Saturday, December 20, 2008

Unfinished business re: Syngonium podophyllum

In the profile post for Syngonium podophyllum, I raised the question of whether variegated Syngoniums would retain their coloration once they began to vine or developed larger, lobed leaves, and then irresponsibly ignored the question because I had no idea how to answer it.

I can now report a partial answer to the question:

It's not lobed and climbing, but this unknown 'Allusion'-type cultivar has retained its coloration (albeit in a much less interesting way than it started with) when it began vining. We also have a 'White Butterfly' at work that has begun to vine, and it's maintaining some white color in the leaves as it does so, though again, this is a lot less interesting than the original pattern, from the juvenile leaves.

So maybe it could work out, depending on the variety you start with.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Question for the Hive Mind: Peperomia NOID

I lead a fairly dull life. Any time not claimed by work or watering the plants at home goes to the blog, pretty much, and I only occasionally get the chance to do anything else. Sometimes this wears me down a bit, and I feel an urgent need to get out of Iowa City and go somewhere else. Usually this means going to a garden center in another city and buying more plants, which is counterproductive, obviously.

Last Wednesday was one of those days: I just couldn't stand the thought of looking at the Adenium obesum profile any more (it's since been finished), and I didn't want to water all day, and I was desperate to get out of town. So the husband and I went to Batavia, IA, a town of about 500 people roughly eighty miles to the southwest, to investigate reports of a greenhouse.

And there was one, and that's how I wound up with this Peperomia.

I know this isn't the best picture, so let me describe it too:

It's got red stems (at least where they've gotten good light), and some of the red continues up into the midvein on the underside of the leaves. The leaves are plain, smooth-edged ovals. The midvein, and a vein on either side of the midvein, are slightly sunken and very obvious. Leaves are very shiny. The habit seems to be semi-trailing, though they're upright for a while.

When I looked on, I found a lot of Peperomia pictures, but none of them seemed like a terribly good match for my plant. It doesn't help that some of the options don't have pictures attached. P. humilis has leaves that come to a sharper point at the end, and the internodes seem shorter on my plant than humilis. P. scandens has the same problems, plus it lacks the red stems.

Of course this assumes that is a reliable source, which it's not entirely. Other pictures of P. scandens from on-line show heart-shaped (cordate) leaves, and other pictures of P. humilis show much smaller leaves than on my plant. Glasshouse Works shows a picture of a P. buntingii that looks like a good match in one picture and completely wrong in the other. Ditto for P. glabella.

So I throw myself on the mercy of the reader. I can definitely rule out clusiifolia, obtusifolia, caperata and pereskiifolia, because I already have all of those and I know what they look like and this isn't them. But beyond that, I not only don't know, I'm not sure who to ask, or what to be looking for. Are there any Peperomia specialists in the house?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pretty picture: Eucharis grandiflora flowers

This one we owe to WCW, who insisted that we try to get Amazon lilies, even though the supplier tried to talk me out of it when I asked. The issue was that they weren't in bloom when I was asking, and the supplier didn't want to send me a bunch of plants that weren't in bloom, only to have me turn around and complain that they weren't in bloom. Or something like that. I was never quite clear on why she was trying to keep me from buying them: she just kept telling me that they weren't in bloom.

But WCW persisted, and said they weren't hard to get into bloom, nor were they hard to keep before and after blooming, and if we didn't get them then we were all fools and she washed her hands of us. So eventually, the supplier was convinced to send them along, and damned if they weren't (eventually) everything WCW had said they would be.

The leaves are actually plenty nice on their own: dark, shiny, slightly textured, 8-12 inches long. The flowers, however, are the show, and they do not disappoint. Bright white, large, and with a pleasant but faint scent that I haven't yet been able to detect long enough to match words to. I don't know how long the flowers last; they only just started a couple weeks ago. So far, one plant has budded and then sold immediately, one plant has budded and bloomed but just barely (pictured), and one plant has produced two flowers and one or two more buds so far, and has been in a place of honor up at the front counter, where so far all the customers have been able to resist impulse-purchasing it. (It's not even all that terribly expensive, considering how uncommon they are here, the size of the plant, and how cool the flower is.) I'm beginning to think that the front counter is not a good place to put the impressive stuff.

