Tabebuia bahamensis: Five Finger

Tabebuia bahamensis is a shrub to medium size tree u to 10 meters. Large trees develop furrowing in the bark.   Leaves arranged oppositely and are palmately compound with 3 or 5 leaflets.  Leaflet margin is entire.

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Flowers zygomorphic with 2 lips, calyx campanulate covered with brown hairs.  Corolla white to pink to dark pink, large to 6 centimeters.  There are 4 stamens and the fruit is a capsule to 12 cm long and the seeds are winged.  The flowers are arranged in panicles

Tabebuia bahamensis occurs in Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations [Coppice] on both a limestone or sand substrate with good drainage. It is a common species throughout the islands.  It also occurs in the pine woodlands as an understory shrub.        

Tabebuia bahamensis occurs throughout the Bahamas as well as in Cuba and south Florida. Tabebuia bahamensis has been used on all islands for a number of bush medicine remedies including strengthening [aches and pains] and aphrodisiac teas, gastrointestinal issues, circulatory problems and respiratory troubles.  It is also used in the horticultural trade.

Photo: Gardens by the BaySingapore [20140305]

Source: www.levypreserve.org

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Nelumbo lutea: Yellow Lotus

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Nelumbo lutea is a species of flowering plant in the monotypic family Nelumbonaceae. Common names include American lotus, yellow lotus, water-chinquapin, and volée. It is native to North America. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo lutea is the currently recognized name for this species.

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American lotus is an emergent aquatic plant. It grows in lakes and swamps, as well as areas subject to flooding. The roots are anchored in the mud, but the leaves and flowers emerge above the water’s surface.

Photos: Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlantaGeorgiaUSA  [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia

Nelumbo nucifera: Lotus

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Nelumbo nucifera, known by numerous common names including Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, or simply lotus, is one of two species of aquatic plant in the family Nelumbonaceae. The Linnaean binomial Nelumbo nucifera is the currently recognized name for this species. This plant is an aquatic perennial.

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Under favorable circumstances its seeds may remain viable for many years, with the oldest recorded lotus germination being from that of seeds 1,300 years old recovered from a dry lake bed in northeastern China.

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Lotus seed – 莲子- iánzǐ

Lotus seeds or lotus nuts are the seeds of plants in the genus Nelumbo, particularly the species Nelumbo nucifera. The seeds are of great importance to East Asian cuisine and are used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine and in Chinese desserts. The seeds are most commonly sold in the shelled and dried form. Fresh lotus seeds are relatively uncommon in the market except in areas of lotus root and seed production, where they are sometimes sold as a raw snack.

Photos: Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlantaGeorgiaUSA  [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia

Cucurbita moschata:’Burpee’s Butterbush’ Winter Squash

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Cucurbita moschata is a species originating in either Central America or northern South America. It includes cultivars of squash and pumpkin. Cucurbita moschata cultivars are generally more tolerant of hot, humid weather than cultivars of Cucurbita maxima or Cucurbita pepo. They also generally display a greater resistance to disease and insects, especially to the squash vine borer. Commercially made pumpkin pie mix is most often made from varieties of Cucurbita moschata. The ancestral species of the genus Cucurbita were present in the Americas before the arrival of humans.

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^ ‘Burpee’s Butterbush’ Winter Squash’s flower

Evolutionarily speaking the genus is relatively recent in origin as no species within the genus is genetically isolated from all the other species. Cucurbita moschata acts as the genetic bridge within the genus and is closest to the genus’ progenitor.

Photos: Burt’s Farm, Dawsonville, Georgia [20111010];  Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlantaGeorgiaUSA  [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia

Portulaca oleracea: Purslane

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Portulaca oleracea [common purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, or pursley, and moss rose] is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 cm in height.

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Approximately forty varieties currently are cultivated. It has an extensive Old World distribution extending from North Africa through the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent to Malesia and Australasia.

Photos: Atlanta Botanical GardenAtlantaGeorgiaUSA  [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia

Lathyrus sp.: Sweet peas

Lathyrus  is a genus of flowering plant species known as sweet peas and vetchlings. Lathyrus is in the legume family, Fabaceae, and contains approximately 160 species. They are native to temperate areas. There are annual and perennial species which may be climbing or bushy.

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Many species are cultivated as garden plants. The genus includes the garden sweet pea [Lathyrus odoratus] and the perennial everlasting pea [Lathyrus latifolius]. Flowers on these cultivated species may be rose, red, maroon, pink, white, yellow, purple or blue, and some are bicolored. They are also grown for their fragrance.

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Other species are grown for food. The tuberous pea is grown as a root vegetable for its starchy edible tuber.

Lathyrus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the Grey Chi [Antitype chi] and the Latticed Heath [Chiasmia clathrata].

Source: Wikipedia

Photos: Flower DomeGardens by the BaySingapore [20140122]

Cardamine hirsute: Hairy bittercress

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Hairy bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, is an ephemeral plant native to Europe and Asia, but also present in North America. The plant is a member of the mustard family [Brassicaceae], and is edible as a bitter herb. It flowers from quite early in the Spring until the Autumn. The small white flowers are borne in a corymb on wiry green stems, soon followed by the seeds and often continuing to flower as the first seeds ripen. The seed are borne in siliquae which, as with many Brassica species, will often burst explosively when touched [explosive dehiscence], sending the seeds flying far from the parent plant. Seeds germinate in the Autumn, and the tiny plants are winter annual [green throughout the winter months]. This plant grows best in damp, recently disturbed soil.

Source: Wikipedia

Photo: Sharp Mountain, Jasper, GA [20140112]