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Snapdragons (Antirrhinums)

Snapdragon is the common name of the Antirrhinum flower, and it was given because of the dragon-like shape of the flower. If the sides are pinched, the flower opens a "mouth" - the stigma being the tongue. On letting go, the mouth snaps shut.

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The showy scarlet or pink flowers usually known as geraniums really belong to a genus, or group, of plants called Pelargonium, which is a branch of the geranium family. True geraniums are grown in borders and the dwarf variety is a good rockery plant.

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Garden Sunflowers

The sunflower is one of the tallest and largest flowers found in gardens and meadows and frequently grows to about two metres in height even though it is related to the little daisy. Sunflowers can easily reach to over three metres with flower heads wider than 30 centimetres.

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Growing Dahlias

The dahlia was first discovered growing wild in Mexico by Europeans and has become Mexico's national flower. It is a member of the Compositae (daisy-like) family and was brought to Britain late in the 18th century. Today, the dahlia is a popular summer flower grown in all countries with a mild climate.

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Woodland Flowers and Plants

The deep soil in most woodland areas makes it possible for many different types of flowers to thrive among the deep rooted trees and shrubs. The woodland soil is deep and rich in food value and the abundant leaf-mould is forever replenishing the food supply.

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Tulips, Popular with Gardeners

One of the most appealing flowers to gardeners and flower lovers throughout the world is the tulip with its brilliant colours and graceful shape, and they can be found growing wild in parts of Europe, Asia and North Africa. Holland has been the chief growing country ever since the 17th-Century when tulips started to become highly fashionable.

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Sweet Peas

In 1699 an Italian priest who lived in Sicily sent some sweet pea seeds to a friend of his in Enfeld, just north of London, who was a collector of rare plants. In a few years' time sweet peas were being sold in England.

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Daffodils are spring-flowering perennial plants of the Amaryllis family and are extremely popular with most gardeners who tend to prefer them in borders or containers, or as ornamental plants. They are seen by some as a symbol of hope and by the Chinese as a symbol of wealth and good fortune.

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Stinging Nettles

The nettle is much disliked for its sting, which can be quite severe if the plant is touched gently, although it does not hurt if it is grasped firmly. The sting is caused by fine hairs on the surface of the pointed leaves.

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The Rose is the Queen of Flowers

Roses are a favoured subject in art and appear in portraits, illustrations, on stamps, as ornaments or as architectural elements. The Luxembourg-born Belgian artist and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redoute is known for his detailed watercolours of flowers, particularly roses.

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Ivy, The Climbing Plant

Ivy is one of the easiest climbing plants to recognise with its glossy evergreen leaves having either three of five pointed lobes. It belongs to the Hedera group of tropical plants and is a clinging plant by nature using the small roots that grow outwards from up and down the stem.

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On waste land the leaves stand up, on the lawn they lie on the ground in a rosette. This is because when the plant is growing wild the leaves can only get enough light and air by growing up, but on a lawn there is no competition as the grass is kept short and so they develop sideways.

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