Anyway. I've been very impressed. WCW was right. I've been tempted, though lately what's been following me home is stuff like Cryptanthus (unplanned purchases are a hazard of writing the plant profiles), Tolmeia, Schlumbergera, Ficus, Pilea and Peperomia. We'll see if I get to Eucharis eventually or not.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pretty pictures: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana 'Klabat' and NOID

I'm not a particularly big fan of this plant, though I can't explain quite why: I can't see anything terribly wrong with it, and I don't have any bad associations with it as far as I can remember. Though I don't like trying to clean them up once they're mostly bloomed-out. Those little dead flowers get everywhere.

K. blossfeldiana 'Klabat.'

Perhaps it's just a matter of taste. They're certainly colorful enough. Maybe I'd like them if I tried them. I don't know.

In any case, these two pictures make nice bookends for one another: nothing like yellow with an orange center to complement orange with a yellow center.

K. blossfeldiana NOID.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What RuPaul has been up to:

Not particularly good likenesses, but I think we can all see where s/he's going with this.

Via Joe.My.God., who got it from Towleroad, who got it from NewNowNext, who (apparently) got it from promotional material for Logo's upcoming (?) new show, RuPaul's Drag Race, because NewNowNext is affiliated with Logo in some difficult-to-parse way.

This is blog-relevant because I was publicly wondering what RuPaul had been doing lately in the plant profile for Dizygotheca elegantissima. Hence the title.

Random plant event: Strobilanthes dyerianus flowers

With some of the stuff we have in the greenhouse, I'm never sure whether I should be pinching off the flowers or letting them go. Strobilanthes dyerianus (Persian shield) is an especially tough call, because it seems like there must be some kind of trick to getting foliage instead of flowers, and I cannot figure out what that trick is. Maybe less light? Anybody know?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pretty picture: Tillandsia capitata 'Peach' flower

Click for a considerably larger, but still more or less in focus, version.

I wouldn't have bothered with this one if it had just been green and purple, or even orange and purple, but the green-orange-purple combination was interesting enough that I figured I had to get a picture.

I was this close to buying this one, but I restrained myself. Not sure whether I expect you to be proud of me or disappointed in me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Work-related: A 'Dancer' too Far?

In yesterday's post, I told you I bought a Schlumbergera 'Caribbean Dancer' from work. Today, I was talking to someone about it, and was reading the tags in the plants, to see whether we had a different one that I'd liked previously ('Orange Beach,' if I remember correctly). Apparently 'Caribbean Dancer' is part of a series, which are all also named '[Something] Dancer,' and I guess I'm okay with that, but I think they maybe crossed a line:

I mean seriously. If we had to go to the stripper place, they might at least have made it a Tina Turner homage and called it 'Private Dancer.' But no.

When I showed Younger Co-Worker, her response (after the laughing) was to tell me to take the tag out of the pot. I was like, Are you kidding? Some people would buy that plant just for the name alone: no way I'm taking it out.

The plant itself wasn't fully in bloom yet, but from the look of the buds, it's a fairly basic magenta color. Officially it's red, and I found one picture that looked more red than magenta. Not bad, but nothing special. Except for the name.

The plant in question: Schlumbergera 'Exotic Dancer.'

There's a list of the other dancers here. I think they're missing out by not including "Private," "Break," and possibly "Tiny," but maybe that's just me.

Then again, maybe that's just the kind of people they are: this page includes a plant called Schlumbergera 'Sodom and Gomorra.' I don't know what a plant with that name ought to look like, but I bet you anything it's disappointing.

UPDATE: See also the Schlumbergera truncata cvv. profile.