Camellia japonica, known as common camellia, Japanese camellia, or tsubaki in Japanese, is one of the best known species of the genus Camellia. Sometimes called the rose of winter, it belongs to the family Theaceae, it is the official state flower of Alabama. There are thousands of cultivars of C. japonica in cultivation, with many different colors and forms of flowers. In the wild, it is found in mainland China, southern Korea and southern Japan, it grows at altitudes of around 300 -- 1,100 metres. Camellia japonica is a flowering tree or shrub 1.5–6 metres tall, but up to 11 metres tall. Some cultivated varieties achieve a size of 72 m2 or more; the youngest branches are purplish brown age. The alternately arranged leathery leaves are dark green on the top side, paler on the underside 5–11 centimetres long by 2.5–6 centimetres wide with a stalk about 5–10 millimetres long. The base of the leaf is pointed, the margins are finely toothed and the tip somewhat pointed. In the wild, flowering is between March.
The flowers appear along the branches towards the ends, have short stems. They occur either alone or in pairs, are 6–10 centimetres across. There are about nine greenish sepals. Flowers of the wild species have six or seven rose or white petals, each 3–4.5 centimetres long by 1.5–2.5 centimetres wide. The numerous stamens are 2.5–3.5 centimetres long, the outer whorl being joined at the base for up to 2.5 centimetres. The three-lobed style is about 3 centimetres long; the fruit consists of a globe-shaped capsule with three compartments, each with one or two large brown seeds with a diameter of 1–2 centimetres. Fruiting occurs in September to October in the wild. C. Japonica leaves are eaten by the caterpillars such as the engrailed; the Japanese white eye bird pollinates Camellia japonica. The genus Camellia was named after a Jesuit botanist named Georg Kamel; the specific epithet japonica was given to the species by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 because Engelbert Kaempfer was the first to give a description of the plant while in Japan.
Two varieties are distinguished in the Flora of China: C. japonica var. japonica and C. japonica var. rusticana C. japonica var. japonica is the form named by Linnaeus, occurs in forests at altitudes of 300–1,100 metres in Shandong, eastern Zhejiang in mainland China and in Taiwan, south Japan, South Korea. The leaf has a glabrous stem about 1 centimetre long; the bracteoles and sepals are velutinous. It flowers between January–March, fruits in September–October, it is grown as a garden plant in the form of many cultivars throughout the world. Camellia japonica var. rusticana T. L. Ming occurs in forests in Zhejiang in mainland China and in Honshu, Japan; the leaf has a shorter petiole, about 5 millimetres long, with fine hairs at the base. The bracteoles and sepals are smooth on the outside; the color of the flowers ranges from red through rose to pink. This variety is regarded by some botanical authorities to be a separate species: Camellia rusticana. In Japan it is known by the common name "yuki-tsubaki" as it occurs in areas of heavy snowfall at altitudes ranging from 1,100 metres down to 120 metres on sloping land under deciduous beech trees in the mountain regions to the north of the main island of Honshu and facing the Sea of Japan.
In December heavy drifts of snow come in from the north, covering the plants to a depth of up to 2.4 metres. The bushes remain covered by snow from December till the end of March when the snow melts in early Spring and the camellias start flowering. Cultivars of C. japonica var. rusticana include:'Nishiki-kirin','Nishiki-no-mine','Toyo-no-hikari' and'Otome'. Camellia japonica has appeared in paintings and porcelain in China since the 11th century. Early paintings of the plant are of the single red flowering type. However, a single white flowering plant is shown in the scroll of the Four Magpies of the Song Dynasty; the first records of camellias in Australia pertain to a consignment to Alexander Macleay of Sydney that arrived in 1826 and were planted in Sydney at Elizabeth Bay House. In 1838 six C. japonica plants were imported by the botanist and agriculturist William Macarthur. During the years that followed he brought in several hundred varieties and grew them at Camden Park Estate. For many years Macarthur's nursery was one of the main sources of supply to the colony in Australia of ornamental plants, as well as fruit trees and vines.
