Lilium spp. with blooms in varying explosive colours

Lilium spp. (Lily)

Captivating maroon flowers of Lilium 'Sunny Grenada', 21 June 2013Many species of Lilium produces large and showy flowers and are highly scented.

The blossoms come in numerous and varying explosive colours.

The Lilies make excellent cut flowers.

Great to include this beauty as it will add fragrance to your garden.
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Asparagus officinalis is an edible veggie with numerous medicinal uses

Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus, Garden Asparagus)

Asparagus officinalis (Asparagus, Garden Asparagus) contains numerous medicinal properties, 13 July 2017The Garden Asparagus is widely and popularly cultivated as a vegetable.

Besides providing food, it is ornamental and contains numerous medicinal properties.

Wonderful to add this edible plant to your vegetable garden.

We love to consume them quite regularly. Just stir-fry with lots of garlic.
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Graptophyllum pictum ‘Aurea Variegata’ with attractive variegated leaves

Graptophyllum pictum ‘Aurea Variegata’ (Caricature Plant, Jamaican Croton)

Captivating variegated foliage of Graptophyllum pictum 'Aurea Variegata' (Caricature Plant, Jamaican Croton), 3 Nov 2013The Caricature Plant is mainly grown for its very attractive and ornamental variegated leaves.

They are splotched in mid-green and speckled with cream along the midveins.

A popular and versatile perennial shrub with lovely crimson-coloured flowers.
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Dahlia imperialis with dramatic and colourful blooms

Dahlia imperialis (Tree Dahlia, Bell Tree Dahlia, Imperial/Giant Dahlia)

Captivating pink blooms of Dahlia imperialis (Tree Dahlia, Bell Tree Dahlia, Imperial/Giant Dahlia), 26 Oct 2013This magnificent and dramatic Bell Tree Dahlia is truly a traffic stopper!

Absolutely wonderful to add this gorgeous Imperial Dahlia to your garden as it exhibits its captivating and colourful blooms.

Dahlia is the official flower for the City of San Francisco in California and the national flower of Mexico.
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Harmonia axyridis in beautiful colours and randomly spotted

Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle)

Collage of Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle), 14 July 2017Harmonia axyridis is a typical coccinellid beetle in shape and structure, being domed and having a smooth transition between its wing coverings, pronotum and head.

It ranges from 5.5-8.5 mm in size. The common colour form is orange or red in colouration with 0-22 black spots of variable size.

Orange-coloured Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle) with lovely black spots, 14 July 2017The other usual forms are uniformly black with 2 or 4 red markings respectively. The pronotum is white with variable black patterning, ranging from a few black spots in an M formation to almost entirely black. The underside is dark with a wide reddish-brown border.

This beetle has good eyesight and will come back from where it was removed, and is known to produce a small bite if provoked.

Taxonomy:

Orange-coloured Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle), 14 July 2017

  • Scientific name: Harmonia axyridis
  • Common name: Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Coccinellidae

Range: It is native to eastern Asia from central Siberia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the west, through Russia south to the Himalayas and east to the Pacific coast and Japan, including Korea, Mongolia, China and Taiwan.

Habitat: In their native Asian habitat, these insects fly to cliffs and rock outcroppings each fall where they overwinter in large numbers. In the absence of such areas in U.S., the beetles seek out sunny sides of tall or prominent buildings during fall.
Beautiful red-coloured Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle), 14 July 2017Lady beetles are particularly attracted to buildings that have contrasting dark and light areas. Because the beetles feed on aphids in trees, buildings adjacent to wooded areas are more likely to encounter large numbers of multicolored Asian lady beetles than buildings in open areas. Once lady beetles reach buildings, they crawl into cracks and gaps around windows, doors, roof lines, and other openings. Some continue to move inside the structure until they reach the living areas of homes where they soon die. Others will find suitable overwintering inside wall voids, attics, and other areas, sometimes forming large living masses of insects.

Breeding: The eggs of Harmonia axyridis are approximately 1.2 mm in length and yellow in color. Just before hatching, eggs darken to a gray or black coloration.
Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle) mating, 14 July 2017The larvae of Harmonia axyridis have long bodies and are black with orange coloration (including two long orange lines on the dorsal-lateral areas of the abdomen, which start to develop after the first instar and are complete by the fourth and final instar). They have double-branched spines (scoli) running down the length of the body. The larval stages often grow longer than the final adult individual, starting at an approximate length of 1.9 to 2.1 mm in the first instar and growing to 7.5 to 10.7 mm in the fourth instar. Larvae vaguely resemble tiny black and orange alligators. Pupae are exposed and generally shaped like an elongated dome, often attached to leaves. They tend to be orange, with the fourth instar exoskeleton still attached at the point of substrate attachment.

Feeding and diet: Harmonia axyridis (Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin, Multicoloured Asian Beetle) feeding its prey, 14 July 2017In Asia, multicolored Asian lady beetle feeds primarily on aphids found in trees. In U.S., they feed on aphids not only in trees but also in agricultural crops and gardens. In fact, the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle is an important predator of soybean aphids, a serious pest of soybeans in Minnesota and other Midwest states. It is a voracious predator that is used as a biocontrol agent for aphids and scale insects. As a result, it has been introduced into greenhouses, crop fields and gardens in many countries.

External link:
Wikipedia on the Asian Lady Beetle.