The husband and I went to see the rabbits on Tuesday. Mostly the trip was disappointing -- I really only saw a handful of plants I was at all interested in buying, and couldn't afford the one below, which is the one I wanted the most.
I know it doesn't look like much. It's mostly interesting because of who it is, not what it looks like. Can you guess the species? I'll give you one hint: it's the subject of one of the plant profiles. (Not much of a hint, I realize, since there are now 100 plant profiles as of a few days ago. But that's all you get.)
The answer: it's Schefflera actinophylla 'Renegade.'
This is the first one I've seen in person. From the (small, low-resolution) pictures I saw when I was working on the S. actinophylla profile, I couldn't figure out how 'Renegade' worked: the leaves appeared to stick out of the main stem directly, instead of being multiple leaflets on a long petiole, the way the species usually works.
Having now gotten a close look at 'Renegade,' I understand a bit better. The plant still has petioles, they're just . . . um . . . well, I thought of phocomelia.
The petioles ("Petioles" might not be the right word for it, but I am confused about the difference between "petiole," "petiolule," "pinna," "rachis," and "rachilla," and was unable to figure out which was which on my own. So I'm just going to call them all "petioles" until somebody can explain to me what the correct terminology would be, at which point I'll change it. Is there a botanist in the house?) are extremely short, and abnormally thick, but produce the same number of leaflets. Instead of pointing in every direction, the leaflets wind up all pointing away from the main stem. I also noticed when I got home and was looking at these pictures that 'Renegade' appears to do something I've never seen on any other Schefflera: it has a third layer of petioles, in spots.
So I find myself both attracted and repulsed by 'Renegade.' On one hand, it has going for it that it'd make a much tidier plant: it won't take up as much floor space as one of the more standard varieties, and the overall shape of the plant is a bit more defined. On the other hand, it's kind of a monster and will probably scar the fragile psyches of children with its grotesque deformities. So.
What does everybody else think?