In 1845, William Macarthur wrote to the London nurseryman Conrad Loddiges, acknowledging receipt of camellias and mentioning: "I have raised four or five hundred seedlings of camellia, chiefly from seeds produced by'Anemoniflora'. As this variety never has anthers of its own, I fertilised its blossoms with pollen of C. reticulata and Sp. maliflora." Although most of Macarthur's seedling varieties have been lost to cultivation, some are still popular today, including'Aspasia Macarthur'. A well-known camellia nursery in Sydney was "Camellia Grove", set up in 1852 by Silas Sheather who leased land adjoining the Parramatta River on what was part of Elizabeth Farm. Fulle
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
Hawaiian hibiscus are seven species of hibiscus regarded as native to Hawaii. The yellow hibiscus is Hawaii's state flower. Although tourists associate the hibiscus flower within experiences visiting the US state of Hawaii, the plant family Malvaceae includes a large number of species that are native to the Hawaiian Islands, those flowers observed by tourists are not the native hibiscus flowers. Most grown as ornamental plants in the Islands are the Chinese hibiscus and its numerous hybrids; the native plants in the genus Hibiscus in Hawaii are thought to have derived from four independent colonization events for the five endemic species and one each for the two indigenous species. The native hibiscus found in Hawaii are: Hibiscus arnottianus A. Gray – kokiʻo keʻokeʻo is an endemic species of hibiscus with white flowers. Three subspecies are recognized: H. arnottianus ssp. arnottianus found in the Waianae Range of western Oahu. Only a dozen plants of H. a. ssp. immaculatus exist in nature in mesic and wet forests.
This species is related to H. waimeae, the two are among the few members of the genus with fragrant flowers. It is sometimes crossed with H. rosa-sinensis. In the Hawaiian language, the white hibiscus is known as the pua aloalo. Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray – maʻo hau hele is a tall shrub with bright yellow flowers related to the widespread H. divaricatus. Two subspecies are recognized: H. b. ssp. brackenridgei, a sprawling shrub to an erect tree found in dry forests and low shrublands at elevations of 400–2,600 ft above sea level on Molokai, Lanai and the island of Hawaii. This species is listed as an endangered species by the USFWS; the yellow flower of this species was made the official state flower of Hawaii on 6 June 1988, although endangered in its natural habitats, has become a moderately popular ornamental in Hawaiian yards. Hibiscus clayi O. Deg. & I. Deg. is an endemic shrub or small tree with bright red flowers similar to H. kokio, found in nature on Kauai in dry forests. It is listed as endangered by USFWS.
Hibiscus furcellatus Desr. is a pink-flowered hibiscus considered an indigenous species found in low and marshy areas of the Caribbean, Florida and South America, Hawaii, where it is known as ʻakiohala, ʻakiahala, hau hele, hau hele wai. Hibiscus kokio Hillebr. Kokiʻo or kokiʻo ʻula is a small tree with red to orangish flowers; this endemic species is not listed, but considered rare in nature. Two subspecies are recognized: H. kokio ssp. kokio found in dry to wet forests on Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii at elevations of 70–800 m. Hibiscus tiliaceus L. hau, is a spreading shrub or tree common to the tropics and subtropics in coastal areas. This species is indigenous to Hawaii, but may have been introduced by the early Polynesians. Hibiscus waimeae A. Heller, kokiʻo keʻokeʻo or kokiʻo kea, is a Hawaiian endemic, gray-barked tree, 6–10 m tall, with white flowers that fade to pink in the afternoon. Two subspecies are recognized: H. waimeae ssp. hannerae found in northwestern valleys of Kauai, H. w. ssp. waimeae occurring in the Waimea Canyon and some western to southern valleys on Kauai.
This species resembles H. arnottianus in a number of characteristics. In addition to the species of Hibiscus listed above, flowers of several other related Hawaiian plants of the family Malvaceae resemble Hibiscus flowers, although are smaller; the endemic genus, comprises seven species described from Hawaii. Three of these are now thought to be extinct and the remaining four are listed as critically endangered or extinct in the wild. Another endemic genus, comprises four species of trees. All but one are listed nearly extinct in the wild. Three endemic species of the pantropical genus, Abutilon occur in Hawaii: A. eremitopetalum, A. menziesii, A. sandwicense. Cotton plants, whose bright yellow flowers are hibiscus-like, include one endemic: G. tomentosum, uncommon but found in dry places on all the main islands except Hawaii. The widespread milo is an indigenous tree with maroon flowers. South Korea's national flower is the Hibiscus syriacus, found in Hawaii, too. "Kokiʻo". Native Hawaiian Plants.
