Successful Surgery

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I went for surgery Thursday morning and everything went smoothly. All the staff was friendly, professional, and knew what they were doing. They worked efficiently together as a team.

When I was taken to the operating room, the anesthesiologist but the cup over my face and told me to take a few deep breaths. Then he put pain medication in the IV and said my head would feel funny which happened within seconds. Seconds later, I hear a voice saying “Lonnie, Lonnie wake up. Surgery is over. You are in recovery.” It took only 25 minutes for the surgery…

My sister came from Raytown to stay with me in case I needed help. I am grateful for that because neither one of us knew what I might need afterward.

The urologist put a stint in from my bladder, through the left ureter to the kidney in case of the possibility of the ureter collapsing. The nurse told me if I happen to see a “string” coming out to call them. She said it would be the stint trying to come out. She said the doctor may want me to just pull it out. Otherwise, he will remove it on the 16th in his office.

Each time I urinated, the pain was horrific at first as clots and small pieces of stones passed. The pain always subsided and I would be fine until the next time. The urine was always a reddish-orange from the dye they used during surgery. Several times the urine flow wild stop as a good-sized clot passed through the urethra. Then around 8 PM, a HUGE clot passed which was a very weird feeling. After that, no more clots passed and the pain wasn’t so bad during urination.

I got up to use the restroom a few times during the night, but I did sleep well. This morning I feel normal and all is well.

I just thought I would let you know how the surgery went and that I am still alive and kicking.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and be thankful!

Trip To The ER

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. The snow is finally almost gone and today was a lovely day. Couldn’t have been much better

Tuesday was not so good and ended with a trip to the ER. I had this weird pain in my lower left groin area off and on for several months. Tuesday I woke up with kind of a nauseous feeling on top of the pain. I tried this and that and nothing relieved the symptoms. I had two kidney stones back in the 1990’s but this didn’t seem like that. They pretty much hit me att at once. So, around 7:45 PM I decided I better go to the ER. It was an 18-mile trip and I drove myself. Luckily the ER wasn’t busy and I got right in. By the time I was finished talking with the doctor it seemed more like a kidney stone and we were in agreement… Even though it seemed like a long time, they hooked up a bag of fluid and gave me a dose of morphine. They no sooner got me hooked up when the guy came and took me for a scan. GEEZ! Then they finally took me back to the room and hooked me back up again. Even though that process took only maybe 15 minutes, it just as well have been hours.

When the results of the scan came back it was confirmed I had a 6 mm stone in my ureter. Ummm… That’s between the kidney and bladder.

My urine flow was perfectly fine STILL with no pain. But there was still pain in my left groin area and stomach plus nausea. SO, they gave me another dose of morphine and a pill for nausea. At about 12:30 there was hardly any pain but they wanted to give me another dose of pain reliever before they discharged me. The problem was they wouldn’t allow me to drive. I told them I could drive to a friend’s house and he could either let me spend the night or drive me home.

Well, they were very persistent that I not drive… So, I gave the nurse my friend’s number, who is also the minister at church. He came and took me home. It is seriously a good thing because about halfway home I could not keep my eyes open. By the time I was inside I could barely walk. I fumbled around a bit because I thought I had other things to do before I got in bed… I had never been in a situation where I could barely function and it was very weird…

The next morning I got up feeling like a new man. I had no pain and I was wide awake and full of energy. I was supposed to call the urologist and get three prescriptions filled. At that point, I was thinking I would be perfectly fine… Well, by about 10:15 I was getting nauseous again and somewhat uncomfortable. SO, I decided maybe I should go ahead and call the urologist. I have an appointment for Monday at 3:45.

Then I went to the pharmacy and got the prescriptions filled, came back home and took the drugs. One is hydrocodone for pain. One is a tiny pill for nausea. One is Tamsulosin (Flomax)… I am supposed to take the pain and nausea pills only of I need one but the Flomax I am supposed to take once per day. I haven’t taken a pain pill since noon on Wednesday. I took a Flomax and nausea pill at noon whch seems to be my regular schedule.

It is a little strange for me to go to the doctor and certainly not like me to take prescription drugs. If I had have known I had a kidney stone earlier I could have gotten rid of it myself. But, the symptoms I have been having for a while were not like before. So, I didn’t know.

When I had the kidney stones before I guess they were already in the urethra which was why it was a sudden thing. This one may be close to the bladder on the left side which is why there is pain there.

They always say a man having a kidney stone is like a woman going into labor. All I know is that I don’t want another ordeal with a kidney stone. If I were a woman and had a baby, the first would have been the last. LOL!

I have read this and that about what foods and beverages to avoid when it comes to kidney stones. Very seldom do I drink soft drinks anymore. I usually drink 1/2-1 cup of coffee in the morning and have a glass of green tea for dinner. I drink plenty of water the rest of the time. I pretty much eat a healthy diet, just in a weird way. I don’t eat until dinner and I eat a big meal. At almost 59, I think my diet needs to change somewhat and I have been saying that for a while…

I went to the chiropractor on Friday and he is pretty good when it comes to nutrition. He is an older man with a lot of experience and even used to train chiropractors. He asked me about my diet and I told him I ate one meal a day. He looked at me a bit strangely. But, you know, there is a diet plan called OMAD (one meal a day) that I found out about after I had been doing it. The benefits are good but you need to eat healthy all the same. It is kind of like fasting…

He asked if I cooked my own meals and I said yes. He said, “Ahhh, that’s why you only eat one meal a day.” Well, ummm… That may be partly true to some degree. I have never been a big fan of breakfast and it is easy to skip lunch when you get up at 9-10 AM. Just a little coffee and I am good to go. Then 6 PM comes around I am ready for dinner. The problem is not dinner, it is afterward. I snack from then until I go to bed. While do do snack on fruit, there is also the chips, popcorn, nuts, and of course ice cream… Don’t forget the cheese. I don’t think any one meal a day plan or fasting includes junk food eating for several hours before going to bed.

I feel a little hypocritical at times because I advocate health foods, natural supplements, no GMO’s, etc. while I occasionally revert back to my old habits… I really do prefer cooking my own meals, and I enjoy cooking. But sometimes, I do order Chinese, pizza, something from Subway, Sonic, and so on. There is a new cafe in town that makes a great Ruben. 🙂 When you are by yourself, it is very convenient to throw a frozen pizza into the oven or microwave Stauffer’s Lasagna, or even a potpie…

While eating bad foods may not affect you initially, like when you are young, it will catch up with you sooner or later.

So, while my spiritual life is getting better I also need to eat better… I need to commit to me, not just spiritually and emotionally, but also physically. Our cells can heal our bodies, but we need to feed them properly. We can listen to and repeat all kinds of positive affirmations, learn and practice the Law of Attraction, listen to music at certain levels of frequency for this and that… But, we STILL have to commit eating a healthy diet… We can reprogram our subconscious mind and accomplish amazing things but we are still in part what we eat not just what or how we think.

Part of being the amazing creatures we are and having so many abilities is also the ability to choose. To choose a diet for and of life.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful.

The Snow…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. We had more snow yesterday which didn’t impress me that much. It was 21° F when I took these photos at about 11:30 AM but it is supposed to warm up to 32 by the afternoon.

That’s the forecast through Sunday…

 

 

The Junco’s and several sparrows were enjoying the birdseed on the ground.

 

While a female Cardinal and a sparrow were at the feeder. I put the feeder in the tree in the front yard to I can watch them from my bedroom window. They are always very alert and seem to spend more time flying off than eating. They are more content feeding in the back yard but I haven’t set up the trough feeder yet.

That’s all I have to say at the moment. The snow kind of leaves me at a loss for words…

Take care, be safe and stay positive!

A Snowy Sunday Leading To A Rambling Post…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This morning I had the alarm set for 9 AM so I could eventually get up and get to church by 10:40. I am not an early riser and it usually seems I have to have a good reason to get up by 10. On occasion, I have to get up much earlier which I don’t mind. I can easily get up at 6 or 7 AM if I need to.

So, this morning the alarm goes off at 9 and I let it beep for a few minutes before turning it off. Well, I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until a little after 10.

I sprang into action after naming three things to be thankful for. Normally I mainly say thank you for good night sleep and for the day ahead. I then went in to get a cup of coffee and to feed the cats on the back porch. Even though the forecast said there was a chance of snow, I was surprised to see what was waiting outside. There wasn’t much, but it was still there.

I looked out the side door and saw the vehicle’s windows covered with snow. At that point, I may have easily closed the door and decided not to go to church. Except there was a problem… The minister’s grandson from Nebraska was here to be baptized. SO, I decided maybe I should go.

I had cleaned out the baptismal tank on Friday and a few of us guys met at the church on Saturday to start filling it. For a long time, one of the men from church had been doing it but he decided to show me how to do it a couple of years ago. This year he decided a few others needed to learn the tricks as well. It’s a process of turning a few valves on or off depending where they lead to. Then, once the water gets so high, it is recirculated from baptismal through the hot water heater. It’s not complicated and there are written instructions. You can see the pipes hanging from the ceiling in a hallway by the hot water heater and explain where every pipe goes and comes from. Like the wiring in the church, it makes one wonder how it ever works. But, it does work…

Oh, yeah. Lynn turned down the temperature on the water heater because the last time it became too hot in the baptismal. LOL! Luckily he was at church early enough that time to turn it down so the temp was a bit cooler for the baptism. That would have been a shock to step into hot water. Stepping into freezing cold water would also have been a shock.

SO, I went to church and made it on time. Our minister is a retired mortician and I will never forget his first baptism. A week or so after the baptism he presented the certificate of baptism to the girl that was baptized. He said, “I am pleased to present you with your certificate of death.” He was so embarrassed and everyone got a good laugh.

We have fond memories that we carry with us that we like to share with others along the way. Sometimes we have to share not so fond memories to let others know that they are not alone in a particular situation. Then sometimes we find out sharing the situation wasn’t a good idea because they tell others or our experience instead of theirs. We are human and we all do through a lot of different circumstances as we grow up. It is part of our learning process. But it isn’t just our learning process. The divine realm(s) also learn from our experiences…

I deleted MANY paragraphs… I started rambling about my opinion about religion. GEEZ! And to think I am now an elder.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon as I was cleaning the church, one of the minister’s son’s brought a pan of food and put it in the refrigerator. As I left, I saw the minister heading toward the church in his van with some of his family. Later I went back to the church to check the water in the baptismal and there was A LOT of food in the refrigerator. Then after the service, he told me that they were having lunch and invited me to stay. He said there were BBQ ribs. We also had a board meeting…

Well, who can resist BBQ ribs? There was also a pan of coleslaw and potatoes of some kind that was all delicious. Some of the ribs were from Bandanas! One of the furnaces wasn’t working so the fellowship hall was very cold. Then, they had ice cream and homemade cookies. By the time I left, I was stuffed and freezing!

When I left, it was snowing AGAIN. It looked like little styrofoam balls flying around in the air. When I arrived home I noticed a lot of birds looking for food under the feeders. The Juncos and migrating sparrows had finally arrived this past week. I went inside to warm up a bit then went outside to fill the feeders and sprinkle a little on the ground. I checked on the chickens and filled their feeders and made sure they had plenty of water. Even if it is very cold, the water in the chicken house doesn’t freeze unless it gets down to 20° F for several hours. Eventually, I took a little nap.

In all, it was a good day despite the snow and cold temperatures. It is going to be cold all week…

I forgot to post Six on Saturday yesterday because I was busy. Today I thought about taking a snow photo for Silent Sunday but then it became too dark to take a photo. So, I decided to just write a post without photos.

I had been doing good about reading your posts every day in the Reader then got busy updating pages on the blog. So, I became somewhat tardy in reading your posts.

Then one day I received a message on the Goeppertia ornata page. A man from Florida asked me how to pronounce Goeppertia. Normally, I include the pronunciation of the genus and species if it is available on Dave’s Garden. In this case, Geoppertia ornata had no pronunciation. The reason is that Geoppertia ornata became a synonym of Calathea ornata in 1858. At some point, maybe then, the entire Geoppertia genus became invalid. Well, truthfully the same guy published the description in 1858 and 1860 and iPNI has both. PREVIOUSLY, the 1860 date was accepted now the 1858 description is accepted. Hmmm… The reason I know is because my first notes say 1860 with the publication but my page says 1858 with the publication title. I thought I screwed up so I wasted 30 minutes or so to figure that out. Anyway, the latest version of The Plant List (2013) says Calathea ornata was the accepted name but when the NEW Plants of the World Online came out in 2018, the name had changed back to Geoppertia ornata. Apparently in 2012, after 154 years of not being a genus, a lady decided it needed to be resurrected. So, 254 species were moved back into the Goeppertia genus making it the largest in the family. I found that out from Phytotaxa via ResearchGate. So, the guy and I exchanged a few emails. (I first confused him by guessing the pronunciation for Geoppertia instead of Goeppertia). Then I find out this guy’s family owns a large wholesale nursery in Florida and one of their specialties is Calathea species and cultivars (A LOT). So, apparently, he is trying to figure out how to pronounce Goeppertia… Well, I certainly applaud him for that. It would be bad to change the names of plants and not being able to pronunce them. My only guess is that it is pronounced go-PER-tia but that really doesn’t sound right either… There are two P’s”. Maybe gop-PER-tia… I have studdied Latin in reference to plant names but it still is somewhat confusing. So, if you have any ideas, I would love to hear it. I hate to tell someone “I don’t know”. I wound up sending an email to Rafael Goverts from Kew to quiz him about the pronunciation. Then I noticed he didn’t approve the name change. Well, I am sure he will get a good laugh and I will be thankful for brightening up his day. It has been a while since I sent him an email asking how the Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ was doing. I sent him seeds at his request and his reply then was that they were starting to flower. Of course, I am trying to get his approval to use Celosia argentea var. spicata name instead of merely Celosia argentea on Plants of the World Online. Doubt that will happen though. 🙂 Well, Celosia argentea is supposed to be, in part, native to Africa and ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ were discovered in Peru… Now I have to recheck where Celosia argentea were/are native. Celosia spicata became a synonym of Deeringia spicata which is a shrub in Australia. I don’t get the connection or even how an herbaceous plant was confused with a shrub in the first place.

I seemed to have gotten off subject while writing the above paragraph but decided not to delete it. I already deleted a half hour on pharagraphs earlier. What was the subject anyway? Oh yeah, my apology for not reading your posts this past week. Well, there was an attempt a couple of nights.

So, I guess I better stop writing this post and get to work. Either reading your posts or working on updates. Otherwise, by the time I am finished, it will be Monday already.

So, have a great week ahead! Be safe, well, and stay positive! Keep warm or cool depending on where you may be!

 

 

 

Six on Saturday

Hello everyone! I hope this Six on Saturday post finds you all doing very well. It has been a pretty good week with temps continuing to dance around. Today is sunny and it is supposed to get to 48° F. The forecast says 55° on Sunday, 48° on Monday, then 37 on Tuesday and Wednesday with a LOW of 19° by morning. Then back up to 48° on Thursday with a low of 30. ‘Tis the season…

#1 for this Six on Saturday is the cedar carving of a bear given to me on Thursday by friends who were going to throw it out. I could not let him be thrown in the dump sight to be burned so I brought him home. Someone else might have spotted it…

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Dryobates pubescens (Downey Woodpecker)

#2-I took a shot of this Downey Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) on the hanging feeder. It was pretty happy by itself on the feeder. It seems the migratory birds are slow to come this winter. I did see a few Juncos a few days ago and also a couple of Nuthatches. Even though I haven’t seen many birds, somehow the feeder was empty in a week. Maybe the wind blew the seed out…

 

Dryobates pubescens (Downey Woodpecker)

No doubt the Downey is hiding seed in the fork of the tree.

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Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’

#3-The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks (Creeping Jenny) is hanging in there in the north bed. When it gets really cold it will completely disappear.

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Achillea millefolium

#4-The Achillea millefolium is pretty tough in the heat of the summer right up until it gets severely cold. They are still growing new leaves!

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Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)

#5-The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) still has a few green leaves. I learned something this week from a post shared by Eliza Waters. The post says the berries are poison to birds! I never knew that so I suppose I better remove them.

Click HERE to read the post shared by Eliza about the berries. The post is actually from Cindy Dyer’s Blog.

The red berries of Nandina domestica contain cyanide and other alkaloids that produce hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which can be poisonous to all animals.

Tom Oder writing for Mother Nature Network has this to say: “Nandina berries actually have a low toxicity, but they can be lethal to cedar waxwings specifically because their feeding habits differ dramatically from that of other birds, said Rhiannon Crain, project leader for the Habitat Network with The Nature Conservancy and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Other birds don’t eat as much or as rapidly as cedar waxwings,” said Crain. “Cedar waxwings completely stuff every possible part of their body with berries. They will fill their stomach and their crop with berries right up into their mouth until they can’t fit another berry inside of them.”

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#6Hmmm… It seems like with nine cats there is always one following me around when I am in the yard. This one is the kitten that was given to me by a friend (Kevin). It showed up at his house and somehow he talked me into bringing it home. That was several months ago when she was very small…

 

She is a very odd-looking cat with long black hair with silvery streaks. The hair on her legs is shorter giving her an even stranger look (reminding me of a fox). She is very smart, almost human, which can sometimes be annoying. My son called her Little Bit but I have had a few other names for her. She is now an outside cat but teaching her not to dart in every time the door opened wasn’t easy. She is so fast!

Well, that is it for this post. If you wish to participate in Six on Saturday posts, be sure to read the Six On Saturday-a participants guide from The Propagator.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful! Get dirty if you can. I know I will one way or another… 🙂

 

Cactus & Succulent Update #5

Group photo for Cactus & Succulent Update #5 on 11-24-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This is the fifth and final cactus and succulent update which I started on November 23rd. The temperature got up into the mid 50’s on the 24th so I decided it would be OK to take the plants in this post outside for a photoshoot (Grammarly continues to argue with itself whether it is photo shoot or photoshoot). I didn’t list the plants in the caption because they are kind of mixed up and there a few that there are several of.

 

Plant shelf in the back bedroom in a south-facing window on 11-24-19.

I repotted several and whacked the Kalanchoe daigremontiana stem in half s you can see in this photo (bottom left). Although the Kalanchoe orgyalis is also very tall I just put in a larger pot. It was on the bottom shelf and was almost touching the one above it so it is now on the floor between the shelf and window. On the second shelf, on the right, you can see the Huernia schneideriana has some pretty long stems. The room stays fairly cool and the plants get plenty of light from this south-facing window. Hmmm… It seems I forgot to put the other four smaller Kalanchoe daigremontiana back on the top shelf…

Most of the photos on this post were taken on October 11 when I moved the plants inside for the winter (the first time), but I had to take a few more for this post.

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) after being whacked in half and repotted on 11-24-19.

Well, I didn’t take photos of the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on October 11. I suppose that’s because they dive me nuts and didn’t need the added attention. I was going to take a photo of all of them together for this post but then decided against that as well. This evening I decided to whack the stem in half and stick most of it back in the pot. It was at least 20″ tall now it is 11″ again. I always remove the plantlets from the leaves when I move the plants inside. Actually, they aren’t leaves but only look like leaves…  To say I have five of these plants would be an understatement because several are growing in other pots as usual.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe daigremontiana page.

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Kalanchoe luciae on 10-11-19.

The Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) are really neat plants. You may have heard it called by other names because it has many including Flipping Flapjacks, Red Pancakes, Paddle Kalanchoe, Northern White Lady, Pancake Kalanchoe, White Lady, Flapjacks, Paddle Leaf, Desert Cabbage, Paddle Plant, Dog Tongue Plant, and Flap Jack. They don’t seem to grow that tall and like to lean a bit then they grow roots under the lower stems when they are ready to repot. I guess in the wild when they get a certain height and lean far enough they take root in the soil. The leaning stem on the plant to the left is the original plant and it is three years old. The roots on the stem are under the leaves right in the curve. All the other plants were offsets from it. 

 

Kalanchoe luciae from the back porch on 10-13-19.

I took this Kalanchoe luciae to the back porch for a shot on the 13th because it hadn’t been incuded in the above group photo. It had been growing on the back porch in full sun with the cactus during the summer to see how it would do. I knew the leaves would turn this color because the original plant was in brighter light in 2016. Pretty neat huh? I repotted all the smaller pots of Kalanchoe luciae this evening except the older one which had been done earlier. Another thing I like about these plants is their chalky white stems…

 

All the Kalanchoe luciae on 11-24-19.

I took a group photo of all the Kalanchoe luciae while the plants were outside for their photoshoot.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe luciae page.

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Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-49.

Hmmm… The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) and I have made an agreement. As long as it doesn’t die I will keep doing the best I can. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group in April 2018 and it went into shock and darn near died. It lost all but two of its upper leaves but started doing much better and growing more leaves within a couple of weeks. Then, the next thing I knew, it sent up an offset. I cut the top off the old plant after a while and then stuck it in the same pot because it looked so weird and the stem was growing roots under the surviving leaves. I put the offset in a different pot… Then, the stem I stuck in the pot started growing roots on its stem and the old stem started growing leaves under the cut… After the above photo was taken, I removed the stem cutting and put it in another pot. Then, when I took the plants outside for a photoshoot for the group photo, I noticed the original stem had died…

 

Kalanchoe marmorata on 11-24-19.

I decided to take a new photo of what they look like now. The plant in the smaller pot was almost completely out of the potting soil… So, we have had our ups and downs but I hope they survive the winter.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe marmorata page.

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Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) at 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-50.

The always AWESOME Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) has done very well and was 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide when I brought it inside on October 11. It has grown a little since this photo was taken. I decided it needed a larger pot so I did that before putting it back in the bedroom. It had grown a little since I brought it inside and the larger pot added a little more height as well. It wouldn’t fit on the lower shelf anymore and I didn’t want to raise the second shelf again, so I put it on the floor between the shelf and window. The bottom of the window is only 10″ from the floor so I think it will be fine.

Kalanchoe does not seem to have an extensive root system, so most of the time you can just replace the soil and leave them in the same pot. If they are very tall, you have to consider pot size to keep them from falling over.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe orgyalis page.

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Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) on 10-11-19.

Hmmm… OK, I am not going to vent about the scientific name for the Ledebouria socialis on this post. I need to rewrite their pages or maybe completely redo it and put them both on the same page. Whether you choose to call this one Ledebouria socialis, Ledebouria socialis ‘Paucifolia’, or Ledebouria socialis var. paucifolia is fine by me. 🙂 They were previously in the genus Scilla… Until 1970. Common names include Silver Squill, Violet Squill, Leopard Lily, South African Scillia, Bluebell, and Wood Hyacinth.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) leaves on 10-11-19, #639-52.

