Name: Zach DuFran
Occupation: Meteorologist/Software Developer
Location: central Oklahoma, USDA zone 7a
Favorite plant families: Aroids and Orchids
Contact: If you'd like to contact me, it's best to just leave a comment here or on any of my blog posts

Some other places you can find me:
Flickr - just for this blog

I am a total nature geek.  I love plants, I love birds, I love insects (especially Odonates and Lepidoptera), I love aquariums, I love fossils, I love being outdoors and taking photographs of everything I see and then spending time determining what everything was.  I also love traveling and reading.  I have and a wonderful wife and two kiddos, a boy and a girl.  They are pretty amazing little people.

I am interested in tropical houseplants (primarily Aroids) and aquatic plants for my fish tanks.  I guess you could call me a "foliage junky." :)   I enjoy learning about plant taxonomy and reading books about plants.  This site is for me to journal my encounters with Kingdom Plantae, review plant books, show off some of my plants, give advice when I have any to give, and generally talk about plants.

My tropical plant hobby really grew out of my aquatic plant hobby, which grew out of an obsession with tropical freshwater aquariums.  It all started not long ago (2004) when I decided that I would like to set up a "real" aquarium.  By real I mean that I wanted to have an aquarium larger than 10 gallons and with something other than a gold fish.  I got a 29 gallon aquarium for Christmas and promptly filled it with colorful fish that were more or less compatible.  After a couple of months with my aquarium set up, I noticed there were some aquatic plants that you could grow underwater in your aquariums.  Not only were these superior replacements for my plastic plants, they were also really interesting and made great contributions to the little ecosystem encapsulated in the aquarium.  I found myself spending more and more time researching different aquatic plant species - specifically those from the Anubias and Cryptocoryne genera.

I had always been a "plant" person in the way that many people are "cat" people or "dog" people.  I have known at least the common names of nearly any plant that my parents or grandparents have grown, simply by paying attention to my mom and grandmothers whenever they talked about their plants.  But I found myself wanting to grow new things - Orchids and other tropicals - that my family had not grown before.  I became particularly interested in the Aglaonema genus of Aroids.  And that led me to some other Aroids.  After receiving an email from an Aroid collector in Florida, I found myself swimming in a pretty decent size collection of small Aglaonema plants.  And there has been no turning back.  I spend a lot of my time and money now looking for new and exciting Aroids to add to my collection.  And I have built a small greenhouse to house them and keep them happy.  So far, so good.  They seem to really love their new home.

Back to my blog...  I have a couple of common topics:

  • Plant Find - I show pictures and talk about a plant I recently purchased and added to my collection.

  • Trip Report - I report on places that I have been which are of interest to plant enthusiasts - local greenhouses, tropical islands, you name it!  I will post at least once in this category each month.

  • Photo Album - from time to time (approximately monthly) I will upload a photo album of pictures of plants.

  • Book Review - this is just what it sounds like - a review of a book that I have read that deals with plants.  I will post at least once in this category each month.

  • Projects - sometimes this can be an ambitious task, like building a garden waterfall - other times it might be about my plant journal.  I will post at least once in this category each month.
I hope you can find something useful or entertaining here.

To read where this blog got its name, check out this post:
Why "The Variegated Thumb?"

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