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Flowering peach trees may have double flowers in different colors rather than the familiar
pink ones seen in Georgia orchards. This white flowering peach grows on the grounds of
the Georgia state capitol. PHOTOS BY ARTY SCHRONCE

Consumer Qs, March 21, 2017

By Arty Schronce This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Georgia Department of Agriculture

www.agr.georgia.gov

Editor’s note: “Consumer Qs” by Arty Schronce is written for gardeners throughout Georgia and may include plants not permitted in Big Canoe. For Big Canoe Property Owners who may want to check whether a plant is allowed, please refer to the POA’s Approved Plant List http://www.bigcanoepoa.org/getmedia/b668254f-a001-418c-ad94-3873707c5444/Approved-Plant-List.aspx

Question (Q): What is the difference between a tree that is labeled a flowering peach and what is just labeled as a peach? 

Answer (A): A flowering peach is one grown just for the beauty of its flowers. The same is true for cherries and flowering cherries. A flowering peach is still a peach and a flowering cherry is still a cherry, but when you see “flowering” in front of the name you know that they are grown for ornamental reasons, not for fruit production. These trees may produce fruit on occasion, but that is not their purpose. The same general rule applies for any fruit tree or shrub that is labeled “flowering.” Other examples are flowering crabapples and flowering plums. You may sometimes see them labelled “ornamental.”

Another example is flowering quince. These species and hybrids of the genus Chaenomeles may produce fruits that can be used in marmalades and such the same way the fruits of true quince (Cydonia oblongata) are used. However, flowering quinces are mainly ornamental shrubs grown for their floral displays in winter and early spring. True quince is a small tree and is nowhere near as common in Georgia as flowering quinces are.

“Flowering” may also mean that a plant is the showiest or produces the most flowers in its genus. An example is flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). We often call flowering dogwood simply “dogwood” because it is the most common and most popular dogwood in our area. There are other dogwoods, however. Our flowering dogwood is generally considered the showiest of all species of dogwoods.

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Georgia eggs can come in a variety of colors suitable for eating or for an Easter basket.

Q: Does anyone in Georgia raise the chickens that lay colored eggs? I want to buy some of the eggs for Easter.

A: Hens of the Araucana and Ameraucana breeds lay eggs with pale blue to bluish green shells. The chickens known as “Easter Eggers” can lay blue, green, olive or even pink eggs. An Easter Egger is any chicken that possesses the “blue egg” gene, but doesn't fully meet any breed description as defined in the American Poultry Association and/or the American Bantam Association standards. Marans such as the Black Copper Maran lay beautiful dark brown eggs.

These breeds are raised in Georgia but not on a large scale. You may find some by visiting farmers markets or looking in the advertisements for poultry in the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. Your county Cooperative Extension office may be able to point you to local people who raise these extraordinary birds. 

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While white-shelled eggs are the ones most often dyed for Easter, experimenting with
brown eggs can yield some attractive and interesting colors. This basket contains both.
The nest is made from stems gathered during the spring garden clean-up.

Having an Easter basket filled with some of their colorful eggs combined with familiar white and brown eggs will be a thing of natural beauty. Also consider that while white eggs are usually dyed for Easter eggs because they provide clearer, brighter colors, dying brown eggs will bring some attractive and interesting results as well. Try all kinds.

Q: Is a zucchini a squash?

A: Yes, a zucchini is a type of summer squash. Zucchini squash were introduced to American gardeners and cooks from Italy long after other summer squashes such as yellow crookneck were well established. Perhaps that is why many people simply called them zucchini; they seemed exotic and were different from the squashes they were familiar with. Or perhaps zucchini is just fun to say.

If you have questions about agriculture, horticulture, food safety or services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, write Arty Schronce (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or visit the department’s website at www.agr.georgia.gov.

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