Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stephanotis florabunda: another impulse purchase

It's a beauty, covered with flowers. Really fragrant flowers. The Asclepidaceae is a kickass family with dozens, hundreds?, of my favorite plants. Plus, Stephanotis is from Madagascar, the source of hundreds more of my favorites. Does this make me sound fickle?

This used to be a rare plant in the marketplace. The cut stems last well and it's always been popular as a florist product but usually only for weddings and almost always special order. This small pot (~5" pot) came from a box store and didn't cost an arm and a leg. I looks like two stems were grown to 3 feet or so and when they budded up, were wound around a one foot diameter ring. When it's done flowering I'll unwind it and pot it up. It'll go outside for the summer and next fall it'll become one more plant that needs a sunny space by the south windows!

I've grown it a time or two before and always given it up because of mealybugs (the downside to the Asclepidaceae!). The house, and the plant, are clean now so we'll see how it goes.

Actually the Asclepidaceae doesn't exist in current (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) taxonomy anymore so it's in the Asclepiadoidea (a sub-family) in the Apocynaceae. That's one realignment that makes intuitive sense to me so I won't complain. There are tons of great plants in the Apocynaceae, oops, Apocynoideae, too. And mealybugs like them too.

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