Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday morning Sheba and/or Nina picture

Nina's leaf impression still needs work, but is coming along.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle, match 7.1 (***FINAL MATCH***)

First, the results of match 6.2:

6.2 was very close; Echeveria spp. and their relatives and Haworthia spp. were essentially stem and stem the whole way through. In the end, Haworthia won by a leaf (2 votes), 64 to 62, and advances to the final match.

Which happens now. So here it is. Are you ready?

(Are you sure? You don't sound ready. . . .)

Match 7.1
Schlumbergera cvv. (holiday/Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus) vs. Haworthia spp.

Center and top left: Schlumbergera 'Caribbean Dancer;' others are NOID.

Top row, L-R: Haworthia tessellata (?), H. NOID.
Middle row, L-R: Haworthia limifolia var. ubomboensis, H. cymbiformis (?), assortment.
Bottom row, L-R: Haworthia attenuata, H. limifolia var. limifolia.

Pretty picture: Dendrochilum tenellum

Dendrochilum tenellum is native to the Philippines, and grows in the mountains in the cloud forests.

There are some really amazing photos of them on-line, but the above is not one of them. (This one shows an amazing specimen, though.)

There's growing information here and here, and Hortus Botanicus sells them here. (Caveat emptor: I have no connection with HB, have never bought anything from them, and make no claims about their trustworthiness or the quality of their merchandise.) I doubt they're easy. If nothing else, the humidity requirements sound pretty extreme. But then, that's what you'd expect from a cloud forest plant.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walkaways Part 16: The Walkawayening, plus one new plant

Just assorted plants that were interesting but left on the shelf. This covers at least a couple months, possibly longer: I had a photo-backlog problem for a lot of the summer and fall.

Acalypha wilkesiana 'Beyond Paradise.'

This would actually have been cheap, unlike almost everything else on the list, but I managed to realize before buying it that I had no spot in the house for a fast-growing plant that needed sun. And, you know, once you have that realization, it takes all the fun out of buying the plant.

Aglaonema NOID.

I don't think I've ever met an Aglaonema I didn't like. (I'm not even sure it's possible.) So this one is on the wish list.

Alocasia 'Loco.'

The variety name wasn't on the plant at the store, but that's what I think it is, based on some internet searching. It's become weirdly common here, all at once -- I'd never seen it before a couple months ago, and then suddenly it was everywhere. I passed it up because, you know, Alocasia = spider mites, and also because I kind of think it's ugly, but it's ugly in an interesting way, at least.

Begonia rex-cultorum NOID (possibly 'Fireworks?').

Never of any serious interest -- I don't intend to buy another rex begonia unless/until I have a dedicated terrarium or greenhouse or something to put them in. And even then, I probably won't bother. But pretty.

Calathea 'Corona.'

Way too big, therefore also way too expensive. Also it's not the best specimen (some burnt margins and scars and stuff, if you look close), and it didn't photograph that well either. But I'm getting dangerously close to buying another Calathea, because I've had my C. makoyana for a year and a half and it hasn't died (probably more a matter of luck than skill). I should probably fight that impulse, though if I found a nice Calathea ornata cheap somewhere, I'd have a hard time resisting.

Hoya NOID.

I don't think I've ever seen a Hoya for sale before that was this loaded with blooms. No ID, though. (Any guesses? UPDATE: Lee, in comments, suggests Hoya nummularioides, which looks like a match from the Google image search results. Thanks!) The flowers were very fragrant, though I didn't entirely like the smell.

Hoya NOID, close-up.

Same plant as above, in the hopes that showing a tighter shot of the flowers would lead to more/better ID guesses.

Kalanchoe tigrina?

Of interest primarily because I've been seeing it forever without knowing what, exactly, it is. I still don't know what it is, but at least I've finally come up with a guess. I would never buy it, because of the aforementioned lighting problems and the fact that about 85% of my experiences with genus Kalanchoe have been bad. Mostly because of lighting. I think.

Monstera adansonii.

I'm not particularly into M. adansonii, but this is an impressively large one.

Neoregelia NOID.

