Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

April 25, 2013

FLOWERS FROM SPANISH AMERICA






HULLO!



I have a new prompt for the FTSF Blog Hop!  That’s Finish The Sentence Friday, an important Hop.


The prompt that my group of Bloggers came up with is as follows:

I’m very passionate about….


Well, I have several passions, but in a previous post I wrote that I couldn’t imagine my life without color, and at this period of my life, I find I need the visual stimulus of color and things related to color more than anything else, so I will declare that:


I’m very passionate about…..flowers, and photos and illustrations of beautiful flowers!


To my mind, flowers provide both beauty AND color, and that makes them doubly valuable to everybody who admires them including me.


This Blog is about Spanish America, so I started researching about some of my favorite flowers in this part of the world, and I’ve come up with some very interesting facts, which I will refer to in this post.



FLOWERS AS TRAVELERS BETWEEN THE NEW WORLD AND THE OLD WORLD



When the Spaniards and the Portuguese arrived in the New World, they brought about a multiple exchange of plant life.


Plants that were endemic to the Americas traveled to Europe and the various European settlers brought their favorite plants and flowers from the Old World and started cultivating them in the New World.


A well known example of this was the European Rose. Roses had been cultivated since ancient times, there are drawings of roses in Egyptian tombs, and China has been breeding them for centuries.


At present, Ecuador in Spanish America has a thriving flower industry and is exporting the most beautiful roses to various other countries.


Flowers have definitely become world travelers!


My chosen flowers for this post are: the Dahlia, the Zinnia and the Hydrangea. 

I will also add some brief references to other specific flowers I have already posted about on this Blog.



THE DAHLIA, THE NATIONAL FLOWER OF MEXICO.



The mountain regions of Mexico and Guatemala are the birthplace of the present day Dahlia. This plant had been cultivated there for a long time prior to the advent of the Spaniards. 


When the Spanish navigators arrived in the area of the Caribbean and started to explore the huge expanses of new territories, they brought several botanists with them whose job it was to take back to Spain any interesting plants from the New World.


One of the specimens these botanists became interested in was the Dahlia, called “Acocotli” by the Aztecs, a name that means “water cane”. The native inhabitants also used the tuber of the Dahlia as a source of food, and other parts of the plant were known for their medicinal properties.


Most of the Dahlias that became popular in Western Europe were derived from the plants grown in the Botanical Gardens of Madrid in Spain.


Today there are about 20 different species of Dahlias, with flowers of different sizes, shapes and colors. A lot of the work done in the development of this flower was done in Europe, from where the various varieties have come back to their original territories. The flower has also kept its European name, derived from the Swedish botanist Dr. Anders Dahl.


This fantastic flower continues to be important in Mexico, with its role as the National Flower of this country.


In addition, during the 1920s, the Dahlia was also selected as the Official Flower of the City of San Francisco, California.


A BEAUTIFUL CACTUS TYPE DAHLIA


Click to enlarge


Source: Mark Twyining, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


ANOTHER LOVELY DAHLIA


Click to enlarge


Source: Sartosh,1948, CC BY SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons


LOVELY GIANT DAHLIA


Click to enlarge


Source: Audrey, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons


A DAHLIA CALLED BALI POMPON



Click to enlarge


Source: Cilias, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons





THE ZINNIA.



The Zinnia is also a native of the Americas and its original habitat stretches from Mexico to Chile. The plant is extremely abundant in Mexico.


The first written description of the flower is attributed to a German scientist named Johan G. Zinn, and the Zinnia was named after him.


The modern varieties of Zinnias were engineered at the end of the 19th century, and present day breeders continue to produce new breeds. In this way, both the dwarf and the giant varieties have been created. I’m especially fond of the dwarf Zinnias, they are so cute!


At present the flowers range from those with a single row of petals, to double flowers that come in the shape of beehives, and others that are cactus like. They can also be very similar to Dahlias.


The colors are varied also, ranging from white through yellow, orange, red, purple and lilac.


Butterflies seem to love Zinnias and these plants are included in many gardens with the express purpose of attracting quantities of beautiful butterflies.

 LOVELY ZINNIA "ELEGANS"


 Click to enlarge


Source: Rob Hille, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons 

A BRIGHT RED ZINNIA!



Click to enlarge


Source: Korlan, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL!



