I need to come up with a snappier name for these posts than just "[More] Stuff I Didn't Buy," because that makes the plants in question sound boring or deficient in some way. I mean, sometimes they are (as with the aphid-riddled Sanchezia speciosa from this post), but more often, the reason I didn't buy is because they were expensive, or they were a plant I'm not confident of being able to grow, or because they were big, or because I already have several other varieties of that species, or what have you. Nothing wrong with the plant per se, just not the right plant for me at that moment. They're worth posting about anyway because they're new (to me) and/or cool (to me) and I sort of feel obligated to bring them to your attention.
But I need a new name for these posts.
But on to the plants. Here is a Calathea:
It's neat, and I've never seen one like it before (in fact, I can only think of one other Calathea in my experience that didn't have a purple underside: 'Moonlight's is green and darker green, fairly similar to the upper surface), but I also have a long-standing fear of Calatheas, going back a few years, so this was a no-go. But I thought y'all might be interested in knowing that it's out there. At my former workplace, actually.
Also at my former workplace is this new Syngonium:
I didn't catch the full name; WCW told me but I forgot what comes after "Gold." I had thought it was 'Gold Allusion,' but when I looked for photos of 'Gold Allusion' on-line, the stuff I found looked awfully normal, not chartreuse with a tiny bit of pink like this is. (It may be clearer if opened in a separate window. This picture was taken late in the afternoon, so everything is a little more yellow than reality, but the plant genuinely is pretty yellow.)
I didn't buy this one because, although it is pretty and I know how to keep Syngoniums alive (finally), they're too common to spend $20 on (or whatever the price on this one was: I didn't even bother to look) and I don't particularly like the way they age.
Finally (for this installment), an Asplenium I was not previously familiar with:
The fronds on this one are thick, or at least thick by fern standards, and sort of have a fan-coral ambience to them which is interesting. When I looked up Asplenium 'Austral Gem' on-line, what I've learned is that it's a hybrid between A. dimorphum and A. difforme; it was discovered in Victoria, Australia; because it's a hybrid, the spores are sterile (there is disagreement about whether they form spores at all, but if they do, the spores fail to mature, so the net effect is the same regardless); and if Jesus were to come back in the form of a fern, 'Austral Gem' is the fern he would look like.
I exaggerate on that last one. But not by very much! People are very enthusiastic about this plant. Closer investigation reveals that the unusual levels of enthusiasm are mostly because all the available information at the moment is coming from the retailers and wholesalers who are trying to sell them. So of course they're enthusiastic about the plant.
I didn't buy 'Austral Gem' the first time I saw it (Saturday the 8th) because I have rules about not buying expensive unknown ferns (The rule? Don't.), and I didn't buy it the second time (Wednesday the 12th) because I have the same rule about buying Aspleniums, period, regardless of cost. If they are in fact awesome enough to match their hype, there will be opportunities to buy them again later.