The leaves of this one are silvery green with darker green spots. But seriously, why am I calling this var. paucifolia?

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) bulbs on 10-11-19, #639-53.

They grow from bulbs and this one doesn’t spread as much as the other.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) on 10-11-19, #639-54.

The other one, which you can call Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’, Ledebouria socialis, or Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (as I call it)… Hmmm. I’m doing well not putting in my two cents but it is very difficult. In the spring I removed a bulb for the guy in Alabama that was supposed to do some plant swapping with me. The exchanges never happened and now that one bulb has turned into 6… It has produced most of them since I moved the plants inside for the winter. They have gone NUTS and they should be thinking about dormancy.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) leaves.

This “variety” or “variation” of Ledebouria socialis has the same silvery-green leaves with larger darker green spots. The undersides of the leaves are kind of a maroon color. It was formerly known as Scillia violacea, Ledebouria violacea, and the Pacific Bulb Society calls them Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’. I call them Ledebouria socialis var. violacea because they are NOT a cultivar… OOPS! The Pacific Bulb Company lists several, umm, varieties of Ledebouria socialis which used to be species.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) bulbs. That is not mealybugs in the photo. I checked and it’s perlite. 🙂

This one has definitely spread a lot more and makes a nice full pot. Both flowered this past summer.

In all, if you haven’t tried Ledebouria socialis I recommend you do. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 10a-11 (30-40° F) but make great potted specimens where not hardy. You water them normally during the summer, but should not water them during the winter. I am trying to decide when to stop… Mine arrived from a seller on Facebook on October 13 (last year) and I don’t think I watered them until spring. If you continue to water them they will produce longer and narrower leaves during the winter and may not flower the following year. I think the trick is to get them not to grow over the winter so they will do it in the spring. They should also be in a cooler room. So, I suppose I need to stop watering them and put them in the cool bedroom since they are beginning to grow long and narrow leaves… If you give Ledebouria socialis a try, make sure you plant them with 2/3 of their bulbs exposed.

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Parodia lenninghausii at 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide (left) and 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide (left) on 10-11-19, #639-77.

The two Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) are looking and doing great as always. The smaller one in the green pot is now 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide. It has grown a lot from 1 7/8″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide since I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. The taller one in the red pot is now 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide. It has always been about 1″ taller than the other.

 

Parodia lenninghausii from the top on 10-11-19, #639-78.

They still have the neatest hairdo.

 

Parodia lenninghausii with its baby on 10-11-19, #639-79.

I was happy to see the smaller plant had a baby when I took the above photo on October 11. I noticed today it has another one right next to it.

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Parodia magnifica at 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide on 10-11-19.

The Parodia magnifica (Ball Cactus, Baloon Cactus) is a nice little cactus that is doing well. It is now 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide. It has grown 1 1/4″ taller and 1/4″ wider since I brought it home from Lowe’s in March. That is 1 1/4″ in only seven months!

 

Parodia magnifica in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-21.

It was strange posting the photo from October 11 when I had already posted it in its new pot. In case you missed it, I am sharing it again. With more room, I wonder how much it will grow after another year.

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Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) on 10-11-19, #639-85.

The Sedum adolphii has done very well since I repotted it in August 2018. Its common names include Golden Sedum, Coppertone Stonecrop, Stonecrop, Coppertone Sedum, and Nussbaumer’s Sedum. It is synonymous with Sedum nussbaumerianum so if you have one by that name is it correctly Sedum adolphii. The industry sells them by both names and one time, in 2012, I bought one of each not realizing at the time they were the same. After I gave up most of my plants in 2014, I found this Sedum adolphii in 2016. They are pretty easy to grow in pots and have to be brought inside for the winter where they continue to do well. Many Sedum species do well in pots but dislike being inside. I have grown MANY species over the years that have done well and others that didn’t survive…

 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ on 10-11-19.

The Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ is one of several cultivars of the species. It has done well despite not really wanting to be on the front porch. If I had it on the back porch in full sun its true colors would have come out better. Right now, being in a south-facing window inside, its leaf tips are taking on more of an orange color. So, next summer, I will put both pots on the back porch to see how they do.

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19, #639-86.

OK, I know the Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) looks a bit crowded. It looks crowded because it is crowded. I received six cuttings from a seller on Ebay last October and made the mistake of putting them all in the same 5 1/2″ diameter pot. Well, I had never grown a Stapeliabefore so I had no idea what would happen. I thought about taking a few to Mrs. Wagler (Wagler’s Greenhouse) but decided I would wait until I saw how they did. Remember, the post from November 22 I mentioned I took her cuttings. 🙂

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19., #639-88.

I think there are more than six in the pot now. I removed the two branches hanging over the sides and made four cuttings from one and gave them to Mrs. Wagler. I wouldn’t have necessarily cut the branches off but I thought they might break off. When I was taking the cutting I learned there would have been no chance of that happening. They are VERY tough! It is strange how offsets in the center of the pot have no branches while the ones closer to the edge do. It is like they think if they branch out one may reach the ground…

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) buds on 10-11-19, #639-87.

Of course, the obvious reason I bought the Stapelia gigantea was for it’s AWESOME 10″ flowers. So, I was very excited when I saw buds! I wish I was posting photos of its flowers instead of just buds. BUT, unfortunately, after I moved the plants inside, the buds fell off. They started growing new ones but one day I noticed a few mealybugs on the buds and on the top of a few stems. Do you know how long it has been since I had bugs? Well, I mean on the plants inside the house. Of course, I have bugs outside during the summer. 🙂

Stapelia are Carrion Plants like the Huernia schneideriana I have had for several years. It also came from Mrs. Wagler. While my Huernia has very small maroon flowers, the other species have much larger and very colorful flowers. I went to the Llifle website to ID mine and became hooked. There are several genera of plants known as Carrion Plants that have similar flowers but their stems are somewhat different. As I have found out they are very easy to grow. While the Huernia doesn’t tell me when it needs water, the Stapelia does. Its soft, fuzzy stems get kind of spongy feeling and when it doesn’t need water they are more stiff.

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Stenocereus pruinosus at 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-89.

I have to whisper, but the Stenocereus pruinosus is one of my favorite cactus. It has several common names including Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe, Pitayo, and Pitaya of October (de Octubre). They are highly prized for their fruit and widely cultivated in Mexico in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Chiapas. It was only 2 7/8” tall x 2 3/4” wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016 and now it is 4 3/4″ tall 2 3/4″ wide. It has been a while since I repotted it so I will do it in the spring. I somehow ran out of pumice…

Llifle says Stenocereus pruinosus “is a large shrubby or tree-like columnar cactus to 4-5(-7) m tall, usually with one or more, definite trunk(s) from which little-branching stems arise from the base for a distinctive V-shape.” Well, we have a ways to go…

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Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-11-19, #639-91.

Last but not least, Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) is still doing its thing. I started out with this Paper Spine Cactus as a rescue when I was cactus shopping in February 2016. I spotted a piece that had fallen off so I put it in my pocket and brought it home and we have been friends ever since. It doesn’t grow that tall because the top segments keep falling off and taking root. Sometimes they get lost so I think I will put it in a wider pot. Maybe they won’t wander off then. It is interesting to transplant…

That is finally it for the cactus and succulent update. I have other plants to post about so we shall see what happens next.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Don’t forget to be thankful and get dirty every chance you get. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Six on Saturday-Ending With A Surprise!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This is my second attempt to make a Six on Saturday post. Jade was looking out the window and I told her I was going to take a few photos for a Six on Saturday post. She said, “good luck with that.” When I came back inside and found there were photos of eight I decided to not include the photo of Jade in the six (although the photo is clearly here). Then I deleted the photo of the Equisetum so I wouldn’t accidentally include it.

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) flowers on 11-23-19.

#1) I wanted to make a post about the Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) since all the buds were fully opened. I decided including it in this post would be appropriate and was glad they were still looking good this morning. There are a couple of buds on the other side.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis buds on 11-23-19.

#2) I looked around a bit to see if there was anything else that was exciting then I noticed the little Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis (Thimble Cactus) had a couple of buds. That may not sound exciting, but I thought it was. For this plant to be so small and have two buds… Yeah, that is exciting!

I could have easily found all six items to post about inside, but I went outside to see what I could find. It was 37° F and it had rained during the night.

 

#3) I finally filled the feeder hanging in a maple tree in the front yard yesterday. Although there are very few birds here right now, I saw a group of sparrows in a bush that seemed to be hungry. They were no doubt waiting for me to fill the feeder in “the other yard”, which I did. This morning while taking the photos I saw the “other feeder” was empty already so probably the deer found it during the night. Maybe I am anxious, but it seems the birds are late arriving this Fall.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 11-23-19.

#4) The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is still alive and well. I did make a note to cover it when nighttime temps dipped a few days ago even though it has proved it didn’t need it. I have a sticky note stuck to the computer that reminds me. 🙂

 

#5) The old Mulberry tree in an area along the boundary fence behind the chicken house is always worthy of attention. It would be great to know how old it really is.

 

It is very gnarly and was a very old tree when I was a kid. Sometimes I sit next to this tree, with my back against it and it seems I can feel its energy. A very good place to meditate.

 

It is by far not the biggest Mulberry tree here now because age has taken a toll on this tree. It has survived many lightning strikes, heavy winds, ice, snow, drought and so on for MANY years. I remember as a kid when I was in the barn with my grandpa as we watched lightning strike an old tree along the fence. I call this the elder tree and hope it has many more years to come.

 

#6) Hmmm… Could it be? If so, I am shocked I missed it before! This is definitely a species of Physalis (Ground Cherry, Japanese Lantern) and likely it is Physalis longifolia. When I was at Kevin’s farm this past summer I spotted a single Physalis longifolia in the pasture. The plant there was similar in size to the Solanum (Horsenettle) species because it had no doubt been nibbled on by the cows. So, when I looked for it here in the pastures I was looking for a smaller plant similar to the Horsenettle with yellow flowers.

 

Well, this dead plant is 31″ tall… I checked with the Missouri Plants website and read where Physalis longifolia can grow to 3 meters, which I must have ignored earlier. Missouri Plants lists six species of Physalis.

 

Common names for Physalis longifolia include Long-Leafed Ground Cherry, Longleaf Ground Cherry, Wild Tomato, and Common Groundcherry.

To think I had been looking for this plant during the summer only to find it NOW when it is all dried up. GEEZ!!! I found it not in the pasture, but on my way back from photographing the old Mulberry tree… Among other tall weeds. You can bet I will have my eye on this area next summer! Hopefully at least one will come up so I can make a proper ID. 🙂

Well, that’s it for my attempt for a Six on Saturday post. Remember, Jade doesn’t count…

If you wish to participate in Six on Saturday posts, be sure to read the Six On Saturday-a participants guide from The Propagator.

 

Holiday Cactus & Wagler’s Greenhouse Visit…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I know the flowers of the Schlumbergera tuncata are really neat, but I have mixed feelings about it.

 

Schlumbergera truncata on 9-13-18, #507-15.

I brought this plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in September last year and the tag clearly says “peach”. She had a lot that she buys from somewhere. Last winter it had a few buds, but because of neglect, they fell off. Hmmm… It was with other plants that don’t require attention during the winter. So, this year I put the plant in the kitchen windowsill where I would be sure to see it every day and water as needed.

Then it grew buds… Then it flowered, as you can tell, but the flowers are PINK not PEACH. So, since I had a little time this afternoon, I went to Wagler’s to see if Ruth had any that were actually peach, or white, or any color besides pink. I also had a few cuttings of Stapelia gigantea to give to her. We trade a lot of plants. 🙂

She wasn’t in the greenhouse so I knocked on her door. She came and I told her I had a present for her and her face lit up as I handed her the cuttings. She said she had some new plants to show me so we went to the greenhouse. OK, I haven’t been there for several months because I know what always happens…

 

I think when I was there last fall a lady brought her several Bromeliads from a grower in Florida. Well, some of them produced offsets and even flowered. She handed me one and said I could have it if I wanted. Hmmm… Of course, my hands just automatically responded. I looked at several of the others and the one that always caught my eye was solid green. Fortunately, it hadn’t flowered or produced any offsets. Then she handed me another pot of a different Bromeliad and said I could have it, too. Oddly, I declined. I told her I needed to see how the one she gave me already would do before I brought home more. I was quite proud of myself.

Then she showed me a new succulent she had and asked if I had these two particular cactus. Fortunately, the two cactus in question were the Acanthocereus tetragonus and Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis. I told her I had those already and they came from her.

 

The succulent was a different story… She asked what it was and I told her it appeared to be a species of Euphorbia. She asked her if I had one and I told her no. She said, “You can have one.” AGAIN, my hand just reached out and took one like it was an automatic reflex! It is 2 3/8″ tall without the leaves.

Then she said if I saw any other plants I wanted I could have them. GEEZ! There are a few but I have to wait until she has cuttings or plants of them…

She has A LOT succulents that are unnamed that would be a nightmare for me. They are Sedum, Echeveria, etc. hybrids like x Graptovera, x Graptosedum, and so on. Unnamed and many leaf colors, shapes and cultivars that look so much alike. They need bright light in the winter which I don’t have much of at the moment. I have one window that faces south and it is full with three shelves of plants. She still has offspring of plants I gave to her but she doesn’t write their names on the labels. LOL! When she asks me the name of plants and I tell her she says she doesn’t see how I remember all the names. Well, first you have to write their names down on the labels so when you look at the plant you see the label. It’s a way to help subconsciously remember. I have pretty well memorized what I have grown but when I bring home several different cactus it sometimes takes a while to memorize. I have a list handy and the photo folders to help me remember. I have to keep rewriting the labels because the permanent marker is not so permanent. Some genera of cactus and succulents, like any other plants, have certain characteristics that only they have.

Oh yeah! I did ask Mrs. Wagler if she had any more of the Holiday Cactus. I told her the one I brought home that was supposed to be peach turned out pink. She laughed and said that happens if the tags get mixed up. Hmmm… Unfortunately, a man came several times and bought most of the Holiday Cactus so she didn’t have any more available. GEEZ!!! She said she would see if she could get more. Then she said the ones labeled orange look more peach. OK, I might take a few different colors as long as they aren’t pink…

So, now I have a bromeliad and Euphorbia to find the name for. At least I think it is a Euphorbia… 🙂

****UPDATE****

This plant is an Austrocylindropuntia subulata commonly known as Eve’s Needle. I had one before that was a monstrose form… 

 

Schlumbergera truncata on 12-9-12, #135-2.

The above photo is the Schlumbergera truncata that a friend gave me when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. One of HUNDREDS of plants I gave up when I moved back to Missouri in February 2013.

That’s all for now, but I do need to post photos of the Mammillaria karwinskiana. It has more flowers and they have all been open for a few days. Still growing more buds, too.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Be thankful, open-minded, and allow the Universe to shower you with abundance. Get dirty if you can, something I have no trouble doing.

 

Cactus Repotting & Lessons Learned

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-17.

Hello everyone! I hope tis post finds you well. There were a few cactus and succulents that needed repotting because they needed larger pots. Then, there were a couple that I needed to investigate. I think repotting in the fall is a good time so the potting mix stays nice and loose over the winter. Since I use mainly Miracle Grow Potting soil with a lot of peat, sometimes it can become kind of hard during the winter when I am not watering my cactus and succulents. If this happens, I remove the plant from the pot, remove the old mix and add fresh. Since I switched from using 2 parts potting soil with 1 perlite and 1 part chicken grit to using about 50% potting soil and 50% pumice it seems the mix has remained looser. I know many cactus and succulent enthusiasts say peat is a no no, but it has worked fine for me.

In the above photo, the Parodia magnifica has a nice set of roots. It gets to be the first example

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-18.

Some cactus don’t grow a large root system but they still need repotting as the “stem” starts to fill the pot. There was still plenty of soil in the bottom of the pot with this Parodia magnifica but the stem had become almost as large as the pot.

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-19.

In years past I would just take the plant from one pot and put it in another without doing anything with the roots. Then later, when I repotted again, sometimes I found the roots still tightly packed in its original wad. So, I started loosening the roots before repotting and sometimes trimming off a few on the bottom. They grow new roots and a little trimming doesn’t bother them. Sometimes you may find rotten or dried roots that need to be trimmed as well.

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-20.

Then I always make sure the plants are centered in the new pot.

 

Parodia magnifica in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-21.

Here the Parodia magnifica is happy in its new pot… Normally, I only increase the pot size by 1 inch but sometimes I can’t find the right size of pot. I have LOTS of smaller pots so there is always a good selection. You can find pots in quantity on Ebay and Amazon. Of course, you may want a nicer pot…

 

Mammillaria plumosa on 11-13-19, #649-16.

The Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus) asked for a new pot because she had no more room to grow…

 

Mammillaria decipiens in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-13.

I know this pot seems a little large for the Mammillaria decipiens, but I am expecting another growth spurt. After repotting, I read this species of Mammillaria should not be planted in a peaty mix because it grows naturally in canyons and hills generally in volcanic soils… Llifle says “It likes very porous mineral substratum and avoid the use of peat or other humus sources in the potting mixture.” Hmmm… I read that when I was updating its page last week. Llifle also says, “Outside filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Subject to sunburn if exposed to direct sun for too long. Does better than most species in lower levels of light, but still prefers bright light or morning sun.” Well, it was growing on the back porch in full sun and did awesomely well. I am wondering, though, if I should have added more pumice to its mix… Maybe some chicken grit as well.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-8.

I finally decided to increase the pot size for the Echinipsos mirabilis since it was still in the tiny pot it came in. According to information, this species may be short-lived but only time will tell. It is also said, that although short-lived, it leaves behind many seeds that will come up. Well, I kind of screwed that possibility when I repotted, huh?

 

Agave (syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-2.

I figured since the Agave (x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ was an Agave it might have a lot of roots by now. I was right… It also has several pups. NICE!

 

x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-3.

The x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ grew a lot since I last repotted it, so I thought I would upgrade it again. But, I forgot something which I didn’t think about until after I repotted the Haworthioposis limifolia… It came from Wildwood Greenhouse and he buys a lot of plants in plugs. I forgot to check to see if there were remains of the netting from a plug.

 

Aristaloe aristata in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-4.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) was giving me the “look” so I wouldn’t forget about her. I told her I repotted her before but she said it was time again. Sooo… Now she has a larger pot.

 

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ on 11-13-19, #649-7.

What can I say? I may have gone a little overboard with this one but she said she needed to wean her kids. She said she was tired of them clinging to her. I said OK if she promised to give me a flower. I think she is crossing her fingers and toes.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 11-13-19, #649-5.

Hmmm… I hate to tell you, but I severely neglected the Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’. I knew from the previous and much larger plants I had for several years that they don’t have a very large root system and they grow VERY SSSSLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLYYYY. So I didn’t repot since I brought it home in a tiny pot from Wal-Mart in, ummm… GEEZ! It has been since 2016! It is STILL the same width as when I bought it home at 3 1/2″ wide. It has grown 1/2″ taller to 3 1/2″.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-6.

Its soil was very hard and dry so I replaced it then put the cactus back in the same pot. Maybe it will grow now. 🙂

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-9.

I decided the Gasteria twins with no name should be in another larger pot. This is its second upgrade. I noticed something weird when I removed it from its pot that I have never seen before.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-10.

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Succulent Dreamers where a member had posted about the beneficial bacteria (of some sort) growing on the roots of his plant. I thought that was pretty neat and had not seen it before in pots. Actually, it is mycelium which is a “friendly” fungus. Come to think of it, this is the first year I haven’t had ants in at least one pot. I think that is because the pots were on the porches.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-11.

Now we’ll see how much larger they get in their new pot…

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-12.

With their new child. 🙂

 

Plants repotted on 11-13-19, #649-1.

This is a group photo of the plants I repotted on November 13. But, I wasn’t quite finished…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-2.

On the 16th I decided it was high time I worked on the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-3.

I posted before how several of the plants in the colony had died… The ones that were nearly all white.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-4.

After removing the clump from the pot I had to remove the dead…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ repotted on 11-16-19, #651-5.

Then I kind of centered the live plants around the larger cluster.

 

Dead Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-6.

This is part of the dead plants. I had discarded a few earlier in the summer.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia on 11-17-19, #652-1.

Then I checked the Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard, ETC.) to check to see if it had been in a plug like the Haworthia ‘Little Warty’. Sure enough there it was… While a few roots did poke through, you can see how many roots were tightly packed inside the plug wrapping. Most of this plants roots had grown out the bottom and up the side.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia on 11-17-19, #652-2.

I gently peeled away the netting and from around the roots that grown through it. That’s when I remembered the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ could also have this same issue since all three plants came from Wildwood… I have to quiz Mr. Yoder abut removing the netting from the plug when they repot.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia repotted on 11-17-19, #652-3.

Now, it is happy…

 

Hmmm… The island in the kitchen made a great potting table but now I have to clean up the mess… You may be wondering what the drill is for? If I use pots from Dollar General, like with the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’, I have to drill holes in the bottom.

I think that’s it for repotting for a while until I check the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ for the plug. I hope all is well with you. Until next time, take care, be safe, and stay warm or cool depending on where you live.

Cactus & Succulent Update Part 4: The Mammillaria Collection

Mammillaria Group Photo on 11-16-19. Back row from left to right: Mammillaria pringlei, Mammillaria elongata, Mammillaria decipiens (in a new pot), and Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’. Middle row from left to right: Mammillaria rhodantha, Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii, Mammillaria hahniana, and Mammillaria karwinskiana. Front Row from left to right: Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis, Mammillaria mystax, and Mammillaria plumosa (in a new pot).

Hello Everyone! I hope this post finds you well! Part four of the cactus and succulent update is about the Mammillaria species in my small collection. Mammillarias are among the widest genus of cactus collected for many reasons. Most are very easy to grow and there are a lot of species to choose from. Plants of the World Online currently lists 162 species. As with the previous three updates, these photos were taken on October 11 when I moved the potted plants inside for the winter.

HERE WE GO…

 

Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) at 1 1/2″ tall x 4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-56.

The Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) always amazes me. It seems like every time I put it in a wider pot it wastes no time filling it up. It was 1 1/2″ tall x 4″ wide on October 11. It was squished in its pot when I brought it home from Wal-Mart at 3″ wide in March 2018. But, the weird thing is that is shrunk 1/2″ in height. 🙂 I think the subspecies for this plant should be Mammillaria decipiens subsp. camptotricha although it is not “currently’ validly recognized. Hmmm… I have been saying that for a while now. I really like this plant because of its long tubercles, the spines that seem to form a web across the entire clump, and the fact that it produces a lot of flowers. There weren’t many flowers when I took this photo on 10-11-19 but there were later. It isn’t uncommon for it to have a few during the summer as well.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus) on 10-11-19, #639-58).

The Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus, Golden Stars) is one of the weirdest cactus in my collection. Sometimes the main stem is leaning over (one way or the other) and sometimes it is straight up. I mentioned before we had a rough start when I accidentally knocked it off the plant table only a few days after I brought it home. Most of the offsets fell off so I just stuck them back in the pot, which was barely big enough at the time. I spaced them out better when I repotted then the main stem got even with so many more offsets. The other weird thing is the measurement… I didn’t take a measurement when I took the photo on 10-11, but I did a few days later when I took photos of its flowers. There were only a few buds when I took the above photo, but on October 19 through early November there were A LOT! Anyway, the measurement I typed in said 6 5/6″ tall… What in the heck did that mean? SO, I decided to take another measurement when I was writing this post. The main stem was standing straight up and the measurement was 7 3/8″. GEEZ! I stood the stem up before to take the measurement so I would be close to accurate. It isn’t uncommon for cactus to shrink and swell when they have ample moisture so it isn’t uncommon for their measurements to be a lot different in just a short period of time. The central stem measured only 4″ tall when I brought it home in March 2018 and the cluster was 3 3/4″ wide. I didn’t measure the width this time because the stems move around so much. I thought maybe they lean toward the sun but sometimes they seem to be leaning toward the shade… Like I said, this plant is weird…

To view this plants page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) at 3 1/4″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-59.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is a very neat plant to grow with all its wool. It produces quite a few flowers off and on and right now has a few more buds. It measured 3 1/4″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide on 10-11-19 and I am not about to remeasure it again until next year. It was only 1 7/8″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016.

Click HERE to view the Mammillaria hahniana page.

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) at 3 1/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-61.

The Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) is another fairly wooly cactus companion. It seems a little strange posting this photo since I posted a later photo of it with flowers already. Right now it has 11 buds and flowers. OK, I will go take a photo right now and show you…

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana flowers on 11-14-19, #660-1.

You can’t see all the flowers and buds, but there are 11. Pretty neat how they are facing the inside of the house instead of being toward the sun.

Anyway, on October 11, the Mammillaria karwinskiana measured 3 1/4″ tall by 2 3/4″ wide. Hmmm… I just double-checked. 🙂 At least it said “about” what it did before. This plant has grown AAAALLLOOOTTT taller! It was only 1 7/8″ tall when I brought it home from Lowe’s in September 2018 and 2 3/16″ wide.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion) at 3 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-64.

This is a BEAUTIFUL plant! The Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion) has this two-tone glow going on. A silvery-white-greenish glow overlaid with a golden glow. It almost looks like it has a halo. It is a bit of a leaner and I kept taking it out of the pot and straightening it up. I realized it is normal and many cactus lean toward the south so I just turn the pot once in a while. You can’t do that in the wild and some large cactus eventually fall over.

Currently, or at least on October 11, this cactus measured 3 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. I found this plant out of its pot and laying on its side on the discount rack at Lowe’s in September 2018. I picked it up and thought its club shape looked pretty neat so I brought it home. It has only grown 1/2″ taller and 3/4″ wider since I brought it home even though it seems like it has grown a lot. Hmmm…

The other thing about this plant that you can’t see (because I hide it) is the clump of hot glue STILL stuck to its side. Normally the strawflowers are stuck to the top. If you look close, you can see like a ridge in the center of the plant that goes all the way around it. That is where the clump of glue is stuck to its “skin” on the other side… Just another reason companies should stop using hot glue to stick the dumb strawflowers on cactus. It’s completely ridiculous! Maybe we should all send emails to Altman Plants (thecactuscollection.com). They are the largest producer of cactus and succulents in the United States.

Click HERE to visit this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria mystax at 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-67.

The Mammillaria mystax is indeed a humble little plant. It is very quiet and polite, doesn’t get excited, and it never causes any problems. As long as you give it what it needs to live and grow it will be happy and do just that. Nothing else. 🙂 So, what makes this plant special? Well, it is one of several species that divide dichotomically. It also has these strange trichomes (hairs) that grow between the tubercles that the others in my collection don’t have.  It measured 1 3/4″ tall by 2 1/4″ wide when I brought it home from Lowe’s in September 2018. By October 11 it had grown to 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus) at 1 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-69.

My feathered friend, the Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus), that I bought from a seller on Ebay in September 2018 has done quite well. The cluster of plants was 3/4′ tall x 2 1/4″ wide when it arrived and now has filled its pot at 1 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide. It produced several good-sized flowers since the above photo was taken that are sort of similar to Mammillaria karwinskiana without the reddish color. It needs a new pot now… OH, it is one of only a few cactus to receive the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Click HERE to view this plants own page.

 

Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus) at 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19 #639-71.

What can I say about the Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus)? For one, it is a leaner that I keep turning around. It is a very nice looking plant that I brought home from Lowe’s in October 2017. It flowers freely and abundantly and always looks great. I think it was my first cactus that flowered in 2017. It is now 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide which is around an inch taller and wider than when I brought it home. It is very similar in many ways to the Mammillaria rhodantha and was once named Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) at 4 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-73.

There is no mistaking the Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) with its rusty red central spines and white radial spines. It has always been an attention getter. It is a very stately plant, in my opinion, along with Mammillaria pringlei. This one does lean a little but not as much as M. pringlei. It doesn’t produce that many flowers but the spine color make up for it. Maybe because it realizes its pink flowers don’t look that good with the color of its spines. What color would look good, anyway? It is now 4 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide. Apparently, I didn’t measure this plant when I first brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016 then I screwed up and measured the cactus “with” the spines in 2017. It is one of my oldest cactus since I started recollecting in 2016.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis at 1 1/2″ tall on 10-13-19, #641-4.

Hmmm… Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis (Thimble Cactus). OK… I brought home my first “colony” of Thimble Cactus from Lowe’s in April 2013. It grew by leaps and bounds but, unfortunately, I gave up most of my plants in the summer of 2014. Then, when I took plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse last year I found this very small plant. I didn’t even recognize it as a Thimble Cactus at first. The main plant was very small and had several kids growing from it which have all fallen off but one. I now remember how the colony of the first pot grew so fast… Now, at only 1 1/2″ tall, it is building a successful family.

If you have a pot labeled, or find one labeled, Mammillaria gracilis fragilis or something of the sort, it is this plant…

If you click o this plant’s own page HERE, you will see photos of the previous colony I had as a companion and what this one will become like.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 10-11-19, #639-74.

I look at the photo of the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ and find myself at a loss for words. I know what I want to say, but there are no words for the definition. Have you ever had that problem? A definition with no words? I think the photo is the definition of GEE WHIZ! OK, I had been to Lowe’s to buy potting soil in July 2018 and ran across a pot with this “cluster” plus a pot of the, umm, M. vetula subsp. gracilis (like the one in the previous photo. I am whispering because I don’t want it to hear me). I left the other pot behind and brought home the one labeled Mammillaria gracilis v. fragilis monstrose… That is what Altman Plants calls it for some reason. Yes, ‘Arizona Snowcap’ is a monstrose form of Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis. It has an ABUNDANCE of shorter white spines than the “regular” subspecies. Now, when I brought my pot home, it was bulging and overflowing. I saw photos online of plants that were nearly solid white, like snowballs and I wondered why the pot of plants I brought home was not that solid white. After I repotted it/them and they begin to spread out a bit and do really well over the summer. They looked great and very happy but still, they didn’t look like the photos online. Then, in October (2018) I noticed a completely white plant. I thought, “WOW!” Then afterward, a few others started becoming more white. The weird thing is that the whiter offsets died after I moved the plants outside for the summer… Hmmm… I am going to do some work on this pot so it will look better…

Oh yeah, the tallest plant in the colony is 2″ tall. As with the regular Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis, they don’t grow that tall but they freely offset from the bottom and sides. Offsets fall off and form a larger colony.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

That is it for part 4 and there will still be one more plus the repotting post. Then what? 🙂 What would you like for me to post about? I will be working on updating the pages for the cactus on this page, so if you click on the link you may not see current photos. It takes a lot of time to update as I go and may take several days to finish.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Go outside and take a deep refreshing breath and say “THANK YOU!” Do it twice more. 🙂 If you can get dirty, do it…

 

CACTUS AND SUCCULENT UPDATE PART 3

Plants in the Cactus and Succulent Update Part 4. Back row left to right: x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’, x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’. Middle row left to right: Gymnocalycium saglionis, Haworthiopsis limifolia, Gasteria sp. ?, Espostoa melanostele. Front row left to right Gasteria ‘Little Warty’, Ferocactus wislizeni, and Euphorbia mammillaris. Not pictured in the group photo is the Huernia schneideriana.

Hello everyone! I hope this finds you all well. It is a little strange I am still working on the October 11 update and it is November 14. I still have the 11 Mammillaria and eight other cactus and succulents to post updates about.

The weirdest thing is the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. I always cover it up with a big pot when we are expecting an “F” and keep it covered all winter when cold temps persist. I covered it when we had the “F” on October 11, but forgot about it when we had the “S” and cold temps on the 29th. I noticed a few days ago it was the only plant not affected by the “F’s” and cold.

The daytime temps the past few days have been pretty nice, although a little breezy. I was able to take the plants in this post to the front porch for a photo shoot. All except the Huernia schneideriana because it is on the plant shelf in the bedroom all situated for winter. It is the last plant featured in this post and you will understand why I didn’t move it when you see it.

Without too much to say about anything else at the moment, let’s dive right into the post…

 

Espostoa melanostele subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) at 7 1/4” tall x 2 3/8” wide on 10-11-19, #639-26.

In the above photo, the Espostoa melanostele subsp. nana (Peruvian Old Lady) is proudly showing off her hairdo. Not that it is new, but there is an inch more of it. She grew to 7 1/4″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide since last October which is 1 ” taller and 1/4″ wider. She was only 2 3/4” tall x 1 3/4” wide when I brought her home from Wal-Mart in February 2016. I am glad to see the subspecies is also an accepted name.

To view the page especially for this cactus, click HERE!

 

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) at 5 3/4″ tall on 10-11-19, #639-27.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) has done very well and the main stem has now grown to 5 3/4″ tall. The upper parts of the stem and side branches are covered with small ephemeral leaves and the few spines still persist at the lower level. There were remains of flowers on the top of the cutting when I brought it home in March (2019), so hopefully, it will flower soon. The hexagonal tubercles swell when it has ample moisture and shrink during dry periods. There isn’t much online about this plant but most information says they grow 13-15″ tall. Ummm… Llifle says up to 35 cm but it also says they are “moderately fast” growers and “will become large landscape masterpieces in 3-5 years” and “young plants are happy growing indoors where they can easily reach the ceiling.” Hmmm… I don’t about your ceiling, but mine is slightly higher than 35 cm.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page with more photos.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni at 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-31.

The Ferocactus wislizeni (Arizona Barrel, Candy Barrel, Southwestern Barrel, Fishhook Barrel, Biznaga de Aqua…) is a very interesting plant to watch grow. Not that you would want to sit and watch it. 🙂 Earlier in the summer it started doing something weird as it was growing new spines. It almost looked like it was growing three apexes. Actually, it was growing new tubercles on three ribs at the same time. Of course, all cactus do this but this one caught my eye because the spines were red and prominent. I also like the odd shape of the ribs and the purplish color on top. It has grown to 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide now. It was 1 5/8″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide when I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29. So, that is pretty amazing. It will be even more amazing when it flowers but that may take some time… This is a long-lived species, from 50-130 years, so I may have to give it to someone in my will. Hopefully, it will show me it’s bright orange flowers in my lifetime. Llifle says specimens up to 9′ have been recorded. Interestingly, in the wild, these plants lean toward the equator which can cause them to fall over after a lot of rain as the soil becomes loose.

 

Ferocactus wislizeni from the top on 10-11-19, #639-32.

The spines grew quickly, to say the least… I am so glad the hot glue stuck to the top of this plant is gone and it caused no permanent damage. I can’t say the same for some.

To view this plant’s own page click HERE

 

x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ at 5 1/2″ tall x 10 1/2″wide on 10-11-19, #639-33.

The x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ has done quite well this past summer and has grown. She produced her first flower this past summer as well. This plant is now 5 1/2″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide. I removed the offsets in this pot in 2018 and they and been somewhat “iffy”. One of the things we do we later think maybe we shouldn’t have done. Umm, notice I said “you” because I certainly wouldn’t want to blame myself.

I bought this plant unlabeled and posted its photo on Succulent Infatuation for ID. A member suggested it was x Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ and several others agreed. So, that’s what I have been calling it. A while back a blog reader asked what the difference was between x Gaseraloe ‘Flow’ and Aloe beguinii. Well, I had no clue so I looked up that species online. Oddly enough (laughing), some of the online images look like this plant and some do not. Then, when I posted update #1, a reader commented that the Aristaloe aristata was a Lizard Tail and not Aristaloe aristata. “What in the heck is a Lizard Tail?” So, I did a search for “Lizard Tail Aloe” and all I found were images and information of some weed. Well, maybe not a weed, but you know what I mean… When I was updating the page for this plant for this post, out of curiosity I looked up Aloe beguinii again… Low and behold, the common name is Lizard Tail!!!

Sometimes plant ID can be very tricky especially with cultivars and hybrids. What is worse is when we buy plants that are unlabeled. Noticed I said “we” again… “WE” have to rely on others for help and do online searches to figure out the name. Not all information online is 100% accurate and only part of the images are the plant in question. Some are just photos of plants posted on websites that have nothing to do with plants. Being “slightly” familiar with who the suppliers are for the local greenhouses, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart make it a little easier. Once I get an ID suggestion, I check out the company’s websites to see what similar plants are currently available. Sometimes that is a dead-end… Knowing what is on the market during the time period “you” buy unlabeled plants is important. However, plants with certain cultivar names now could be the same plants with different cultivar names several years ago offered by other growers. Unpatented names are renamed and so on… So, it is a gamble that what we call plants is actually what they are. Just think how many species have so many different common names, and even several scientific names… Then there are times when I have brought home unlabeled plants from local greenhouses. Plants that have been given to the owner by others that were given to them and so on… Passalong plants are great!

I have said it many times but I will say it again. I am not a plant expert. I just like growing plants and writing about them hoping to spark interest and maybe help someone along the way. I always try to share links on the plant pages to websites that have been written by those more knowledgeable than me.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid at 3 7/8″ tall x 6 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-35.

I really enjoy this Gasteria sp. (Ox Tongue, Cow Tongue, Lawyers Tongue…). It is only fairly attractive but it is weird. Its leaves are very stiff, almost plastic-like. I still haven’t figured out the species and is quite possibly a hybrid. It is just strange how it showed up at Wal-Mart. The two times I posted for an ID on Succulent Infatuation all I received were “likes” or someone telling me it was a Gasteria. I already knew that! I may be able to get a suggestion from a particular hybridizer… Hmmm… Maybe I should meditate with it in my hands. Whatever its name may be, it has grown. Currently, the two plants together are 3 7/8″ tall by 6 1/2″ wide. They were 2 3/4″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide when I brought them home on March 19, 2018. Wow! That’s 2 3/4″ wider!

I sent a message to Kelly Griffin a few days ago, one of the foremost Aloe hybridizers who just happens to work for Altman Plants. He said, “I don’t see it as a species but it does look a little bicolorish. (I assume by saying “bicolorish” he meant Gasteria bicolor, which is a synonym of G. obliqua). We found pillansii in the wild with this milky leaf color. I would suggest it is a hybrid but certainly, without a flower, it is difficult to determine provenance or even narrow it down. Many growers sell both species and hybrids. It very could well be from our nursery as we supply plants for Wal mart and HD and Lowe’s.”

I also just received approval to become a member of Succulent Dreamers. It is a Facebook group with over 100,000 members. I posted photos of this plant so we’ll see if they have any suggestions. Over 200 people have joined in the past month. If you do join this group or Succulent Infatuation, be prepared to drool…

UPDATE: After several days of posting photos of the above Gasteria, only two “likes” and no comments! Weird with over 100,000 members. Some days there are a lot of new posts and maybe mine was posted on an inactive day. Then it was overrun by new posts. I will repost…

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page…

 

Gasteria ‘Little Warty” at 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-34.

The Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ and its kids are doing GREAT. Their leaves are definitely not smooth. The main plant has grown quite a bit since I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It is now 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. It was only 2″ tall x 2 3/16″ wide! The offsets fell away from the main plant when I repotted it so I put them in their own pot. Together, they have also grown to 1 1/2″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. I repotted it mainly because the plug wrapping was sticking out above the soil and I wanted to remove the netting. I don’t like it. 🙂 Most commercial growers use plugs to grow their young plants in then greenhouses that buy plugs put them into pots. If I owned a greenhouse I would remove the plug wrapping… From what I have noticed, it is an ordeal for the roots to grow properly. I always remove the wrapping once I know it is there. The roots of some plants grow through the small holes in the wrap with no problem, but others have some difficulty and the roots become very cramped up.

Click HERE to view the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ page. Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from Australian hybridizer David Cumming.

 

x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset on 10-11-19, #639-38.

The x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ is doing very well. Much better since I have found a proper name for it. My plant collecting friend from Mississippi, Walley, sent me a rooted stem in July 2018. It was pretty tall and the top part broke off. The leaves were green at the time he sent them, but with more light their colors came out. Eventually, I took leaf cuttings and left them on the back porch in full sun. They grew nicely and they have turned into a great looking pot of plants. One they looked like this I was able to find a positive ID. Well, I posted the photo on a Facebook group and several agreed x Graptosedum ‘California Sunset’ was the name. I checked Google Images and it looks good to me. That may not have been its original name, but that is what it is now. 🙂 You can look at photos of many x Graptosedum cultivars and they basically look the same. I don’t have a page for this plant yet…

Walley is an avid plant collector and travels to plant shows and many nurseries buying plants every year. His yard is incredible! Walley is an older gentleman whose wife passed away a while back. Then he started dating… I believe he may have found the right one because they have been spending a lot of time together and traveling for several months. So, I don’t know what his yard looks like now since he had other interests. I haven’t talked to him for a while, but I see his posts on Facebook. He is having a good time and that is very important. 🙂

 

Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus) at 2 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-39.

I really like the Gymnocalycium saglionis (Giant Chin Cactus). How can you not like a plant that looks like this?  It is possibly the subspecies Gymnocalycium saglionis subsp. tilcarense described on Llifle. Plants of the World Online, however, says the subspecies is now a synonym of the species. I still don’t get it. I think maybe the botanists (and many others) that are trying to straighten out the multiple scientific name issue haven’t gotten around to approving many of the infraspecific names. I am sure there is a logical explanation. They were already approved at one point. I turned around and started telling Jade (the cat laying on my bed) my opinion. She looked at me like I was going to say something brilliant then laid her head back down and ave a big sigh. Hmmm… Not even the cat cares what I think about it. 🙂

ANYWAY! This AWESOME cactus now measures 2 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. Of course, you can see that in the caption. Hmmm… I guess I need to say those were its measurements on October 11 since it is already November 13. How many more days will go by before I get this post finished?

This plant DOES have its own page which you can view by clicking HERE… There are more photos.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia at 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-42.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is looking very interesting as always. It measured 3 1/2″ tall x 3 1/8″ wide on October 11 and measured 2 3/8” tall x 3” when I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It is a really neat looking plant with the raised ridges on its leaves. Llifle lists several varieties of this plant but there are none listed on POWO. I have not repotted this plant since I brought it home because it was in a large enough pot already. I think it was probably bought as a plug then repotted at Wildwood… SOOOO, I should have checked to see if its roots are bound up inside a net. Hmmm… I didn’t think about it until I updated ‘Little Warty’s’ page…

You can view the Haworthiopsis limifolia page by clicking HERE.

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-43.

Hmmm… To say the Huernia schneideriana (Dragon flower, Carrion Plant) has been growing would be an understatement. I kept it on an old milk crate along the wall on the front porch because it doesn’t like to much sun. It must have like this location because…

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-44.

It is LOADED with flowers!

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-45.

The flowers usually grow from the lower parts of the stem but…

 

Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-46.

These appear to be growing on the outside of the pot. That is because they are growing from a branch… The flowers are supposed to smell really bad which is where one of the common names comes from. They are so small who could tell.

I have had this particular plant since 2015 To view its own page click HERE.

Hopefully, someday the Stapelia gigantea will flower as much as the Huernia. Their flowers are HUGE so they might stick up the house.

That’s it for the third update! I still have two more which will be a little weird… I repotted a few cactus and succulents so it kind of screwed up the October updates. Hmmm… This is November. 🙂 I suppose I can continue with the updates and pretend I didn’t do the repotting yet. LOL!

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Keep warm or cool depending on where you are.

 

 

Ummm… Another “S”!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well! I woke up this morning and “you know what” was going on outside! Second time so far this “winter”. When I was a kid we would get “S” before January 1, but then for many years it rarely ever did that and sometimes not until March. I prefer it to do this while I am in bed and be gone by the time I get up. I am not a fan of cold temperatures and would do very well in a tropical or subtropical climate. Growing a garden 12 months a year and not having to bring plants inside for the winter would be great. I know there would be other weather challenges but it wouldn’t involve snow and ice. Just thinking about all the Aroids I can grow gives me goosebumps. Well, maybe the goosebumps are from just coming in from outside.

The above photo was taken at 1:19 in the afternoon and it was snowing every time I looked outside until 3:20. It had stopped.

 

The only time this thermometer is close to correct is during the winter. It was 21° F when this photo was taken and at 3:30 in the afternoon the internet says it is STILL the same temperature. Every time I look at the weather forecast it gets worse. Now the National Weather Service says it “may” get down to 9° F during the night. I checked other websites to check if there is a more agreeable forecast and they all say about the same thing…

I did cover the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles” before I went to bed last night…

 

A few of the cats like the box on the back porch, but the rest don’t seem to like crowded conditions and usually go to the barn. There are probably three cats in this box and it is weird the darker yellow and white fuzzy cat is here. Normally he stays in the barn when it is cold. He has been tamer the last few months for some reason but I still can’t pet him. His brother, the one you can’t see, is just the opposite. If you touch him he won’t leave you alone. The one mom and dad called The Barn Cat and Susie are no doubt in the barn. The two kittens are snuggled under a table on a bag of potting soil. I would let them in but they find too many things to play with. The younger one doesn’t use the litter box either. Simba wants in but I think that would be unfair to let him in when the others are outside. Of course, Jade is sleeping on my bed. Hmmm…

 

The plants in my bedroom seem to be adapting to being inside so far. The Alocasia gageana would prefer the front porch but she is not objecting since she can see the “S”. There are five pots of Alocasia gageana but only one has made it to the basement (where they overwinter). The other three are on the dining room table. When I brought the plants inside for the winter I was excited to see the Stapelia gigantea had buds. Unfortunately, it appears they all fell off! They appear to be growing new buds but I’m not 100% sure what it is doing but the flowers will be HUGE. I purchased the cuttings in October 2018 and they grew like crazy all summer. It is the pot on the left side by the window. I noticed a few mealybugs on it a few days ago which I quickly removed. I haven’t had bugs on my plants for MANY years…

 

The Tradescantia ‘Pale Puma’ looks amazing! Most of the other Tradescantia are in the other front bedroom with the Begonias and Oxalis. I am not sure if the ‘Pale Puma’ will continue to look good or if it will stretch. Time will tell.

