Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday Plant Blogging

I love plants and though I am not a botanist I really love plant forms, the symmetry of flowers and stems and I am particularly drawn to both succulents and orchids, both of which make up the bulk of my house plants. At any rate, as an antidote to all the stuff that goes along with the start of a new semester (I even managed to miss Poetry Thursday), I took yesterday afternoon and today to shoot some plant pictures.

Most of these are on my flicker photostream , so if you want larger versions clicking on the picture will take you to my photostream images for the picture. Look for the "all sizes" and magnifying glass to see the available sizes for download.

The first set is from inside the JCCC greenhouse-it was too windy to get many good outside shots.

jccc greenhouse

For Donna, our extremely talented and dedicated greenhouse manager is a waterlily bloom from her stock tank pond inside the greenhouse:

waterlily

Often the plants I enjoy are plants that only a biologist can love such as many cacti but I think everyone can appreciate this one from the greenhouse. There wasn't a label with it so I need to look up what it is.

cactus1a

In addition to cacti we some other interesting succulents including this Stapelia in bloom. The full size view is very nice so you might want to get it here.

stapeliabloom

Also in the greenhouse is this nice Opuntia cactus; I don't know the species. Opuntias are often called prickly pears and the stems form flattened pads. What I had forgotten about is that in the same family is another group called chollas.

opuntia

These cacti have cylindrical stems and succulent leaves at least some of the time. I was reminded of this today when I went to my Sunrise Garden Center in Lawrence to look at their new succulents and one of the plants that had to come home with me was this Opuntia subulata:

opuntiasub

Looks like the taxonomy is a bit uncertain as some sites list it as Austrocylandropuntia subulata. Maybe this depends on whether or not you are a lumper or a splitter.

Of course I picked up some other nice plants while I was at the garden store such as a wonderful succulent Peperomia.

pepperomia

I know this genus as consisting of tropical non-succulent houseplants with wrinkled leaves that I have always had problems growing for any length of time. What I like about this plant is that the undersides of the leaves are a deep red color in contrast to the green upper surface. Hopefully this plant does better for me than it's moisture loving sisters. By the way this genus is in the family Piperaceae which includes..You guessed it..the pepper plant from which black pepper is made.

At the JCCC greenhouse on Friday I was impressed with the subtle coloring on these Echeveria pulvinata blooms:

echeveria

There just happened to be a young plant of this species at the garden store so it came home with me. Echeveria includes Hens and Chicks which I didn't know!

Next up is an Epiphyllum cutting. This is one of the plants I received in the maill from Ron over at 2sides2ron the other month and I am happy to report that it and it's three mates are all beginning to root and grow.

ronsplant

In the garden there is a lot going on...Weed wise that is and I need to do a lot of weeding. For some reason the Lawrence area has been blessed with lots of rain and between that and the warm weather and the start of the semester-OK and general laziness- the garden has gone wild. As can be seen in this general view of my pond area.

pondlatesummer

In this view, note the bird house gourd plant taking over in the upper left. It is a volunteer since they really took over last year. But the leaves are nice. Growing up the trellis in the upper right are several Orchid bean plants, just coming into bloom. Not shown is the giant lamb's quarters which has taken over my peony patch.

My last shot may seem a repeat of a water lilly blossom from earlier this year, but this one is from today using my Canon Rebel. The detail is much clearer than my earlier shot taken with my old Kodak. You will probably enjoy the full sized version as well.

mywaterlily

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