Euphorbia blooms, and other news.

This is a first for me.  I managed to be present for one of my cactus-like plants’ bloom.  I didn’t do anything special, but I think it had something to do with the changing of the photoperiod.  Euphorbia polygona, much like E. horrida, has a very small bloom that really doesn’t look like much until you get up close and personal.  Luckily my version of this little monster doesn’t have serious spines.  Some of you Euphorbia aficionados out there may already know, or might disagree with me, but as far as I’ve heard the difference between E. horrida and polygona is the color of the flower stems and “petals”; horrida being yellowish and polygona being reddish.  But truly telling the difference may be impossible.  So… I will just call this one polygona for now.

In other exciting news, the first of the Canna musifolia, or Banana Canna to normal people, have broken the surface of their pots!  It goes without saying that this is my favorite of the cannas.  They took much longer than the smaller cannas to germinate.  I’m not sure why, because the seeds were about the same size and the seed coat didn’t seem any thicker.  Maybe that’s just how they are.

One of my many potato/tomato relatives that I enjoy growing, Juanulloa aurantiaca or the Gold Finger Plant, has finally started to swell it’s buds.  I keep it in the garage during winter at a balmy 40 degrees or so, and I recently brought it in the house to warm up and get a head start on spring.  It promptly dropped 90% of it’s leaves, and put out a couple of flower buds.  I can’t wait to see the fleshy golden flowers in a week or two.  It’s not the best picture, but it’s all I could manage.

The Aristolochia elegans (Calico Dutchman’s Pipe vine) is showing signs of life.  There are a few more now than before, and they have a few leaves each too.

Another something-or-other cactus is blooming.  I missed taking a photo of an open bloom (I’m good at that), but here’s another one of a bud that’s just about ready to pop.

I was browsing the internet, as I do frequently, and found myself drooling over the Colocasias and Alocasias on Ebay.  After I wiped my face dry, I had the great idea to try my hand at sprouting some of the taro root at the Asian market just up the road.  After a little bit of searching on (you guessed it) the internet, I found out that I wasn’t the first person to think of this.  Luckily I also learned that it was not only possible, but easy to do.  About $1.25 later, I had myself 7 or 8 good sized taro bulbs.  I can’t believe nurseries charge so much for their stock!  You don’t exactly get an amazing cultivar at the market, but for that price it doesn’t matter.  For the price of one Black Magic Elephant Ear, you could have 40+ edible Elephant Ears.  You can see the “eye” of the bulb turning green and poking up.

This past weekend I managed to make it to the Spring Home & Garden Show at the Portland Expo Center.  While most of the attraction of the event was related to remodeling and decks/hot tubs, there was a plant sale and orchid show.  After perusing the aisles of fence builders for a little while, I finally found my way to the sale.  There were several vendors there who all seemed to have sensed that I had spring fever.  Luckily they had all sorts of plants that I wanted to buy.  Unfortunately, I had come prepared to say no.  I’m waiting for a very specific plant sale later this spring.  However, they were very good at hawking their wares (or maybe I’m just weaker-willed than I thought) and I did end up buying a few things. N&M Nursery had a couple of Red Tiger Abutilons that I couldn’t pass up.  This last winter was a fluke, right?

The one plant that I had to get (besides the Abutilon) was a little Huernia pillansii!  A very small Cape Carrion Flower, just waiting for me.  It doesn’t have any buds on it, but I’m okay with that for now.  While my windows are closed for the winter, I don’t really want the scent of a ripe mouse carcass wafting through my house.  It’s exciting and a little worrisome at the same time.

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