Flower Gardening - Types of Flowers

FlowersThe invigorating beauty of flowers have always fascinated and enthralled people around the globe over the ages. Their beauty lies in their suppleness, their pleasant aroma and their diverse colors. Over the centuries, flowers have always enjoyed special interest and affection from lovers and poets through gifts and poems. These tranquil beauties have also placed them distinctively in mythology, folklore, and religious symbols of different races. Nothing conveys single meaning of love, beauty and pure innocence in full quintessence than flower.

Botanically, flower is a modified, shortened, compacted branch that bears lateral appendages. Sepal, petal, stamen, and carpel, the basic floral parts are in fact greatly modified leaves. Flowers develop from buds in a similar fashion like twigs do. Flowers are whole host of combinations of form, size, color, and anatomical arrangement.

There are different numerous parameters used in classification of flowers. The anatomical arrangement of flower is known as the morphology of flower. Flowers are classified based on their morphology.

Classification according to the Morphology

According to Corolla

  1. Sympetalous - Flowers coming under this group come with their petals joined, partially or fully.
  2. Polypetalous - The petals of these flowers coming under this group are not joined.
  3. Actinomorphic - The flowers coming under this group are having characteristic radial symmetry. The flower can be divided into two identical parts along any imaginary axis through centre. These are further classified as funnel shaped, tubular shaped and campanulate (narrower than tubular, a bell like shape). Poppy family, cruciform and rose family are few notable examples of actinomorphic morphology.
  4. Zygomorphic - The flowers display bilateral symmetry. Only two symmetrical parts are possible along a single axis passing through centre. Bilabiate flowers, display irregular corolla with upper lip made by joining two petals, and lower lip by joining three. In Papilionaceous flowers, corolla is made up of five petals. One at the most superior position, known as standard; two side ones, called wings and the keel, two joined ones present below.

Classification Based on the position

  1. Terminal - In this group, flowers or clusters of flowers arise on the ends of the axis or branches, like Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) and Nerium oleander
  2. Axillary - flowers or clusters of flowers are carried at the junction of the stem or axis and the leaf, like Catharanthus roseus (periwinkle), Callicarpa mericana (beautyberry), and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (hibiscus)

Classification based on Flower Branches, Clusters, and Inflorences

  1. Single Flower - In this group, single flower present at the tip of peduncle, an elongated stalk or branch of the main axis of the plant. The examples are tulip and Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia).
  2. Cluster - In this, three or more flowers gathered in close formation together in simple or branched manner to enhance their conspicuousness. The examples are Ligustrum japonicum (ligustrum), Pentas spp. (pentas), Mangifera indica (mango), Pyracantha coccinea (firethorn), and Dianthus barbatus (sweet William).
  3. Inflorescence - Inflorescence is the general term used for the arrangement of flowers or groups of flowers.. There is great assortment in this display among different types of flowers, but few characteristics remain same for a specific type and they are useful in their identification of species. They are further classified into the racemose type and the cymose type.
    • Racemose Inflorescences - the axis of the inflorescence continues to grow and the flowers blossom in the axes of the reduced leaves or bracts, with the oldest flower is borne at the base and the newest flowers near the growing tip.
    • Cymose Inflorescences - The development of a terminal flower stops the upward growth of the floral axis. The oldest flower is borne at the tip; with younger ones appearing lower down on the axis. The floral axis stops to elongate once the first flower opens, and so called a determinate inflorescence.

Classification Based on Blossom

  1. Annual flowers - They offer a better option for a longer blooming time. Annuals come in different varieties like' Tender' annuals and Stronger annuals. Some annuals can endure frost or stand up to the elements. Perennials produce brilliant flowers over a number of years. Most popular in perennial is the rose, grown in thorny bushes
  2. Biennial flowers - They don't blossom at all the first growing season and die after the second.

Flowers come in different colors, some of those colors are common but some are rare and this rarity adds their beauty and makes them even more exotic. The popularity of flowers depends on their exclusive aroma, exquisiteness or both. Some times, popularity depends on some cultural traits peculiar to that geographical region.

Rose is the most popular flower type in the world followed by other flowers such as Chrysanthemums, Tulips, Lilies, Carnations, Poinsettias, Gerberas, and Narcissus etc. Some flower types may not be very popular around the globe, but could be the most popular in their respective regions.

It is time to do some study and dig up some dirt on the many, many types of beautiful flowers you can choose from. Whether you take time to sneak through the tulips, run with wildflowers, watch the daisies grow, laze around in the glory of morning flowers or unwind in the paradise of tropical blooms, the alluring, fragrant, and never-ending range of different types of flowers is sure to keep you invigorated and smelling like a rose for seasons to come!

For a full list of flower types and species, read http://www.flowers-cs.com/type_of_flowers.html