook of the small enclosure below the curtain wall that runs along one length of the enclosure that the two Magnolias are found. There I had a great view of the smaller Magnolia and a Cherry tree with white blooms which was on the street outside of the Gardens themselves. I'd never seen the Cherry tree because when you are inside the Gardens the boundary walls are too high and you have to walk through the small rear door / gate to see it.
Magnolia stellata in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England

Last year in March I saw two Baba Mama Martenitsa Dolls hanging from its branches. I did not see any this time. Either the person or people who hung them up there last time were no longer in Bristol or the dolls had been taken down already. If you want to know more about them click on the link to my previous post on them.
Magnolia stellata in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
Here (below) is the bigger tree although in truth it is not that much bigger although its flowers certainly are much bigger.

Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England


The ground below the bigger Magnolia was already strewn with fallen petals so I am glad I did not leave it too late to visit the gardens because I might have missed them altogether. I think that they will still be in bloom for another few weeks given that there were still a lot of flower buds developing. But, the thing about Magnolias is that when they are in bloom, they are worth visiting over and over again. That is unless you are lucky and have one in your garden or in a neighbors garden, which you can admire.
In Brussels there is one right across the street. There is also another one which is in a garden adjacent to Tillens Block. I have seen several other Magnolias throughout Bristol and hope that I will be able to take photos of the to show you the different colours and shapes.

Flowers of Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
The thing with some flowers is that sometimes even after their petals fall off or they dry up, they still somehow manage to look beautiful and or intriguing. If you want to see more Magnolias, scroll down to the Labels (on the right hand side) and look for Magnolia. That should take you to all the current posts that have Magnolias in them.

Close up of flower that has lost all its petals. Magnolia cylindrica in Fort Royal Gardens, Bristol, England
From what I have been able to find on line it appears that the smaller tree is a Magnolia stellata (although it might be a Magnolia x loebneri "Leonard Messel" AGM, which is a hybrid of Magnolia stellata and Magnolia Kobus which was created by Max Löbner.
The other one looks like Magnolia cylindrica although I'm not sure anymore after seeing other photos that show different looking flowers and fruit (which I never saw on this tree). However, it the flowers look a lot like the ones on the Missouri Botanical gardens website so i am going to assume that this is correct and that I just have never seen the fruit. Also it is a species in threat of extinction and listed on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. this is due to habitat loss in the Huang-Shan mountain range in Anhui Province, China.

Binomial Name: Magnolia cylindrica
Common names: Huang-Shan Magnolia (English);


Binomial Name: Magnolia stellata
Common names: Star Magnolia (English); Magnolia étoilé (French); Magnolia estrellada (Spanish); Stern-Magnolie (German); Magnolia stellata (Italian)
 
 Binomial Name: Magnolia kobus
Common names: Kobushi Magnolia (English); Magnolia de Kobé (French); Magnolia kobus, Magnolia del Norte del Japón (Spanish); Kobushi-Magnolien (German); Magnolia stellata (Italian)
Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Superdivision: Embryophytea – 
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida – Diocotyledons
Superorder: Magnolianae –
Order: Magnoliales –
Family: Magnoliaceae – 
Genus: Magnolia – 
Species: Magnolia 


Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [April 16 2015], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.

References:

Books:


On-line sources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/


· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Strange Relatives: Theobroma cacao and Hibiscus

Who would have imagined that the cocao tree, Theobroma cacao (from which cocoa products like chocolate are derived) belongs to the same family as the hibiscus, Malvaceae. The small tree is native to the Central and Southern Americas and was cultivated and used by the native Mesoamerican civilizations for millennia for culinary, medicinal and ceremonial purposes. It was also used as currency much like pepper and salt was used as currency in various parts of the world.



On a recent visit to the University of Bristol Botanical Gardens in search of some other plants I found myself in the greenhouses looking a small tree whose leaves reminded me of the cocao tree. On closer inspection I was proven right when I saw the familiar miniature flowers.

Unfortunately it appeared that the tree was infected with Black pod disease. This is caused by Phytophthora a genus of seven species which can all cause this.


Additional Information:

Scientific Name: Theobroma cacao
Common names: Cacao tree, cocoa tree (English);  (French); (German); Violeta de barranca (Spanish);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Malvaceaeaceae
Genus: Theobroma – 
Species: Theobroma cacao– 

Scientific Name: Hibiscus
Common names: Cacao tree, cocoa tree (English);  (French); (German); Violeta de barranca (Spanish);

Taxonomic hierarchy: 

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae – Green plants
Infrakingdom: Streptophyta – Land plants
Division: Tracheophyta – Vascular plants
Subdivision: Spermatophytina – Spermatophytes (seed plants)
Infradivision: Angiospermae – Angiosperms (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida
Superorder: Asteranae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Malvaceaeaceae
Genus: Theobroma – 
Species: Theobroma cacao

Notes: 
  • I am using the taxonomical classification system used by ITIS (Intergrated Taxonomic Information System). I have decided to use this system in order to avoid confusion as well as because it offers a comprehensive hierarchy from kingdom right through to subspecies whereas other sources only go as far as order or  provide the names of some of the higher taxonomical ranks but only indicate "unclassified" rather than providing the rank.
  • When and where possible I will endeavour to include alternatives classifications although  I may limit this to occasions where an opportunity arises to discuss the reason for the different classifications.
  • Taxonomical data used in this post was retrieved [June 15 2014], from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database, http://www.itis.gov.
References:


On-line sources:

  • Royal Horticultural Society: Entry for
  • Kew Royal Botanical Gardens: Entry for Theobroma cacao
  • Official Website of the: Bristol University Botanical Gardens 
  •  
  • World of Pinguicula: Entry for 
  • Missouri Botanical gardens: Entry for 
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System on-line database: Entry for 
  • Seedaholic: Entry for 
  •  

Additional resources:


Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters Blog by Vincent Albert Vermeulen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.be/.

My other blogs
· Flora and Fauna - Plants and Critters (on plants, animals as well as gardening, conservation and environmental matters): http://plantsandcritters.blogspot.com/
· The Blood of Souls (language, translation and etymology) : http://thebloodofsouls.blogspot.com/
· Whiskers on Kittens (Life with Kittens and Cats in general) : http://whiskersonkittens-vincent.blogspot.com/