Apparently, this particular variety needs an insane amount of light to maintain its color. This is an old picture, but the plants are still for sale: they've just turned green and are nowhere near as interesting now. This is in the ex-job's greenhouse, which seemed plenty bright when I worked there, so supplying enough light for good color indoors must involve banks of 50 kW lasers or something.

Philodendron bipennifolium.

I had a P. bipennifolium once, and it didn't do well, likely due to inadequate light and humidity. (It didn't actually say what the problem was.) I love the leaf shape, so maybe someday I'll be able to try again.

Not with this particular specimen, though. I didn't check the tag, but I'm sure it must have been like $14,000 or something.

Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation.'

Didn't need to get this, 'cause I have one (it's been up and down and up again, but it's still alive and producing new growth; currently we're on the upswing), but I was impressed with the size. The only adjustments to this photo were cropping and coloring, but I think it looks more like a real Sansevieria trifasciata when vertically compressed:

Sansevieria trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation,' 328 x 700 px size. (The above is 328 x 1000 px.)

Schefflera actinophylla NOID.

The last plant I passed up is this yellow Schefflera actinophylla at the ex-job. They told me the cultivar name more than once, but I've forgotten, and I couldn't find it on-line. (I found plenty of names under which people are marketing yellow or chartreuse Schefflera actinophyllas, just not the name they were using for this particular plant. I'm pretty sure I'd recognize it if I saw it again.) I like chartreuse/yellow plants, but again, no money, no room, no light. So I left it.

The one plant I have bought since the last new plants post may be an error in judgment:

Peperomia rugosa.

A lot of the appeal was that I didn't know what it was. The stems looked a lot like those of a cane-type Begonia -- thick, watery, a bit translucent -- and the leaves were wrinkly in the manner of Peperomia caperata but thicker and slightly succulent-feeling, like with some Begonias. There was also a hint of Pilea mixed in there, from the deep grooves running the length of the leaf.

Initially, I assumed that it was probably hard to grow, and declined to buy it on those grounds. Then we went back to the same store a week later, and it looked the same, so I thought maybe this was a recommendation, or at least it was maybe less delicate than I'd originally thought. Also, when I bought it, I was kind of hoping it was an unusually exotic and symmetrical-leaved Begonia, even though I knew that was unlikely.

Of course it wasn't a Begonia. I asked at the UBC Indoor Plants forum, and they told me it was a Peperomia rugosa, which turned out to be correct, damn it. I sort of wish I could take it back, but so far, so good -- after thirteen days, it's only dropped a single leaf, so maybe it has more in common with Peperomias like obtusifolia and clusiifolia (which I do okay with) than with argyreia and caperata (not so much). Time will tell.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle Results

The final scores for match 6.1 are in:

Amazingly, Schlumbergera cvv. beat Saintpaulia cvv. by six votes (65-59) and goes to the final round. I'd thought Saintpaulia had a pretty good shot at winning the tournament (People love their African violets.), though I suppose making it to the second-to-last round is still not too shabby.

In a couple days, we'll have an official winner of match 6.2 (presently: too close to call). The final match will begin on 11 November.

They Grow Up So Fast: Nautilocalyx forgetii

I got a lot of new plants this summer and fall, mostly through trades, and I have to say, I think Nautilocalyx forgetii was the best. It's a competitive field -- good arguments could also be made for Chirita 'Deco,' Pereskia aculeata 'Godseffiana,' Episcia 'Pink Acajou,' Billbergia 'Foster's Striate,' and Huernia zebrina -- but in the end, I lean toward Nautilocalyx because it's grown rapidly while still remaining a very handsome-looking plant. I mean, there may be all sorts of terrible things about to happen this winter, but for right now, I'm quite smitten.

May 2011. 3" (7.5 cm) pot.

Jul 2011. 3" (7.5 cm) pot.

October 2011. 4" (10 cm) pot.

When I watered it yesterday, I saw what look like branches, sticking out of the leaf axils. Don't know what this is going to do to the overall shape of the plant, but if it does branch, then I can start trying to propagate, which ought to be fun.