Click to enlarge


Source: Elnudomolesto, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons




THE HYDRANGEA



This beautiful plant with large round heads of flowers and beautiful shiny dark green leaves is definitely an Old World plant. Some specimens are believed to have originated in Japan, while others come from China. 


This “traveler” has settled in very well in the areas of Spanish America that are damp and cool. I can personally vouch for the beautiful arrays to be seen in the Lake District of southern Chile.


I have also planted them in various gardens here in the area of Concepción Chile, where I live. I have found that they do resist strong sun as long as they get plenty of water.


My grandmother taught me about the fluctuations of color that are produced by the presence or absence of certain minerals in the soil. Iron oxide, or garden nutrients that contain iron, will darken the colors tremendously, so that a pale almost white pink becomes dark rose, and a pale almost white blue, turns into a very deep blue flower.


I have actually done all this, and it is fascinating to watch the new blossoms appearing with their strong coloring.


All in all, a very satisfactory flower to have in our gardens!


CLOSEUP OF A HYDRANGEA


 Click to enlarge


Source: Symphony999, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons 


LOVELY PINK HYDRANGEA



Click to enlarge


Source: Jackpot, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons


A CLUSTER OF BLUE HYDRANGEAS



Click to enlarge


Source: GFDL, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons




A BRIEF REFERENCE TO SOME MORE TRAVELING FLOWERS.



There are two other beautiful flowers that have turned into very successful travelers: the Copihue and the Amancay.


The Copihue is the National Flower of Chile and it was born just further south from where I live, deep in the forests of the territories inhabited by the native Mapuche tribes.


It is now cultivated in France and Great Britain, and more recently in some areas of California where the climate is friendly to this most beautiful vine, that produces the “Bell flower of Chile”


For more information see my previous Blog post on the Copihue.


THE GLORIOUS COPIHUE 

Click to enlarge




Source: Inao Vasquez, CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons



The Amancay is quite my favorite Chilean wildflower, growing profusely all over the country side in the Lake District and other places. I also find the indigenous name very musical.


The results of its travels have been notable.  The humble Amancay has turned into the elegant Alstroemeria, a beauty that is much in demand as a cut flower, both in Europe and in the US.


For more information see my previous Blog post on the Amancay.

THE AMANCAY, GROWING IN ITS NATURAL HABITAT



 Click to enlarge


Source: Lucs photostream, CC BY 2.0. Flickr 




FINAL WORDS.



I do so enjoy flowers! I have had the pleasure of looking after various gardens throughout my life. Now I live that enjoyment through writing about them and admiring and selecting the fabulous photos that are to be found on the Internet.


So thank you, photographers of flowers, whoever you are, your work is much appreciated!










SPANISH VERSION




(This Blog is Bilingual)


Este post responde a un Blog Hop propuesto por mi grupo de Blogueras y Blogueros, en el que debía referirme a algo que constituyera una “pasión” para mí. 


Elegí escribir sobre algunas flores, ya que me apasionan tanto las flores como los colores de ellas.


A través de las lecturas que realicé con el fin de juntar material para escribir este post, obtuve unos datos muy interesantes, los cuáles paso a referir.



LAS FLORES SON VIAJERAS ENTRE EL VIEJO CONTINENTE Y EL NUEVO MUNDO.



Cuando los españoles y los portugueses  llegaron al Nuevo Mundo, impulsaron una serie de intercambios en lo que a plantas se refiere.


Plantas que eran endémicas de las Américas, viajaron  a Europa, y los diversos colonizadores europeos se trajeron sus plantas y flores favoritas desde Europa y las aclimataron en el Nuevo Mundo.


Un buen ejemplo lo constituye la rosa. Estas flores han sido cultivadas desde la antigüedad. En las tumbas egipcias aparecen dibujos de rosas y en China esta bella flor se ha cultivado por siglos.


En la actualidad, Ecuador en América del Sur mantiene una industria muy dinámica centrada en el cultivo de la rosa y exporta bellos ejemplares de esta magnífica flor a numerosos otros países.


¡Las flores se han convertido en viajeras internacionales!


Las flores que elegí para este post son las siguientes: la Dalia, la Zinnia y la Hortensia. También me referiré muy brevemente a otras flores sobre las que ya he escrito con anterioridad en este Blog.



