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Zinnia


Picture Source:Flower Council of Holland
Popular Name: Zinnia
Botanical Name and Pronunciation: Zinnia elegans (ZIN-ee-a-EL-e-ganz)
Common Name(s): Youth-And-Old-Age (for the tendency of this composite flower's new disk florets to continuously form within the long-lasting ray petals), Old Maid, Cut And Come Again (for the garden plant's quickness to produce more flower heads after each harvesting).
Color(s): white, pink, red, purple, yellow
Form and Size: The stems of zinnia are up to 24 inches long with coarse foliage. At the stem end there is a single flower head that has a ½ – 3-inch diameter. The most common shapes are the daisy-like bloom and the round bloom.
Vase Life: 4–5 days, sometimes longer
Availability: summer–early fall
Care Instructions: Remove any leaves from the bottom of the stem that will fall below the water line. Cut stems under water, and place in fresh water with flower food; repeat every few days.
History and Usage: A member of the Compositae (aster) family, zinnia originated in the Americas: Mexico, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona and Texas. Its botanical and popular name comes from Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759), a doctor and botanist at Gottingen University who wrote their first scientific description. Zinnia beautifully complements any flower in mixed arrangements, and looks lovely grouped in a vase.
Points of Interest: Relatives of zinnia include sunflower, yarrow, chrysanthemum and dahlia. The Spaniards who conquered the plant's native region in Mexico called them "mal de ojos," an adaptation of the Aztec's original name that meant "eyesore." The plant's small, dull blooms were considered unattractive until W. Atlee Burpee & Co. began to hybridize the flowers in the 1940's, quickly leading to the brilliant showy look we're familiar with today. The ASPCA lists Zinnia as non-toxic to cats and dogs.
Ethylene Sensitive: No