Kapiʻolani Community College. Archived from the original on 2009-08-18. "Hibiscus brackenridgei". Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database. University of Hawaii at Mānoa. "Hibiscus arnottianus". Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database. University of Hawaii at Mānoa
The orange is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus × sinensis in the family Rutaceae. It is called sweet orange, to distinguish it from the related Citrus × aurantium, referred to as bitter orange; the sweet orange reproduces asexually. The orange is a hybrid between mandarin; the chloroplast genome, therefore the maternal line, is that of pomelo. The sweet orange has had its full genome sequenced. Sweet orange originated in ancient China and the earliest mention of the sweet orange was in Chinese literature in 314 BC; as of 1987, orange trees were found to be the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Orange trees are grown in tropical and subtropical climates for their sweet fruit; the fruit of the orange tree can be processed for its juice or fragrant peel. As of 2012, sweet oranges accounted for 70% of citrus production. In 2014, 70.9 million tonnes of oranges were grown worldwide, with Brazil producing 24% of the world total followed by China and India. All citrus trees belong to the single genus Citrus and remain entirely interfertile.
This includes grapefruits, limes and various other types and hybrids. As the interfertility of oranges and other citrus has produced numerous hybrids and cultivars, bud mutations have been selected, citrus taxonomy is controversial, confusing or inconsistent; the fruit of any citrus tree is considered a kind of modified berry. Different names have been given to the many varieties of the genus. Orange applies to the sweet orange – Citrus sinensis Osbeck; the orange tree is an evergreen, flowering tree, with an average height of 9 to 10 m, although some old specimens can reach 15 m. Its oval leaves, alternately arranged, have crenulate margins. Sweet oranges grow in a range of different sizes, shapes varying from spherical to oblong. Inside and attached to the rind is a porous white tissue, the white, bitter mesocarp or albedo; the orange contains a number of distinct carpels inside about ten, each delimited by a membrane, containing many juice-filled vesicles and a few seeds. When unripe, the fruit is green.
The grainy irregular rind of the ripe fruit can range from bright orange to yellow-orange, but retains green patches or, under warm climate conditions, remains green. Like all other citrus fruits, the sweet orange is non-climacteric; the Citrus sinensis group is subdivided into four classes with distinct characteristics: common oranges, blood or pigmented oranges, navel oranges, acidless oranges. Other citrus groups known as oranges are: Mandarin orange is an original species of citrus, is a progenitor of the common orange. Bitter orange known as Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange and marmalade orange. Like the sweet orange, it is a pomelo x mandarin hybrid, but arose from a distinct hybridization event. Bergamot orange, grown in Italy for its peel, producing a primary essence for perfumes used to flavor Earl Grey tea, it is a hybrid of bitter orange x lemon. Trifoliate orange, sometimes included in the genus, it serves as a rootstock for sweet orange trees and other Citrus cultivars.
An enormous number of cultivars have, like a mix of pomelo and mandarin ancestry. Some cultivars are mandarin-pomelo hybrids, bred from the same parents as the sweet orange. Other cultivars are sweet orange x mandarin hybrids. Mandarin traits include being smaller and oblate, easier to peel, less acidic. Pomelo traits include a thick white albedo, more attached to the segments. Orange trees are grafted; the bottom of the tree, including the roots and trunk, is called rootstock, while the fruit-bearing top has two different names: budwood and scion. The word orange derives from the Sanskrit word for "orange tree", which in turn derives from a Dravidian root word; the Sanskrit word reached European languages through Persian نارنگ and its Arabic derivative نارنج. The word entered Late Middle English in the fourteenth century via Old French orenge; the French word, in turn, comes from Old Provençal auranja, based on Arabic nāranj. In several languages, the initial n present in earlier forms of the word dropped off because it may have been mistaken as part of an indefinite article ending in an n sound—in French, for example, une norenge may have been heard as une orenge.
