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I frutti del Paradiso

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In the landscape, becoming wintry, the farm protects, in its interior, many plants, inflorescences and shrubs. In the wood and chestnut soil, among the acidophilus present in the farm, grows the gardenia , which has white and fragrant flowers with petals disposed in spiral. In March, April and May in the shade flowers the "azalea indica". There are many species of camellia , which have white, red or pink flowers. Originally came from Asia, and its name come from a Jesuit Father of the seventeen-century called Camelius. The cornel-tree belongs to the "cornus" family, it is a shrub of caduceus leaves, opposite or alternate, with changeable colour and berry-shaped fruits red or yellow. Some paths are outlined by euonymus bordure , originally from China, evergreen. The holly is a tree with persistent leaves, a bit petiolate and sharp, with red fruits very decorative. Even in the Etna grows the "ribes rubrum" which has juicy fruits berry-shaped. The bower of an old cistern is made of an imposing wisteria with big fragrant flowers of a blue or white colour, joined in cluster. Originally from China the "wisteria" family was imported in Europe in 1816. In the flowerbeds grow the iris rhizomatous that have long radical leaves purple or white, and they make effective spots of colour. The farm, in the past ten years, has created an implantation of "iris frangiate" coming from the best Florentine farms. In June, the "peony shrub" flowers, with big leaves made of leaflets glabrous of lighter colour in the inferior part. In isolated groups, near to wall of pressed bricks, is cultivated the forsythia , a very branched shrub, with caduceus dentate leaves, of a beautiful green colour; before the axillary leaves, there are flowers, solitary or in small groups pendent, of four petals gold yellow. The violet "odorata" makes small carpets; it is spontaneous and it has double flowers, solitary on long stalks with a five elements corolla, of purple colour. Isolated, in the undergrowth, there is a shrub with glabrous reddish branches, thin, narrow and lanceolate leaves, rose-coloured flowers reunited in compact corymbs, and red fruits with spherical shape; it is the "cotoneastro". Close to lava stonewall, wedged among an iron railing, there is the pyracantha; a species that is more appreciated for its fruits, very decorative, rather that for its flowers or its leaves. Under the huge red pines grow some spontaneous trees, like the rowan tree , which has white flowers, quite small, and red-orange fruits abundant and persistent. Inside old oil containers made of baked clay, are grown the russelia , originally from Mexico, they are small shrubby plants with thin branches and tubular flowers red coral. Isolated, in the undergrowth, grows the aaron's beard  a perennial shrubby plant, originally from Asia, it has oval leaves opposite of a dark green colour and solitary yellow flowers very big characterized by many stamens joined in bands. In the orchard, we find the strawberry trees , small spontaneous trees evergreen, with dentate leaves and scarlet berry, very decorative. The leaves and the fruits contain tannic substances with intestinal astringent characteristic.In vegetable gardens, we find an aromatic plant used in many different ways, it is the sage. In the grass appear many spontaneous species, as the dandelion or taraxacum, officinal with flowers yellow peripheral, often purple in the inside. The leaves are used for salads, because they are a bit laxative, cholagogic, diuretic, and invigorating. Originally from North America, they were introduced in Europe in the 600 A.D. the topinambour flowers in small groups and its bulb is eatable. The farm is surrounded by rhododendrons , which has big pink-purple flowers brought by thick downy stalks. Spontaneous, in February, at the edge of the woods grows the snapdragon , twenty centimetres long with radical linear leaves, longer in the stalk with only one brown-violet fragrant flower. A whole area is dedicated to the spontaneous cultivation of the butcher's broom , a perennial plant evergreen, with prickly leaves at the top and red berry very decorative. From the orchidaceous family, originally from the mountainous areas of Asia, is the species cymbidium , cultivated in full land at the foot of the mountain Etna, with spike or raceme inflorescences, and big colourful flowers variegated or punctuated and sustained by stalks. Typical of the landscape is the broom , situated along slopes, with caduceus alternate leaves, big yellow flowers, fragrant, joined in bunch. The "genista aetnensis" is a species of high phytogeografic interest, because is a relict of tertiary flora extinct , arrived in the Etna, probably from Sardinia, in the quaternary period. Another bright red inflorescence is the dock (74), very diffused and a pioneer in the accumulation of lapillus. In the moist earth in the farm, grow in half shade the buttercups that make grassy carpets. Along the volcanic landscape, grows the dog-rose different from the old rose -gardens present; with thin and thorny shoots, tiny leaves and one flower pink or white, with five petals. They last long and they are very scented. The leaves are alternate, pinnate, with five or seven little leaves oval with dentate edges. The real fruits are achenes, hard and downy. This is the floral receptacle that growing fat, and closed at the top is become pulpy with maturation. One hundred grams of its fresh pulp contain more that 1.500 mg. of vitamin C, that is unchanged in the delicious marmalade that it is possible to obtain. The astringent, diuretic characteristics of the fruit and the leaves of the dog-rose, were used for decoctions and infusions, in popular medicine, and today in modern herbalist' shops. They are searched even from thrush, blackbirds, pheasants and foxes. The false fruits of the dog-rose, oval and long, have inspired the realization of the famous complete food for dogs and cats: Rosa Canina c.l. (Country Life).

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