Friday, July 31, 2009

Monstera deliciosa: this is the mother/father? of my plant

It's least to the Western Hemisphere: southern Mexico through most of Central America. And the fruit is delicious, if the oxalic acid crystals don't disable your esophagus. At least the fruit smells good. Wilcox is a nice little nursery that sells a lot of Florida native plants. They sell other things too like this Monstera. I've noticed that Philodendrons are a good way to stretch into USDA Zone 9b or even 10. I see big P. selloum around and the occasional giant Pothos. They're not really hardy here, but gotta give it a try!

This is just a cool plant. It rained yesterday afternoon just like it's supposed to. Not at 4:00, more like 6:30. We got an inch and a half; they day before we got a half inch with only traces the two previous days. Still, things look very happy and I can only imagine how wonderful this garden would be if I were here more often to water when things got tough. Well...maybe someday.

I'm updating my records and it give me some amount of pleasure to be able to record life on the Bismarckia. All of its leaves were killed last winter by~20F temperatures. There are about three leaves starting up but who knows whether they can mature in time to handle whatever cold this winter dispenses. I saw the most spectacular Bismarckia I have ever seen in Clearwater yesterday. It was 40' tall and the fronds started about 10' above ground. The base of the 12'-14' long fronds was, I'm guessing, 8" in diameter. The fronds were 6'-8' across and they were all perfect: all silvery grey. I've never seen a plant like this even in an Arboretum or a Botanic Garden and it was just on the street corner. Wow. Now I'm inspired.

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