This linguistic change is called juncture loss. The color was named after the fruit, the first recorded use of orange as a color name in English was in 1512; as Portuguese merchants were the first to introduce the sweet orange to some regions of Europe, in several modern Indo-European languages the fruit has been named after them. Some examples are Albanian portokall, Bulgarian портокал, Greek πορτοκάλι, Macedonian portokal, Persian پرتقال, Turkish portakal and Romanian portocală. Related names can be found in other languages, such as Arabic البرتقال, Georgian ფორთოხალი and Amharic birtukan. In
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western and the Mountain states, it is the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah and New Mexico. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848; the southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce trees. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, national monuments.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations in the state from voting until the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American plaintiffs in Trujillo v. Garley; the state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like "Arissona"; the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the ranchería of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, c.
1737. There is a misconception. For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American tribes. Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived, attracting thousands of tourists each year; the first European contact by native peoples was with Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with native inhabitants the Sobaipuri; the expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions in the region, he converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta in the 1690s and early 18th century.
Spain founded presidios at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of Nueva California known as Alta California. Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War, the U. S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what became Arizona Territory in 1863 and the State of Arizona in 1912; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million dollars in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U. S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway.
What is now known as the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union to form the Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the Confederate States government on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President Jefferson Davis approved and signed An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona, marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona"; the Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men and equipment. Formed in 1862, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army duri
The peach is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a nectarine; the specific name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia, from where it was transplanted to Europe. It belongs to the genus Prunus which includes the cherry, apricot and plum, in the rose family; the peach is classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell. Due to their close relatedness, the inside of a peach stone tastes remarkably similar to almond, peach stones are used to make a cheap version of marzipan, known as persipan. Peaches and nectarines are the same species though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterized by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes.
China alone produced 58% of the world's total for peaches and nectarines in 2016. Prunus persica grows up to 7 m wide. However, when pruned properly, trees are 3–4 m tall and wide; the leaves are lanceolate, 7 -- 16 cm long, 2 -- pinnately veined. The flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves; the fruit has yellow or whitish flesh, a delicate aroma, a skin, either velvety or smooth in different cultivars. The flesh is delicate and bruised in some cultivars, but is firm in some commercial varieties when green; the single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped 1.3–2 cm long, is surrounded by a wood-like husk. Peaches, along with cherries and apricots, are stone fruits. There are various heirloom varieties, including the Indian Peach, or Indian Blood Peach, which arrives in the latter part of the summer, can have color ranging from red and white, to purple. Cultivated peaches are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not. Peaches with white flesh are sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this varies greatly.
Both colors have some red on their skin. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China and neighbouring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed cultivars; the scientific name persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia. The Ancient Romans referred to the peach as malum persicum "Persian apple" becoming French pêche, whence the English peach; the scientific name, Prunus persica means "Persian plum", as it is related to the plum. Fossil endocarps with characteristics indistinguishable from those of modern peaches have been recovered from late Pliocene deposits in Kunming, dating to 2.6 million years ago. In the absence of evidence that the plants were in other ways identical to the modern peach, the name Prunus kunmingensis has been assigned to these fossils. Although its botanical name Prunus persica refers to Persia from where it came to Europe, genetic studies suggest peaches originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the neolithic period.
Until it was believed that the cultivation started c. 2000 BC. More recent evidence indicates that domestication occurred as early as 6000 BC in Zhejiang Province of China; the oldest archaeological peach stones are from the Kuahuqiao site. Archaeologists point to the Yangtze River Valley as the place where the early selection for favorable peach varieties took place. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings and literature beginning from the early 1st millennium BC. A domesticated peach appeared early in Japan, in 4700–4400 BC, during the Jōmon period, it was similar to modern cultivated forms, where the peach stones are larger and more compressed than earlier stones. This domesticated type of peach was brought into Japan from China. In China itself, this variety is attested only at a date of c. 3300 to 2300 BC. In India, the peach first appeared during the Harappan period, it is found elsewhere in Western Asia in ancient times. Peach cultivation reached Greece by 300 BC, it is claimed that Alexander the Great introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians, although there is no historical evidence for this belief.
