Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spring Flowers of Croatia

The Croatian Post Inc. has issued a set of three stamps feature Spring flower species as part of their flora series 2012 on March 15, 2012. The depicted species are  Snowdrop ( galanthus nivalis), Primrose ( Primula vulgaris),  and Spring crocus ( Crocus Vernes).

Snowdrop ( Galanthus nivalis)

Galanthus nivalis or Snowdrop is widely grown in gardens, particularly in northern Europe, and is widely naturalized in woodlands in the regions where it is grown. It is, however, native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to the Ukraine.

Snowdrops or Galanthus nivalis grows to around 7–15 cm tall, flowering between January and April in the northern temperate zone (January–May in the wild).  They are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs.

The flower consists of six tepals, also referred to as segments. The outer three are larger and more convex than the inner ones. The inner flower segments are usually marked on their outer surface with a green, or greenish-yellow, V or U-shaped mark (sometimes described as "bridge-shaped") over the small "sinus" (notch) at the tip of each tepal.

Primerose (Primula vulgaris)

Primula vulgaris  is a species of Primula native to western and southern Europe ( include Croatia ), northwest Africa (Algeria), and southwest Asia . It flowers in early spring, one of the earliest spring flowers in much of Europe. 

Primula vulgaris is an herbaceous perennial plant, low growing, to 10–30 cm tall, with a basal rosette of leaves. The leaves are 5–25 cm long and 2–6 cm broad with an irregularly crenate to dentate margin, and a usually short leaf stem. The flowers are 2–4 cm in diameter.

Both flowers and leaves are edible, the flavour ranging between mild lettuce and more bitter salad greens. The leaves can also be used for tea, and the young flowers can be made into primrose wine.

Spring Crocus (Crocus Vernus)

Crocus vernus (Spring Crocus, Giant Crocus) is a species in Family Iridaceae. Its cultivars and  used as ornamental plants. Spring Crocus is an ideal bulb to naturalize in grass.

Crocus vernus is a lovely variety with delicate white flowers, veined with deep purple. The flowers appear from spring to early summer but during mild winters they can bloom as early as February. When naturalizing in grass, leave the grass uncut for six weeks after flowering to encourage self-seeding. Plant the bulbs 8cm to 10cm  deep in autumn in a sunny position. Crocus vernus can tolerate poor to moderate soil as long as it is well drained.

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