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  • Paddy
  • Born and educated in Germany, I came to live in the UK in 1982. After working in various jobs over the years, I am now a freelance writer. I have a passion for wildlife and nature in general and love my family, my dog Jet, writing, music and dragons.
  • Born and educated in Germany, I came to live in the UK in 1982. After working in various jobs over the years, I am now a freelance writer. I have a passion for wildlife and nature in general and love my family, my dog Jet, writing, music and dragons.

A - Z Plant List

A - B - C - D/E

F - G - H/I/J

K/L - M - N/O

P - Q/R - S

T to Z


The A - Z of House Plants is currently under construction. Plant names will be linked to their corresponding articles as they are added. Please be patient - there are a lot of plants, and there may be days when only one or two articles can be added at a time. In the meantime, why not take a look at some of these general care articles:


A brief Guide to Potting Mixes


When and how to repot House Plants


Grooming House Plants - the Basics


Indoor House Plants and Light


Ten House Plants tolerating low Light Conditions


Indoor House Plants and Humidity Levels


Watering Indoor House Plants


Fertilising House Plants


To save readers having to scroll through the whole alphabet when looking for a specific plant, each section will be moved to its own page once all corresponding articles have been added. 


Yet to come: 




(Haworthia species)

Heartleaf Philodendron

(Philodendron scandens)


(Helleborus niger)


(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)

Hyacinth Flower

(Hyacinthus orientalis hybrids)


(Hydrangea macrophylla)




(Impatiens hybrids)

Iron Cross Begonia

(Begonia masoniana)

Ivy Geranium

(Pelargonium peltatum)


(Ixora coccinea)



Jade Plant

(Crassula ovata)

Janet Craig Dracaena

(Dracaena deremensis)

Japanese Aralia

(Fatsia japonica)

Jasmine Plant

(Jasminum polyanthum)

Jerusalem Cherry

(Solanum pseudocapsicum)



Kaffir Lily

(Clivia miniata)

Kentia Palm

(Howea forsteriana)



Lady Palm

(Rhapis excelsa)

Lantana Plants

(Lantana camara)

Lily of the Valley                                      

(Convallaria majalis)

Lipstick Plant                                          

(Aeschynanthus lobbianus)

Living Stones                                           

(Lithops species)

Lucky Bamboo                                        

(Dracaena sanderiana)



Madagascar Palm                                    

(Pachypodium lamerei)

Maidenhair Fern                                       


Mandevilla Plant                                       

(Mandevilla hybrids)

Martha Washington Geranium                   

(Pelargonium domesticum)


(Medinilla magnifica)

Ming Aralia                                              

(Polyscias fruticosa)

Miniature Roses                                        

(Rosa chinensis hybrids)

Mona Lavender                                        

(Plectranthus hybrid)

Money Tree Plant                                     

(Pachira aquatica)

Moses in the Cradle                                 

(Tradescantia spathacea)

Mother of Thousands                                

(Kalanchoe daigremontiana)

Mother-in-Law's Tongue/ Snake Plant        

(Sansevieria trifasciata)



Nerve Plant                                              

(Fittonia verschaffeltii)

New Guinea Impatiens                              

(Impatiens x hawkeri hybrid)

Norfolk Island Pine                                   

(Araucaria heterophylla)



Oleander Plant                                         

(Nerium oleander)

Orchid Cactus                                         

(Epiphyllum species and hybrids)

Ornamental Chili Pepper                           

(Capsicum annuum)



Paddle Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe thyrsiflora)

Panda Plant                                            

(Kalanchoe tomentosa)


(Viola x wittrockiana)

Paperwhite Narcissus                               

(Narcissus jonquilla)

Papyrus Plant                                          

(Cyperus papyrus)

Parlor Palm                                             

(Chamaedorea elegans)

Parrot Flower                                           

(Heliconia psittacorum)

Passion Flower                                        

(Passiflora caerulea)

Peace Lily


Peacock Plant                                         

(Calathea makoyana)


(Peperomia caperata)

Periwinkle Flower                                     

(Catharanthus roseus)

Persian Shield                                         

(Strobilanthes dyerianus)

Persian Violet                                          

(Exacum affine)

Piggyback Plant                                      

(Tolmiea menziesii)

Pink Calla Lily                                         

(Zantedeschia rehmannii)

Pink Quill                                                

(Tillandsia cyanea)

Pitcher Plant                                           

(Nepenthes hybrids)


(Plumeria rubra)

Pocketbook Plant                                    

(Calceolaria herbeohybrida)


(Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Polka Dot Plant                                       

(Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Ponytail Palm                                          

(Beaucarnea recurvata)

Pothos/ Devil's Ivy                                    

(Epipremnum aureum)

Powder Puff Tree                                      

(Calliandra haematocephala)

Prayer Plant                                            

(Maranta leuconeura)

Primrose Flowers                                     

(Primula hybrids)

Purple Heart Plant                                    

(Tradescantia pallida)

Purple Passion Plant                                

(Gynura aurantiaca)

Purple Shamrock                                     

(Oxalis regnellii)

Pygmy Date Palm                                     

(Phoenix roebelenii)



Queen's Tears                                         

(Billbergia nutans)



Rabbit Foot Fern                                      

(Davallia fejeensis)

Rex Begonia                                            

(Begonia rex)

Rosary Vine                                            

(Ceropegia woodii)

Rubber Plant                                           

(Ficus elastica)



Sago Palm                                              

(Cycas revoluta)

Satin Pothos                                           

(Scindapsus pictus)

Scarlet Star                                             

(Guzmania lingulata)

Scented Geranium                                   

(Pelargonium species and hybrids)


(Schefflera actinophylla)

Sensitive Plant                                         

(Mimosa pudica)

Shamrock Plant                                       

(Oxalis species)

Shrimp Plant                                           

(Justicia brandegeana)

Siam Tulip                                               

(Curcuma alismatifolia)

Spider Lily                                               

(Hymenocallis littoralis)

Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum)

Split-Leaf Philodendron                             

(Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

Staghorn Fern                                          

(Platycerium bifurcatum)

Strawberry Begonia                                  

(Saxifraga stolonifera)

String of Pearls                                        

(Senecio rowleyanus)

Swedish Ivy                                             

(Plectranthus species)

Sweet Potato Vine                                   

(Ipomea batatas)

Swiss Cheese Plant                                 

(Monstera deliciosa)


Thanksgiving Cactus                                

(Schlumbergera truncata)

Ti Plant                                                   

(Cordyline terminalis)

Tiger's Jaw                                              

(Faucaria tigrina)


(Tulipa hybrids)


U - V - W

Urn Plant                                                 

(Aechmea fasciata)

Venus Fly Trap                                        

(Dionaea muscipula)

Wandering Jew                                        

(Tradescantia albiflora)

Wax Begonia                                           

(Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)

Wax Plant                                               

(Hoya carnosa)

Weeping Fig                                            

(Ficus benjamina)

Windmill Palm Tree                                  

(Trachycarpus fortunei)


X - Y - Z


(Yucca elephantipes)

Zebra Plant                                              

(Aphelandra squarrosa)

ZZ Plant                                                  

(Zamioculcas zamiifolia)

Sad News...


Stop Animal Cruelty

Instead of protecting the precious diversity of life on our planet, many countries, groups and individuals delight in performing acts of incredible cruelty to and on animals. To help stop this insanity going on, please go to The Petitions Site and add your voice to the thousands of individuals who are prepared to stand up and say: ' Enough is enough. Stop this now!' 

September 24 2012 2 24 /09 /September /2012 11:23

Currently only classed as vulnerable, although reclassification as endangered is being discussed, the Polar Bear, which has the scientific name of Ursus maritimus (marine bear, a name it received owing to its excellent ability to swim), is the largest of all land living carnivores. 


polar-bear1Adult males can reach a length of up to 2.6 m (8.53 ft) and weigh up to 600 kg (1,322.77 lb, or 94.5 st). Females tend to be considerably smaller at lengths of around 2.1 m (6.9 ft) and weighing in at up to 300 kg (661.39 lb, or 47.25 st). A pregnant female with plenty of stored fat can, however, weigh more than 500 kg (1,102.31lb, or 78.74 st).

Immediately recognisable due to the distinctive white appearance of their fur (which is, in fact not white, but colourless), Polar Bears have longer necks than other bears, and their elongated heads feature comparatively small ears. The black tip of the Polar Bear's nose and its footpads (which are also black) are the only parts of its body that have no fur. 

Extremely strong-limbed, Polar Bears use their huge forepaws for paddling. The toes of this gorgeous creature are not webbed, but are designed to to walk on snow and ice. Non-retractable claws dig into snow not unlike ice-picks, and small indents and projections on the soles of the bear's feet help the animal to walk on icy surfaces without slipping by acting like suction cups.

Range, Habitat and Biology

polar-bear4Polar Bears are found on ice-covered waters throughout circumpolar Arctic regions, from Denmark (or to be more precise, Greenland) and and Norway through the former USSR to parts of the United States and Canada. Canada's James Bay - London, by the way, is on roughly the same latitude - is the furthest south polar bears can be found throughout the year. 

