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20 February 2012 @ 08:39 pm
Eyelash aliens and other spaced out plants  
Today was President's day as I unfortunately found out. You guys know I like holidays but it irks me when they stop the mail. And some annoying holiday always lands on a day when I'm waiting for something important or mailing something out. Chris was going to drive to the dump to get rid of our trash but luckily he asked if it was a holiday. We looked it up and yes President's Day. Good intuition because it would have sucked to drive out there and it was closed. At least the garbage is all packed for tomorrow. But you know, I don't know why I didn't connect that to there being no mail today. When I saw my neighbor fiddling with her mailbox and come up empty handed I realized what it meant. Worst of all I'm waiting on a big Nepenthes order that's already in town. I saw it on the tracking. I was so worked up about getting it today. Now it will be tomorrow. ARG. My poor plants. They're here in a box needing air and light and I can't get to them. I'm getting another N. merrilliana, another N. truncata D and my first N. Khasiana. N. Khasiana is the only nepenthes from India and supposed to be super easy to grow. It can tolerate huge ranges of conditions from heat to cold. In south Florida it can be grown outdoors almost year round in the sun. Most nepenthes can't be in full sun. But it can't handle frost. So it's the closest nepenthes there is to being able to plant it in the ground. I wish I could leave it out on its own year round. I can't wait to get these plants. One more day.

I'm on a nepenthes kick again. I realize it's been one year now since I got into them. I can't believe it. It doesn't seem like it but it was last year in Feb when I got my first nepenthes from Lowe's in a cube. Sadly I killed that one. I'm determined to do better this year and not neglect them half way through like I did last year. I don't know I did that, but perhaps my focus shifted away when I finally had my successes with pumpkins. This year my focus will be tropicals and not so much cucurbits. I'm please I had a success finally. I'm loving my hybrid that's in my kitchen window. It's caused me to rethink my views of nepenthes hybrids and now I want a few more. Notice I said a few. I still prefer true species, but since I can't grow some of the highlands a first generation hybrid is the alternative. I'd love to have some of the ones that look really freaky but still close to the parent. So crosses that have lowii, merrilliana or the hybrid xtrusmadiensis are what I'm looking for. I know I can get carried away and I don't want to consfuse you guys with the long hybrid names so I'll to explain how they work. When you cross two plants you list the female first and put an X between the names to denote it's a "cross". The X is pronounced "Cross". So if you have a female N. ventricosa and a male N. sibuyanensis the offspring is writen N. ventricosa x sibuyanensis. Read N. ventricosa cross sibuyanensis. Now if you breed that to another and the hybrid is female it goes first in parenthasis. That's what I have. So this hybrid crossed with a male merrilliana is writen N. (ventricosa x sibuyanensis) x merrilliana. You can see how this can get confusing when you cross two hybrids or three and then bracketts get involved. That's where I lose my patiences too and make up my own names. Some hybrids do get botanical names for this reason like N. x ventrata or N. x miranda. They are then writen with an X at the beginning and read N. cross miranda so you know it's a complex hybrid.

Woops, I slipped into professor mode and didn't even realize it. I do that all the time in real life. Anyway, apart from nepenthes I want to work with Aristolochia and Passiflora too. I'm new to Passiflora or passion flowers. There are many hybrids and I need to learn the species first so everything else makes sense. Right now it's rather confusing and I have a buddy on Flickr that's very knowledgable but just randomly throws facts out at me. I've been piecing them together though. I'm good at that. He sold me a hybrid of a rare miniature called Passiflora manta or P. manta. It was love at first sight for me because this was a tiny passiflora with dark and green colors an more filaments than petals. It looked more space like than most passiflora. They are small enough to rest on your finger.

Eyelash Alien

Here's a close up showing that the dark that some people think is black is actually burgandy. I called this pic Eyelash alien. Hehe. You can see why.

Passiflora manta

Here is is more pulled out. Pretty neat.

Passiflora manta

Here you can see how small it is and what unique leaves it has. I took this before any of the flowers opened.

I won't be putting this outside for a while because I don't want the butterflies to eat it. Unfortunately passifloras are host plants for Gulf Fritillaries and Zebra Longwing butterfly caterpillars. Two species I don't care much for. I don't want them to destroy my young plant so it's staying indoors until it's bigger. I must repot it soon.

Shoot looks like I already have a tag for passiflora but I have it listed as passion vine. If I don't have to many I may convert it and list it delete that once it's done. I'd rather tag everything under genus names.
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
earthmother45earthmother45 on February 21st, 2012 02:51 am (UTC)
What a beautiful passion flower! I love the mint green color and how small it is. I'm not familar with it at all. Yes, you gave it a good name ~~ alien eyelashes! And the leaves are pretty cool, too. Yes, I'd keep it inside until it gets bigger, too. It would be a shame to lose this one!
Des: Nepenthes bicalcaratathagirion on February 21st, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
Thanks. I liked that too. Green flowers are rare and I too loved how tiny it is. I'll be collecting some very unusual passifloras this year totally different from the common ones you get a Lowe's. I'll repot it tomorrow and make sure it gets good light. It's definitely not ready for the outdoors yet.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: AvistA happysilvolf on February 21st, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
The passiflora is awesome! Heheh I can see why you call it the eyelash alien!
Hope your plants in transit are ok.
Des: Excited SpongeBobthagirion on February 21st, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
I saw those and thought they were so neat. Such a nice little plant.
I should definitely get them today. Yes can't wait.
kabuldurkabuldur on February 21st, 2012 09:47 am (UTC)
That is a very pretty passiflora. I like its variegated leaves. And burgundy is one of my favourite colours! I can see ahy you named it that, too, hehe :)

Hope your plants survive one more day in a dark box!
Des: Excited SpongeBobthagirion on February 21st, 2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I love the shape of the leaves. I've never seen one like that. In good light or when backlit it looks burgandy, but mostly like in the other pic it does look black which is cool. Black and green plants are rare so it's neat to have it in both.

Thanks. They should come today. I'm like SpongeBob in my icon here. Can't wait.
Cheezey: Sunflowercheezey on February 22nd, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, that is a cool plant! I love the flower on it.
Des: Purple Coneflowerthagirion on February 22nd, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It's really unusual. I like plants that look like they're from outer space.