Complete the SAT-style analogy:
Abutilon : ___________ :: Hibiscus : Kim Kardashian
a. Kourtney Kardashian
b. Khloe Kardashian
c. Rob Kardashian
d. Bruce Jenner
e. Khlorox Kardashian
Think about it. Take your time. If you don't know who the Kardashians are, I ENVY YOU.
Oh. But you still probably want an explanation. Okay. They're this family with a reality show ("Keeping Up With The Kardashians") 'cause they're famous for making sex tapes or something like that. And one of them is Olympic gymnast Bruce Jenner.
The reader will be relieved to learn that Bruce Jenner, now 59, does not to the best of my knowledge appear in the sex tapes.
Back, L-R: Rob K., Khloe K., Kris K., Bruce J., Kim K.
Front, L-R: Khlorox K., KarmaKarmaKarmaKarmaKhameleon K., Kourtney K.
I went to Wallace's Garden Center in Bettendorf, IA with the husband last weekend, and not only did they have all the annuals' prices cut, but they were inexplicably running a 20% off sale on houseplants too. So I bought a few houseplants, which will probably be fodder for future posts.
I also got an Abutilon. Lots of houseplant books include them, but I've never paid a lot of attention, because I've never seen any for sale until a few months ago. This one was relatively low-risk: only $2 (it was considered an annual), so I guess I can find out what they like by slowly bringing it to the brink of death. I believe I got the plant in this photo:
You can see the relationship to Hibiscus in the flowers, though they're smaller, more realistic-looking flowers by comparison. (Hibiscus flowers, though I like them, always seem a little bit excessive: too big, too bright, too much in some hard to define way. Abutilon is a little more down to earth, a little more relatable. Which is why my answer to the analogy above is b, Khloe Kardashian, because she's the only Kardashian who, though clearly in the 99th percentile of pretty, still looks like someone you might actually know. The judges will also accept c, Rob Kardashian, who is arguably even more plausible as an ordinary person but makes a less-obvious comparison to Kim than Khloe does. Option d, Bruce Jenner, is completely wrong, since as far as I know there are no members of the Malvaceae comparable to a man whose face is clearly trying desperately to crawl away from the skull to which it is attached.)
Anyway. If anybody has prior experience with caring for indoor Abutilons, I'd be really interested. The only houseplant book I have that mentions them mainly emphasizes that they grow fast, which is nice to know if true, though this particular series appears to be a short variety (Davesgarden.com says the "Bellas" stay under two feet tall.), so even that information is not necessarily true. So any experience you've got, I'd like to hear.