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The Eucalyptus (from Greek “εὖ”, “well” and “καλύπτω”, “to hide”, in reference to the fact that the petals hide the rest of the flower) is an evergreen and arboreal plant originating from Oceania (mostly from Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea) belonging to the family Mirtacee (there are 600 species). Introduced in Italy at the beginning of the ‘800, the Eucalyptus is among the plants with therapeutic and curative properties; the blooming periods are long: in particular the E. globulus blooms between winter and spring and the E. camaldulensis during the summer.
It belongs to the family Fabaceae and it originates from Australia. It is a climbing and evergreen plant, with woody stem and from spring flowers are collected in lilac, white, pink inflorescences. It is resistant to cold, it does not need abundant irrigation and it prefers sunny exposures.
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 Polygala Myrtifolia (variety that is better to cultivate in the greenhouse) is an evergreen shrub belonging to the family Polygalaceae, hybridized by crossing species originating in Southern Africa. It has a basically bushy and round shape with a very thick vegetation. Thanks to its flexibility it can easily be cut in order to have different shapes (pyramid, espalier). Its leaves are similar to the myrtle’s ones but bigger and of light green color. It produces lilac flowers collected in bunches at the apex of the branches.
The olive is the typical evergreen plant of the agriculture in the mediterranean regions. It grows very slowly and its main feature is its longevity. There are many varieties of olive trees that are continuously monitored for their ability to withstand the cold during the winter. The ideal climate for cultivation is a mild climate with minimum temperatures not lower than 8/10° C below zero. Its peculiar fruits start growing at the beginning of the autumn.
It originates from the Mediterranean basin but it is spread in India and in some Atlantic islands. It is a herbaceous, perennial and evergreen plant belonging to the family Labiatae. The leaves, narrow and elongated, end with an ear-shaped inflorescence of violet/purple color. Inside of this there are glands containing the base aromatic oil for the production of various fragrances used in the cosmetics and as a spice in the kitchen. The Stoechas variety has slightly silver leaves and it produces larger dark purple flowers, surmounted by a characteristic tuft of purple bracts.
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.