Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Myrtle spurge

From late winter through spring this evergreen euphorbia adds bright colors to the Sicilian countryside with glowing chartreuse clusters of flowers. The plant forms a dense mound 1 to 2.5 ft. (30 to 75 cm) in diameter. Its large yellow flower heads open at the tips of branches that are crowded with spirals of stiff, pointed, gray-green leaves. As they mature, the color of bloom clusters change to an intense reddish pink. After flowering, the stems die back.
Habitat: Sunny rocky hillsides and along roadsides.

Scientific name: Euphorbia rigida
Italian common name: Euforbia rigida
English common name: Upright myrtle spurge

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Silver Wattle

In late winter, clusters of tiny pincushion flowers transform Silver Wattle into a dense free form mass of golden yellow color. The tree grows to as much as 30ft (9m) tall at maturity. Like many other Australian acacias, this evergreen species with fine-textured, feathery foliage is a popular landscape plant. It may also escape cultivation and grow wild in the Sicilian countryside. Throughout Italy, Mimosa or Silver Wattle is perhaps best known for the use of its cut branches heavy with flowers to commemorate the 'Festa Della Donne' (International Women's Day).

Scientific name: Acacia dealbata
Italian common name: Mimosa
English common name: Silver Wattle