LA DALIA, LA FLOR NACIONAL DE MEXICO EN LA AMERICA HISPÑANA



La Dalia nació en las zonas montañosas de México y Guatemala. Esta planta se cultivaba en esos lugares mucho antes del arribo de los españoles.


Cuando los españoles incursionaron en el Nuevo Mundo, se hicieron acompañar siempre por expertos en botánica, cuyo cometido era coleccionar todas las plantas interesantes que encontraran para llevarlas de regreso a España.


Así viajó a Europa la Dalia, llamada “Acocotli” por los aztecas, quienes  utilizaban las papas de Dalia como alimento y además aprovechaban algunas propiedades medicinales de la planta.


Las Dalias que se hicieron tan populares en Europa, se desarrollaron a partir de los ejemplares que se cultivaron en los Jardines Botánicos de Madrid, España.


Hoy en día hay mas de 20 especies de Dalia, cuyas flores han adquirido distintas formas, tamaños y colores. Casi todo el trabajo para crear estas bellezas se ha realizado en Europa, desde donde estas variedades han vuelto  a sus territorios originales. El nombre de Dalia es de origen europeo, en  honor al científico Dr. Anders Dahl, un sueco.


Esta fantástica flor continúa siendo de gran importancia para México por cuanto es la Flor Nacional de este país. También ha sido nombrada como la Flor Oficial de la ciudad de San Francisco, California.



LA ZINNIA.



La Zinnia también es oriunda de la América Hispana y su hábitat nativo se extiende desde México hasta Chile, siendo muy abundante en México.


La primera descripción de esta flor fue escrita por un científico alemán llamado Johan G. Zinn, de donde deriva su nombre actual.


Las variedades modernas de esta flor fueron creadas  a fines del siglo 19 y al día de hoy continúan apareciendo variedades nuevas. De esta forma se han obtenido las variedades enanas y las gigantes. Personalmente me encantan las enanas, ¡son tan adorables!


Hoy en día hay Zinnias con una sola corrida de pétalos y otras que son dobles, o tienen la forma de un panal de abejas. Los colores han variado también hay blancas, amarillas, naranjas, rojas, moradas y lilas.


Una característica especial de las Zinnias es que atraen a las mariposas, y son por tanto muy apreciadas en los jardines por esta razón.



LA HORTENSIA, LLAMADA TAMBIEN BELLA HORTENSIA.



Esta bella planta de grandes esfera florales y preciosas hojas brillantes de un tono verde oscuro, claramente proviene desde el Antiguo Mundo. Algunas variedades tienen su origen en el Japón y otras provienen de China. 


Sin embargo esta “viajera” se ha aclimatado estupendamente en todas las zonas de la América Hispana donde hay un clima húmedo y de sombra.

Personalmente he disfrutado de las increíbles vistas que presentan estas flores en la región de Los Lagos en el sur de Chile.


También los he plantado en diversos jardines, y he descubierto que son capaces de resistir un sol intenso siempre que se les entregue agua en abundancia.



BREVE REFERENCIA A ALGUNAS OTRAS FLORES VIAJERAS.



Me referiré específicamente a dos que son muy bellas: el Copihue y el Amancay.


El Copihue es la Flor Nacional de Chile, y nació en los oscuros bosque poblados por los Mapuche, nuestra raza indígena.


En la actualidad se cultiva en Francia y Gran Bretaña, y ha sido introducida con mucho éxito en algunos lugares de California.


El Amancay es mi flor silvestre favorita en los campos chilenos del sur. Encuentro también que su nombre es muy bello, ya que “Amancay” me suena muy musical.


Esta viajera se ha hecho famosa, transformada en la elegante Alstroemeria, flor de corte apetecida tanto en Europa como en los EE.UU.


He escrito dos post sobre estas flores, el Copihue y el Amancay, para los cuales los link se encuentran en la parte escrita en inglés de este post.



PALABRAS DE CIERRE.



¡Las flores me producen un placer enorme! Ya no cultivo en vivo en los jardines, me limito a  apreciar las bellas fotos que abundan en el Internet, por lo cual ¡agradezco a los desconocidos fotógrafos que nos aportan algo tan bello!





More about similar topics in a future post.      Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.





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Words that go together!  * Run out of time   - * Cease trading  - * Get upset   - * Go deaf   – *  Pay your respects





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© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)





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