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DESCRIPTION/CARE
 

African Violet
African VioletAfrican violets (Saintapulia Ionantha) are from Central African - Tanzania and Kenya .
The leaves are arranged in a rosette - round, thick, succulent and fuzzy. They can also be scalloped or smooth and range from green to dark green with long red-brown petioles. Underneath the leaves are greenish-white.

Flowers may be single, double or frilled and come in a variety of colours - purple, blue (as shown), white, pink or violet, lavender, bi-colors and multi-colors with little yellow centers.

Plant them in a small container with a soil mix of even parts of parts of loam, leaf mold, peat moss, and clean coarse sand.They do best in a sunny spot avoiding direct sunlight during spring and summer. They also do well under fluorescent lighting and placed in a high humidity area such as the bathroom or above the kitchen sink. They should be watered frequently, but not saturated. Never leave to sit in water. Fertilise twice a month. With proper care, African violets will flower year round.

 

Dahlia
Dahlia photoDahlias originted in Mexico and were introduced to Europe in 1789. They bloomed for the first time in Spain in 1791.

Dahlias are perennial plants. The stalk is straight with deep dark green leaves. The flowers have a yellow disc surrounded by florets of varying shades. The common dahlia has roots that are tuberous and very fat. The stem grows to over 2 meters and is hollow and branched. The flower-heads can be 10 and 15 centimeters in diameter. The dahlia comes in so many possible color varieties

 

Begonia
Begonia (Wodka) - PhotoThere are two varieties of begonias, one that came from China and the other from Mexico.

The begonias that originated in china have leaves that are green above and deep red below. In the autumn they lose their stems, but they grow back again in the spring. They are very hearty with their tubers (swelling formed on the root of the plant) withstand the rigors of the winter.

The other variety, originating in Mexico have large oval leaves and are heart-shaped. The flowers are white and are attached by short, equal and equi-distant stalks along a central stem.

Besides these two varieties, there are a number of sub-varieties which formed hybrid begonias (as pictured), noticeable by their superior brightness and rich markings of their leaves.

 

Desert Rose
Desert RoseThe Desert Rose (latin name: Adenium obesum) is native to arid areas of Africa including Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. It is also commonly cultivated in humid tropical areas such as Thailand, India and The Philippines.

Obesum refers to the large fat (hence its' name) base of the flower.

The flower is tubular with flared lips and comes in different shades of pink (as shown) or red that flower nearly all year. The branches are thick and fleshy; the leaves glossy green and deciduous.

The Desert Rose responds best in full sun outdoors and should be placed in a pot that permits adequate drainage. They can also be placed in-doors in a sunny area. They live for many years and are easy to take care of. The Desert Rose require little water during the winter months, however once flowers start blooming, water more often. Also, at this time start feeding the plant with liquid fertilizer applications (half strength 20/20/20) or fish emulsion.