 

I didn’t get a good photo of the plants in the kitchen windowsill because of the light from outside. The Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus, False Christmas Cactus, etc.) has a few buds again. It tried last year but the buds fell off because I didn’t give it enough water. This year it is in the kitchen windowsill so I can keep an eye on it. I tried getting a photo of its buds but it would cooperate. The only good photo didn’t seem appropriate… OH, what the heck…

 

ANYWAY………….. The flowers will be a peach color. Common names include False Christmas Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Crab Cactus, Zygocactus, Lobster Cactus, Claw Cactus, Holiday Cactus, Linkleaf, Yoke Cactus, Crab’s Claw Cactus, Easter Cactus… After that photo, I can think of a few others.

Interestingly, it is a true cactus species and is in the Cactaceae family to prove it. A native of Brazil and Rio de Janeiro (Serra do Mar and Serra dos Orgãos).

 

I didn’t notice buds on the Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) when I brought the plants inside for the winter because of all the wool. A few days ago I noticed buds peeking through and now they are beginning to open. This is pretty exciting because these are its first flowers.

 

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is loaded with buds and a few flowers. This is nothing new for her as she started flowering in October 2017. Ummm… She also flowered this past July.

 

I need to do some further research about the Zantedeschia species because this one is weird… The other Calla I have is possibly Zantedeschia elliottiana (Golden Calla Lily) (which I have been incorrectly calling Z. aethiopica) because it has spotted leaves and Yellow flowers. It comes up in the spring and is already dormant. It’s label just says “Calla”. This one was given to me by the owner of Wildwood Greenhouse. I mentioned it in several previous posts but I will recap again in case you didn’t see it.  One of several times I was at Wildwood, there were several pots of really terrible looking plants on the floor next to the counter. The owner, I forget his first name, said he had bought seeds of these Calla Lilies and planted them “outside” (the year before if I am not mistaken) and they came up. He put them in pots and they just kind of always looked terrible. Kind of limp and lifeless. He gave me a pot on Jue 13 to see if I would have any luck with it. I didn’t do anything with it for a week or so and it continued looking weird. Just kind of limp and non-energetic although it continued to live. So, I decided to take it out of the pot, shake off all the old soil and put it fresh Miracle Grow Potting Soil. It still did nothing. I moved it to the front porch and then one day in August when I was watering I saw its leaves were standing up! It was like it was a completely different plant. When I brought the plants inside on October 11, it was just amazing so I put it in my bedroom in front of the window. Apparently, it didn’t like it and the older leaves began to die. SO, I took it to the kitchen and trimmed off the dead leaves… Now, what in the heck is going on with this plant? Why didn’t it go dormant like the other Calla? This particular species is likely Zantedeschia aethiopica, but again, I am not 100% sure. The owner of Wildwood didn’t know either. I do know I will need to dig it up at some point and make sure the bulbs, if it has any, are sticking out of the soil. Anyway, when you plant dormant Calla bulbs, you need to make sure they are sticking out of the soil… Well, some websites say to plant six inches deep BUT don’t do that! The other one didn’t flower until I left the bulbs, or rhizomes, or whatever you call them sticking out of the soil about halfway. Hmmm… But these plants aren’t dormant… Am I supposed to force them to go dormant? I don’t know yet. For now, I will just let them grow and see what happens…

What else? Oh yeah, I almost forgot…

 

The Callisia repens (Bolivian Jew) is doing great although there are a lot of dead leaves. It was like that when I brought it inside. At some point, I have to work it over, give it a hair cut, remove the dead leaves, or something. This plant is incorrectly labeled Callisia nutans with a photo of Callisia repens. So, if you happen to have one of these labeled Callisia nutans, you know that is the wrong name. The Bolivian Jew is Callisia repens… 🙂

The succulents and a few more cactus in the back bedroom are doing great but I couldn’t get a good photo.

That’s it for this post. I should have finished it earlier because it will be the 12th and the day after the first “S” before you know it. HOPEFULLY, the cactus and succulent update #3 will be ready soon! It is almost finished… It was almost finished three days ago.

Currently, at 10:35 PM, it is 18° F and falling…

Until next time, be safe and stay positive.

 

 

Walking through fire — talltalesfromchiconia

Hello everyone! I wanted to share this post from Kate about the fires burning in Australia. I know in the US we don’t always know what is going on in other parts of the world. I don’t even watch the news. Keep the residents of Australia in your thoughts and prayers.

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” Carl Jung Sometimes, it is only in the fire that a person’s qualities become apparent. We’re seeing a lot of that right now. The east coast of Australia is largely ablaze. Communities are being razed to smoking […]

via Walking through fire — talltalesfromchiconia

Eight On Saturday-OOPS!

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ (Jerusalem Sage) on 11-9-19, #647-11.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This afternoon was very nice and the temp was in the 50’s. Seeing a few Six on Saturday posts this morning inspired me so I went outside to take a few photos. Well, I am a newbie because I don’t think I have ever made a Six on Saturday post. How do you do only six?

#1 is the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’. I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay in 2013 for its interesting flowers. It is very borderline hardy here I think so every fall when we have an “F” in the forecast I cover it up with a big flower pot. I did that again when we had the first “F”. Then I oddly forgot about it after that. From 2013 until now I protected this plant to the point of insanity. When it would get cold, I covered it at night until I finally had to keep it covered. We have had several “F’s” and temps have been in the low 20’s. A few days ago I was coming out of the barn and looked toward the corner bed. I thought, “HOLY S—T! I FORGOT ABOUT THE PHLOMIS!” Here it is alive and well while most everything around it is dead.

This is the third location for this plant. It first in the middle of the south bed then I moved it to the southwest corner bed. Then, I planted the Baptisia there and it took up so much room it shaded the Phlomis. My first idea was to move the Baptisia to the southeast corner but it wouldn’t budge. So, I told the Phlomis I was sorry but I had to him again. I suppose it is a “he” since its name is Edward. I dug him up and he wasn’t too thrilled about the whole ordeal… Normally, he gets fairly tall and his leaves get very impressive. This summer, he didn’t grow as well and the leaves didn’t get as large. He did adapt and get over the move and now he is showing off! I now have a sticky note stuck to the computer that says “REMEMBER THE PHLOMIS.”

 

Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) on 11-9-19, #647-1.

#2-The Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum (Elephant Garlic) are all alive and growing well. They are pictured above in the southeast corner bed but they are scattered all through the south bed ad well. I usually dig a few of their bulbs to use in cooking. They produce a lot of bulbils which make single bulbs the following year then bigger bulbs with cloves the next year. They have amazing flower heads which I think are a good substitute for the more expensive Allium species an cultivars. At some point, I guess I should lose the “var. ampeloprasum” part of the name because it isn’t legit now. I never understood how a variety could be the same name as the species anyway…

 

Buddleja ‘White Profusion’ on 11-9-19, #647-2.

#3 is the Buddleja ‘White Profusion’. The Butterfly Bush thrived on neglect this past summer. Basically, the entire south bed went wild which is why I haven’t taken many photos of it. 🙂 I have no idea what that is growing to the left and only noticed it after I looked at the photo. GEEZ! I normally keep this bush deadheaded so it will look tidy and keep it flowering well but I think I only did it once this past summer. It will continue to have green leaves until it gets REALLY cold. One year it stayed green all winter and grew HUGE the following summer. When I bought this plant in 2013 it was only supposed to grow around 4′ tall. Labeling has changed since then because this bush gets MUCH taller than 4’… Hmmm… I bought it and put it here because it was supposed to be a smaller cultivar. Even so, I really like this cultivar and it attracts an abundance of butterflies, hummingbirds, and hummingbird moths.

 

Celosia argentea ver spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ on 11-9-19, #647-4.

#4Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’. Well, what can I say? They came up, they grew, they flowered, and now they are dead. Don’t let that fool you because each inflorescence is FILLED with seed than has fallen out, or will fall out, that will come up next spring. DOUBLE GEEZ! Still, they remain my favorite Celosia because of their maroon and green bi-colored leaves and they grow so tall. They make great plants to cover up the wall and are a good background for the plants in the front of the bed. That is until they branch out and try to cover them up, too. We manage, though…

 

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) on 11-9-19, #647-10.

#5Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo). Every time I post about the Nandina I mention it is my favorite shrub and that I brought it with me from Mississippi. While it doesn’t grow as well here as in Mississippi, it is hanging in there which I am very thankful for. Some bird species like the berries, especially the Titmouse, as they migrate through here. I only see a few Titmouse here but they came by the hundreds in Mississippi. I always liked using the leaves of the Heavenly Bamboo in flower arrangements instead of fern and palm leaves. The Nandina is a great all-around shrub in my opinion. I know in some areas they can be a bit invasive, which is why there were so many at the mansion. A few more here would be a good thing…

 

Cannas on 11-9-19, #647-3.

#6The Cannas… All I can say is they had a pretty good summer. Despite the Japanese Beetles shredding their leaves they still put on an impressive show and grew to their normal 8-12′. Now I have to cut them down and mulch the bed with leaves. Works very good since they aren’t supposed to be cold hardy here. I can’t imagine digging all the rhizomes, storing them for the winter in the basement and planting them again in the spring…

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla) on 11-9-19, #647-5.

#7Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla). When I took this photo it asked me where I had been? I had no good answer and I really didn’t want to make excuses. This planter, which came from an old coal furnace, is where the Tree Cholla, Sempervivum ‘Killer” and Sedum kamtschaticum var. variegata are all growing. The Semp did poorly this year after it went banananananas last year. It flowered then mostly died (which it is supposed to do). The offsets are doing only so so, which may or may not be normal. The Sedum kamtschaticum var. variegata looked better than ever this spring and flowered like never before then it just went to crap. I had to pull a little grass to take this photo and noticed the Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ has infiltrated the planter. I think that is why the Tree Cholla was wondering where I had been because it knows that is not allowed. Oddly, I did manage to remove the grass without getting stuck. I think that was a first. As always, though, the Cylindropuntia imbricata is doing well and has grown a lot more this past summer. It agrees with me and is ready for spring already.

I took a walk to the back of the farm with one thing on my mind…

 

Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon) on 11-9-19, #647-6.

#8Diospyros virginiana (Persimmon). In my opinion, the most important thing about Fall here is the Persimmons. I visit this tree as often as I can this time of the year because of the delicious fruit. Deer, turkeys, raccoons, and opossum also eat the fruit so it is usually not easy finding them on the ground.

 

This tree was LOADED with fruit but most have fallen off. Even the lower limbs are too high to reach so I have to throw a stick to see if I can get some of the fruit to fall off.

 

OOOPS! The stick got stuck…

 

I only managed to knock three down, but that is OK. Tomorrow is another day. Even if I don’t come back for more, eating only a few is worth the wait. While it is true a “F” does seem to speed up the ripening process, if we have a late “F” the fruit ripens anyway.

On the way back to the house I was wondering if I had taken enough photos for a Six on Saturday Post. As it turned out, I took photos of eight “plants” so I kind of screwed up. I suppose I could have left out a couple, but the plants behind me in the bedroom couldn’t decide which two to leave out… They reminded me there are six of them for next Saturday… It sounds like a plot to me. 🙂

Well, that’s all I have to say except I am still working on the Cactus and Succulent Update #3.

Until next time, stay well, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments in advance.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune Health — Good Witches Homestead

I read the post and watched the video. I use Elderberry capsules all winter and have always wondered about making my own remedies. This blog is GREAT! So, I reblogged to share it with you.

Each year as winter approaches, I reliably find my patients asking me about the best herbal remedies to use during the cold weather months. One of the most common questions I encounter is, “What nutritional preparations can I use to help keep my family strong and healthy throughout the sniffle season?”. There’s a wide array […]

via How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune Health — Good Witches Homestead

Cactus & Succulent Update Part 2

Plants mentioned in Cactus and Succulent Update Part 2 on 10-26-19, #645-1. On the railing, from left to right, Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’, Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’, and Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus. The large pot in the center is Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora ?). Plants to the left of the big pot are Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm'(rear) and Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’. To the right of the big pot are Crassula tetragona (rear) and Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’. In front are the twin Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?), Echinopsis mirabilis (small pot), and Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora ?) on the right.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This is part 2 of the cactus and succulent update. After the light “F” we had during the night on October 11, it warmed up again. The plants were giving me crazy looks and probably talking behind my back. I know this because they would get very quiet when I walked in the room and start looking at each other. They had that guilty look… Then sometimes they would be staring out the window with a bit of drool funning down their chin, or a tear in their eyes. ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH, so I put them back outside for a few days. This time, the temps were chilly, it was cloudy and the wind blew every day. I was going to make sure they were ready to come inside and knew “W” was on the way. Even though another “F” wasn’t isn’t in the forecast for a few days, the temperature was going to get below 40 on Thursday night (by morning), so I brought them back inside. This time, they were ready and thankful.

I am continually updating, so if you click on their pages they may or may not be updated with these current photos.

Here we go…

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ at 2 1/4″ tall x 3 1/2″wide on 10-11-19, #639-13.

The last Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing‘ I bought from Wal-Mart in February 2016 is definitely taking its time growing. I suppose that is petty normal when it started out so small in the first place. It has only grown 1/4″ taller since I brought it home and is now at 2 1/4″. The width is the same at 3 1/2″. It is scarred for life from the crickets in 2016… It has no good side… Maybe the crickets stunted its growth. My complete history with Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ from 2009 to present can be seen by clicking HERE.

 

Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) at 6 1/2″ tall x 4 1/2″ wide on 6-11-19, #639-14.

The Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) is one of very few cactus companions I have whose name has not changed or isn’t controversial. I write that while laughing because there are 27 synonyms associated with this species. At least it hasn’t changed since I brought it home from Wal-Mart in January 2016. This subspecies is also an accepted name because it pretty much only grows in Uruguay (Syn. Cereus uruguayanus). Growing this plant has definitely been an interesting experience from the start. It looked pretty good when I brought it home but it was sopping wet. Then it was nibbled on by crickets in 2016. It turned pale instead of remaining nice and green and I thought it would die. Well, it didn’t die and many of the offsets are almost as tall as the original main stem. Any new offsets don’t seem to be coming from around the plant but within it. Damaged stems produce new growth that sometimes falls off. Since it seemed to sunburn even in light shade, I tried growing it in more shade to see if the color would get better. Well, that didn’t help. So, this year I kept it in full sun on the back porch. Nothing changed one way or the other. It still looks rather odd to me and it is definitely not a showstopper (unless you are a cricket). On the back porch, which is actually a deck 4′ above the ground, there are no cricket issues… I always measure the cactus from soil level to the top of the plant. This one shrunk because the top of the oldest and tallest trunk was damaged and the new growth fell off. Last October it was 7 1/4″ tall and now it is 6 1/2″ tall. It is still the same width as last year at 4 1/2″.

You can view this plant’s own page by clicking HERE

 

Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ at 8″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-15.

The Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ hasn’t been fooling around! It was 5 1/2″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in March 2018. It had grown to 6 7/8″ tall x 3 3/4″ wide by the time I brought the plants inside in October. Now it measures 8″ tall but it is still 3 3/4″ wide. I bought my first Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Ming Thing’ in 2010 when I lived in Mississippi and it didn’t look anything like this one. As with all monstrose forms in any species, no two are alike. 

 

Cereus repandus f. monstruosus ‘Rojo’ from the top on 10-11-19, #639-16.

I really like this plant’s growth habit and reddish-brown spines. It is interesting anywhere you look at it.

If you have or encounter a cactus that says Cereus peruvianus f. monstrose ‘Rojo’, it is the same. Cereus peruvianus has been a synonym of Cereus repandus for quite a while but the industry is still using the same old name. The infraspecific name is not an accepted scientific name. Monstruosus forms appear in nature as well as cultivation.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ on 10-26-19, #645-2.

“I saw her before with her silvery glow, tempting me to bring her home. Not just for the evening, but for much longer, maybe a lifetime. Maybe not mine. For I knew parasites may soon come and take her away… So, I hesitated, then went home without her. She haunted me from far away until I returned and gave in. Now she is here with me, her flesh now loaded with brown scale.”

Ummm… While most of the plants are doing well, the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ (Pig’s Ear, etc.) is not. For those of you who may have a Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ that is healthy and growing well, I congratulate you! When I first saw several of these at Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017, they were AWESOME. Every year they have a few and they have big, beautiful, silver leaves are so amazing. However, although I haven’t asked, I think they purchase them every year. Commercial growers sell to retailers that are unaware of what lurks yet to be seen. The problem is, local greenhouses have a clientele that come often and soon learn to avoid certain plants.  After a few years, they can’t sell certain plants unless they sell them to new customers. This plant, in particular, can lead to frustration because of what happens next. Being very prone to brown scale, and likely invisible when buying, they soon develop these brown spots and the plant starts ailing.

 

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ with a big problem…

I have had only a few plants that have had issues with brown scale. One was the HUGE Crassula ovata (Jade Plant) that always has a few brown scale that I could easily remove with my fingernail. They never became an issue. Then there was the Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia (Ripple Jade Plant) that I brought home from Pleasant Acres Nursery while living in Leland, Mississippi. It looked great when I brought it home, but soon the brown scale started appearing in greater numbers I could remove with my fingernail. I treated the plant with Garden Safe Fungicide 3 (fungicide, insecticide, miticide) which is OMRI listed. I went to the nursery and the plants she had were completely infested as well and MUCH WORSE than mine. The spray helped a lot but the plant was never the same. I brought the plant with me when I moved back here and after a while I ran out of spray. I went to the local hardware store and found a similar product but it wasn’t OMRI listed and smelled of alcohol. It killed the plant within a few days.

To me, I don’t even think the Cotyledon has brown scale. It is something else. I posted the photos on the group Succulent Infatuation on Facebook to see if I can get some answers. I hate to discard this plant because it wants to survive. Last fall I was tempted to leave it outside, but my conscious wouldn’t allow it. Last August I have it a good trim and took several cuttings. Once it regrew the same issues came back as well. I was busy over the summer and somehow I don’t remember what happened with the cuttings.

I hadn’t taken photos of this plant for A LONG TIME because I was wither embarrassed or ashamed. Not sure which… So much for my “green thumb” status. LOL!

To view the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ page click HERE. You can see what it looked like when I first brought it home.

 

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ at 7 1/2″ tall x 9 1/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-20.

I brought this Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ (Jade Plant ‘Gollum’) home from the Kuntry Bulk Grocery (one of the local Amish stores) last May. It was unlabeled and I originally thought it was a Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’ like the one I had previously. The more it grew the more “Gollamy” it appeared. I like rolled-up leaves and tree-like growth habit. Somehow I didn’t measure this plant when I brought it home, but it is currently 7 1/2″ tall x 9 1/4″ wide.

Click HERE to view the page for the Crassula ovata ‘Ladyfingers’. Hmmm… I put the photos of the current plant on this page because I thought it was ‘Ladyfingers’ at first. I suppose I either need to change the name of the title or add a separate page for this plant.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) at 16 1/2″ tall on 10-28-19, #645-4..

Hmmm… I forgot to take photos of this plant on October 11 and didn’t realize it until I went to write about it. There were no photos! The Crassula tetragona, Miniature Pine Tree, has changed quite a lot since I brought it home from Wagler’s Greenhouse last September. For one, it has grown from 11 1/4″ tall to 16 1/2″ tall. It lost A LOT of leaves while it was inside last winter making me wonder if it needs a little more water than other Crassula species over the winter. In their native South African habitat, this species grows in both areas with summer rainfall and areas with winter rainfall. I put the Crassula tetragona on the back porch for the summer with the cactus and it did very well. It was first on the north side of the porch, but as the cats jumped from the raining to the table they kept knocking off the tops of the stems. So, I moved it to the potting table on the south side of the porch.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) on 10-26-19, #645-5.

Even though the leaves are now concentrated to the top of the plant, I think it looks pretty neat.

 

Crassula tetragona (Miniature Pine Tree) on 10-26-19, #645-5.

Every time I found a broken stem I put them in the pot. Soon there will be a forest in the pot.

According to information online, the Crassula tetragona is reliably cold hardy down to 28° F or even colder for short periods. They are also popular as bonsai candidates.

Click HERE to view the page for the Crassula tetragona page.

 

Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?) on 10-11-19, #639-21.

The twin Echinocactus grusonii (var. albispinus ?), commonly known as the Golden Barrel Cactus, are both doing quite well. As always, they are the comedians of my cactus companions. I had named them Greater and Lesser because one is a little taller and narrower than the other. Greater is taller and narrower while Lessor is a little shorter but wider. They always try to confuse me when I am measuring them. Occasionally, Lessor will stand on its toes and Greater will puff out its stomach. Their long thorns don’t make it any easier. Since last October, Greater has grown from 2 7/8″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide to 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide. It was 2 1/2″ tall x 2″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016. Lessor has grown from 2 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide last October to 2 7/8″ tall x 3″ wide. It was 2 1/8″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide when I brought it home the same day as Greater. Those measurements are without the spines…

To view Greater and Lesser’s own page click HERE.

 

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ at 3 3/8″ tall x 6″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-22.

The Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ (Syn. x Echinobivia ‘Rainbow Bursts’) has grown A LOT this past summer and so have its kids! The parent is now 3 3/8 ” tall and the whole cluster is 6″ wide. That is 3/8″ taller and 1″ wider than last October. The real change has been the size size of the offsets which you don’t notice by measuring the whole cluster. It was only 2 1/4” T x 3 1/2” W when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016.

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ was an intergeneric hybrid between Echinopsis and Lobivia species (or cultivars). That was until Lobivia became a synonym of Echinopsis. Actually, species of Lobivia were moved to several different genera. They are known for their AWESOME flowers and I am STILL waiting…

Click HERE to view the Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ page.

 

Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) at 3 1/2” tall x 2 1/2” wide on 10-11-19, #639-23.

ALL of the Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) are doing very well. Common names include Red Torch Cactus and Desert’s Blooming Jewel. Hard to imagine, but this plant, according to Plants of the World Online, has 42 synonyms and has been in 8 different genera!

 

Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora) on 10-11-19, #639-24.

