Powderpuffs and……pie???

I took this picture yesterday and realized some of you may be unfamiliar (as I was 6mos ago) with the pink flowering vine in the foreground.

Rear Cutting Garden, Sept. 16, 2012

I saw this plant–Mimosa Strigillosa–growing in dense mats where the street was being renovated outside of McDonald’s in Ft. Pierce. I liked the “powderpuffiness” and noted it spread via criss-crossing rhizomes. With just a few tugs, I dislodged a nice long stem….with taproot!!  When I got home, a new container plant was borne:  :)

Mimosa Strigillosa

M. Strigillosa is commonly called Sensitive Plant: touch the pinnate leaves and in less than 2 seconds they fold into thin, tight lines…pretty amazing! . The inflorescence is made up of many florets with 10 or fewer free-standing pink stamens. The shiny “tip” at the end of each stamen is pollen.

This vine spreads FAST!  I’ve gotten 4 additional containers from the original pot!  If you grow it in-ground, do so ONLY in lieu of grass. I’ve seen it used for a bright, colorful look on sidewalk medians and narrow strips between driveways and houses.  It grows well in Zones 8B-11 and is tolerant of full sun and partial shade. Interesting fact: If grown in shade, the leaves will be 3x longer and twice as wide as those of their sunnier grown counterparts!

And now, an update on the unusual cristate succulent I received for Mother’s Day.

To be candid, I didn’t expect this plant would grow; I assumed the graft-stock on the bottom MIGHT get a bit taller….but that’s about it!

We all know what they say about people who assume, yeah? :roll:

Euphorbia Lactae Cristata

Look at me grow!!! :)

Faaa-reaky!!!  What a wierd tumor-looking, growth thingy!!  I can’t decide if it looks like a wedge of pie or a broccoli floret, but either way, I LOVE it! :)

Until next time, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite clips from season 3 of The Odd Couple TV series: The Assume Scene:

:) :) :)

A Freakish Gift!

My mother gave me a freakish plant ;)….a mutant on a stick, as it were……and I love it!

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata

Coral Cactus (aka Euphorbia Lactea Cristata)

Coral Cacti are two Euphorbia varieties grafted together to create a single plant. The green “stem” is a cutting from Euphorbia Neriifolia; the fan-like “top” is the result of a genetic mutation in Euphorbia Lactea, causing it to grow in an irregular, horizontal, wavy fashion known as “cristating.”  Cristate mutations lack the amount of chlorophyl needed to maintain normal growth and green coloration, which not only explains these plants’ odd pastel-toned tops, but the reasons for grafting them to root stock :arrow:the graft allows chlorophyl to circulate upward and improve the cristates’ overall health and longevity.

So much work to keep this variety alive, and what do the growers do next? Package it for sale in a way that guarantees death!  The blue ceramic pot, while pretty, lacked any drainage holes, and worse, the little pea stones were glued tightly to each other AND the sides of the pot!!!  Hello, suffocation!!!

Glued pea stones and synthetic "dirt"

See you around the yard..

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata with glued rocks

Goodbye, Suffocation!

Euphorbia Lactea Cristate Roots

 

 

3" deep planting hole

Replanting Euphorbia Lactea Cristata

Whenever I plant something in-ground, I water the hole (twice!) before backfilling and tamping any remaining soil into place around the roots and stem.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata, Rear Cutting Garden,

I Love this new plant! :)

Until next time….

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