Monday, July 27, 2009

Random plant event: Hypoestes phyllostachya flower

This isn't a particularly good picture as regards the color of the flower, which is a much purer, more saturated purple than this, and which looks, frankly, hideous next to the light pink spots on the leaves (another example of nature having poor color sense).


It is, however, a pretty good illustration of the overall shape and construction of the flowers, which have a certain elegant simplicity. Or maybe it's a simple elegance. And they're very good at what they do, which is why if you've had a Hypoestes phyllostachya for any length of time, you will start finding seedlings of it popping up in neighboring pots.

I go back and forth on whether I like Hypoestes: it seems like it forever needs watering or pinching. On the plus side, they're tougher than they look: Many times at work, they got too dry and collapsed, looking like they were complete goners, but then bounced back just fine after getting a little water. I've also managed to get cuttings from nearly-dead plants to come back to life with no more difficulty than one would expect from a healthy, thriving plant. So there's that. They just always look kinda . . . weedy, though, and it's all but impossible to keep them pinched back enough to prevent them from flowering, which makes them look weedier.

There will probably be a Hypoestes phyllostachya plant profile coming up relatively soon, because I have an idea for which "person" to use. Though "relatively" is an important word, in the preceding sentence. (This has now happened: the Hypoestes phyllostachya profile can be found here.)


1 comment:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Let's see how much older than you I am...I remember this plant as being H. sanguinolenta. It was a staple in my room at ag. college 30 years ago, because it was cheerful and grew so fast even with dorm-window lighting. But I haven't had one for years.