Most plants have flowers or blossoms. The flower is the part of the plant that facilitates the plant's reproduction. In many cases, the flower is small and plain. However, some plants have such showy blossoms they have been cultivated strictly for aesthetics. These are the plants commonly known as flowers. Flowers have been cultivated for centuries for their shape, colour and fragrance. As of 2011 scientists have catalogued about 250,000 different species of flowering plants. Surprisingly few of these begin with the letter "N."
Technically known as tropaeolum, the nasturtium is a common annual garden flower. Nasturtiums are easy to grow if they have well-drained soil. Common colours are deep reds, yellows and oranges. Bedding plants grow to 1 foot in height when given full sun and can be used as cut flowers. The several varieties of nasturtiums include dwarf varieties for edging and climbing varieties for fences or trellises. There are also trailing varieties that work well in hanging baskets. Nasturtium seeds, leaves and flowers are edible.
The narcissus is a popular flower all over the world. Narcissus flowers grow from bulbs and blossom in the spring. There are dozens of species of narcissus, including daffodils, jonquils and paperwhites. Most are white or yellow and fragrant. They have a narrow tubular base with three petals, three petal-like sepals, and a central cuplike appendage that is often of a contrasting colour. Narcissus are perennials. They like sunshine and a well-drained soil. New bulbs should be planted between August and October.
Nicotiana is a flower that is often grown for its fragrance. The plant is native to tropical areas and a member of the tobacco family (and it really contains nicotine). Nicotiana can grow to 3 feet tall. The flowers are made of five trumpet-shaped pointed florets that can be red, white, rose, pink, yellow or lavender. Nicotiania begins blossoming in early summer and will continue to bloom throughout the warm months. The plant's flowers open in the late afternoon.
Other N Flowers
There are several other flowers that begin with "N." The nettle-leaved bellflower is a plant that grows violet bell-shaped flowers on tall spikes. Nerine is a group of plants native to Africa. These bulbs flower in the fall and are popular cut flowers. The foot tall plants have two to 12 funnel shaped flowers at the top. Finally, the nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist) is a flower that belongs to the buttercup family. It grows to 20 inches tall and blossoms in late spring with blue, white pink or purple flowers.
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