Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New (old) plants

Among the casualties of the Scalepocalypse has been Manfreda undulata 'Chocolate Chips.' It did pretty well outside last summer, but even though it was in a clay pot, it got blown off the cart a lot and never made a lot of progress in terms of overall appearance. It'd grow for a while, get knocked over and lose a couple leaves, then grow for a while, then get knocked over, etc. It was managing to accumulate some foliage after I brought it inside in the fall (long, floppy foliage, granted, but it was foliage nonetheless), but then it had to go and get scale, so it got thrown out anyway.

I've used the Scalepocalypse to get rid of some things that I wasn't that fond of anymore, so a lot of the plants that I've thrown out will probably stay gone, but the Manfreda really kind of bothered me. Fortunately, the ex-job still had them, so I could replace it. This one's actually better than the original, in that there are two plants in the same pot, instead of just one like the plant I bought originally.

I've only bought two plants in the last six months. The Manfreda is the more recent (20 February); the other (15 January) is an Agave victoriae-reginae 'Pinguino,' which I bought mostly because we somehow managed to go to Reha Greenhouses when they were closed again, and even though they weren't technically open, they still opened up the store and let me and the husband wander around the greenhouse for a bit. I figured I should buy something. (I actually wanted 3" square grower pots. Nobody seems to sell the size of those I need, though, so the Agave was Plan B.)

Taxonomic note: the tag said that this was Agave ferdinandi-regis 'Pinguino,' not Agave victoriae-reginae 'Pinguino,' but officially, the former doesn't exist, and is a synonym for the latter. It seems to be the same as any other A. victoriae-reginae, except that the leaf margins are a different color (red-brown on this, usually white), there are sometimes small spines near the terminal spine (easier to see in the first picture below), the terminal spine is dark brown or black instead of green and white, and there are fewer and larger leaves. (Ref.) It's still a little unclear what the correct ID is; the tag said one thing, and davesgarden.com says another, A. nickelsiae. At the moment, Plant List says both are synonyms for A. victoriae-reginae,1 so that's what I'm going with.

In any case, I had six Agave victoriae-reginaes already. A couple different kinds, even, so there wasn't much point to buying a third type, but you know how it is in a time of crisis; you want to stick with the things you know.

Plus I was having an Agaveish phase anyway. The last purchases before these two were the original Manfreda (13 June), and on 25 June, an Agave vilmoriniana2 and Epipremnum aureum 'Neon.' Apparently Agaves are comfort plants for me.3


1 Which Plant List doesn't even recognize the name "Agave nickelsiae," and suggests Agave nickelsii instead. Which is why we try not to rely too much on davesgarden.com.
2 Which has been fine, though I realized almost immediately that size was going to be a problem sooner or later. This is in a 6-inch (15 cm) diameter pot:

3 (Not that Manfredas are Agaves. But they're pretty close.)

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