Day 256 - In 1846 the Caledonia Horticultural Society of Edinburgh, offered a prize of 2,000 pounds to the first person producing a blue dahlia. The color has never been produced. While dahlias produce anthocyanin, an element necessary for color production, to achieve a true blue color in a plant, the anthocyanin delphinidin needs six hydroxyl groups. To date dahlias have only developed five, so the closest that breeders have come to achieving a "blue" specimen are variations of mauve, purples and lilac hues.
Day 257 - Today the dahlia is still considered one of the native ingredients in Oaxacan cuisine; several cultivars are still grown especially for their large, sweet potato-like tubers. Dacopa, an intense mocha-tasting extract from the roasted tubers, is used to flavor beverages throughout Central America.
Day 258 - Kangaroo paw is a common name for a number of species, in two genera of the family Haemodoraceae, that are endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. These perennial plants are noted for their unique bird attracting flowers. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and open at the apex with six claw-like structures: from this paw formation the common name "Kangaroo Paw" is derived.
Day 259 - The word cosmos is derived from Greek and means orderly, beautiful, and balanced. Cosmos blooms reach sizes of up to 2 inches in diameter and have vivid colors and a sweet aroma which emanates from the flower.
Day 260 - The Poppy is an angiosperm or flowering plant of the family Papaveraceae. Ornamental poppies are grown for their colorful flowers; some varieties of poppy are used as food, whilst other varieties produce the powerful medicinal alkaloid opium which has been used since ancient times to create analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drugs.