Ummm… How did I wind up with this many Echinopsis huascha (var. grandiflora)? Well, I wrote about this before, but I will do it again. I was at Lowe’s looking at cactus on September 12 last year and noticed several cactus on a rack I didn’t have. One of those plants was the one pictured above the above photo. When I was walking around the garden center, I spotted a bigger pot with a very large dead cactus in the middle surrounded by 6 offsets. The pot was on clearance for $5.00 and I figured I could repot them. SO, I put the pot in the cart. When I got home I started taking photos, writing the names down and measuring the new companions. Hmmm… I brought home several plants that day… Anyway, I kind of slipped (AGAIN) and wound up with two pots labeled Trichocereus grandiflorus Hybrids. As it turns out, Trichocereus grandiflorus is a synonym of Echinopsis huascha which looks more like photos of the variety Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora. Well, the later infraspecific is neither approved or listed as a synonym… Anyway, that’s how I came up with seven of these plants. 🙂 I am waiting for their AWESOME flowers!

When I brought home these plants, the one in the pot by itself measured 3″ tall x 2″ wide. It now measures 3 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide. The largest plant in the center of the pot of six now measures 4 3/4” tall x 3 1/8” wide. It was 3″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide when I brought them home.

Click HERE to view the Echinopsis huascha var. grandiflora page.

 

LAST ON THE POST

BUT CERTAINLY NOT THE LEAST!

Echinopsis mirabilis (Flower of Prayer) at 3 1/2″ tall on 10-11-19, #639-25.

I have and have had some of the neatest plant companions and will certainly have more to come. I have identified more wildflowers this past summer and some have been really neat. I may never see another pink-flowered Achillea millefolium in nature like I did this past summer. Even so, I would have to say the highlight of this past summer was when the Echinopsis mirabilis started flowering.

Watching and waiting for the bud to open when the flowers only last one night is is quite an ordeal. Especially when I missed the first one. I saw the second and then missed the third. Then the fourth was the day after the third which I did photograph as well. The flowers are AWESOME and worth the anticipation. Like my cousins Cereus, they are night bloomers…

Even though it looks like the plant hasn’t grown to me, it has. When I brought it home, it measured 2 5/8″ tall x 1 1/8″ wide. It now measures 3 1/2″ tall. It needs a new pot…

To view this plant’s own page with the flowers, click HERE!

Now I am finished with part 2. Part 3 and 4, maybe 5 or 6, are coming up. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this update as much as I enjoy sharing it. Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Make a comment or click like if you can because I really enjoy hearing from you.

Weird WordPress Mystery Solved…

My site showing not logged in… No black bar across the top and the follow button at the bottom right-hand corner.

Hello everyone! Yesterday I went through every blog I follow and clicked “visit site” on each of them to see what would happen. I had gone to system preferences and removed all website data then restarted the computer. Before i did that, I had somehow managed to log in to my blog’s site instead of just on my dashboard. I hope this makes sense because I am almost confusing myself trying to explain. 🙂 Anyway, after I did that and signed back in I could not log back into my site. You know, when you go to your site, the back bar across the top says

Out of 144 blogs, 64 said “following, 64 said “follow” and 10 didn’t give an option. I tried signing in a multitude of times and nothing changed.

What was really weird is that the blog was still behaving normally on the old iMac. The black bar appeared across the top as always. I could get on the reader and when I went to the website of followed blogs that say “follow”, I could click on follow and it then changed to “follow”. That is still a bit odd that blogs I am following already would say “follow”. Once I clicked “follow” it said that their posts would appear in my reader. Hmmm… They are already appearing in my reader otherwise I would have clicked on the site in the first place. Anyway, at least it worked.

Hmmm… Maybe I lost you somewhere. The old iMac is a 2007 model that I bought in 2013. The hard drive needed to be replaced about every year so last year I decided to get a newer model. The new one is a 2013 model with many updated features, bigger screen, and so on. I had reached the point where the old one couldn’t be updated any further. The newer one actually cost me less than the old one did six years ago.

I had compared the setting from one computer to another to make sure they were the same.

Today I contacted WordPress customer support about the ongoing issue because the last guy had no clue. This time I got results…

The rep asked if I was using Safari and I told him I was. He said sometimes different versions of Safari work differently. He suggested I go to Systems Preference and click on “privacy”. He asked if the “prevent cross-site tracking” was checked. I told him yes. He said to uncheck then quit Safari and let him know if it worked.

Hmmm… I thought “prevent cross-site tracking” was a good thing but I did as he suggested then quit Safari…

 

When I got back on, it worked fine… The back bar appeared across the top like magic. But, just as an experiment, I got back on Sytems Preference and checked the box again. I quit Safari and then reopened it. I got on my blog and it said the same thing as before… So, I unchecked the box again, quit Safari and got back on… It worked AGAIN!

Now, who would think having the “prevent cross-tracking” would be a good thing on one version of Safari and not the other?

Now, when I go to the reader and click “visit site”, the blogs I am following that says “follow” change to “following” when I click to follow just like with the old computer. Huh? So, if you get a notification that says I just followed your blog when I have already been following, you will know why. It’s just weird to me that a blog I am following says “follow” when I am already following. No, I don’t have OCD nor do I want to know what that even means. A friend in Mississippi would always tell me I had OCD when I straightened pictures on the wall. Well, the mansion would shake when someone hit the chug hole on the street and the pictures would get crooked as a result. It had nothing to with always looking at the crooked window at the new house across the street when I went out the door. I just notice things that are a little off.

For the past several weeks, I have been getting a notification to upgrade from macOS Mojave to Catalina… I have been hesitant but I am wondering. I hate making changes sometimes when what I am using works fine.

Well, I feel much better now and I can go happily about working on the blog as before. If you have an issue with WordPress that bugs you, don’t hesitate to contact support. I am certainly not a computer expert and sometimes I need some help. I must say, though, I have had very few issues since I started using an iMac in 2013.

Now back to working on the cactus and succulent updates… Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

Fall 2019 Cactus & Succulent Update Part 1: A’s

Acanthocereus tetragonus (Triangle Cactus) at 4 1:2 T x 2 7:8 W, 10-11-19

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I decided to break the cactus and succulent update into several posts instead of making one long post. They are all inside now except for the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla), a few Sedum, and the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ that always overwinter outside. Hmmm… I forgot to take their photos. In the midst of the updates, I will probably make a few posts to highlight specific plants.

On October 11 I moved all the potted plants inside as I mentioned earlier.  As always, once we get ZAPPED the temps warm back up. So, I moved the cactus and most of the succulents back outside for a few days again. I even put the Alocasia that was on the front porch back on the front porch. 🙂

Now, on with the post. In alphabetical order… Just click on the name of the plant if you want to view their pages. I may or may not have all their pages updated. If you do go to their pages and happen to click on the link to Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) at the bottom of the page, you may notice it isn’t working well… I sent an email to who I think maintains the site and at least now it does open but it is still not functioning properly. Hopefully, he will get the issue solved because it is an AWESOME website.

The above photo is the Acanthocereus tetragonus commonly known as Triangle Cactus, Fairy Castle, Barbed Wire Cactus, Sword Pear, Dildo Cactus, and Night Blooming Cereus. Some of those names are also associated with other cactus. The species is often confused with Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus. Very similar in several ways, but different in many. I had a cactus in 2015 that I gave up on identifying because it was similar but different… Now I think it was probably an Acanthocereus tetragonus, too. They grow very large in the wild, but smaller monstrous forms are what is generally found in the retail market. So, while the native plants are called Triangle Cactus and so on, someone gives the miniatures smaller names like Fairy Castles. That gets very confusing for people when they buy unlabeled plants or have generic tags that say “Cactus”. Then they get confused between Fairy Castles and Fairytale Castle which are two different species.

I brought this plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in September 2018. It measured 3″ tall x 2″ wide when I brought it inside last October 10 and now it is 4 1/2″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. The offsets have grown quite a bit as well. It was in full sun on the back porch all summer so it has a nice tan. Hmmm…

 

Adromischus cristatus (Crinkle Leaf Plant, Key Lime Pie) on 10-11-19, #639-3.

Ummmmmmmmmmmm……… I know the Adromischus cristatus (Crinkle Plant, Key Lime Pie) doesn’t look all that hot, but it is better than it has been for a long time. It was very small and cute when I bought it from Lowe’s in April 2017 and grew to 4″ wide by October 17 when I moved the plants inside. Over the winter it became very weird and kind of went dormant. It got down to almost nothing and I expected it to die. When I repotted it in 2018 it didn’t seem to help much. I thought surely it would die again during winter. But, guess what? It didn’t die. So, I repotted it a few months ago and it perked up. Hopefully, it will survive the winter without losing most of its leaves and do even better in 2020. The only thing different was adding pumice (50/50) instead of additional perlite and I didn’t add any chicken grit. Using pumice takes the place of amending with additional perlite and grit.

 

Agave univittata (var. lophantha) (Center Stripe Agave) at 13″ T x 26″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-4.

WELL… This past summer the Agave univittata (var. lophantha) (Center Stripe Agave) has been in full sun on the back porch. I always had it in light shade during the summer pretty much since I brought it home in July of 2016. Back then it had much broader and shorter leaves and I thought perhaps they grew longer because it wasn’t getting enough sun. But, even in full sun, the new leaves this past summer grew long as well. So, maybe this is normal… Maybe that is a good thing because it would look weird with long leaves on the bottom and short, fat leaves on the top. Of course, there are a few Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) growing in the pot. Oh, the Agave now measures 13″ tall x 26″ wide.

 

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 4 1/2″ T x 9″ W on 10-11-19, #639-75.

For many years I wanted to try an x Mangave so I was happy to find a few ‘Pineapple Express‘ to chose from at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on June 13. “Pineapple Express” was a 2016 introduction from Walters Gardens and is a cross between x Mangave ‘Jaguar’ and ‘Bloodspot. The x Mangave are/were created by crossing Agave species with Manfreda species. Well, that is until someone had the audacity to decide the genus Manfreda is synonymous with Agave… That is weird because there were several differences between the two genera. Hmmm… In time, this plant will grow to 18″ tall x 24″ wide but for now it is just 4 1/4″ tall x 9″ wide. I can tell it has grown since I brought it home but somehow I forgot to measure it then. If you think that is strange, I haven’t got a page for it yet!

 

Spotted leaves of the Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on 10-11-19, #639-76.

I really like the spotted leaves which may come from Manfreda maculata, I mean Agave maculata. 🙂

 

Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) on 10-11-19, #639-5.

I have had Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) since 2009 when I rescued a broken piece from Wal-Mart in Greenville, Mississippi. I was Aloe newbie at the time and I thought it was strange it took it almost a year to root. I brought home the above Aloe juvenna from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017 and the longest stem in the clump is now 14″ long. This is one plant you want to keep in the right amount of sun. To much shade and the leaves stretch. To much sun and the leaves burn… I think the front porch has been a good spot in the summer with a south-facing window in the winter.

 

Aloe maculata at 19″ T x 42″ W on 10-11-19, #639-6.

Hmmm… This is what happens when your Aloe maculata is happy! Give it a little attention by complimenting it once in a while and put it where it can be noticed and it will be very happy. It grew its first flower this summer. It’s grandmother, not sure how many greats to add, was given to me by a good friend when I was living in Leland, Mississippi in 2009. I didn’t know the name at the time, so I called it ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ because the offset came from Kyles’s grandmother. The plant in the above photo had growing issues for a while because it wasn’t getting much attention by the shed where the plants used to be. Once I had to move the plants to the front porch last summer because of the Japanese Beetle invasion, I started paying attention to it more. I gave it a new pot and new soil and put it by the steps and it took off. This past summer it has grown like crazy to a whopping 19″ tall x 42″ wide. I need to get the pups out of the pot soon! It is quite a show stopper!

 

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ at 6″ T x 12″ W on 10-11-19, #639-7.

OH, the Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’! My second Aloe in 2009 was a ‘Lizard Lips I bought from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi. I had it until I gave up most of my plants in 2014 but I found another when I started collecting again in 2016. Luckily, I had given an offset to Wagler’s Greenhouse so this clump could actually be that offset. It has been a great miniature Aloe, but we have had to learn a few things about each other over the years. My original plant almost died every winter but barely hung on somehow. Apparently, although it was in a beautiful glazed pot, it didn’t like it. Attention is not so much of a requirement (it doesn’t like hugs like Aloe maculata) just as long as you water it when it is thirsty and give it the right amount of sun. It particularly seems to like a bigger pot AT LEAST once a year although it didn’t get one yet in 2019. The potting soil has to be VERY well-draining because it absolutely does NOT like wet feet. That is no problem because there are so many leaves barely any water gets into the soil. It is also a prolific bloomer, sometimes up to 8 stems at the same time. Currently, the clump has filled the pot and measures 6″ tall x 12″ wide.

 

x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ at 4 1/2″ T x 8″ W on 10-11-19, #639-9.

The x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ has been a delightful little plant for sure. It is a hybrid of Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. It has grown A LOT and is currently 4 1/2″ tall x 8″ wide. I notice it definitely needs to be repotted. It was 3 1/2” tall x 6 1/8” when I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It appears this plant will be quite a clumper…

 

Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) at 4 1/2″ T x 8 1/4″ W on 10-11-19, #639-10.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) is always bright and beautiful! It has always been happy and carefree since I brought it home from Wal-Mart in March 2018. It was originally named Aloe aristata, but phylogenetic studies show the Aloe genus is polyphyletic and this unusual species IS NOT an Aloe. It is closely related to the Astrolabes and to the four Robustipedunculares species of Haworthia. Because its genetics are unique, this species was put a new genus of its own. It was 2 3/4” tall x 4 1/2” wide when I brought it home and now measures 4 1/2″ tall x 8 1/4″ wide. This plant grew quite a lot over last winter inside, so I think I need to give it a larger pot…

Well, that’s it for the A’s. I hope you enjoyed this page as much as I have enjoyed these plants as companions.

Until next time, take care and be safe!

Weird WordPress Issue

Hello everyone! I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the cooler temps.

First of all, I want to say I have no major issues with WordPress. It is a very easy platform to use, make posts, add photos, plenty of good themes, and has a great family of bloggers that is excellent. You are all AWESOME!

Several months ago I noticed something weird and somewhat frustrating. After a while, I contacted support and we looked at the situation. I took several screenshots of what was going on, the guy logged into my blog, got on my reader, and so on. He was pretty thorough and paid attention to my concerns. In the end, he had no clue. He said, “This is indeed weird.” He said he would look further into it and ask other support members and see what they had to say. He said he would follow up with me in a few days by email but I never heard from him. I told him I thought about posting about the issue to see if anyone else has the problem and he said that was a good idea.

So, here it goes…

The above photo shows my blog and you can see the “follow” button in the bottom right-hand corner. I am logged in and using reader but I still had to sign in for the follow button to go away on my blog.

The photo below is a screenshot of Masha’s blog called A SWEETER LIFE. She is a very sweet lady so I am sure she won’t mind if I use her blog for this post. I used her blog as an example because it was the first one on my followed sites (using reader) that shows the issue.

 

As you can see, the follow button appears in the bottom right-hand corner… I am logged in and I follow Masha’s blog. From the “reader”, I can make comments and “like” with no problem. But, if I click to “visit site”, I get the “follow” pop-up and I cannot make comments unless I sign in “AGAIN”. If I sign in again, it means nothing… It still says “follow” and I get the same options so sign up, log in, etc. Even after signing in AGAIN, I can’t “like”. A big empty white box pops up and goes away after a second… This happens whether I log in using my username or email…

So, I clicked on follow on Masha’s blog and it asks for my email address or I have the option to log in if I already have a WordPress account. UMMM… So, I logged in for the fourth time, clicked follow and it says the same thing…

SO, then I entered my blog email address…

Now, tell me… What does this mean? I know what it means, but why does it say that? My subscription did not succeed because my email address wasn’t valid. UMMMMMM….. I successfully logged in four times in the past 10 minutes then this pops up the fifth time.

Even IF you do not follow a WordPress blog, you should still be able to make comments and “like” if you A) are signed up with WordPress, and/or B) if you have a gravatar.

Some blogs are different. I just click on follow and that’s it. But others I can’t follow unless I follow through the “reader”.

Like I said, most of the blogs I follow say I am following when I go to their site. It’s just a few that say “follow” when I am already following.

If I just read blog posts through reader I have no issues at all and I would have never noticed the issue if I hadn’t have clicked on “visit site” to someone’s blog a few months ago and I noticed the “follow” pop-up. Before then, I had no problems.

I have been blogging since 2009 and I have only contacted support a few times. Sometimes something changes and it freaks me out. Trust me, I don’t get freaked out easily, but when something weird happens with the blog… That is different. I use the old dashboard because I am used to it. One day when I got on the blog it was somehow the new version. I contacted support and they gave me a different URL and it went back to the old version. I don’t like the new editor either and I have tried it a few times. I prefer the classic… I learn new things all the time so it isn’t that I am an old dog that doesn’t want to learn new tricks. When I use the newer editor, sometimes the photos don’t go in the right place and I don’t like the way it acts.

Last year when I was writing pages and I added the “USEFUL INFORMATION” and “FOR FURTHER READING”  at the bottom, there were spaces between each line… That never happened before and I had no clue “WHAT THE HECK” was going on. For five years it never did that! So, I contacted support and was told to use the “Text” format when I do that. So, I did and it worked fine. I never had to switch from visual to text before. Good thing it worked…

The few times I have contacted support I have always been satisfied. The “follow/following” issue is the first time they had no idea…

I have made a FALL RESOLUTION to read your blog posts every night and catch up with the day before. I know I am following many inactive blogs… Things have changed A LOT since 2013 when I started my first Belmont Rooster blog. Many former bloggers I followed are no longer active. I don’t promote my blog as well as before either.

Starting now, I am going to visit all the blogs I am following to make sure I am following both on the reader and your actual site. So, if you notice I have just followed your blog and thought I was already following, you are right. 🙂

At the end of our conversation, I quizzed the guy about random readers of my blog pages being able to”like” or make comments. I don’t just write posts… I have all the pages right, around 450-500 (who’s counting), that get anywhere from 75-250 views per day. They are views from people doing research about certain plants and my blog is on the list. The click, they read, but they cannot “like” or comment unless they enter their email address or whatever. Seriously, I am not sure what they have to do… Once in a while, I get a comment from someone but very seldom. I am the same way, though… When I am doing research and I can’t make a comment unless I go through some kind of hoop, I don’t make a comment. If I need to contact someone, I look for a “contact” link and send an email. You would be surprised how many people never reply because the websites are not maintained… I understand the need for an email or something because of spam… I get this same spam comment from different people every day promoting prescription drugs. A while back it was some bible deal and their comments were almost a page long… Of course, they are in my spam because they have links attached. It is interesting how you hover over the links and it says “page not found”…

OK, I am going to post now… It is almost 2 AM… I am working on a cactus and succulent update which will be in several parts.

I am interested in your comments about the issue and to see if you have the same problem. Until next time, be safe and stay positive!

 

YESTERDAY & THIS MORNING

A few of the plants on the front porch on 10-11-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. Earlier this week I was sad to see the forecast for Friday night. It said there was going to be widespread “F”.  While I can think of a few good “F” words, the second letter isn’t “R”.  Knowing what was about to happen didn’t make this past week any easier. I was not anxious to move all the potted plants inside nor were they ready to come. Or, maybe they were ready as the evenings started cooling off but their caretaker was in no hurry.

 

Colocasia esculenta on 10-11-19, #639-19.

The worse thing is being an aroid fan and watching them grow all summer only have them get ZAPPED in October. Just when they have grown so big and AWESOME! I have to realize that even aroids need a break and would go through their own dormant period whether or not they get ZAPPED or are moved inside. Even in the rainforests or someone’s yard in a tropical climate, they would still go dormant in one way or another.

The Colocasia esculenta in the above photo did very well despite the fact the top of their rhizomes had rotted a little. They grew to a whopping 73″ tall!

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 10-11-19, #639-55.

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ (syn. Colocasia gigantea) reached 70″ tall and the largest leaf is 42″ long x 36″ wide. It produced 12 flowers just like the one did in 2017.

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 10-11-12 at 52″ tall.

I was really impressed with the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’. It seemed to struggle for quite a while then it leaped to grow to a final 52″ tall.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 10-11-12, #639-18.

The Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ was quite a show stopper all summer. It grew non-stop and surprisingly produced many flowers and the color is amazing. Its final height was 64″ tall.

So, putting the inevitable off to the last minute, I reluctantly spent Friday afternoon taking photos of each plant before moving them inside. Well, let me back up a minute. I didn’t take photos of the Alocasia… I was mainly concerned with taking photos and measuring the cactus and succulents, which in itself takes a very long time.

It may sound a little strange that I measure the cactus and succulents, but I have been doing that since 2009. I like to compare their size from one year to another and from when I first brought them home. Some seem to grow so slow while others surprise me. I think the cactus and succulents enjoy getting measured and have me tell them how well they have done. Kind of like us when we were kids growing up and our parents had us back up to the wall where they would put a mark on it. Well, maybe your parents didn’t do that, but mine did until they remodeled their old house.

 

Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) on 10-11-19, #639-83.

NICE! I was so glad to get a start Mrs. Wagler’s Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) and even more glad they have blue flowers instead of pink like the plants I had before. They have been blooming for a while even though there were none open when I took this photo. They are currently 47″ tall.

It was kind of breezy and cool during the afternoon while I was photographing and measuring. Toward the end, while on the back porch with the cactus, I had put on a light jacket. I was getting so cold I could barely remember my own name let alone the plant’s names and the ink pen seemed to be having its own issues. I began to wonder why permanent markers ink faded because the labels I put in the pots with the plants were blank! I realized Then I realized I had forgotten to take a photo of the cactus table before I started removing the plants. GEEZ!

I don’t remember the time, but during the evening while I was going through the 203 photos and writing captions, I had to go outside. I hadn’t measured the “ears” or Mexican Petunia (even though their size is written above). The temperature on the computer said it was 36° F… I went outside with the tape measure and there was already a light “F” on the leaves… The sky was clear and there was no breeze whatsoever. Luckily, the plants were still OK by that time and I was able to get a good measurement.

I didn’t sleep well during the night. I kept wondering if I should have cut the leaves off of the ‘Thailand Giant’ and dug the rhizomes. Out of curiosity, around 5 AM or so, I opened the side door to have a peek. The Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ leaves weren’t cupped shaped anymore and the erect leaves of the ‘Thailand Giant’ were facing downward. I closed the door, the temperature on the computer said 32°. I went back to bed and went to sleep… I stayed in bed as long as I could because I wasn’t any to excited to see the results.

