So last Monday, after my last (unless I do seasonal help at some point, or unless I'm called back for a day or two here and there in the next little bit) day (except for the part in the morning I missed because of a prior appointment) of work (though putting away a tropical order is as enjoyable as work ever got, so it's not work in the usual sense, and it wasn't exactly working for money, either), I got some new plants. I will now share pictures, as four out of the five are pretty interesting, at least to me, and I don't want the fifth to feel left out so I'll include it too. The photography herein is going to be a little meh, because I haven't quite figured out the optimal lighting situation for the new place, but you'll at least get the general idea.
So let's meet the new residents --
#1 -- Senecio macroglossus, 3", $3.95 from work
I talked myself into this one while writing the post about its flower. I was never particularly good at keeping it happy before, and I may not be all that good at keeping it happy again, but it seemed worth trying.
#2 -- Pleomele thalioides, 8", $39.95 from work
This is the one I was the most excited about getting: it photographs poorly, and I have no idea whether it will prove to be a good plant indoors: davesgarden.com doesn't recognize anything by the name "Pleomele" except for Dracaena reflexa (which used to be Pleomele reflexa), a Garden Web search for it turned up no matches (I didn't try just "Pleomele" by itself, because I figured doing so would turn up nothing but Dracaena posts), Wikipedia has heard of the genus but not this particular species, and even Google only comes up with 189 hits, the overwhelming majority of which are either informationless lists of species names or written in languages I do not speak. So I have no idea. But we'll try it. What the hell.
#3 -- Furcraea foetida 'Medio-Picta,' 6", $10.99 from somewhere other than work
This plant is apparently known to everybody but me as a false agave. I'd never seen it or heard of it before. I wasn't all that excited about seeing it, either, because when I did a google search for it, what came up were fairly boring-looking green plants that looked just like Agaves in every particular except for being, somehow, even less interesting. What actually came in, in the order, was this:
Which, you know, OMFG. Unfortunately, OMFG also pretty accurately describes the price tag ($89.95 -- not the priciest thing on the shipment, and not particularly unreasonable, given the size and apparent age, but a higher cost than I was prepared to take on). However: a few weeks back, WCW had informed me that there were very cheap Agaves for sale in town, and I, expecting, you know, an Agave, had dutifully gone down there to check it out. What was there instead were these fleshy, twisty things that had the general shape of an Agave but were nothing like any Agave I was familiar with. In fact, they were so unlike what I was expecting that I walked past them like three times before finally asking the person at the counter if they had Agaves, and where, and when she took me to these, I was kind of befuddled.
But, so. You see where this is going. Coaxed the husband into going back to the other place, and bought a small one, since I couldn't have the big one from work:
In theory, all we need is time, and this one will turn into the other. Good luck, buddy.
#4 -- Zingiber malaysianum, "midnight ginger," 4", $9.95, from work
Most of the time around here, "ginger" means a variegated Alpinia zerumbet, a perfectly nice plant as plants go, but one I've never felt that much desire to grow. They seem to dry out quickly, and I've accepted the fact that I don't do well with plants that can't handle drying out more than they would prefer every once in a while. Plus they get big, even in containers, and I knew I didn't have that kind of room. But this -- this is something special. (I am told that WCW just about crapped her pants upon finding out that these were available again; it's apparently been five years since they were last on the availability list.)
Like the Pleomele, I have no idea whether this will be growable. But it's got awesome dark red-black leaves, and it smells nice (just barely, but enough to notice), and it gives spectacular photos by transmitted light, so we're going to give it a shot.
#5 -- The Big Damn Screw Pine (Pandanus veitchii), 8", $29.95, from work
This guy's been talking to me for a very long time: he was there when I started work, and had been there for some unknown period of time before that.
Now, I think Pandanus are amazing plants -- relatively easy to grow indoors (I've had four or five small ones for quite a while, and never any problems except when I let them get too dry. Even then, they're fairly forgiving.), fast-growing, potentially huge, etc. There's just the one problem: the leaves have sharp spines all along the margins and on the underside of the leaf, along the midrib, which are not only sharp and omnipresent, they're also hooked, so it's very hard to do anything to the plant without getting multiply stabbed, having one's clothes caught, etc. Also, on me at least, the spines leave little itchy welts that last for about a day, day and a half before going away.
But it's also like four feet tall. And for only thirty bucks, how could I say no, right?
So although I don't typically name my plants, this one is going to be the exception: he will be called the Big Damn Screw Pine, or BDSP. And shortly, I'm planning to up-pot him, which should be good for lots of swearing, after which he will be slightly taller, and then (if the ones at work are any indication) he should then begin to grow really quickly. Pandanus don't seem to mind being rootbound especially, but if they've got room to grow, they'll do so in spades.
So if I play my cards right, by winter I may be able to grow him to the point where he'll have to have his own bedroom, because we won't be able to walk around him anymore without having body parts sliced off. I don't know why this should be a goal, but it kinda is. (I told you I like the mean, stabby, poisonous ones.)
And there you have it. Comments? Anybody want to share previous experiences with, or helpful tips for, Pleomele, Zingiber, or Furcraea?