Monday, August 14, 2017

Trip Report: Muir Woods

While on vacation in California in March we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and drove through the beautiful Marin Headlands to Muir Woods. There is a really nice trail that heads back from the visitor's center into the woods.  This was the most crowded National Park I have visited in recent memory, but it was still enjoyable.

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Yours truly looking up at the giant Coast Redwoods

Trillium
Trillium sp.
The woods are made up of giant Coast Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), a smattering of understory trees that shrink in comparison, and a lot of ground cover plants (ferns, Trillium, and others). I was really taken with the Trilliums, having admired photos of them for a long time and having tried unsuccessfully to grow some myself. I uploaded my observations to iNaturalist and it appears most, if not all, of these were Pacific Trillium (Trillium ovatum).

Trillium
Trillium ovatum

Trillium
Trillium ovatum
There was also a really pretty flowering plant whose white flowers hung from the plant like those of Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum).  Someone identified it as a Fairybell (Prosartes) on iNaturalist, but I'm not sure which species - Prosartes hookeri or Prosartes smithii.

Prosartes sp.
Prosartes sp.
Oh yeah, I also saw a few neat birds and a really cool banana slug.  That thing was big!  I probably would have seen more birds had there been fewer people, but I was really happy to see so many people enjoying the park.

Banana Slug
Banana slug (Ariolimax)

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Happy Trails!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Baptisia seedlings

In late June I participated in the Butterfly Count for Cleveland County, Oklahoma with some of my birding friends. We came across some large Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo) plants that were covered in seed pods.  I collected some of the pods, took them home and soaked them in water for 24 hours.  I filled an old plastic to-go food container with moist vermiculite and then scattered the seeds in the container and covered them with a thin layer of more moist vermiculite.

Baptisia seedlings
Baptisia australis seedlings

Baptisia seedlings
Baptisia australis seedlings
I put the container out in the greenhouse in indirect light and left it alone.  After a few weeks I had a bunch of seedlings.  I didn't count planted seeds and sprouted seedlings but it appears the germination rate was pretty high.  As with my past experience, the easy part is done and maturing these little plants from their fragile seedling state is the real challenge.  I hope I am successful.  This is such a beautiful native plant.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

unidentified Huernia in bloom

The unknown Huernia that I purchased at the cacti and succulent show and sale this year is now blooming.

Huernia sp.
Huernia sp.
Maybe this will help me identify the plant to species level.  The flowers are small bell-shaped pale yellow stars. 

Huernia sp.
Huernia sp.
I almost overlooked it when watering.  There is just one flower open so far, but there are a few more buds on the plant. 

Huernia sp.
Huernia sp.
I'm glad to see it is happy in my care.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Huernia keniensis in bloom

A few weeks ago my family went on vacation for a week.  While we were away Oklahoma experienced our hottest week so far this year.  Upon our return my plants were very thirsty.  In my hurried watering of the backyard plants I noticed one of my new Stapeliads had flowered while we were gone.

Huernia keniensis
Huernia keniensis

This is one of the plants I purchased at the cacti and succulent show last month.  I took some photos, but the flower was on its final day, so it's pretty sad looking.  Typically Stapeliads will produce multiple flowers, sequentially.  Maybe I'll get another one soon.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lycoris in bloom

Years ago a friend and fellow plant blogger gave me some Naked Lady/Resurrection Lily (Lycoris squamigera) bulbs.  I planted some in a pot and some others in the ground.  They grew well for me for years and for the first couple of years I expected to see some blooms, but they never came.

I'd nearly forgotten there were some planted in the ground until I walked around the side of the house last week and saw this:

Lycoris squamigera
Lycoris squamigera
I don't know what spurred the flowering this year.  It's been pretty hot and dry lately and I wouldn't have thought July would be the time of year for these to bloom.  After a bit of googling I learned that August to September is the typical bloom season, so I guess late July is not far from the norm.  I look forward to seeing these bloom each year now.  Hopefully this was the first of many.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Time to repot

Sometimes it's hard to know when to repot a plant. Other times it's not.

