Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random plant event: Plectranthus oertendahlii flowers

I'm puzzled about why this is not a bigger houseplant than it is. It sure seems like good people. Basically the same care as Swedish ivy (Plectranthus verticillatus), but fuzzy, slightly-patterned leaves instead of bright green, shiny leaves. I described it a couple weeks ago as being what you'd expect to get from a cross between Saxifraga stolonifera and Plectranthus verticillatus.

Anyway. So for some reason, this little scrap of a plant that I salvaged when it broke off of the main plant has somehow decided that it's time to flower, and not only is it flowering, but I've got twelve more rooted cuttings in the basement that are all budding and will be doing this shortly as well. I don't know how they decide that it's time; the basement ones are under lights and get little natural light, and the other way around for this one. But nevertheless, they all know.

The flowers are not especially pretty, but they're very determined flowerers: I pinched the buds off of this plant three or four times before it snuck this set past me.

Plectranthus oertendahlii is usually sold as an annual, for outdoor ground-cover type situations, when you see it sold at all. If you like Swedish ivy, and you happen to see one for sale somewhere, pick it up. You might like it, and if you do like it you can keep it going pretty much forever.

There are also a few named cultivars, which I've only seen on-line: they are more uniformly light in color, with a darker-but-still-light leaf margin. Also nice, no doubt, but I like this better.


our friend Ben said...

This is pretty, Mr. S. (I even like the flowers), and of course I love plectranthi, but try to only get the ones with scented foliage. Is the foliage on this one fragrant by any chance?

Lzyjo said...

Lovely plant! Those flowers are so delicate! What a sweet plant to flower from cutting! Mr. S you certainly have the magical touch!

mr_subjunctive said...

Not fragrant, no.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you! I asked for a cutting from the summer school where I work, and can't wait to see it flower again. It grows easily, and I think it's quite pretty!