When I did decide to get up, I looked outside and it wasn’t a pretty sight…

 

Jade, Nathan’s cat, has been in my bedroom constantly lately. She is old enough not to be annoying and sleeps most of the time. She is more like a human in a catsuit. I keep Nathan’s other cat, Simba, outside most of the time although be is also very well mannered. Simba had pretty much buffaloed the other cats here and they were afraid of him for months. However, somehow last week that all changed. Instead of all the cats running from him when he went to eat, now Simba stands back and waits for them to finish. This seems to have started to happen when the new kitten came and Simba was the only one that allowed it to eat. Simba is the only cat here that welcomed both of the kittens when they arrived. OH, I guess I didn’t mention yet another kitten beside the one I brought home from Kevin’s… Again, Nathan showed up with another cat. This time a very small kitten was given to him by a deputy who said he found it along the highway… I have to keep it outside because it refuses to use the litter box. It does sneak in faster than greased lightning every chance it gets, though… Jade doesn’t have front claws so, according to theory, she should stay inside. Nathan was told she is a Norwegian Forest Cat, but who knows for sure without the papers.

ANYWAY…

 

I walked into the kitchen and cactus and succulents had taken over the island.

 

More cactus by the back door…

 

No room for guests at the dining room table… More plants on the table in the front bedroom, on the coffee table in the living room, and Alocasia gageana lined up at the door to the basement…

I went outside after a cup of coffee or two.

 

The Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’…

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’… The Mexican Petunia was just fine along with the Astilbe ‘Fanal’ and Hosta ‘Empress Wu’. They are just looking bad because it is time for them to look bad.

 

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ looked like it had been beaten…

 

The Colocasia esculenta… Well, they told me they would be alright but their voice didn’t have the sound of confidence…

I walked to the other yard and everything seemed to be much like it was the day before… Even the Hosta looked the same because they are under trees.

 

A single Echinacea purpurea is still flowering…

 

No issues at the southwest corner of the house…The Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) is still flowering. I have no clue how the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) got there… And what is growing in the bush? Of course, the Baptisia australis is fine.

 

The Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ is fine and flowering up a storm…

 

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is looking like nothing happened. Well, that is mainly because I covered it with the huge flower pot. I am not sure why I always do that. I cover it up every time it gets cold whether it needs it or not.

 

The Brocade Marigolds that came up volunteer in the southeast corner are still looking great. For a long time, I saved the seed of the red and had pretty much an all-red strain. So, last year I didn’t save seed because I thought plenty would come up on their own in the bed by the corner of the back porch. Well, that didn’t happen and only one plant came up there. Luckily, these two plants came up here but only one is red… I have to save the seed.

I had to go to town later in the afternoon and didn’t get back home until a little after 6. To my surprise, the Colocasia esculenta had perked up!!! Not like normal, that would be a miracle, but they did look a little better. The petioles on all the Colocasia and the Leucocasia are still standing and if we have warm days without any more “F’s” they will start growing new leaves again. That has happened before… Last year I dug the rhizomes and put them in the basement right after the first ZAP and they started growing new leaves… Well, no matter, I will dig them up in a few days regardless of whether we will have warmer temps. It is time now…

That’s about all I have to say for now. I have to start working on the posts about the plants I brought inside. 🙂

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay well be happy… Get dirty if you can and maybe enjoy a cup of hot chocolate (with marshmallows). 🙂

 

Perplexing Persicaria

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) on the left and Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on the right. This photo was taken near the pond at the back of the farm on 9-7-19. Persicaria punctata has “dots” on the flowers and Persicaria longiseta has cilia (hairs) on their flowers.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I think it has been three months since I decided to photograph and ID the Persicaria species here and what a journey it has been. I finished just in time because it is supposed to “F” tomorrow night. I hate it when that happens.

I have rewritten the opening I don’t know how many times and this post is very long (I am laughing). I finished and now It seems I am starting back at the top again. I wrote a page for each species as I went along so I could provide links to their pages. There you will see more photos and more ID information if you are interested.

 

Persicaria species from left to right: Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper), Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed), Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed), Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed), and Persicaria sagittata (Heartleaf Tearthumb) also along the bottom. Photo taken on 9-22-19, #635-3.

Most Persicaria species on the farm have many things in common, so the terminology basically applies to all seven species here (more or less). Their leaves are basically the same except for Persicaria sagittata and Persicaria virginiana. They all have ocrea at the leaf nodes. Their flowers are on racemes which would typically be called an inflorescence on many other species. They all have pedicellate flowers which is why their inflorescence is called a raceme. The flowers all produce a single achene (indehiscent fruit=not splitting open to release the seed when ripe). The seed is fairly large in comparison to the size of the flower and they form very early and remain in the flower. It is almost as if the whole fower is part of the achene. It is different with P. virginiana whose tepals seem to dry and peel off like the skin of an onion. Persicaria flowers have no petals. They commonly self-fertilize, and some are even cleistogamous (self-fertilization that occurs inside a permanently closed flower). I tried to translate most of the botanical terminology and descriptions, but just in case you can have a look at the glossary of terms from the Missouri Plants website by clicking HERE. Wikipedia has one you can view HERE.

 

Distribution map of Persicaria species Worldwide from Plants of the World Online by Kew. Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/ Retrieved on September 22, 2019.

Plants of the World Online by Kew “currently” lists 129 accepted species of Persicaria worldwide. That doesn’t include subspecies, varieties, or forms (infraspecific names). Those numbers could change at any time. Version 1.1 of The Plant List (2013) named a total of only 71 accepted species (including infraspecific names), 442 synonyms, and 163 names that hadn’t been assessed at the time. The genus Persicaria was first named and described by Phillip Miller in the fourth edition of Gardener’s Dictionary in 1754 but I didn’t notice any species he reclassified (he just assigned a new genus). And so it was. Many species were first in the Polygonum genus and have been in other genera along the way. The green in the map above represents locations where species are native and the purple where they have been introduced. Ummm… That only includes the Falkland Is., Fiji, Hawaii, and Tonga.

The Missouri Plants website lists ID information for 11 species of Persicaria and Wildflowersearch.org has 14. I have identified seven species here on the farm. I previously thought there were eight. 🙂 I had taken a few photos of them in 2013 but really didn’t pay a lot of attention to them until this year. I guess the cows kept them in check so I really didn’t notice how many species there were right under my nose. Once the hay was baled and I mowed the “weeds” in the area behind the chicken house, behind the barn, and south of the barn, I noticed the Smartweeds had gone bonkers. They like growing in areas they won’t be disturbed, but even if mowed they bounce right back.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed), and Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) all in one spot along the fence next to the barn on 9-15-19.

I decided I would identify the Persicaria species and started taking LOTS of photos of each colony mainly from August 3. Heck, now it is October 11! I don’t even remember when I started this post because I kept adding to it!

 

Photo of “punctate glandular dots” on the perianth of Persicaria punctata.

Most species were fairly easy to identify because of flower color and other features revolving around their flowers. The worse was trying to figure out Persicaria hydropiper and P. punctata. They are pretty much the same but one feature sets them apart from ALL other Persicaria species. Their flowers have “punctate glandular dots” which you have to use a 10x magnifying glass to see. I thought my magnifying glass must not be a 10x because all I see are weird lumps. Well, I was looking for spots or specks. Their leaves and stems are also supposed to have these weird dots but I cannot see them. P. punctata is supposed to have longer leaves than P. hydropiper, but I found that is not always the case. The largest colony of P. punctata has small leaves with the exception of only a few plants with a few larger leaves. There were a few other characteristics that are supposed to set them apart, but I found those were not always true either. In the end, only ONE thing perfectly sets them apart. The seed. P. hydropiper has dull black to brown seeds and all other species here have shiny black seeds. Taking close-up photos of tiny seeds requires A LOT of patience. Even with a magnifying glass in front of the lens most of the photos I took were not perfect. Persicaria seeds are about the size of the head of a pin. Their seeds seem to form even while still in flower, which was weird in itself. Then again, how can you tell when most species are “flowering”. Most of them seem to be continually in bud and the flowers never seem to open except for P. pensylvanica. A few times I did get photos of others but that was very rare and difficult.

(UPDATE! I wrote the above paragraph before exploring P. virginiana… They have black or brownish seeds and can be either dull or shiny).

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed), and Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 9-15-19.

Out of seven species present, five are native to the U.S. Three of those seven are hybrids. Non-native species were likely the result of crop and seed contaminants from their native country.

 

Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri pages 726-727 showing plate #499.

I rented volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri by George Yatshievych. Volume 3 has information about the Persicaria genus which covers 20 pages and 18 species. Much of the information is basically the same as information online, but this is where I figured out the species I thought was Persicaria setacea was regretfully more Persicaria longiseta. There is very little information online about P. setacea, and nothing when it comes to ID. Photos online looked exactly like the “wanted to be” Persicaria setacea along the pond in the back of the farm. Then when I checked the photos submitted on iNaturalist, I thought something was really weird. I thought, “Why in the heck do some of their photos show hairs sticking out horizontally from the ocrea?” So, although I only needed volume 3 of Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri, I decided to have them all sent from the main branch to the local branch. You can’t really tell that well, but P. setacea is the one in the lower left-hand corner of the page with the line drawings. This volume alone has 1,382 pages not including MANY pages in the front.

Well, I better begin the actual post now instead of just rambling on and on. I am much more talkative when I am writing than in person, and right now I have the keyboard at my fingertips.

#1-Persicaria hydropiper-Water Pepper

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-4-19, #623-24.

This small colony of Smartweed in the pasture behind the lagoon was VERY perplexing for a while. It has red stems while the other clumps near it have green stems or near-red. Also, its racemes of flowers were very pendulous while the others were more erect and only drooping at the top. Even the larger colony a few feet away in the rock pile had green stems with racemes that go every which direction. As it turned out, all those characteristics are true for Persicaria hydropiper, the Water Pepper. I checked seed in this entire area, both from plants with red stems and green stems, and their seeds were all dull (not shiny) and black to brownish. The above photo was taken on September 4 and the racemes of this colony weren’t that long yet because it had been mowed off.  I took another photo later but there is so much green you can hardly see how pendulous the racemes are.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 6-19-19, #633-9.

This very large colony of Persicaria hydropiper with mainly green stems is growing next to the rock pile behind the lagoon. Well, not really a pile of rocks so much as large pieces of the old concrete foundation from an old barn. The barn used to be where the lagoon is and was one that my grandpa (mom’s dad) and his brother-in-law (Uncle Arthur) tore down and rebuilt here around 1960 or a few years later. They rebuilt the barn here and used the original square nails to rebuild it. I have a lot of memories of that barn, and not all good. The barn was VERY OLD and not all that sturdy. You had to be very careful walking around in the loft because there were a lot of holes in the floor. One time I fell through all the way to the ground. 🙂 Even though it was very old, it was also very neat. I always loved old barns…

Getting back to the above photo… You can see how the racemes of flowers are kind of growing in every direction.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 8-30-19, #618-44.

Persicaria hydropiper can typically grow to around 36″ tall, or long. They are mainly decumbent unless they can lean on other plants. Missouri Plants says: “To 1m tall, herbaceous, glabrous or with some pubescence above, typically green or reddish, erect to spreading, multiple or single from base, simple to few-branching.”

Most Smartweeds are decumbent, which means they sprawl but turn upward toward the end. They root at their leaf nodes which allows them to spread quite readily. Even though these plants may appear to be only around 2′ tall (more or less), if you pull them will see the entire plant is much longer and has a lot of stems doing the same thing… Branching out… Some species grow more upright than others especially if they can lean on something.

 

Typical leaf of the Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 8-30-19, #618-46.

Their alternate leaves have short petioles, sort of olive green in color, lanceolate to linear, and are around 3 1/2″ long x 3/4″ wide, smooth, and normally hairless. So, if you see a colony of white-flowered Persicaria and some of the leaves are 4″ or longer, they are likely not P. hydropiper and more likely to be P. punctata.

 

Persicaria hydropiper Water Pepper) on 9-4-19, #623-26.

As with all Persicaria species, P. hydropiper stems end with a raceme of flowers. P. hydropiper racemes are very slender, are pendulous or droop sideways. Their flowers are sparsely placed along the raceme.

Oh, a raceme is an elongated inflorescence with pedicellate flowers. An inflorescence is the part of the plant that contains the flowers, usually starting from the upper leaf node in this case. Umm… A pedicel is a flower stalk with a single flower. The stem part the flowers are on has a specific name but I forgot. So, the part I forgot with the pedicles of flowers and everything that goes along with it is the raceme. Of course, the flowers themselves have many parts but that is for another time. Nevermind that!

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) flowers on 9-22-19, #635-5.

Now, about their flowers… It took me a while to get a fairly good close-up photo of the flowers of P. hydropiper. I took A LOT of photos and none were as good as the photo above. I will keep trying so I can replace this photo with a better one at some point.

Anyway, Persicaria hydropiper flowers are greenish-white have 5 sepals, 2-3 styles, 4-6 stamens, and no petals. As with P. punctata, the flowers are covered with “glandular punctate dots” which you will only notice with magnification. The “glands” turn brown when the outer sepals dry out. The outer sepals are greenish, as with P. punctata, where other species are not. The sepals of all seven species here fuse together 1/2-1/3 way toward the base.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-4-19, #623-28.

This is a very interesting photo. If you are randomly observing this plant or taking photos without knowing what you are looking at, you would say, “OH, that is pretty cool”.

The ocrea, sometimes spelled ochrea, is the “sheath” surrounding the stem at the node where a leaf emerges. After a while, a branch, or branches, may grow from this same node. Some species only branch out at the lower nodes of the plant. The ocrea on Persicaria species is nearly translucent and is formed by the fusion of two stipules. One word seems to lead to another… A stipule is formed at the base of a petiole. GEEZ! A petiole is the “stem-like” gizmo between the stem and the base of a leaf. A gizmo is what you call it when you don’t know what else to call it. Many species, maybe all, have these cilia growing from their ocrea but fall off fairly soon so they don’t become an ID issue.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-14-19, #631-2.

With Persicaria hydropiper and a few other species, there are a few flowers that develop at their leaf nodes. These are called “axillary racemes”.  Hmmm… A little spider is defending her territory.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-16-19, #633-2.

Several species have this “zig-zag” effect on their stems, but maybe not on all their stems.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-16-19, #633-2.

Another neat photo showing new stems coming from a leaf node.

 

Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-16-19, #633-5.

This photo shows several racemes of flowers growing from lower nodes. Very common with P. hydropiper. The flowers on many Persicaria species are shy to open, so I was surprised to see a few flowers opened up on the Persicaria hydropiper on September 16.

 

Dull seeds of the Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper) on 9-16-19, #633-6.

Here you can see the seeds of Persicaria hydropiper that are dull, not shiny, and are black to brownish color. The seeds are one of a few ways to really tell P. hydropiper from P. punctata.

For more photos and information, click to go to this species own page HERE.

One thing I might add is that the leaves are edible. I ran across an article on a website called FORAGER/CHEF that talks about eating its leaves. The taste of the leaves is another way to tell this species from Persicaria hydropiperoides. Persicaria hydropiper and P. punctata have a very hot, peppery taste whereas P. hydropiperoides does not. Some information, however, says not to eat it because it will make your mouth burn and swell. I could live without that experience.

Hindawi (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine) has A LOT of information…

 

#2-Persicaria longiseta-Oriental Lady’s Thumb

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on 8-31-19, #619-9.

Persicaria longiseta, commonly known as Oriental Lady’s Thumb or Creeping Smartweed, is probably the second most abundant of the Smartweeds here on the farm. Ummm… It seems I find more every day, so they could be #1 by now. There didn’t appear to be that many Persicaria longiseta when I first started taking Persicaria photos and writing this post. Within a couple of weeks, I noticed them EVERYWHERE that other Persicaria species are growing. They are either very sociable or a bit nosy.

This species has many common names including Oriental Lady’s Thumb, Bristly Lady’s Thumb, Asiatic Smartweed, Creeping Smartweed, Long-Bristled Smartweed, Asiatic Waterpepper, Bristled Knotweed, Bunchy Knotweed, and Tufted Knotweed. With all those names to choose from, iNaturalist.org has chosen to call it Low Smartweed.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on 8-31-19, #619-12.

At first, I noticed them growing along the shed in the back yard where my grandparent’s house had been then I realized this was the same species that grow in the flower bed on the north side of the house (and under the porch).

Most Persicaria species have the same basic characteristics but Persicaria longiseta has TWO KEY identifiers that set them apart from all other species here.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) showing the ocrea with cilia on 8-31-19, #619-14.

First, Persicaria longiseta has cilia (hairs, bristles…) sticking out around the top of the ocrea. While these cilia fall off of other species with age, they seem to stay on this species.

Persicaria longiseta are decumbent, of course, with light green to reddish-brown stems. They branch out near the base and send stems in every direction. Stems laying on the ground root at the nodes.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) flowers showing cilia on 9-14-19, #631-5.

The second key identifier for Persicaria longiseta is the cilia on the flowers. Now, with age, a lot of the cilia on the flowers may fall off, but there will still be a few on the flowers on the lower part of the raceme. This was a problem with the plants by the shed because most of the cilia had fallen off their flowers by the time I knew they were there. In the above photo taken on September 19 by the twin Mulberry trees in the front pasture, you can not only see the cilia but an open flower… NICE!

Persicaria longiseta racemes are typically 1 1/2″ long. The racemes seem to stay erect instead of drooping, although they may be growing vertically or horizontally.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on 9-14-19, #631-10.

On September 14 I noticed some of the racemes of flowers on the P. longiseta in front of the Mulberry trees looked a little weird. This is the only species I have noticed with this weird feature.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on 9-18-19, #634-40.

The above photo is of a small colony of Persicaria longiseta behind the pond at the back of the farm.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) on 9-18-19, #634-42.

This is an interesting photo…

 

Typical Persicaria longiseta leaf on 9-16-19, #633-14.

The longest leaves I have found on the Persicaria longiseta have been 4″ and may have a faint dark “smudge”. The dark spot is typical of many Persicaria species. They actually do look like a thumbprint.

 

Shiny seeds of Persicaria longiseta on 9-16-19, #633-15.

Kind of hard to tell, but the seeds of Persicaria longiseta are black and shiny.

An interesting thing, Wildflowersearcg.org says there is only a 20% chance this species is growing at this location. I haven’t figured out how to “pin” its location on that site, but I can with iNaturalist. I contacted “the guy” and we will be working together to update the location of wildflowers growing here.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) in front of the twin Mulberry trees in the front pasture on 9-22-19, #635-9.

For there to be only a 20% chance of Persicaria longiseta growing at this location there are sure a lot of them. They are everywhere Persicaria grow here in the front pasture, along the sheds and garage, in the yard, in the north flower bed under the porch, the back pasture, along the back pond and behind the pond. The rosy glow in the above photo are from their flowers.

 

Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) with Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 9-30-19, #636-7.

The above photo shows how the Persicaria longiseta is growing among the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ in the northeast corner bed on September 30.

As with most Persicaria species, P. longiseta is not a U.S. native. To view this species own page, click HERE… There are A LOT MORE photos.

 

#3) Persicaria maculosa-Lady’s Thumb

Persicaria maculosa on 10-4-18.

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb, Redshank, Heart’s Ease, etc.) is very similar to Persicaria longiseta except there are no cilia on their flowers and the bristles around the ocrea on their stems fall off. I am not sure where the above photo was taken here in 2018, but currently, the only colony I have noticed is in front of the twin Mulberry trees in the front pasture. I am sure there are more somewhere.

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) flowers on 9-4-19.

As you can see from the above photo, the flowers of Persicaria maculosa are not hairy… Flowers of this species are densely clustered and not all the same color. Although pink is the usual color, flowers can be red, greenish-white, or purple, even on the same raceme. Illinois Wildflowers uses the word “oblongoid” to describe the shape of the raceme of Persicaria maculosa because they are kind of rounded at the tip. Each stem can end in 1-2 racemes that grow to around 1 1/2″ long and are tightly packed. Flowers have 5 sepals and usually six stamens and no petals.

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) leaves on 9-4-19.

The spot on their leaves may be oval or triangular in shape and can be fairly dark to faintly visible. Leaves can grow to around 6″ long and are smooth along the margins and sometimes slightly ciliate. Each leaf has a short petiole or can be nearly sessile (no petiole, or a very short one in this case).

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb’) on 9-4-19.

Some of the leaves of P. maculosa don’t have the “spot” either so it isn’t really a good way to make a positive ID all the time. You may even find colonies with no spot at all. Hmmm…

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) on 9-4-19.

I thought this was interesting. New stems emerging at a node with near translucent ocrea and a few cilia that will fall off eventually.

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) on 9-4-19.

Persicaria maculosa is a bit of a rambler…

To view the Persicaria maculosa page with more photos and information, click HERE.

 

#4) Persicaria pensylvanica-Pinkweed

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 8-30-19.

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) is plentiful and did rank #2 for a while (until P. longiseta completely went overboard). The above photo is from a large colony behind the barn rambling in a brush pile that didn’t want to burn earlier. Now I can’t find the brush pile. 🙂

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) flowers on 8-30-19.

As you can see, their tiny flowers are various shades of light pink and almost white. Some are even two-toned. I noticed several small colonies of this species with pure white flowers while mowing the pasture at a friend’s farm (Kevin’s farm).

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) ocrea on 8-30-19.

The translucent ocrea around the leaf (and stem) nodes appear to be cilialess because they have fallen off. It is strange how the top part of the ocrea is so straight, almost like they have been cut perfectly with a pair of scissors.

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 8-30-19.

There is a smaller colony by the gate at the front of the barn. You can see, in the next photo…

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) leaf on 8-30-19.

Some of the leaves have a dark spot that looks kind of v-shaped. A few of the stems on top of the plants were very hairy. I took photos but they were blurry. In technical terms, the stems are mostly glabrous but glandular-pubescent near the inflorescence. 🙂

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) flowers on 9-1-19.

On September 1, I was pleasantly surprised with open flowers on the P. pensylvanica. Many Persicaria species are very shy and refuse to open their flowers. The magnifying glass did very good with this photo. 🙂 It takes practice and I am not going to mention how many photos I actually took.

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 9-14-19, #631-15.

I finally got a pretty good shot of the hairy stems on September 14. Not quite as hairy as the one I saw previously.

To view the Persicaria pensylvanica page, click HERE.

 

#5) Persicaria punctata-Dotted Smartweed

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) on 8-30-19.

Without a doubt, Persicaria punctata, the Dotted Smartweed is the most plentiful of the Smartweeds on the farm. Actually, P. longiseta has become very close to becoming #1 now. A lot of photos I have taken of other Persicaria species have Persicaria punctata and/or P. longiseta in the photo as well. In fact, a lot of photos of other wildflowers, in general, have one or the other in their photos.

 

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) flowers on 8-30-19.

