Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dragon Agro Products is the vendor that serious plant addicts can't miss in Philadelphia (Perla with fan)

Perla and Tito Wee have, every year, unquestionably the rarest, oddest, and (in my opinion) the most desirable plants at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Look for them on the back wall in the vendor area. I though of George Waters this year as I declined to pay $400.00 for a Blue Amaryllis, Worsleya raynerii. I have read about this plant and darned if they didn't have one in bloom. Still that was a bit too much for me. I also passed, for $85.00 on  Synsepalum dulcificum, The Miracle Fruit, an African native with curious chemical and gustatory properties,andt in retrospect, regret that decision. I bought an interesting  fragrant floriferous orchid, Dendrobium kingianum from Australia. Past years have yielded Nipplefruit, Solanum mammosum; Joy Magnolia, Michelia champaca, an odd yellow Clivia, various queer carnivores, and other things I don't even remember. I do remember that one year Pat Lynch spent a ridiculous amount of money for a variegated  Clivia and I know Brad bought the Hawaiian Brighamia there. It is definitely a can't miss stop.

Their web site, Dragon Agro Products, is both a source of the choice and peculiar, and an interesting read.  For crying out loud, they list seeds of Welwitschia mirabilis, an exotic primitive gymnosperm endemic to one region of the Namib Desert.  Only growing two strap leaves that coil curiously, it is really the Holy Grail of rare plants. I remember, I think from the 1970's seeing an advertisement for small seedling plants for $5,000.00 each in, of all places, The Wall Street Journal???

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