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The Carissa macrocarpa (or grandiflora) belongs to the family Apocynaceae and it originates from the sub-tropical regions of South Africa. For this reason it is also known as Natal Plum (from the name of an African region). It is an evergreen thorny shrub that produces oval, fleshy and bright green leaves and beautiful, white, star-shaped and scented flowers. Like all the plants in its family the Carissa is poisonous but it generates fruits that have the shape of small red eggs that, once ripe, are perfectly edible.
January, March, April, May, November, December
The Solanum Jasmionoides belongs to the family Solanaceae and it originates from Brasil. It is an evergreen climbing shrub with glossy green leaves and with five petals and pure white flowers, sometimes tending to pink or blue, collected in bunches at the end of the branches. It is also called “Jasmine at night” because the flowers give off a sweet smell just at night.
The Passiflora (which literally means Fruit of the Passion) includes hundreds of species of climbing plants and shrubs originating from South America. It contains over five hundred species of evergreen plants. The minimum winter cultivation temperature must not be less than 5 degrees and a strong brightness must be guaranteed in order to facilitate the blooming. Watering is fundamental: it should be constant and frequent throughout the year, except during the winter, especially if it is harsh. In Europe climbing species are mainly cultivated; the most widespread variety is certainly the Passiflora Cerulea, with the typical white and light blue flowers. The flowers bloom in sequence throughout the summer, attract butterflies and bees, and during the summer they give way to small oval-shaped berries, edible in some species.
The Ortensia is a perennial shrub belonging to the family Hydrangeaceae and it originates from East Asia (China and Japan) and from North America. It is known throughout the world for its extraordinary blooming; it has large, dark green and dentate leaves and it produces a big balloon inflorescence (with a diameter up to 20 cm) with many small flowers of different colors, from white to pink, to lilac up to blue. The coloring of the flowers can be influenced by the reaction of the plant to the type of soil; greater acidity leads to flowers tending to blue, while in basic or alkaline soils there will be flowers tending to pink.
It belongs to the Myrtaceae family and it is an evergreen shrub originating from Australia and New Zeland. The Leptospermum has little, intense green, rich of essential oils leaves (if pressed they release a pleasant smell) and it produces flowers in the shape of a chalice with five petals, pink or white, followed by fruits, small woody berries. It is also known as Manuka or “tea tree” (variety “Petersonii”) for its particular fragrance similar to the one of lemon: as a matter of fact, it is used to flavor tea infusions, while its flowers are used in the honey production industry.
It belongs to the family Apocynaceae and it originates from the eastern basin of the Mediterranean and Asia. It is an evergreen shrub that spontaneously grows along the coast and waterways. It has long, sharp and light green leaves; it produces large tubular flowers with five petals that are red, pink or white. After the blooming the fruits (that are absolutely inedible) mature in the shape of an elongated pod. In the pods there are feathery seeds.
It is an evergreen shrub originating from the temperate regions in Asia and in South America (variety “Capensis” or “Auricolata”) and it belongs to the Plumbaginaceae family. It has a basically climbing shape, it has small, oval and light green leaves and it produces typical light blue flowers (for this reason it is usually known as “Blue sky jasmine”; there is also a variety with red flowers, “Plumbago Indica” or “Rosea”) collected in big spikes.