The flowers of Persicaria punctata look pretty much like P. hydropiper in that they are sparsely placed along the raceme. Both species have “punctate glandular dots” on their flowers (and other parts) you can’t see without magnification. BUT, the P. punctata racemes are basically erect or leaning not pendulous like P. hydropiper.

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (longer leaves) with Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) leaves on 8-30-19.

The leaves of P. punctata can grow up to 6″ long x 3/4″ wide while those of P. hydropiper are usually only up to 3 1/2″ long x 3/4″ wide.

 

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) ocrea on 8-30-19.

The stems of P. punctata are green and glabrous and have reddish tinted nodes which are somewhat swelled. MOST of the ocrea I observed were “bristleless” because they had fallen off already. It took until September 18 before I photographed ocrea with cilia which you can see on this species own page.

 

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) seeds on 9-16-19, #633-21.

Persicaria punctata seeds are black and shiny while P. hydropiper seeds are black to brownish and dull (not shiny). The seeds are one of the best ways to tell the two species apart.

To read more about the Persicaria punctata and see MORE photos, go to its own page by clicking HERE.

 

#6) Persicaria sagittata (L.) H.Gross-Arrowleaf Tearthumb

per-sih-KAR-ee-uh  saj-ih-TAY-tuh

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) on 9-25-13, #190-26.

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb, American Tearthumb, Arrowvine, Scratchgrass) was one of the first wildflower species I identified back in 2013. I found them growing in the swamp along with a MASSIVE colony of Impatiens capensis (Jewelweed) and some other neat wildflowers not found anywhere else on the farm. I haven’t been in the swampy area for a couple of years, but last time I checked the Broad-Leaved Panic Grass (Dichanthelium latifolium) had pretty much taken over.

 

Persicaria sagittata (Heartleaf Tearthumb) on 9-25-13.

Persicaria sagittata is native to the middle to eastern half of North America and Eastern Asia.

 

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) on 9-1-19, #620-46.

I think the Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) is the most interesting of the group here on the farm. It is a very easy species to identify with their arrow-shaped leaves. The largest leaves typically grow to 4″ long x 1″ wide that feels slightly rough because of the tiny hairs.

 

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) on 9-1-19, #620-45.

Terminal and axillary flowers are produced on short racemes with 1-10 flowers. Sometimes there are two racemes produced per leaf node on long peduncles up to 6″ long. A peduncle is a stem the flowers grow on. A raceme is an inflorescence with pedicellate flowers that grow at the end of the peduncle. One word leads to another… I can get more technical if you like.

As with all the Persicaria species here, the flowers consist of 5 sepals and no petals. I have only noticed white flowers, but they can also be pink.

 

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) stem on 9-1-09, #620-47.

The stems of Persicaria sagittata are actually square instead of being round like the other species here. The stems are covered with short retrorse prickles that point downward. Their stems can grow from 3-6 feet long and can climb on other plants. Stems laying on the ground can root at the leaf nodes. I only saw plants with green stems, but they can also be red or yellowish-green. Using the magnifying glass to get a close-up photo worked pretty good in the above photo.

To view the Persicaria sagittata page click HERE

 

7) Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed)

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 9-8-19, #626-12.

Persicaria virginiana is unique among the other Persicaria species on the farm. They are native to North America from the middle part eastward. Their common names include Jumpseed, Virginia Jumpseed, American Jumpseed, Virginia Knotweed, Woodland Knotweed, and maybe others. I didn’t really notice this species that much until one came up beside the steps to the back porch in 2017. I let the plant grow so I could make a positive ID. Even though they are considered a perennial, I think they probably mainly return from seed ( just my opinion from observation). A few plants have returned by the back porch but not in the same exact spot. This year one or two came up by the AC so I had to keep whacking them off with the trimmer along with the grass. Have to keep good airflow, you know. 🙂

On September 8 when I was on a photo spree in the back of the farm, I noticed a small colony of Persicaria virginiana in the lane near the gate that leads to the back pasture. Ummm… The problem was they are growing among the Poison Ivy so I zoomed in for a few photos.

Persicaria virginiana is more of an upright grower with stronger stems than the other species here. They are not decumbent and do not root from their lower nodes (hmmm… likely because they are not decumbent).

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 9-22-19, #635-22.

Then on September 22, I noticed a single small plant behind the pond in the back pasture. I was able to take quite a few photos but the light was weird so most of them didn’t come out well. I needed more photos but I have been kind of busy lately. Now, as I am writing and have the time it is raining!

Anyway, the two most distinguishing features about Persicaria virginiana is their large ovate leaves and their curious flowers (especially when they start to fruit) on very long racemes up to 16″ long. I haven’t been able to photograph their open flowers but maybe I can still do that before it is too late. Their leaves are ovate and grow up to about 6″long x 3″ wide. Leaves can have a reddish to purplish V-shaped, crescent-shaped, or triangular splotch on the upper surface. I didn’t notice this on any of the plants here but some photos online do show this feature.

While the lower part of the stems are basically smooth, the upper stems and leaf surfaces have appressed hairs. You can’t see the hairs without magnification but they feel slightly rough. I didn’t get good photos of the ocrea around the leaf nodes yet, but they are brownish and weirdly fuzzy and sort of look like someone took a wire brush to them. The ocrea tends to dry and fall off so they are absent on the photos I did get.

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 9-22-19, #635-26.

Umm… Their flowers are very small and I was able to get this close-up when I was taking a group photo of the Persicaria flowers on the back porch. Luckily I was able to find a plant flowering by the AC. If I had have known what their seeds looked like at the time I would have opened up a flower to have a look…  Unfortunately, I didn’t know until I was reading about them in Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri to write their description on October 10 (late in the evening). I am hoping the rain will stop while I am writing so I can get photos! But, if you are reading this and there are no seed photos you will know that didn’t happen… I want to get this post finished!

The most interesting thing about this plant I only read in Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri and not on any other website I have noticed. It says tension builds up at the joint of the fower as the fruit matures which acts as a spring to shoot the seed up to 12 feet away. Passing animals also trigger this action then the seed gets stuck in their fur. The small two-angled seed tapers to a hooked beak (maybe the tail in the above photo is part of the seed). Seed can be black or brown, shiny or dull… I need to get a photo of those seeds!

Persicaria virginiana can have white, green, or pinkish flowers. They are sometimes used in woodland gardens and there are a few cultivars with red flowers and variegated leaves. There is a rare variant of this species in the south with thicker leaves.

You can click HERE to view the page for Persicaria virginiana.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

I HIT THE

JUMPSEED JACKPOT!

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-1.

Once it stopped raining this afternoon, Thursday, October 10 at 3 PM depending on when you are reading this, I decided I would see if I could find a closer Persicaria virginiana so I could get better photos of the ocrea, seed, and maybe open flowers. There were no more around the back porch or AC but I didn’t especially want to go to the back of the farm to wade in the Poison Ivy. There was one area I hadn’t been in pretty much all summer north of the chicken house. This area is about 150′ x 150′ and is where my grandparent’s old peach orchard was. I measured in the early 1980’s so I know how big it is. 🙂 Last year I backed the mower (with the tractor) in all this jungle and cleaned it up a bit. Anyway, I walked to the northeast corner and almost s–t! (sorry, but it’s true!)! Here right before my eyes was a HUGE colony of Persicaria virginiana!!! After I thought there were just a few on the whole farm, there is a HUGE colony right in the backyard!

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-2.

There were no open flowers but there were SEEDS GALORE! Remember I mentioned how the seeds shoot out? Well, it is really true! One plant I touched literally vibrated as the seeds shot out!

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-4.

And we have fuzzy ocrea! There were so many plants to choose from and I took over 50 photos total. Well, some were not that good and after choosing the best I saved 11. The wind was not being all that cooperative either. I truly hit the JUMPSEED JACKPOT! 🙂

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-7.

The only photos I had trouble were close-ups of the flowers. Seriously, folks, I was experimenting with not one magnifying glass, but two, one on top of the other. (I bought another magnifying glass because I didn’t think the old one was a 10x. But, as it turns out, they seem to be the same.) It works like a charm and is much better than just one but it still takes practice and patience. LOL! The problem is with zooming in, and with two magnifying glasses, you have to be very still. If not, the camera complains about vibration. Zooming in with one magnifying glass was tricky and sometimes the camera would shut off and say “lens error”. With two, I didn’t have to even zoom in that much and the camera never shut off. I think I could take photos of the hair on a gnat’s eyebrow now. (I would say butt, but I already said s–t earlier which could be deemed as inappropriate behavior).

In the above photo, you can really see the “hooked beak” of the fruit. There are two…

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-8.

Here’s a good one of the ocrea on one plant. The ocrea can be light to dark brown, depending on the preference of the plant. You can clearly see how the ocrea becomes dry and starts to tear away. This photo was taken toward the upper part of the plant so I could get a shot of the appressed hairs on the stem as well.

 

Persicaria virginiana (Virginia Jumpseed) on 10-10-19, #638-11.

I think half of the photos I took were of the seed. The seeds are fairly small but larger than the other species. When I was removing the outer part of the achene I had to be careful not to remove the “hooked beak”. The seed itself doesn’t have a beak and is part of the entire “fruit”. Hmmm… Like many other plant’s seed, they are part of what is called an achene. An achene is a dry, one-seeded, indehiscent fruit. Indehiscent means the achene (pod or fruit) does not split open to release the seed when ripe. Sunflower and strawberry seeds are two examples… I read that description on the Missouri Plants website’s glossary… 🙂

I can hardly believe it has taken so long to write this post and I am not even sure it is actually finished. It seems like I left out so much!

Now, as temperatures are cooling down I will have to be thinking about moving plants inside for the winter. The dreaded time of the year. The forecast for here says it will be clear Friday night and we will have a widespread “F”. GEEZ!!! I am never ready for that.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did. Not because I did it, but because I learned a lot and that is always a great thing. Until next time, be safe, stay positive, hug someone or something you love (not just anyone because you may get slapped). As always, it is good to GET DIRTY!

Introduction To The Next Post (Perplexing Persicaria)…

Persicaria species from left to right: Persicaria hydropiper (Water Pepper), Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb), Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed), Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed), Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed), and Persicaria sagittata (Heartleaf Tearthumb) (also along the bottom. Photo taken on 9-22-19, #635-3.

Hello everyone! I hope this introduction to the next post finds you well. I have been working on the next post for about two months because it has taken that long to take lots of photos, make proper ID’s, write descriptions, etc. Some plants change a lot in a month as nature takes its course, so I just kept taking photos. GEEZ! All the photos on this post were taken on Sunday, September 22.

I found out there are seven species of Persicaria and the next post will take you on a very interesting journey with each one. Don’t worry, I am not including all the 188 saved photos of Persicaria in the post. Most of the photos will go to each species own page (whenever I get those finished). I have identified 129 wildflowers now, mostly from this small farm. There are A LOT more I haven’t identified or even looked at because I consider them weeds rather than wildflowers. While walking around taking photos of plants, I have also taken a lot of photos of butterflies, spiders, and other critters that are busy working to survive.

 

 

Persicaria hydropiper Water Pepper) colony on 9-22-19, #635-4.

The Persicaria hydropiper, commonly known as Water Pepper, own the territory between the lagoon and the pond south of the barn, and approximately 60′ or so southwest of the pond. Persicaria is a friendly and sociable genus, so in the mix are other species as well. Persicaria hydropiper is also one of the most “variable” species here so they had me going for a while until I discovered their secret. I had to wait until plants matured enough to find out, though, which took some time. I will tell you their secret in the next post.

 

The largest Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb) colony on 9-22-19, #635-9.

While the largest colony of Persicaria doesn’t belong to the Persicaria longiseta (Oriental Lady’s Thumb), they are in the running for second place. Not only do they occupy this good-sized area between the ditch and the twin Mulberry trees, they are also growing among ALL other species on the entire farm (even along two sheds, the garage, and the north flower bed). From the front of the farm to behind the back pond and even in the swampy area in the southeast corner. The pink cast you see in the above photo is the Persicaria longiseta. They have two key identifiers, one which almost disappears with age.

 

Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) on 9-22-19, #635-10.

Sad to say, the Persicaria maculosa (Lady’s Thumb) is almost extinct here. They are only growing in an area maybe 12″ x 36″ with only a few plants in front of the Mulberry trees and nowhere else on the farm. Their flowers have pretty much run their course and are now setting seed.

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 9-22-19, #635-11.

There are only a few small colonies of Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) here. The one in the above photo is growing east of the largest colony of P. punctata behind the chicken house. There is a small colony by the gate in front of the barn and another small colony on the north side of the twin Mulberry trees. They are growing here and there among other species in several areas as well, but not many.

 

Persicaria pensylvanica (Pinkweed) on 9-22-19, #635-13.

The good thing about Persicaria pensylvanica is that their flowers open freely. The other species are very shy to open if at all. Persicaria species are self-pollinating and even pollinate without opening.

 

Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed) on 9-22-19, #635-16.

The most prolific and largest colony of Smartweeds belong to Persicaria punctata (Dotted Smartweed). They occupy the territory behind the chicken house en mass and what a mess! There are a few P. hydropiper and P. longiseta among them and one P. pensylvanica colony are growing among them. The interesting thing about P. punctata is that they are allotetraploid… Its parents are P. hydropiper as the pollen parent and P. hirsuta or P. setacea as the seed parent, all of which are diploid. They just haven’t figured out which of the last two are seed parents. Actually, could be either one or both depending on location. Neither P. hirsuta or P. setacea is growing here or even close, so the hybridization was done elsewhere such as the southeast part of the country. P. punctata shares the characteristic “punctate glandular dots” on their tepals as P. hydropiper with long racemes of flowers with the other two parents. Well, the inflorescence of P. hydropiper are fairly long as well. A PL2int analysis suggested 15 cases of allotetraploid speciation, including 2 hexaploids and an octaploid. It is believed P. punctata has become so widespread through seed contamination. The fact that they are hybrids has given them a distinct edge over diploid species. In some cases, P. punctata has flourished where its parents have failed to spread.

Persicaria punctata isn’t the only species to begin its life as a hybrid. The tetraploid Persicaria maculosa has been traced to the diploid P. foliosa and the parental lineage “seems to be” P. lapathifolia (both native of Eurasia)Testing shows Persicaria pensylvanica is an octaploid whose parent could be P. glabra or P. hispida.

 

Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) on 9-22-19, #635-17.

The Persicaria sagittata (Arrowleaf Tearthumb) is one of the neatest of the Persicaria species. The stems appear to just go up through the base of their leaves. The common name comes from the short, stiff bristles on the stems. These are only growing in the swampy area in the southeast corner of the farm. I made their positive ID in 2013 when I first ventured into the swamp. There was a good-sized colony back then, but I have no idea what its condition is now. From a distance, it appears the Panic Grass (Dichanthelium latifolium) has taken over. I started to go into the swamp this afternoon but backed off. My DRYSHOD boots (we had rain) were already covered with every kind of stick tights imaginable just to take the above photo and get a sample for the first photo.

 

Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed) on 9-22-19, #635-21.

GEEZ! I screwed up! While I was behind the pond at the back of the farm, I found a lonely Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed). It is strange how a single plant can be growing anywhere here. How did it get here in the first place for there only to be one? The plan was to take a better photo of this species by the back gate (involved with Poison Ivy) or behind the house. I took a few photos anyway, mainly because I didn’t want to get too friendly with the plants by the gate. After I took the photos behind the pond, I ventured to the swampy area to take photos of the P. sagittata. Hmmm… These photos are in alphabetical order, not the way they were taken. 🙂 After I left the swamp I decided to pass on the plants by the gate and wait until I went to the house.

 

Persicaria virginiana (Jumpseed) leaf on 9-22-19, #635-23.

On the way to the house, I snatched a few racemes to take the group photo (the photo at the top). When I got to the house I snapped a photo of the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ and Colocasia esculenta and that was that. The battery was dead… I put the battery in the charger and waited about 30 minutes then took the group photo. I forgot about P. virginiana behind the house.

I met a lady behind the pond and she was a beauty. I asked her name but she was way to busy to stop and talk…

 

Araneus marmoreus (Marbled Orb Weaver) on 9-22-19, #635-1.

I checked with iNaturalist and found out she is Araneus marmoreus (Marbled Orb Weaver). She didn’t run off like her cousin, the Neoscona crucifera (Spotted Orb Weaver), did a few days ago. Strange how they have the same shape and are a different genus. OK, I’ll show her to you even though the photo was taken on the 18th.

 

Neoscona crucifera (Spotted Orb Weaver) on 9-18-19, #634-32.

She was working on her web fairly close to where I spotted the Marbled Orb Weaver today. She thought I was being a little too nosy, so she hurried up her web. I tried to get a photo but she was moving around so much I couldn’t get a good shot. She finally moved back down to where she had been working on an insect caught in her web.

Well, that’s all I wanted to say for now. Hopefully, I can finish the next post, Perplexing Persicaria, tonight or tomorrow. OH, heck! It is already tomorrow… 1:14 AM on Monday.

Until next time, take care, be safe and stay positive!

 

Elephantopus carolinianus and Perilla frutescens Observed

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I was helping a friend move cattle from his mother’s farm a few days ago and stumbled across this interesting plant. I helped him move a 1964 Ford Pickup from a hill that had been in the trees for 15 years a couple of days earlier. That was interesting. I didn’t take the camera at the time but I wish I had because seeing the old pickup in the trees and what we went through to get off the hill and up the road to the house would have made an interesting post. His mother sold her farm so we had to get everything moved.

 

Perilla frutescens (Beefsteak Plant) on 9-9-19.

Now, you have to visualize a shady hillside with a creek running along the side. The hillside is covered in trees with literally THOUSANDS of Perilla frutescens (Beefsteak Plant). While I was waiting for my friend (Jay) and another helper (Jay Wagler, Ruth Wagler’s son from Wagler’s Greenhouse), to drive the cows up from somewhere, I waited on the hill. Of course, I had my camera that day so I took several photos of the Perilla frutescens.

 

Perilla frutescens (Beefsteak Plant) flowers on 9-9-19.

I thought it was very interesting how the Perilla frutescens there were in full bloom when the plants behind my back pond were just budding.

After a while, the cows came so I had to forget about taking photos. I had to go up the hill from where I was then run down the hill as fast as I could, through all the Perilla, trees, vines, etc. toward the creek, then across the creek so the cows couldn’t go back to where they had come from. While I was running toward the creek, I almost tripped more than a few times. Anyway, as I was running I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going because I was looking at the plants. I spotted a plant I had never seen before but I didn’t have time to stop… By the time I made it to the creek, the cows were heading that direction. They crossed the creek and so did I.

Now, if you have ever driven cattle through a forest that have no idea why they are being herded in the first place, you will know they aren’t just casually walking. Some of them are calm and in no hurry while most of them have their ears up and are running full speed ahead. The calves were going in circles because they had no clue. Mama cows would run ahead then realize their kid wasn’t with them, so they would turn around. And, of course, there were always a few that just stand way behind the others that think they can get left behind. They try to sneak off while you are trying to get the runners to go where you want them and not where they want to go, which is back to where they were in the first place. The opening we needed them to go through was plain as day and right in front of them. What did they do? They stood there looking at the opening. The opening in the fence was to the pasture where the barn was… Ummm… Where the corral was. Now, if you are a cow that is used to a daily routine you would be wondering why you are being herded to the barn in the morning instead of being called to eat feed later in the afternoon. You would be thinking something is fishy. After a while, a few started toward me. Then the rest followed. As I waved at them they found another opening in the fence so they could circle around to the other opening to try and get away. Well, that didn’t work and finally, they went to the barn.

There is a little more to what happened next, but we did finally get them in the coral. All but a cow named Fuzzy who escaped.

Once the cows were in the trailer, I walked back to the creek. I had to go back up the hill to get the tractor I had left there but the tractor wasn’t on my mind. I had to find that weird plant!

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-19.

I crossed the creek and started up the hill through all the vegetation. The hillside was nice and shady and I had to just stand for a minute to admire nature at its finest. There was so much life going on! The bugs were all busy feeding on flowers and each other, birds were flying around, butterflies flying from one flower to another. I found the plant I was looking for with no problem because there were a lot of them along the bottom of the hillside. It was sure a strange plant and I had never seen any quite like it. That evening I identified the plant as Elephantopus carolinianus (el-eh-fun-TOE-pus  kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-us). Common names include Elephant’s Foot, Carolina Elephant’s Foot, and Leafy Elephant’s Foot.

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

Reading the description of this plant on the Missouri Plants website can be pretty complicated.

Inflorescence – Capitate cluster (glomerule) of flower heads terminating stems. Peduncles to +10cm, antrorse appressed pubescent. Peduncles subtended by a single foliaceous bract. Flower clusters subtended by typically three foliaceous bracts to +/-4cm long. Bracts with antrorse appressed pubescence.

I think that means the stem ends in a cluster of flower heads that are compact or unusually compressed. Close to the top of the stem is a leaf with another 3 1/2-4″ of stem above it. Then there are 3 leaves (foliaceous bracts) which the flower clusters sit on. Bracts and peduncles have short hairs.

Involucre – Phyllaries loose, to -1cm long, 2mm broad, acute, green in upper 1/2, scarious below.

GEEZ! An involucre is a bract (phyllary) or set of bracts (phyllaries) that surround a flower or cluster of flowers. In this case, I believe there is something a little strange going on… Skip down to the photo after the next one…

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-19.

The flowers are rather strange. Although this plant is a member of the Asteraceae (composite) family, the flowers are not “daisy-like”. They only have disc flowers.

“Disk flowers – Corolla lilac to whitish, irregularly 5-lobed. Corolla tube 5mm long, glabrous. Lobes to 5mm long, linear, glabrous. Stamens 5, adnate at base of corolla tube. Anthers connate around style, 2mm long, exserted. Style included. Achene (in flower) white, pubescent, 2mm long. Pappus of 5 bristles. Bristles to 5mm long, slightly flattened and expanded at base.”

Hmmm………………………………………. Something seems a bit odd.

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

Some of the plants have lavender-pink flowers. The above photo is somewhat easier to explain… The flower emerges from the phyllaries… WAIT A MINUTE! Take a closer look at that mass of petals… Something is weird! I think I need to jump the fence and have a closer look. How many flowers do you see? One? Count again… I see at least four.

So, using the above descriptions, each bract has a set of four loose phyllaries (actually 2 pairs of 2) in which 4-5 flowers emerge from. Have you ever seen a Fan Flower (Scaevola sp.) where the petals are on only on half the flower? I think that’s what is going on here…

It would have been better to have read the descriptions then searched for this plant so you will know what to look for. For sure you would have known what this plant is when you see it because there is none even similar.

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

Lower leaves are quite large and “spatula-like”. One website says these lower leaves are 5″ long, but just guessing, I would say they are closer to at least 8″.