Anthurium llewelynii repotting
Anthrium llewelynii has outgrown the pot
When I got Anthurium llewelynii I planted it in a mesh pot in all sphagnum. I'm not sure what possessed me to do so, as most of my Anthurium are growing in a chunky potting mix. Then I suspended that mesh pot in a ceramic pot, which is where it has stayed for the last few years. When I water I have to check and make sure there isn't much standing water in the ceramic pot since it doesn't have any drainage holes. The plant has loved this setup and put out a lot of roots. Recently I was doing some repotting and decided to check on this one.

Anthurium llewelynii repotting
A large root mass growing outside the mesh pot
Wow! That's a lot of roots outside of the pot. I had to study it for a little bit and determine what to do.

Anthurium llewelynii repotting
So far so good
I really liked the pot, especially since the plant has done so well in it, but I decided the best thing to do for the plant was to cut the pot away to free the roots and keep them intact. It was a tedious procedure.

Anthurium llewelynii repotting
The trickiest part
I remember from an orchid repotting seminar that every broken root is an opportunity for introducing bacteria and rot. I tried to minimize breakage. The roots were thick, fleshy, fuzzy and brittle but I managed to remove the pot in pieces and only broke a few roots.

Anthurium llewelynii repotting
Finally free
Once it was all free I had to pick a suitable sized pot, both in width and depth. I have a habit of picking oversized pots, but with this many roots I felt justified going big.

Anthurium llewelynii repotted
Repotted Anthurium llewelynii
I also decided to go with a richer potting mix. Hopefully my Anthurium llewelynii likes its new home.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Anthurium inventory

I am following up my Encyclia inventory post with an inventory of another genus that comprises a decent portion of my plant collection.  This time it is an aroid genus, Anthurium, which happens to be the largest genus in the Aracaea (Aroid) family.  By "largest genus" I mean the genus with the most species.  I have had several Anthurium flower for me recently, so I have some nice photos to share.
Anthurium llewelynii
Anth. llewelynii

Anthurium bonplandii v guayanum
Anth. bonplandii v. guayanum

Anthurium acaule
Anth. acaule
While I love Aroids, and especially Anthurium, they don't all thrive under my care.  If I go a week (sometimes two) without venturing out to the greenhouse to water my plants - many of them take notice.  My Encyclia and some of my other plants don't mind these dry periods.  My Anthurium collection is not as big as it once was, primarily because there have been more periods of neglect in recent years and only the strong have survived. My collection of Anthurium currently includes 13 species and one hybrid.
Anthurium holmneilsenii
Anth. holmnielsenii

Anthurium paraguayense
Anth. paraguayense
Here is my complete inventory of Anthurium plants:
  • Anth. acaule *
  • Anth. bonplandii v. guayanum *
  • Anth. fornicifolium *
  • Anth. gracile *
  • Anth. holmnielsenii *
  • Anth. hookeri *
  • Anth. lezamai
  • Anth. llewelynii *
  • Anth. lucidum (or something else...)
  • Anth. paraguayense *
  • Anth. plowmanii
  • Anth. scandens *
  • Anth. scandens *
  • Anth. verapazense *
  • Anth. Marie
  • Anth. Marie
  • Anth. (unidentified seedling)
* indicates plants which have flowered for me

labeled Anthurium lucidum
Anthurium lucidum?
You'll notice that I'm not so sure my plant which is labeled Anthurium lucidum is actually that species.  I looked at the photographs on Tropicos and they look very different from my plant, so I'm not really sure what I have.

Anthurium fornicifolium inflorescence
Anth. fornicifolium

Anthurium Marie is a hybrid that Steve Nock developed and named after his wife.  I have had the pleasure of meeting both Steve and Marie at the IAS shows in Miami.  Steve and Marie own Ree Gardens and have been longtime members and supporters of the society.  They always have some really nice plants for sale at the shows.  The parentage of this hybrid has not been made public, as far as I am aware.  The plant has been widely tissue cultured and many of the plants develop inflorescences with two spadices and other oddities.

Anthurium gracile inflorescence
Anth. gracile
In addition, I have one unidentified seedling.  It is still pretty small and may be some time before it is large enough to flower and help me determine what it is.