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Bidens is a genus in the family Asteraceae and it originates from central America. It is widespread all over the world as one of the most common plants used for decorating balconies. It is a perennial plant but it is cultivate as an annual one. It looks like a shrub with thin and green/grayish leaves. It is completely covered by typically star-shaped flowers with yellow petals; it needs full sunlight and it dies when temperatures start dropping at the beginning of winter.
March, April, May
Autumn, Spring, Summer
It is a particularly rustic plant in the Onagraceae family and it originates from central and southern America. It has oval and deep-green leaves and it produces beautiful flowers with red calyces and white and purple petals, collected in tufts of three or four. Some varieties produce berries, similar to cherries, which are dark-red and edible.
The Vinca or Pervinca is a herbaceous and evergreen plant originating from Europe (very common in Italy) and it belongs to the family Apocynaceae. It could be cultivated both with erect shape and hanging shape (Vinca so-called “Mediterranean”, transplanted in basket). It has a thick shrub with oval leaves, extended and shiny green. It produces a lot of little and delicate flowers, with five pastel colored petals, from white to pink, red, lilac and purple.
The Lisianthus (or Eustoma) is a young plant: it was discovered in the Usa in the XIX century and transported to Europe at the beginning of the ‘900. It belongs to the family Gentianaceae. It is cultivated for ornamental purposes in pots and for the trade of cut flowers that are very appreciated for their simple and elegant design; it is characterized by slow growth and it blooms throughout the summer.
The Cuphea, hailing from Mexico, Peru and central-southern America, produces peculiar, long-lasting, tubular flowers which can be either red or pink: mostly cultivated as an outdoor plant, it has the appearance of a very thick and decorative bush about 80 cm high (30 cm for dwarf varieties). Its blooming is ideal to give a special feeling to a summer terrace. It fears extreme temperatures (both low and high) and it needs abundant watering during summer.
Freesia is a genus of herbaceous plants hailing from southern Africa which includes about fifteen botanical species. They all produce small round corms. It is suitable for Mediterranean climates and is rather sensitive to cold. Every single bulb produces a small tuft of ribbon-like, erect, fairly rigid, light-green leaves; from the center of the leaves during the summer a thin and erect stem develops, bearing numerous small trumpet-shaped flowers. It blooms during the spring and it needs direct sunlight.
The potunia (from the fusion of the words “pot” and “petunia”) is a hybrid born in Germany from the recent botanical experimentation on the more common petunia. As its “mother”, it is hailing from Central and South America and it belongs to the Solanaceae family. It can be recognised for its more compact and rounded shape, for the much more abundant blooming and for the several colours, which are more intense and in some cases shaded, of its characteristic trumpet flowers. Even the leaves, hairy and slightly sticky as in petunias, are different because of their scent.