March 23
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Plant Genus of the family Annonaceae

Genus Description Cultivation
Andrachne Found in the Americas, Africa and Asia, the 12 species in this genus are perennials, subshrubs or small semi-evergreen shrubs. They have simple leaves and separate male and female flowers. The male flowers occur in clusters and have petals that give the flowerheads color; the female flowers occur singly and have no petals. Some species of Andrachne have minor medicinal uses and are ingredients in natural pesticides. CULTIVATION: Requirements vary considerably with the species: most are quite frost hardy but their moisture and soil needs differ depending on their origins. Trim to shape after flowering if necessary. Plant in full sun for the most compact growth and propagate from seed or half-hardened tip cuttings.
Angophora This eastern Australian genus with 15 species of evergreen trees is closely allied to Eucalyptus, and some knowledgeable botanists argue that the less formal term ?eucalypts? should include the angophoras. Their closest ally is in fact the genus Corymbia, recently split off from Eucalyptus to contain the ?bloodwood? group of eucalypts. Most angophoras are medium to large trees of open forest and woodland, often on very poor soils; 2 or 3 species are very small crooked trees of stunted woodland or heath. Most have rough, rather corky or flaky bark but 3 species have smooth pinkish gray or orange-brown bark that sheds an outer layer annually. The leaves, arranged in opposite pairs, vary from narrow, pointed and stalked to broad, heart-shaped and stalkless. Flowers are conspicuous, with masses of white to cream stamens, and are grouped in large terminal clusters at the branch tips; they attract swarms of insects and some nectar-feeding birds and even mammals. The feature distinguishing Angophora from other eucalypts is the separate sepals and petals enclosing the buds, in contrast to the fused bud cap of Eucalyptus and Corymbia. Flowers are followed by ribbed woody capsules that open at the apex to shed their seeds annually. CULTIVATION: They are light-loving trees that often make fast growth as saplings, preferring sandy soils of moderate fertility and some degree of shelter from strong winds. Most will tolerate at least a degree or two of overnight frost as long as days are warm and sunny. Early growth of some species may be erratic, with plants sensitive to excesses or deficiencies of mineral nutrients and prone to sudden death or dieback. Species from the poorest soils tend to bolt when grown in better soils and may be short lived. Propagation is always from seed, which needs to be collected just as capsules discharge.
Anisodontea Belonging to the family Malvaceae, this genus has about 20 species of shrubs and subshrubs native to South Africa. They are evergreen with mostly toothed leaves that can be either lobed, palmate or elliptic. The flowers are typically mallow-like, 5-petalled with shallow cups. These plants are classed as half hardy even though some species can withstand short spells of a few degrees below freezing in free-draining gritty soil. In cool-temperate climates they are used as summer bedding and in mild coastal areas may be grown as border plants. CULTIVATION: The seeds should be sown in spring at 55?64?F (13?18?C). Half-hardened cuttings can be taken in summer but will need bottom heat for greater success. Plants do best in loam-based compost with added grit. If they are grown indoors, they need maximum light. If grown outdoors they require full sun and should be fed in spring with bonemeal or seaweed pellets. Pot-grown specimens should receive a balanced fertilizer once a month or for increased flowering, a tomato fertilizer. In winter, watering should be reduced to a minimum and feeding stopped. New plants can be tip pruned to make them more bushy, and in spring any straggly growth and dieback should be cut out. Pot plants are prone to red spider mite and white fly.
Annona Widespread in the tropics of Africa and America, this genus of some 100 species of evergreen or semi-deciduous shrubs and trees includes several fruiting plants that are important either commercially or locally. The best known of these are the cherimoya and the custard apple, which are widely cultivated. Most of the common species are 20?30?ft (6?9?m) tall with aromatic, simple, oblong leaves that have pronounced veins. The flowers are most unusual, having 6 thick fleshy petals and a central mass of densely packed stamens and pistils. These develop into a large fruit, technically known as a syncarp, that is really a cluster of smaller fruits fused together. These have a pulpy center and a sometimes spiny exterior. CULTIVATION: Requiring warm subtropical or tropical conditions, they also prefer shelter from strong winds. A sunny position with moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil is best. Flowering and fruiting can occur at any time and the plants should not be allowed to become too dry or the fruit quality will suffer. Propagate from seed or by grafting.
Asimina This genus of some 7 or 8 evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees from eastern North America is related to the custard apple (Annona). It is generally frost hardy, most species tolerating temperatures of 5?F (?15?C) or lower. The white or purple flowers are nodding and bell-shaped, appearing in small clusters, and the fruit is edible and pleasant tasting. CULTIVATION: Asimina can be grown in moist well-drained soil in a sunny or semi-shaded position. It is affected by prolonged dry periods. The tree responds well to pruning and shaping and can be used for hedging, though this reduces the crop of flowers and fruit.

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