Sunday, June 28, 2009

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

Went to Cedar Rapids yesterday because I desperately needed to get out of the house. Wound up going everywhere else, too, which kind of sucked (hot), but in the process I managed to get a new Haworthia.

It was labeled H. coarctata but is definitely not, if Google is to be believed. It might be a Haworthia, though, still. Either that or an Aloe. I'll put up a picture sooner or later. Anyway. Even though it's both a liar and a plain-looking plant, I kind of like it. New plants are always good for a short-term pick-me-up, and it has a certain subtle je ne sais quoi about it that I like.

Of course, the je ne sais quoi in question could be mealybugs. One never knows, with je ne sais quois, which is why the quoi is so hard for je to sais.

And anyway, it could have been a much more outrageous liar: I found some Asplundia 'Jungle Drum' plants at Lowe's that were tagged Calathea something-or-another. Every one of the five or so they had: it's not like a customer just switched a couple tags around. Someone gave them those tags, on purpose. Lowe's is so bad at getting the right tags on the plants that I marvel that they're even still trying.1

Anyway. There are pictures!

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

Anthurium crystallinum 'Mehani.' Disappointing picture, given that the plant can be pretty cool. My own plants (I have two) are currently having some problems with repeated and prolonged droughts, which I feel bad about but can't really help right now, things being what they are. They were nice prior to this, though, and they may be nice again.

Cordyline glauca. Primarily of interest for the thin streaks of purple.

Spathiphyllum 'Golden Glow,' or similar cultivar. Spathiphyllums get weirder as they age (like a lot of people), as they develop trunks and stuff. I never know what to do with them when they hit that point, and the plant this picture came from hit that point some time ago. I suppose if I really loved it, I'd let it spend some time outside this summer. (Or maybe, given my tendency to forget to water the outdoor stuff, I'd do that only if I really hated it, not loved it. Whatever.)

Ulmus sp. I really like this one (it is, in fact, probably my favorite from this batch), though it doesn't look like much unless it's full-size.

Beaucarnea recurvata variegata. The impressive thing here is not the venation, but the fact that I was able to get a picture at all. The leaves are both very thick (low transmission of light) and very narrow (easily washed out by ambient light).

Pedilanthus cv. 'Jurassic Park 2.' I am much prouder of this one than you would expect me to be, just because it's a thick leaf, and those are hard to get good transmitted light pictures of. 'Jurassic Park 2' is looking like a good plant, though it hasn't really filled in much from what it looked like when it got here.

Tropaeolum majus 'Alaska.' Another case of the enlarged picture being better than the reduced picture. Though the reduced picture is okay. We had these at work, though I'm not sure I ever saw a flower -- due to space issues, most of the nasturtiums had to go under a table for a lot of the spring, so they weren't really getting the kind of light they wanted, and didn't flower until the season was pretty close to over already.

Phalaenopsis NOID, petal. Yeah, this one didn't really work out so much. But I tried. Oh, how I tried.

Pelargonium x hortorum 'Vancouver Centennial.' Nice enough plant, but it has not worked well for me indoors. When I wasn't forgetting to water it, I was shoving it in a spot that wasn't providing enough light. Most of the new growth since I've had it has come in without the reddish color, and most of the old growth that did have the reddish color has dried up and fallen off. Now it is in the plant room, and there are some signs that things may be looking up: I saw a new leaf with some red in it a couple days ago.

Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Glennis.' Doesn't really do the variety justice: I think I needed to lighten the photo a little, and/or find a way to photograph it that keeps the shadows off better. Maybe I'll try again this summer.


1 It may actually be Exotic Angel that's taking the tag, schmag approach to plant-labeling: almost every outrageous example I can think of was with an Exotic Angel tag. I'm not saying that they don't maybe have a lot going on at EA, and that there might be things that are more important to them than having all the plants identified correctly, especially considering that a lot of customers won't care anyway. And I know that it can't be easy to meet the considerable needs of the nation's big box stores, and it's also true that the plants -- at least the tropical foliage plants -- are generally in pretty good shape, and attractive, and they don't just poof into existence that way, they have to be watered and transported and fertilized and all that. But they're so bad with the ID tags that I wish they would stop trying, if they're not going to be any more conscientious about matching them up than this. It's not as though there aren't ways to tell them apart.


Karen715 said...

It is probably Exotic Angel that is messing up the tags. No matter where I look at plants, the tags on EA varieties are totally wrong at least 75% of the time. And that is a lot of places: When I lived in New York, not only did the box stores carry EA varieties, but so did at least two privately owned nurseries I frequented, as well as the shop at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

My expectations are so low at this point that I'm impressed when the EA tags at least match the genus, never mind the species or cultivar.

Oh, and the transmitted light pics are lovely, as always. Love the coleus. I also really like the new, bolder header to the blog.

Happy Hermit ( said...

I also must agree that the Exotic Angels stuff is at fault. I think sometimes they just make stuff UP !!

I always wind up with some plant that in the long run is no where near what they say they are on the tag.

as for Lowes , they very rarely even CARE about the labels. I am surprised a lot of the plants survive at all there.

(I am a mostly dead scavenger , and Lowes has a LOT of mostly dead plants for deep discounts)

Ivynettle said...

Ngh. Wrongly labelled plants drive me crazy. Takes a lot of self-control not to grumble at innocent DIY store employees because the Scindapsus pictus is included in the "Philodendron mix" (along with Ph. hederaceum and Epipremnum aureum. I know it's not their fault.
What I love, on the other hand, is finding wrong tags in the school greenhouse (I just finished horticultural school today, hooray!) and knowing what it really is. Just last week I informed the greenhouse teacher that her "Portulaca grandiflora was in fact an Aptenia cordifolia

Also: There are variegated Beaucarneas? I want!

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

You've got some je ne sais quoi yourself!

Big, old spaths need to move to big, old houses--or the nearest Neiman-Marcus (where they look nice next to the escalators).