Thursday, October 1, 2009

[Exceptionally] Pretty pictures: transmitted light -- Part XIX

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to congratulate me on the Blotanical wins (1st place for Best Iowa Blog, and then three third place finishes: Best Educational Blog, Best Blog Name, and Best Container Gardening Blog) yesterday. I was kind of unhappy with the event overall because very few people I voted for won: with five options per category, if I'd just voted randomly, without paying any attention to the quality of the blogs at all, 20% of my votes would have been for the first place winners. Instead, I only managed 17%. I apologize to the people I voted for, and promise not to do it again next year.

But so anyway, back to regular blog business:

I'm working on two plant profiles simultaneously, which is keeping me busier than normal. No idea when either will be done. In the meantime, it's been a while since I did one of these, I guess, so -- let's look at some leaves.

(The previous transmitted light posts can be found here.)

Cissus rhombifolia 'Ellen Danica.' What to say about this one? It's a leaf. A green leaf. That's about it.

Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa. (Previously identified at PATSP as a NOID Disocactus, but that is incorrect.) Believe it or not, this is in focus. I'm getting to be really fond of this plant, after seeing what the ones where I used to work have been up to: lots of berries, and they've turned bright red, more or less the color of this picture, and are much larger now. (I'll put up a picture sometime.) Not that anybody's buying them, still, but they are visually quite stunning, and are much better-looking than when we first got them in. Nobody appreciates the weird plants. *sigh*

Dracaena thalioides (previously Pleomele thalioides). Another green leaf. It's a prettier shade of green than the Cissus, though. It's also unusual for a Dracaena to have a midrib the way that this one does.

Canna NOID. This one I like. Plain, but detailed enough to be cool, and the lines are graceful and pleasant. If this doesn't do it for you, I've got another Canna picture coming up in some other set of transmitted light pictures that is pretty stunning. (Even I was impressed.) But this isn't bad on its own.

Fagus sylvatica 'Purple Fountain.' I liked this one well enough to use it as the header photo until fairly recently. The leaves really are purple: you just have to see them by reflected light, instead of transmitted light.

Plectranthus oertendahlii. I'm really liking this as a houseplant lately. I got a few cuttings from a Garden Webber in a trade a little over a year ago, and they've turned into what would be a really full 6" plant, if I hadn't cut a lot of it back to propagate. It's more or less what you'd get if you crossed Plectranthus verticillatus with Saxifraga stolonifera: a fuzzy green trailing vine with veins highlighted in gray.

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Quarterback.' When I had this plant indoors, it grew nice big leaves that were sort of lime green, more or less the color of this picture. The ones I moved outdoors, earlier this summer, have small leaves which have turned sort of gold and are way less attractive. I've learned from working on a Solenostemon scutellarioides profile that it's not unusual for a cultivar to change color or habits depending on growing conditions, age, soil fertility, and various other things.

Perilla frutescens 'Magilla Purple.' For some reason, I remembered this being a really bad picture, but it's not so terrible. I remember I had to try more than once, though. Maybe the first attempts were really bad.

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Kong Aline.' (Just to get this out of the way: I know the picture is kind of unimpressive. It needed to get the brightness tweaked a bit more than it did, I'm afraid.) 'Kong Aline' is the joke name I gave a sport of 'Kong Rose' I found at work in May, and subsequently bought. It's still here, and still alive, but I haven't been able to give it enough light, so it's not really clear whether this color pattern is stable. It's also been trying really, really hard lately to flower, which could signal the beginning of the end.

Zingiber malaysianum. The way light shines through the leaves was most of the reason why I bought this one. So far it's doing . . . okay. Not great. There's new growth, but some of the old growth has gotten dry margins. I didn't up-pot it as quickly as it would have liked, so it got overly dry a few times; I'm hoping that's all the dry-margins thing means. Obviously this would be my favorite picture from this batch.


lynn'sgarden said...

I love plectranthus~they are long living and almost always look good! The perilla photo made me think 'Kong Rose'coleus..such a beautiful color. Yep, you saved best for last ;)
Congrats on Best Iowa Blog but DAMMIT! you should've taken 1st on Educational and Name categories too!!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Best Iowa blog! Hooooooray!!!

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Congratulations on Best Iowa blog!
I agree with lynn'sgarden ... you should have won for Educational and Name too!

CelticRose said...

Congrats!! :-D

Diane said...

3rd place or not, this is still the first place I come for houseplant info! And I for one love the weird plants - a Pseudorhipsalis would look lovely next to my night-blooming cereus, except I've never seen one for sale around here :(

Sue Swift said...

Came in to say thanks for the congrats - and the same to you :)
Love the photos of the leaf veins.

Frances said...

Hi Mr. Sub, late to get here, but congrats are certainly in order. If you voted for me, well, don't do it again! Is that what you were trying to say, I sort of didn't get it, sorry if that is an inappropriate comment. You asked me if second place did not count, that really put me off balance. It is embarrassing to me, writing a post about the awards, and difficult to find words that seem right to thank people. All the nominees are winners for being nominated. And I love the lithrops so apology accepted.

Diane said...

Would you believe, I forgot all about the Disocactus/Pseudorhipsalis ID confusion, bought something labeled Disocactus, pondered the ID, and then rediscovered your posts on the issue (and this post, where I commented that I wanted one in the first place)! So, I have a Pseudorhipsalis ramulosa now, and it's pretty and weird and sitting right next to my night-blooming cereus just like I wanted.
My memory is like Swiss cheese but it all comes out right in the end.