Garden Alphabet: Zinnia

Zinnia

Some more flowers from Francesca’s garden in Mascalucia, Sicily These zinnia grow in pots dotted about the patio and thrive. As you can see from the photos, the bees love them, too.

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Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of the family Asteraceae. They are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from theSouthwestern United States to South America, with a centre of diversity in Mexico. Members of the genus are notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colors. The genus name honours German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727–59).

Zinnias are annuals, shrubs, and sub-shrubs native to North America with one species extending to South America.[3] Most species have upright stems but some have a lax habit with spreading stems that mound over the surface of the ground. They typically range in height from 10 to 100 cm tall.[4] leaves are opposite and usually stalkless (sessile), with a shape ranging from linear to ovate, and pale to middle green in color. The flowers have a range of appearances, from a single row of petals, to a dome shape, with the colors white, chartreuse, yellow, orange, red, purple, and lilac.

Zinnia elegans, also known as Zinnia violacea, is the most familiar species, originally from Mexico and thus a warm–hot climate plant. Its leaves are lance-shaped and sandpapery in texture, and height ranges from 15 cm to 1 meter.

Zinnia angustifolia is another Mexican species. It has a low bushy plant habit, linear foliage, and more delicate flowers than Z. elegans – usually single, and in shades of yellow, orange or white. It is also more resistant to powdery mildew than Z. elegans, and hybrids between the two species have been raised which impart this resistance on plants intermediate in appearance between the two. The Profusion series, with both single and double-flowered components, is bred by Sakata of Japan, and is among the most well-known of this hybrid group.

Zinnias seem to be a favorite of butterflies, and many gardeners add zinnias specifically to attract them.[5][6] ]— Wikipedia

More information on Zinnia:

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