Gardenia White

Gardenia is a genus of about 250 species of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania.

The genus was named by Carl Linnaeus after Dr. Alexander Garden (1730-1791), Scottish-born American naturalist.

They are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1-15 m tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5-50 cm long and 3-25 cm broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white, or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes (petals) from 5-12 cm diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to midsummer and many species are strongly scented.

Garlic (wild) 5L

Ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic or bear's garlic (Allium ursinum) is a wild relative of chives. The specific name derives from the fact that brown bears like to eat the bulbs of the plant and dig up the ground to get at them, as do wild boar. Ramsons grow mainly in swampy deciduous woodlands, being most common in areas with slightly acidic soils. They flower before the trees get their leaves and fill the air with their characteristic strong smell.

The stem is triangular in shape and the leaves are similar to those of the Lily of the Valley. Unlike the related crow garlic and field garlic, the flower-head contains no bulbils, only flowers. Ramsons' leaves are edible; they can be used as salad, spice, boiled as a vegetable, or as an ingredient for pesto in lieu of basil. The bulbs and flowers are also very tasty.

Green Flax (Phormium Tenax)

New Zealand flax describes common New Zealand perennial plants Phormium tenax and Phormium cookianum, known by the Maori names harakeke and wharariki respectively. They are quite distinct from the Northern Hemisphere plant known as flax (Linum usitatissimum), but the genus was given the common name 'flax' by Anglophone Europeans as it too could be used for its fibers.

New Zealand flax produces long leaf fibers that have played an important role in the culture, history, and economy of New Zealand. Phormium tenax occurs naturally in New Zealand and Norfolk Island, while Phormium cookianum is endemic to New Zealand. Both species have been widely distributed to temperate regions of the world as economic fiber and ornamental plants. The tough, sword-shaped leaves grow up to three meters long and up to 125 mm wide. They are usually darkish green but sometimes have coloured edges and central ribs. Cultivated varieties range from light green through pink to deep russet bronze. There are numerous variegated cultivars with leaves marked by contrasting stripes in shades of green, red, bronze, pink and yellow.

The rigid flower stalks can be up to five meters long, projecting high above the foliage. In November (in New Zealand) they produce clumps of curving tube-like flowers which turn bright red when mature. These produce unusually large quantities of nectar to attract all nectar feeding birds such as the tui and insects. The seed pods that develop after pollination, each contain hundreds of seeds which are later widely dispersed by the wind.

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