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These photographs were emailed to me this week and I found I could not resist sharing them with you all. These are not my photos,  no copyright infringement intended. So if they are yours please claim them.1

Mystifying and beautiful, the “Magic Dogwood” - Cornus florida subspecies urbiniana - is a rare Mexican version of the common American Dogwood tree.  Looking like exotic Chinese lanterns, these incredible blooms dazzle the eye by the hundreds each spring.  Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.  This is a very hard-to-find tree.  2

Passiflora decaisneana – Granadilla/ Passion fruit Family 

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Beaucanea Recurvata – Pony tail Palm/ Elephant’s Foot
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Jovellana violacea is an unusual rarity from Chile with colorful sprays of happy little flowers!  The plant doesn’t have a common name, so i named it the violet Teacup Flower.  These sprightly blooms appear by the hundreds throughout Spring.  The fingernail-sized blooms are light-violet with festive markings of purple, yellow & red, with no two flowers having the same pattern.  This is a cool-climate species that might not thrive in warm climates.  It is very rare in cultivation, and fresh seeds are almost never seen for sale.

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Fritillaria imperialis

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Camellia Sinensis

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Allium  gigantum

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Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula simia), was created after Mother Nature decided to do a bit of monkeying around (hah!). These rare orchids only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.

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African Daisy, Cape Daisy
Osteospermum ‘Whirligig’

13Corkscrew vinesnail vinesnail creeper, or snail bean.Cochliasanthus caracalla is a leguminous vine

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Hellebore.

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Iris – Frilly Iris -  It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species

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Monkey Face Orchid (Dracula simia)

17 18 19Borage

(Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized in many other locales. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.

Borage is used in companion planting

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Isn’t this outrageous?  It doesn’t have a common name, but i call it the Dancing Girl Impatiens Impatiens bequaertii is a rare species from the rainforests of east Africa.  This petite plant only grows about a foot across and the blooms are barely 1/2″ long, but their enchanting shape makes up for it!  The petals resemble a little girl in a skirt with outstretched arms.  These white or light-pink blossoms appear year-round for me, and the foliage is attractive too.

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