We had sort of a good flower / evil flower thing going on here on Christmas Day. The good flower was, of course, Eucharis grandiflora, which I first noticed was blooming around the beginning of December. It eventually produced a scape (flowering stem) with four buds on it. The first of those opened on 20 December, and the fourth one opened on Christmas. (The evil flower is the subject of tomorrow's post; I'm not going to spoil the surprise.) Which as far as it goes, the buds are fairly ornamental in their own right:
The smell changes with the time of day, which might be the flowers and might be me. I'm not sure. But at least some of the time, the scent reminds me of a Gardenia, sitting on a table, which has just been dusted with Lemon Pledge: mostly a gardenia smell, but with a bit of something sharper and more citrusy. It's possibly the very best scent in the entire world. At other moments, Eucharis has a heavier, more perfumey smell, which I don't like so much.
One good and bad thing: the scape wasn't really strong enough to hold the flowers upright. It was good because the plant's on a high shelf already, and having the flowers standing straight up would have put them out of smellable range, but it was bad because the photos of the whole plant looked goofy. Eventually I had to tie the scape to a bamboo rod in order to get a whole-plant picture:
Unfortunately, particular flowers don't last very long: the one that opened on 20 December had begun to wither by 26 December, so it's a brief show. I still can't complain about the plant, though: it's been remarkably easy to take care of so far (and I've had mine since January 2009, almost two years), and I really like it as a foliage plant even when it isn't blooming. Plus, even if the show is brief, it could happen again in a few months, if I can figure out how to make it happen again.