Peaches were, well known to the Romans in the 1st century AD, were cultivated in Emilia-Romagna. Peach trees are portrayed in the wall paintings of the towns destroyed by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD, while the oldest known artistic representations of the fruit are in two fragments of wall paintings, dated to the 1st century AD, in Herculaneum, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples; the peach was brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, made it to England and France in the 17th century, where it was a prized and expensive treat. The horticulturist George Minifie brought the first peaches from England to its North American colonies in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buc
Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae. It is the largest genus in the family, containing between 600 species. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere; some Viola species are perennial plants, some are annual plants, a few are small shrubs. A large number of species and cultivars are grown in gardens for their ornamental flowers. In horticulture the term pansy is used for those multi-colored, large-flowered cultivars which are raised annually or biennially from seed and used extensively in bedding; the terms viola and violet are reserved for small-flowered annuals or perennials, including the wild species. Viola have heart-shaped, scalloped leaves, though a number have palmate leaves or other shapes; the vast majority of Viola species are herbaceous, a substantial number are acaulescent in habit - meaning they lack any noticeable stems and the foliage and flowers appear to rise from the ground. The simple leaves of plants with either habit are arranged alternately.
Plants always have leaves with stipules that are leaf-like. The flowers of the vast majority of the species are zygomorphic with bilateral symmetry; the flowers are formed from five petals. The shape of the petals and placement defines many species, for example, some species have a "spur" on the end of each petal while most have a spur on the lower petal. Solitary flowers end long stalks with a pair of bracteoles; the flowers have five sepals that persist after blooming, in some species the sepals enlarge after blooming. The flowers have five free stamens with short filaments that are oppressed against the ovary, only the lower two stamens have nectary spurs that are inserted on the lowest petal into the spur or a pouch; the flower styles are thickened near the top and the stigmas are head-like, narrowed or beaked. The flowers have a superior ovary with one cell. Viola are most spring blooming with chasmogamous flowers with well-developed petals pollinated by insects. Many species produce self-pollinated cleistogamous flowers in summer and autumn that do not open and lack petals.
In some species the showy chasmogamous flowers are infertile. After flowering, fruit capsules are produced. On drying, the capsules may eject seeds with considerable force to distances of several meters; the nutlike seeds have straight embryos, flat cotyledons, soft fleshy endosperm, oily. The seeds of some species are dispersed by ants. Flower colors vary in the genus, ranging from violet, through various shades of blue, yellow and cream, whilst some types are bicolored blue and yellow. Flowering is profuse, may last for much of the spring and summer. One quirk of some Viola is the elusive scent of their flowers. See List of Viola species for a more complete list. Note: Neither Saintpaulia nor Erythronium dens-canis are related to the true Viola; the genus includes dog violets, a group of scentless species which are the most common Viola in many areas, sweet violet, many other species whose common name includes the word "violet". Several species are known as pansies, including the yellow pansy of the Pacific coast.
Common blue violet Viola sororia is the state flower of Wisconsin, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Australia is home to a number of Viola species, including Viola hederacea, Viola betonicifolia and Viola banksii, first collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on the Cook voyage to Botany Bay. One fossil seed of †Viola rimosa has been extracted from borehole samples of the Middle Miocene fresh water deposits in Nowy Sacz Basin, West Carpathians, Poland. Cultivars of Viola cornuta, Viola cucullata, Viola odorata, are grown from seed. Other species grown include Viola labradorica, Viola pedata, Viola rotundifolia; the modern garden pansy is a plant of complex hybrid origin involving at least three species, V. tricolor, V. altaica, V. lutea. The hybrid horned pansy originates from hybridization involving Viola cornuta. In 2005 in the United States, Viola cultivars were one of the top three bedding plant crops and 111 million dollars worth of flats of Viola were produced for the bedding flower market.
Pansies and violas used for bedding are raised from seed, F1 hybrid seed strains have been developed which produce compact plants of reasonably consistent flower coloring and appearance. Bedding plants are discarded after one growing season. There are hundreds of perennial violetta cultivars. Violettas can be distinguished from violas by the lack of ray markings on their petals; the following cultivars, of mixed or uncertain parentage, have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-'Aspasia"Clementina"Huntercombe Purple"Moonlight