I can't figure out why N. forgetii aren't sold more often. I mean, they're shiny, which people like, and there's contrasting color. I can't imagine they're particularly tough to ship; I've certainly seen more fragile plants in stores. They seem to propagate easily, and they grow fast enough that it seems like they'd be cost-effective to mass-produce. I haven't had bug problems yet. I treat it pretty much like I treat everything else, and it's thrived, so it doesn't seem like fussiness is the problem. So I'm stumped. Hopefully I'll be able to say the same in six months.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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

I woke up on Monday depressed, and remained that way. This is something that's happened before, though usually it spontaneously dissipates after about six hours without me having to do anything. Occasionally I have to watch Beavis and Butthead Do America to shake it.

Yesterday, it didn't dissipate after six hours. More like twelve (it started to lift around 8-8:30 PM last night). But I've scraped the bottom of the posts barrel1 to bring you a post anyway, because I love you.

Though it's only a transmitted light post. I don't want to marry you or anything.

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

Spathoglottis NOID.

Zea mays.

Chlorophytum 'Charlotte.'

Aglaonema 'Maria.'

Cordyline fruticosa NOID.

Philodendron pinnatifidum 'Spicy Dog,' dying leaf. Unexpectedly, this is probably my favorite from this set.

Colocasia esculenta. Though this would be a close second place. Colocasia pictures are almost cheating, though, really.

Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar.' Turned out badly, which seems like it ought to be impossible with this plant. Not sure what to blame.

Caladium 'Cardinal.' Caladium pictures are cheats too. Also Codiaeum. Any of the "C" plants, really.

Episcia NOID.


1 Metaphor, obviously, but I picture it as being your standard staves-and-hoops barrel. Wooden (oak?), about 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter, and filled with white pieces of paper about the size of a receipt, which are the posts.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle, Match 6.2

Results for match 5.4:

Haworthia spp. were victorious over Calathea cvv., by a vote of 60 to 44, so now succulent is pitted against succulent for the chance to reach the final match:

Match 6.2
Echeveria cvv. and related plants (Sedeveria, Graptoveria, Pachyveria, etc.) vs. Haworthia spp.

Top row, L-R: Echeveria 'Perle von Nurnberg,' E. 'Topsy Turvy,' E. setosa.
Middle row, L-R: Graptosedum 'Alpenglow - Vera Higgins,' Echeveria coccinea flowers, Echeveria 'The Rose.'
Bottom row, L-R: Echeveria nodulosa, Pachyveria x glauca, Echeveria x shaviana 'Pinky.'

Top row, L-R: Haworthia tessellata (?), H. NOID.
Middle row, L-R: Haworthia limifolia var. ubomboensis, H. cymbiformis (?), assortment.
Bottom row, L-R: Haworthia attenuata, H. limifolia var. limifolia.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rumble Among the Jungle Results

Results for match 5.3:

Sort of an odd situation, throwing the Oncidium alliance orchids up against Echeveria et al. I mean, people are always saying not to compare apples to oranges, but at least apples and oranges are both fruit, and about the same size. Comparing Oncidiums to Echeverias seems like a step beyond even apples-oranges, but here we are regardless. In any case, Echeveria et al. got the win, 68-61, and goes on to face the winner of match 5.4 tomorrow.

Match 6.2 will probably be a few minutes late getting posted, because voting for 5.4 has to end before I can include its score in the post for 6.2. Just to warn you.

Pretty picture: Phaius Microburst Octoberfest

I don't like the photo, but it's all I have. I've taken better Phaius pictures before.

I spent a lot of yesterday trying to deal with technical problems. (I couldn't access large sections of the internet -- some of the photos on Tumblr, the Polldaddy site I create the Rumble polls with, most/all Wordpress sites, etc.) In the end, I didn't actually fix anything: I never even figured out what had happened. Just, after about six hours of half the internet being gone, suddenly it was back again.

I'd probably have something funny and/or clever to say if I hadn't burned all my mental energy trying to figure out where the internet went. Sorry.