Missouri Plants says: “Alternate, sessile, elliptic to oblanceolate or spatulate, acute to acuminate, shallow serrate to crenate-serrate, slightly scabrous and pubescent below, sparse pubescent and shiny dark green above, to -30cm long, -10cm broad, tapering to base.” That is about 11″ long by about 4″ wide and the leaves attach directly to the stem with no petiole (sessile).

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

The plant’s upper leaves are MUCH smaller and kind of oval in shape. Here you can see this leaf is what is meant when Missouri Plants says: “Peduncles subtended by a single foliaceous bract.” This leaf is where the “inflorescence” begins and is part of it as the “single foliaceous bract.” At least that is my opinion. Subtended means “under” so it makes sense.

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

Besides a camera, I also need to remember to take the magnifying glass, a small note pad and pen… A field guide would also be promising. I haven’t normally been one to bring plants home from other locations, but I am really tempted with this one. I saw this plant again while I was helping Jay at either his farm or in the back yard of his mothers (the one she sold). Apparently this plant is fairly common in that neck of the woods. I think I may need to check the creek behind here even though I don’t own that property. I normally only go there in the spring to hunt morels. No one will ever know… 🙂

 

Elephantopus carolinianus (Elephant’s Foot) on 9-9-13.

I think I read somewhere that the bracts contain a single seed that doesn’t fall out. The whole bract falls off with the seed still inside.

Map from USDA Plant Database showing where Elephantopus carolinianus is native.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 23 species of Elephantopsis. Four are native to the United States including E. carolinianus, E. elatus, E. nudatus, and E. tomentosus. E. carolinianus most abundant from Kansas down to Texas and eastward to Pennsylvania and down to Florida and has been Introduced to Cuba. Most species are native to several countries in South America and several in a few countries in Africa. 

The cows were loaded into a trailer in the afternoon and taken to another pasture. As far as I know, Fuzzy is still at large.

I have been working on the post about the Persicaria species (Smartweeds) here and ran into a snag. Two species are very much alike and one is variable. One has longer leaves than the other and both have the same identifying features. I think many colonies could have both species which makes it complicated. I was measuring leaves in a very large colony and a few plants have 6″ long leaves while most are 3 1/2 to 4″. The rest of the species were fairly easy to identify. I am going to check out Steyermark’s Flora of Missouri on Monday at the library to see if they can help. The original was written by Julian Steyermark was published in 1963. In 1987, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri Department of Conservation decided to work together and revise and update the older book in a three-volume set. The first edition, written by Mr. Steyermark was published in 1999 and it is available at the local branch. Volume two was published in 2006 and volume 3 in 2013. Volume 2 and three were written by George Yatskievych. They are at another branch but can be delivered here or I can drive 18 miles to pick them up. Each volume has over 1,000 pages. The post is ready, but I need to make sure about the one (or two) species.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Be thankful and observant. Never know what you may will run across.

 

Delightful Dayflowers

Commelina erecta (Whitemouth Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. Now it is time to post about the Dayflowers. It has been interesting and there are three species of Dayflowers here on the farm. Two species are in a small shady and secluded area behind the chicken house. One of those is also in the back of the farm by the pond but their flowers were already wilted when I noticed that. Their flowers only last for one day but are mostly gone by late afternoon.

I took a few photos of Dayflowers last year but I didn’t really pay much attention to them at the time. When I was getting ready to write a page about them, I noticed something weird… I had all their photos labeled Commelina communis but when I did the research I realized none of the photos were that species… At that point, they hadn’t started flowering so I had to wait. After the hay was baled and I could mow the two lots I stored hay in behind the chicken house I noticed the Dayflowers had started blooming. I almost fell off the tractor. I took photos after I was finished mowing (since I happened to have the camera with me). That was on August 29.

I took photos for several days I concluded is Commelina erecta, commonly known as the Whitemouth Dayflower. I first thought it was surely Commelina communis because the bracts were open the entire length but there was something weird.

 

Commelina erecta on 8-29-19.

As you can see in the above photo, the bract, the odd-looking part the flower emerges from is entirely open from end to end (like a taco). That is one of the distinguishing features of Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower). But, there were a couple of problems with that diagnosis… For one, the color is lighter blue than the photos of Commelina communis online. The second problem is the staminodes of Commelina communis are supposed to have brownish-red dots. I looked at probably 100 flowers from August 29 through September 1. All their bracts were open and there were NO brownish-red dots.

Before I continue, figuring out what species of Commelina, or Dayflowers, you have growing is pretty easy. There are only four species found in Missouri. Two species have two blue upper petals and one lower white petal. One of those has brownish-red dots on their staminodes. One of those has fused bracts and one has open bracts. The one with the reddish-brown spots is supposed to have open bracts and the other has fused bracts.

Then, low and behold, Sunday afternoon a miracle happened… Well, maybe not a miracle, but you know what I mean…

 

Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

I had walked into the lot where the Dayflowers were, took a few photos, then on the way out I noticed these darker blue Dayflowers on the other side of the opening. I checked and HOLY MOLY there were spots on their staminodes!  As you can see, the flower in the above photo has darker blue upper petals and brownish-red spots on the staminodes…

BUT, there is a problem…

 

Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

All the flowers in this group have fused bracts when they are supposed to be open! I looked at all the flowers for a few days and they were always the same. I thought perhaps they would be closed earlier when the flower first emerges and open later when the flowers have almost run their course. But, the time didn’t matter.

 

Commelina communis on the left and Commelina erecta on the right on 9-1-19.

The above photo shows the darker blue Commelina communis with the spots on the staminodes on the left. Commelina erecta, on the right, has lighter blue upper petals and NO reddish-brown spots on the staminodes. All seems as it should… These are the only two species in Missouri with two upper blue petals and a very small lower white petal.

 

Commelina communis on the left and Commelina erecta on the right on 9-1-19.

But, the above photo clearly shows the Commelina communis with fused bracts and the Commelina erecta with open bracts. Hmmm… Just the opposite of what they are supposed to be. Every website I checked says the same thing.

So, tell me, what is the deal? Maye the fairies in this area didn’t get the memo… I need to check the plants by the pond in the back of the farm to see what they are doing…

But, there is also something else very interesting…

 

Commelina erecta (Whitemouth Dayflower) on 8-29-19.

Some of the Communis erecta have two flowers coming from the same bract. Typically, each bract produces more than one flower, sometimes three, but not usually on the same day.

 

Commelina erecta open bract on 8-29-19.

I opened one of the bracts of the Commelina erecta and you can see in the above photo this bract had produced two flowers in succession. It may have produced more, but I kind of ruined that possibility. The egg-like, umm… Are the fruit where the seeds are hiding.

I read the information on several websites for plant ID and for the heck of it. The Iowa Plants website has some very good photographs of the inside of the bracts (and many other good photos). I was going to include some of them in this post, but I don’t have permission. You can see them online when doing an image search as well.

 

Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

So, it is a little strange that the Commelina communis growing here have fused bracts when they are supposed to be open. But, nonetheless, they have to be Commelina communis because they have the brownish-red spots on their staminodes. No other species has that feature. And, I admit, it is a little odd the Commelina erecta have entirely wide open bracts when they are supposed to be closed. But, they have to be Commelina erecta because they have no spots and they are the only other Commelina species found in Missouri with two upper blue petals and a lower white petal.

One other interesting thing about the Commelina species is that they compete for pollinators… This is why you may rarely if ever find two species growing among each other. Although the photos I took of both species are in the same lot, they are not together. It makes me wonder if they have adapted over time and the Commelina erecta have found out open bracts are better for their survival and the Commelina communis decided the opposite is true for them. Who knows. But for whatever reason, they are doing something weird here.

 

NOW, for the third species…

Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

This small colony of Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower) is growing south of the big pond in the front pasture. They are in the low spot where the overflow runs out of the pond and the pasture drains.

 

Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

I need to get more and better photos of this species. As you can see, this species has three blue petals. It is one of the two species found in Missouri with three blue petals. The other is Commelina virginica (Virginia Dayflower).

 

Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

Commelina diffusa has smaller flowers than Commelina virginica. Hmmm… Isn’t it strange how you notice things in a photo you didn’t when taking the photo? What is the white thing below the lower petal?

 

Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower) on 9-1-19.

Ahhh, there it is. Hmmm… I have no idea what it is. Another flower? Well, trying to find out blew another 30 minutes and I still have no clue.

 

Commelina diffusa on 9-1-19.

OH, I almost forgot! Another distinguishing feature is that the bracts of Commelina diffusa are open the entire length and Commelina virginica are basally fused. Hmmm… Like that helped with C. communis and C. erecta!

There is plenty of information about the Commelina species online. I will be including more information plus links for further reading when I get their own pages published. There will be many photos on their pages of their flowers, leaves (upper and lower, topside and underside), their stems, etc. I have found the Dayflowers to be very interesting and they seem so happy. They are also edible but I haven’t tried them.

Next, I will be posting about the Persicaria species (Smartweed) growing here. I have identified seven species and am still somewhat confused about the eighth. One species is highly variable but the key identifier says it all. One species here is VERY rare, but two key identifiers show they are alive and well here. Well, maybe not all that well since they are only in one small area (and very few plants) while most of the other species are quite abundant. Unlike the Dayflowers, the Smartweeds enjoy the company of their cousins.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and so on. Just do it, and do it well!

First L.g. ‘Thailand Giant’ and Ruellia simplex Flowers for 2019

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 9-3-19, #622-3.

Hello everyone! I took a photo of the first Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ flower on Tuesday but I hadn’t posted it yet. This morning, as I was starting to write the post, I thought I better check to see if it had a second one already.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ second flower on 9-6-19, #624-7.

Sure enough, it already has a second flower. I think the one I grew in 2017 produced twelve by the time it got ZAPPED in October.

As I was going up the steps to back inside, I noticed something else trying to hide…

 

Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) first flower on 9-6-19, #624-10.

The Ruellia simplex Mrs. Wagler gave me is FINALLY starting to flower. The Ruellia simplex I grew before were pink, so I am very glad these are blue.

 

Ruellia simplex buds on 6-9-19, #624-12.

More buds are a good sign of more flowers to come. Of course, I will keep you posted. 🙂

As usual, one photo led to another then another…

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 9-6-19, #624-3.

I still think these funky smaller leaves are weird. I am sure there is a proper name for these appendages but funky is good enough until I find out. NORMAL Colocasia esculenta do not do this so it is no telling what is in its bloodline. A little of this, a little of that… GEEZ! What kind of a monster will be lurking under the porch some morning? 🙂 For sure, this is not a “normal” Colocasia esculenta which is why the species name isn’t used…

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 9-6-19, #624-1.

I had to post another photo of the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ because she was waving her newest and largest leaf at me. I was joking around with her pretending I didn’t notice. Some Aroid experts have been trying to confuse each other by saying ‘Coffee Cups’ is a variety, form or whatever of Colocasia esculenta. It was originally found in the wild in Indonesia and looks nothing like any Colocasia esculenta. She is secretly whispering Colocasia fontanesii in my ear. 🙂

That’s it for now. I will be back very soon! Until then, you know the drill. Be safe, stay positive, and so on.

Colocasia Looking Good!

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ at 64″ tall on 8-30-19.

Hello everyone! I trust this post finds you all well as summer starts to wind down (here anyway). We have had much cooler temps the past few days but it is supposed to be 90° F on Tuesday.

I wanted to share a few photos of the Colocasia and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. They seemed to be growing slow then they went bizurk! The Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ in the above photo is NOW 64″ tall.

The cat in the photo isn’t my cat… Well, I am not so sure about that now because she has made herself at home. Nathan brought her home one night from a convenience store parking lot. She didn’t look like she was a stray to me and had a flea collar on. I told him he should take her back then he told me “after a week” that she had been in the parking lot for several days. GEEZ! When I came here in 2013, mom and dad had 20 cats. I got all the females and males spayed and neutered and after six years there were only five left. Nathan came and brought two more. Then Kevin gave me the little black kitten (GEEZ!) and now there is this one. Yes, it is a female and Nathan’s male cat Simba has taken a liking to her… I went behind the chicken house this morning to have a look at the Dayflowers and “you know who” followed me…

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ flowers on 8-30-19.

As I mentioned before, Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ is the first black-leaved Colocasia I have grown since 2013. I was thinking about a ‘Black Magic’ but found this one at a local greenhouse. It is a Walters Gardens introduction.

It had been raining before (and after) I took these photos so all the leaves are wet.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ leaf on 8-20-19.

The leaves are pretty neat for sure but not as “puckered” as advertised. I am not complaining at all because this is a nice plant.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ leaf underside on 8-30-19.

The undersides of “Elephant Ear’ leaves are pretty neat and this one is really NEAT!

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ at 39″ on 8-30-19.

I must say the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has done very well over the past month and is now 39″ tall.

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ leaf holding water on 8-30-19.

It’s always neat how the leaves hold water then dump it out once it gets heavy enough. It would make a nice little video.

 

Colocasia esculenta on the north side of the house on 8-30-19.

The Colocasia esculenta on the north side of the house and doing really well despite the apex of the rhizomes rotted before I set them out. The tallest plant is 65″ tall…

 

Cannas and Colocasia esculenta along the garage on 8-30-19.

Hmmm… Ignore the grass and weeds. It was a surprise when the Colocasia came up in the Canna bed this spring and more surprising how well they have done this summer. Well, most of them. The big one in the middle of the photo is 60″ tall. I planted them along the Cannas last spring because I had plenty extra. Instead of digging their rhizomes for the winter, I mulched them along with the Cannas and they all came back up this spring. Well, Cannas aren’t supposed to overwinter in the ground here either…

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ at 55 1/2″ tall on 8-30-19.

The Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ finally got with the program and is now 55 1/2″ tall. Hopefully, it will flower like the one did in 2017.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ leaf at 36″ long x 32″ wide on 8-30-18.

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ grow MUCH bigger in the south and in tropical climates than here but I am very pleased. We still have until sometime in October for it to grow bigger.

I have still been taking wildflower photos and even found a few new ones this past week. It is weird how I am still finding new plants after I have been here since 2013. I found a nice small white flower a couple of days ago I couldn’t ID then found out they are normally blue. So, let me see… How many wildflowers have I found this year whose flowers have been an unusual color? I think three or four. Then, the weird Dayflowers that have all the features of a particular species except one… That will be the next post. 🙂 Why don’t they have reddish-brown spots like they are supposed to have? OH, and in 2017, the Dayflower photos I took all have three blue petals. Now, where are they? Then there is a colony in the back of the farm near the swamp that is totally different that has not started flowering yet. Need flowers for a positive ID. I am 99% sure they are a species of Commelina (Dayflower) because of the veins on the leaves. Hmmm… Maybe they will have three blue petals. 🙂 Then I can say, “Ahhhh! There you are!”

Probably the hardest wildflowers (weeds) to make a positive ID here are the Persicaria (Smartweed) species… There are at least four species here that only one thing distinguishes them from similar species. I have been using the magnifying glass to try and figure them out. It seems I am looking for the “thing” that is missing to prove they “are or aren’t” particular species. Then this afternoon, I found the missing “thing” on two colonies growing separate from the other three species (or four)… There could also be another species around the back pond. I saw before… Any way, I have been working on their ID for a couple of years. OH, then there are the three colonies, in another location, that are the same species with different color stems. One has red stems, one has green stems with red nodes, and the other is in-between. Not only in color but location. They are all only a few feet from each other. I will be posting about them once I get them figured out, or at least when I convince myself I have made positive ID’s. Hopefully within a few days. (Scratching my head).

OK, I will close for now…

Until next time, be safe, stay positive and be thankful! Get dirty if you can because a little dirt is good for you.

Doing Well Even Though…

A few Alocasia doing GREAT!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. To say this summer has been ordinary would be quite misleading. I don’t have photos of well-maintained beds because there aren’t any here. I have managed to keep up with beds on the north side of the house and just so with the shade beds. The only deterrent with the shade beds has been the mosquitos because of grandmas old goldfish pool. It always has a little water in it which is a mosquito paradise so I have to work quickly and quietly.

The mole repeller has worked wonders in the shade bed and I have no complaints about it at all. The other one quit working a while back, but it did help for a while. I am supposed to write a review at some point, and the company was supposed to send their “upgraded” model to replace the one that stopped working. What I am wondering is how I write a new review on a model that has been replaced? Hmmm…

The Japanese Beetle traps have worked quite well with a few issues that I don’t think is any fault of the company. Most people don’t have as many beetles as there are here. They have slowed down now, but for a while, I was having to empty 2-3 traps about every day. I am not sure what kind of an impact the traps will have on next years population because even though I have eliminated many, there are still thousands that have probably managed to lay eggs. I even see Japanese Beetles when I am taking photos of wildflowers in the back of the farm and on Kevin’s farm. They eat flowers and leaves of quite a variety of plants.

 

Northeast front porch.

I took a lot of photos of the potted plants earlier but they didn’t make it on a post. I became involved with wildflower ID for a while which took a lot of time. The potted plants are all doing very well and are very easy to manage. The Alocasia are thriving as always and look great! The plants in the above photo were repotted last summer and are doing well on the front porch while the larger pots are next to the shade bed (in the first photo). I still haven’t figured out how offsets from Alocasia ‘Portora” and Mayan Mask’ come up in the same pot… One might think they are cross-pollinating when they flower but that is nearly impossible since they don’t flower at the same time if at all. Alocasia ‘Calidora’ flowers more but there have been no step-children showing up in their pots. Weird…

 

Billbergia nutans flower on 8-11-19.

The Queen’s Tears or Angel’s Tears (Billbergia nutans) has been flowering for a while and is always AWESOME. If you recall, I divided the HUGE POT last year and gave away many. I still have three pots to give away.

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ on 8-11-19.

Although the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ seemed to have gotten off a little slow, it is doing very well now. I really like the smaller dark cup-shaped leaves and dark stems. They have a little water in their leaves from somewhere most of the time. You would be surprised at how many insects I have seen drinking water from the leaves. If you haven’t tried Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’, I suggest you do.

 

Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ on 8-11-19.

I must say Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ has been pretty impressive. I planted one of these in a planter at a friends home and it was growing better than this one. I thought maybe it was because the planter was full of Miracle Grow Potting soil so I found the bag of fertilizer Mrs. Wagler had given me last year and mixed a little in the soil in this bed. Normally, I do not use commercial fertilizer but I decided to give it a shot. Well, you can see the results. It is now bigger than the one in the planter. 🙂 The leaves have become a little more “puckered” but not near as much as photos of this plant online. The leaves are also supposed to be much darker when grown in the sun, and this plant gets plenty of that. Whether or not this plant is even a Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’ is somewhat debatable. I have grown Colocasia ‘Black Magic’ in the past and their leaves have always been much darker even in the shade. I am not complaining because this is a really nice plant no matter what it really is.

 

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ has been AWESOME as always.

 

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Guacamole’ is now flowering and doing very well. The Hosta in this bed are mainly under a large maple tree and are still doing very well. Except for Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ which has been struggling all summer. I really miss its awesomeness and it may not survive this winter.

 

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ on 8-11-19.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ is doing OK and has several buds. The plants in the corner shade bed are all doing OK because they still have good shade. The ones on the other side are a different because they are usually shaded by the elms whos leaves have been pretty much dissected by the Japanese Beetles.

 

Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ on 8-11-19.

Hmmm… While I am sure this is a Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ this year, it seems it should be much bigger. I am not sure how tall this one is, but the previous one was 54″ tall on 8-29-17. If you remember, the one I bought last spring turned out to be a Xsanthosoma robustum… The Leococasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ I had in 2017 grew HUGE but it was closer to the porch where the soil is better. Maybe a little of Mrs. Wagler’s fertilizer is on order. I was reserving the space closer to the porch for the Xanthosoma sagittifolium a friend was supposed to send me but it never arrived. The X. robustum from last year rotted. I had plans for this bed but…

 

Colocasia esculenta on 8-11-19.

The Colocasia esculenta are doing great as always even though not as large as usual. The top part of the rhizomes rotted before I set them out, which never happened before. As a result, I have many offsets with no main plant.

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) on 8-11-19.

The Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) is strutting its stuff now but the wind and rain knocked some of the plants over. It is flowering really well now, but something is a little weird…

 

Physostegia virginiana (Obedient Plant) flowers on 8-11-19.

Ummm… Its flowers are PINK! Normally, they look white with just a hint of pink. Some photos make them look pinker that you can see with your eye, which is a little strange. I remember taking photos before that turned out pink and I thought, “Why do they look pink? They aren’t pink!” Well, folks, this time around they are definitely pink!

Supposedly, the Obedient Plant gets its name from the flower stems staying where you put them if you bend them a little. I tried that and it didn’t work. I began to question whether or not this was actually an Obedient Plant but research proved they are definitely Physostegia virginiana. However, mine are disobedient.

 

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ on 8-11-19.

Well, the Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm‘ are flowering up a storm now. It was strange how they didn’t spread that much until I moved a few to the northeast corner of the old foundation. Now they have gone banananananas.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but PREVIOUSLY Rudbeckia fulgida and Rudbeckia sullivantii were two separate species. PREVIOUSLY this cultivar was simply Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’.

 

Ruellia simplex (Mexican Petunia) on 8-11-19.

The Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex) is doing really well here in the north bed by the steps. There are 2-3 more stems but they seem to be laying down on the job. I need to put a little more dirt around them so they will stand up and because their roots are showing. The one in the photo has a few buds and it will have blue flowers. The plants I had in Mississippi (and brought with me in 2013) had pink flowers, so I was glad Mrs. Wagler and the blue “variety” in her flower bed. HOPEFULLY, they will survive the winter. IF they produce offsets I am going to dig them up and overwinter them inside. They actually do well inside if they are small enough. It may be possible to grow these in pots and bring them inside although I haven’t tried it.

 

Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ on 8-11-19.

The Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’ have really been impressive. This is the first year I have had this cultivar and I have thoroughly enjoyed them.

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica on 8-11-19.

There is always a lot going on here and sometimes I get caught up with this and that that I may neglect to notice something interesting. In June, the owner of Wildwood Greenhouse gave me this pot of Calla he had grown from seed. He had several pots and he couldn’t get them to grow or do much of anything. I brought this pot home, put it in fresh potting soil and it did nothing except not die. Every time I looked at it, it was the same. Then, when I was taking photos on the 11th, I noticed it had perked up! You just never know!

 

Before I close, I want to introduce to, ummm… OK, let me start from the beginning… This kitten showed up at Kevin’s, a friend I have been working for. You know, the guy I have been spraying and digging thistles on his farm, the farm I have taken a lot of wildflower photos on, the guy I have been taking care of his landscaping for him. Yeah, that guy. Anyway, this kitten showed up, obviously from being dumped. He saw it several times and one evening he saw