7 interesting facts about Lily

Lily is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Liliaceae. The Lilium genus, from this family, has 80 species of bulbous plants that are generally hardy and few species require the protection of a greenhouse. In the wild, lilies are found in a broad zone encircling the Northern Hemisphere. The flower of a lily has 6 petals with prominent stamens, which makes this flower really easy to study by the botanists. Flowers are available in different tones of colors from white to dark red, except blue.

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7 things you might not know about lilies:

  1. Some species (Lilium brownii, Lilium pumilum and Lilium dauricum) have edible bulbs.  They are cultivated for food in Asia, specifically in China, Korea and Japan.
  2. We can find many colors of lilies and some of them have different color tones on the same petal. Often we can see some dots in a darker tone than the rest of petal, these dots are called simply `freckles`.
  3. Lilies have different meanings all over the world. The Chinese believe they bring good luck, whilst in the Assyrian civilization, they were considered to be a holy flower. Greeks associates the lily with motherhood and Christians believe this flower to represent chastity and innocence.Lily (5)Lily (3)
  4. There are many kinds of flowers which have been called “lilies” but many of these such as the day-lily, water-lily, and arum-lily, actually belong to other groups of flowering plants.
  5. In history is said that the Greek God Apollo presented the Lily of the Valley to Aesculapius, the great healer. Today, a number of lily species have health beneficial properties, and certain species contain compounds that are used in medicine. These medicines treat depression, heart disease, angina and anxiety. Additionally, many parts of the world use them to treat a variety of other illnesses, usually in the form of an essential oils or balms. Beauty-wise, certain extracts from the lily can brighten the skin and reduce scars.
  6. Lilies have an extremely long vase life, this can be increased even further by removing the pollen found in the flower. Those who choose to display the lily in their office or homes should embrace this tip.
  7. This plant is highly toxic for some animals. Even small amount of pollen can induce poisoning and can be deadly, especially for cats.

Lily (2)Lily (1)If you want to find out more information or see more pictures, there is another article on my blog about the lilies. Check this link and use the translation button from the right corner of the page: Fleur de lisWatermark in Full Color

Source: Encyclopedia of Garden plants and Flowers by Richard C. & co.

Reclame

Geamana Lake-an ecological disaster

This month I visited a strange and interesting place in Romania, in Apuseni Mountains. This place is called Geamana and was an old village that today lies under tones of industrial waste. You have to follow a beautiful and wild path in the forest to find this village, but when you arrive there in front of your eyes raise a giant lake. It’s an apocalyptic image of a village flooded in mud surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape. Most people said that the place is haunted, maybe it is, but nobody died there in the period of the disaster. Maybe the place is haunted by the thoughts of hundreds people who lost there homes and cursed the ones who did this ecological disaster.

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Everything started in 1977 when dictator Nicolae Ceausescu decided to exploit a huge underground copper deposit. The wast from Rosia Poieni copper pit was discharged and the whole village was sunk and turned into a decanting lake. The process slowly progressed in time and 400 families were evacuated from Geamana and their village.

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The slurry, which continues to pour into the valley today, is a result of „froth flotation,” a process used by Rosia Poieni and most other copper mines around the world. Rock rich in copper is ground into powder, then put into baths of bubbling water. The hydrophobic copper flakes cling to air bubbles, creating a coppery froth that is skimmed off the top of the baths. The remaining slurry is discarded. It is this waste that drowned Geamana. And the lake continues to rise, climbing the walls of the valley at the rate of around 1 vertical meter each year. Along with the slurry from the mine, some sections of the runoff lake have turned red as a result of „acid mine drainage.” The acidic red water is a result of rain and springwater running through the minerals exposed by the mine. (source: http://www.rferl.org/a/romania-sinking-village).

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Today, only a few families live in this area, and they are almost completely isolated. From the Geamana village remains few house roofs and the church that can be seen in the middle of the lake.

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Black locust – an extraordinary plant

Robinia pseudoacacia is commonly known as black locust, false acacia or simply locust. Is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree endemic to a few small areas of the United States. Because is an invasive species, the locust was easily introduced to other regions like Asia or Europe. When the black locust has been introduced to a new environment, it tends to compete with native species and take over in that environment. This species loves the sun and grows rapidly in open areas with lots of light and no shade, driving other sun-loving plants away.  Also, the black locust’s fragrant white flowers compete for pollinating bees, increasing the competition with native plants.

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Acacia honey is classified as “the best honey”, but is wrong to consider it as the best and most useful. As a matter of fact, there is no bad quality honey, yet it’s true that acacia honey is the most preferred type. The honey is extremely light colored, lemonish white or yellow-green, and if relatively free of other floral sources, it can be very transparent, like liquid glass. The aroma is floral, fruity, delicate, very persistent. The flavor is very sweet, slightly acidic with hints of vanilla and no aftertaste. The flowery notes are noticed best in the finish.

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The name ‘locust’ is said to have been given to Robinia by Jesuit missionaries, who fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, but it is native only to North America. The locust tree of Spain (Ceratonia siliqua or carob tree), which is also native to Syria and the entire Mediterranean basin, is supposed to be the true locust of the New Testament.

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