As the ice cover extends further to the south during the winter months, Polar Bears will often move as far south as the northern Bering Sea and Newfoundland. They rarely enter central polar basin areas,  as the year-round, thick ice means there is little food for them here.

The annual ice close to the coastlines of islands and continents represents the Polar Bear's preferred habitat, as this is where the largest numbers of their favourite prey, Ringed Seals (scientific name Phoca hispida) can be found.

Living solitary lives for the best part of the year, except when breeding or in family groups, stocks - or populations - of Polar Bears are distributed all over the Arctic, with undefended home ranges up to 300,000 sq km (115,830.65 square miles) in size often overlapping.

Able to detect prey up to a metre (3.28 ft) under compacted snow and up to 1 km (0.62 miles) away thanks to their extremely heightened sense of smell, Polar Bears feed predominantly on Ringed Seals, although they will not refuse a Bearded Seal (scientific name Erignathus barbatus) either. Seals are usually captured as they come to the surface of water holes to breathe, although the bears will also hunt them down in their lairs under the snow, especially when young seals are being nurtured there. If and when the opportunity arises, Polar Bears will also feed on belugas, narwhals, seabirds, walruses and waterfowl. 

While there is plenty of food around, Polar Bears can devour remarkably large amounts of food very quickly. When little food can be found, this animal has the unique ability to enter a hibernation-like, slowed down metabolic state. The ice in Hudson Bay, for instance, completely disappears from mid-July right through to mid-November. This means pregnant females typically do not feed for a total of up to eight months. They will metabolise stored protein and fat reserves, as well as recycling metabolic by-products. Particularly cold weather may also prompt this majestic animal to fast. Energy is often conserved during such periods by the bears retreating into temporary dens.

polar-bear2The mating season of Polar Bears ranges from late March into May. As the females nurse cubs for two and a half years, they are only available for mating once every three years. In order for ovulation and fertilisation to be stimulated (a process known as induced ovulation), females must mate over and over again for several weeks. Breeding pairs subsequently stay together for up to two weeks or so to ensure success. If the male is displaced, the female may mate with other males during this period.

The implantation of fertilised eggs is then delayed until some time between mid-September and mid-October. Two to three months later, the female will give birth - litters may consist of one, two or occasionally three cubs - in a snow den. Each cub will weigh approximately 0.7 kg (1.54 lb) at birth. Although they look like miniature versions of their parents, their fur is much thinner to begin with. All being well, assuming they survive the first few years of their lives, the cubs have an overall life expectancy of 25 to 30 years.


Since hunting - which at one point drove Polar Bears to near extinction - is regulated, the main threats to populations are poaching, pollution, disturbances generated by industrial activities and - first and foremost - large scale ecological changes brought on by climate changes. 

While long term effects of climate changes are as yet unclear, it is certain that even minor changes have a profound impact on the lives of these animals. More snow, for instance, could result in the bears having problems hunting for seals in their lairs. This would obviously affect survival rates of both cubs and adult bears. Less snow, and perhaps increased rainfall, on the other hand, may result in seal populations being drastically reduced as lairs may not be thick or deep enough to protect their cubs, or they may collapse, killing the cubs outright. 

Fewer seals obviously mean less prey and lower survival rates for Polar Bears. Increases of overall temperatures are also likely to have a serious effect. Polar Bears are perfectly adapted to the freezing temperatures of the Arctic. Warming of their habitat will not only affect their ability to create dens, it may also cause them to die as a result of overheating. Receding ice cover forces more and more bears onto solid ground, where food is not as easily found, often meaning bears eventually succumb to starvation.

polar-bear3The reduction of sea ice also means many bears get stranded on floating ice in their search for food. While they are good, strong swimmers, even Polar Bears can only swim so far, and many of them are already found dead as a result of drowning. 

To make matters worse, big oil companies now plan to take advantage of the reduction in sea ice by oil drilling in the Arctic. This will put the already fragile habitat of Polar Bears at an even greater risk. To protect this beautiful creature, this must not happen, and political leaders need to be pressured into protecting the Arctic. 

Greenpeace are sponsoring a petition to this effect. The names of people signing this petition will be entered onto a scroll, which, when completed, will be placed onto the North pole's seabed with a flag to demand the Arctic remains off-limits to industrial fishing and oil drilling. Readers can sign this petition at Care2 

More detailed, scientific information on Polar Bears can be found at Polar Bears International




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swarovski armband 04/07/2015 10:56

This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting!