Azalea-Rhododendron flower-pictures

Azaleas and Rhododendrons are both gorgeous flowers that I've always found difficult to tell apart.
These beautiful shrubs or small trees are both members of the Rhododendron family, which confuses me even more.
Flower specialists say that there are many differences between the two species; I remember three of them, that are easy to observe:

1. Rhododendron flowers have 10 or more stamens, while Azaleas just five.
Than this pink-lavender flower in the picture is a Rhododendron.
Pink-lavender rhododendron close-up
2. Also Azaleas usually have just one flower per stem while rhododendrons have their flowers in clusters.
This white-pink beauty must be an Azalea.
White-pink Azalea flower close-up
In the next picture, these are the flowers of a white rhododendron tree.
White Rhododendron flower picture
3. Another difference between Azaleas and Rhododendrons can be observed on their leaves.
Rhododendrons have glossy, leathery leaves while some Azalea leaves are thinner, hairy and more pointed.

These two beautiful shrubs have different light requirements as well: Azaleas love full sun unlike rhododendrons which prefer full shade.

Geranium macrorrhizum-Cranesbill geranium photos

This lovely pink magenta flower is a Cranesbill geranium-Geranium macrorrhizum.
Though it's a wild geranium in Europe, it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for gardens.

In early summer, it bears deep magenta or white blooms with very long, red stamens. As you can see, bees love them too.
Geranium macrorrhizum-Cranesbill geranium macro closeup
This hardy perennial geranium spreads by rhizomes and forms large colonies.
It is a low-maintenance but showy ground cover, appreciated in many gardens.
Its scented, lobed leaves turn red in autumn.
Cranesbill geranium thrives on sunny spots but it can take part shade as well.
Geranium macrorrhizum-ground cover photo

Related hardy geraniums like the Dove's foot Cranesbill and Geranium phaeum have beautiful flowers as well.
See also a beautiful pink garden geranium macro

Check out Macro Flowers Saturday list for this week, (closed now).

Campanula patula-spreading bellflower picture

This delicate, purplish blue wildflower is the Campanula patula or spreading bellflower. It is a biennial plant occurring in meadows and pastures throughout much of Europe and parts of Asia.

Campanula patula can be 50-60 cm high bearing very thin lateral branches with upright, funnel shaped flowers at their end.

Unlike other bellflowers, spreading bellflower has more separate, spread out and pointed petals. That's where its name comes from.
Spreading bellflower-Campanula patula macroThe leaves are narrow and pointed, blended in the surrounding vegetation.
In some areas, this species of bellflower is considered endangered, it is not easy to find this plant in the wild.
It is even harder to take a photo of it, as its very thin branches are carried by the slightest breeze.

Columbine-Macro Flowers Saturday 55

Welcome back to Macro Flowers Saturday!

Long time no see, hope you have a large collection of beautiful flower photos.

Yes, you are at the right blog; I added two more words to the blog title mostly for technical reasons but also to add more interest to the content. I took many wildflower photos lately and some of them are prettier than many garden flower.

Here is the Columbine-Aquilegia vulgaris!
Are you saying that it's a garden flowers? I thought so too but I take photos everywhere and I discovered that the most beautiful Columbines are found in wastelands and neglected backyards (see the last photo).

In folklore, carrying a nosegay of it was said to arouse the affections of a loved one.

I don't want to bore you with my stories but for those who have some questions, here is how thing are going with me:
After four month of antibiotics I've suspended my treatment for Lyme disease, to rebuild my immune system and cure the damages of the drug.
One of the med's side effects is high photo sensibility, so I'm not allowed to stay in the sun, not for even a few minutes. I have (had) healthy pigments and I didn't believe my skin could be affected, until one day I got home with a nasty skin burn, guess where? - on the backside of my ears as my hair is very short.

Last Thursday we had an overcast day, so I went to the botanical garden to stay on the fresh air for a few hours and take some photos. Two days later I found another tick on my leg, in the shower. I can't describe what I was feeling when I realized that yes, this is another thick bite. Probably I brought it home on my clothes. I took it off and put it in a jar and guess what; the little beast escaped from the jar. I even took a few macros of it but they don't fit into this page here.
Now the tick is here, somewhere in the house and I'm expecting the third tick bite. There were large groups of school children visiting the gardens, I hope not everyone got such a souvenir to take home.
Next day I rushed to the doctor and she put me back to 10 days more antibiotics, like it would make any difference after the earlier 120 days treatment.

After all this I decided to live my life as normally as I can and that includes restarting MFS too.
Crying all they long won't be at any help.

Join Macro Flowers Saturday!
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Macro Flowers Saturday is back!

Macro Flowers Saturday badge 1

Hello, my dear friends,

Macro flowers Saturday will be back this weekend, at the usual time!

I missed you and your beautiful pictures so much.

You are all welcome and expected to share your many beautiful flower pictures, sure you have lots of them now, in early summer.
See you this Friday afternoon,

♥ Maia.

Saucer Magnolia flowers-blackbird territory

This is a small Saucer Magnolia tree-Magnolia Soulangiana, with many of its branches broken by the wind. It still has amazing dinner plate sized blossoms, the biggest I've ever seen. These voluptuous, purple-pink, cup-shaped flowers are the last ones, opening in mid-May.
The inner part of the petals are pure white.
Saucer magnolia flower close-up
Small magnolia tree-Saucer magnolia
It still has many unopened buds that will delight the viewers till end May.
Saucer Magnolia buds-Magnolia soulangiana
Saucer Magnolia buds unfolding-Magnolia soulangiana
The next picture is poor quality but there is a little mail blackbird (Turdus merula) on the ground, left to the magnolia branches. It flies away when I raise my hands with the camera but it keeps coming back, all the time. I thought it's just flirting with me to take a picture of its striking orange bill contrasting the black plumage. Than I saw the female, up in the big tree, near the magnolia. Her feathers are mainly brown, not so beautiful as the mail's.
Mail blackbird near magnolia tree
Again, I was so naive; its not about posing for me, I've violated their breeding ground.
are known to be very territorial, so I'll leave them to do what they have to do.
I might be lucky to listen to their rich melodious song, instead of these threat sounds.

See also some early blooming magnolias!

Lilac trees and shrubs in flower-Syringa vulgaris

The most inspiring flower in May is the lilac - Syringa vulgaris, the flower of love.
They are one of my favorite spring flowers and I can't imagine a garden without lilacs.
These small, flowering trees or shrubs fill the air and the yard with their pleasant fragrance in late spring and early summer.
In all times lilacs inspired the imagination of artist, poets and song writers, in their endeavor to depict the essence of spring and romance.
Pale purple-lavender lilac flowers
Their large panicles of flowers in all shades of purple, white, dark burgundy, pale yellow, pink and lilac of course, are springtime delight. These, in the pictures are common lilacs.
The next one is a wild lilac with pale pink flowers.
Wild lilac bush with pink flowers
According to the language of flowers (floriography) the meaning of purple lilac is first emotion of love and white lilacs symbolize youthful innocence, memories.

Here are two lilac branches, one with a lovely, dark burgundy flower, the other with white lilac flowers.
Burgundy lilac flower close-up
White lilac flowers

Late Spring blooming tulips-Deep purple-white marveled tulips

These late spring blooming tulips, with deep purple and white marveled petals are the last ones of the season. So late in May, they are still beautiful.
I photographed them yesterday after waiting several minutes for the wind to slow down and stop swaying their delicate heads.
Or were they waving to say: see you next spring!
white-purple tulip-macro
Deep purple-white tulip-macro
Deep purple-white tulip-macro

Japanese cherry blossoms-Prunus serrulata Kwanzan

This beautiful pink, double flowered cherry variety is a Japanese cherry-Prunus serrulata Kwanzan.

Most cherry trees blossom in early spring. Japanese cherry tree varieties with blossoms of more than five petals are called yaezakura and these trees are the last ones to open their blossoms.
They bloom two to four weeks after most five-petaled species.
Japanese cherry blossom-macro
The fresh leaves are coppery brown and they arrive together with the blossoms.
Japanese cherry blossoms-cherry tree
One Kanzan cherry blossom consists of as many as 30-50 pink petals.
The flowers are produced in clusters of two to five together at nodes on short spurs.
Japanese cherry blossoms-Prunus serrulata Kwanzan(Kanzan)
These beautiful cherry trees are grown only for ornamental purposes, not for their fruits.
They often suffer in our climate, when winter suddenly comes back in May for a few days, like this last week. Ice Saints are coming but they are too early this year.

Don't know what Ice Saints are?

In many European cultures ( Flemish, Dutch, Hungarian, German, Austrian, Polish and Swiss) legends refer to late-spring cold spells that frequently bring May frosts.
The Ice Saints are St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, St. Savertius and St. Boniface. Their "feast days" fall on the days of May 11, May 12, May 13 and May 14 and these usually are a sequence of icy-cold days when night temperatures sink to freezing point. It is a reminder for farmers and gardeners that plants and crops must still be protected.

By us Hungarians, the last Ice Saint is Orban on May 25. Because of the expected May frost, sensitive plants (cucumber, tomatoes, beans) are planted only after the ice saints.
A beautiful Orban day means a plentiful year.