After a very long period (a couple weeks?) of neither gaining nor losing any plants, the count ratcheted up a couple times last Thursday and Friday. They're not all incredibly interesting, but a few of them are unusual enough to be noteworthy.
Also I should show you the new Iresine herbstii 'Blazin' Rose' that I got at Wallace's when I went there for the orchid show, just because I think it's cool. Are Iresines supposed to be huge like this, or is this something specific to this variety? 'Cause seriously, some of these leaves are like five inches long, and almost as wide. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. It's practically a croton.
But better, obviously, on account of not actually being a croton.
Then the batch from last Thursday came from Jake Henny, of the blog Plant Daddy (that's right: the Jake Henny! E-mailed me!), who offered to send an Aglaonema 'Golden Bay,' since I said a few posts back that I didn't have one yet, in passing, while complaining about the disappearance of Dieffenbachia 'Tropic Forest.' I expect to like 'Golden Bay;' other white-stemmed Aglaonemas ('Peacock,' 'Brilliant') have done really well for me, and 'Golden Bay' was well-behaved at work when we had them.
That was nice enough on its own, but then as a bonus, he threw in a couple plants of a new variety of Philodendron hederaceum, 'Frilly Philly,' which I had seen on-line a few times but had not yet viewed in person. It didn't look quite like I expected: a lot of the on-line photos were unclear, or had the plant trained vertically, so I couldn't really tell what it was like.
So what's it like?
Well. You wouldn't think it was a P. hederaceum to look at it. The leaves are narrow, and fairly small, not even remotely heart-shaped. When I showed the husband, his comment was that it looked almost like a trailing bamboo or something. Everything about it on-line so far appears to be press releases, so it's very new, but 'Frilly Philly' was developed via irradiation (a mutation technique touched on in the profile for Begonia rex-cultorum, q.v.) of P. hederaceum (see .pdf file) and the mutation is apparently stable. It's also supposed to branch a lot more freely than other varieties of the same species. Do I like it? I'll let you know. For right now, I'm mostly just surprised at how different it is, both from the parent plant and from my expectations.
Then on Friday, I was going a little crazy from not getting out of the house since the trip to Wallace's, so we went to Iowa City and I stopped at my former workplace. I had every intention of not buying anything; I was just going to take pictures to use on the blog, talk to whomever was around, and then go, but you know how these things work.
So I got a replacement Crassula muscosa (I'd had one a while ago, but I pitched it when it got mealybugs) --
-- and an Agave victoriae-reginae. I had one of these already, but this one -- which has been at the store for years, by the way; I was the one who divided it off its parent and potted it up originally -- looks like it's offset seven or eight more rosettes, which in theory could be divided. Even if I lose half and only get four plants out of it in the end, that's still a pretty good deal, for a plant that's not found that often around here.
Also I bought a plant that was labeled only "Haworthia hybrid."
I suspect it is actually an intergeneric Aloe x Haworthia ("Alworthia") or Gasteria x Haworthia ("Gasterworthia") cross, rather than a hybrid of two Haworthia species, mostly based on the flowers.
All the Haworthia flowers I can recall seeing are small white five-petaled things with a greenish stripe down the center of each petal; all the Gasteria flowers I can think of are pinkish-orange tubular things with a slightly bigger base (the botanical name comes from the Greek gaster, meaning "stomach," and refers to the shape of the flowers). The flowers on this seem like a pretty straightforward compromise between the two things, being tubular five-petaled flowers with a pinkish-orange, slightly bigger base, shading to white with greenish stripes, so I suspect Gasterworthia more than Alworthia. But there are Aloes with tubular pinkish-orange flowers that end in green-striped white as well; witness Aloe 'Doran Black:'
Which means that 'Doran Black' is a cross-generic hybrid too and I've just misidentified it, that Aloe is a really variable genus, that flowers are not sufficient to identify specific genera within the Asphodelaceae family, or some combination of these. So I don't think I'm ever really going to know what this is. But it was a largish Haworthia-oid thing, so I had to have it. Because that is just how I roll.
[UPDATE: There appears to be agreement that this is a Gasterworthia / Gasworthia / Gasterhaworthia, possibly 'Banded Pearls' or 'Royal Highness.' Neither appears to be especially common, so there aren't a lot of photos to investigate in either case, and the photos I did manage to find are fairly variable, suggesting that there's either a lot of misidentification going on out there or that they're highly variable plants. So for now we'll call it Gasterworthia cv.]
[ALSO: Gasworthia, Gasterworthia, and Gasterhaworthia all appear to be used to describe Gasteria-Haworthia crosses. Searching Google for each turns up 245 incidences of Gasworthia, 984 Gasterhaworthias, and 13200 Gasterworthias, so Gasterworthia is the one I'm going to use.]
And speaking of large, and really, really new: Philodendron 'Spicy Dog.'
This is so new that there's basically nothing about it on the internet (I found exactly two mentions on the whole internet, neither one of which contained any useful information beyond confirming that the plant exists), so I have no idea what kind of ride I'm in for, whether it's available under a different name, whether it's a hybrid or a variety of Philodendron bipinnatifidum, or basically anything else. All I know at this point is that the pot had a sticker on it identifying it as P. bipinnatifidum, it looks like the P. 'Xanadu' that ate Cleveland (the longest leaf is 14 inches / 36 cm), the petioles are spotted, and the name makes no sense whatsoever -- there's nothing spicy or canine about it as far as I can tell. (I checked with Sheba, in her capacity as resident canine expert, and she concurs.) It looks like injury to the leaves and the consequent leaking of sap leads to a mold problem sooner or later; the undersides of some of the leaves had the sooty black mold on them that I've seen on other plants. But it came off.
I don't, of course, have room for it, but it's getting warm enough to be thinking about keeping some of the plants outside, so maybe some of them will move out, leaving room for new indoor residents. We can hope.