Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Epiphillum orchid cactus
These days, all winter it sits inside and sticks me with its little spines when I try to clean around it. I usually place it so it gets indirect light during the winter, with two other semi-tropical plants - another that blooms in summer as well and quite near a 10 foot Norfolk pine that is trying to reach the ceiling in this church.
In spring sometimes even before the threat of frost is past, I can't wait to get the plants outside. So out goes this baby and into a spot where it gets quite a bit of sun. It appears to thrive. It is an amazing and beautiful plant at this time - interesting at other times. But when it blooms it's breathtaking. The blooms begin like so many tiny red spots along the edges of some leaves, not all. The leaves are fleshy and succulent. I believe there may be two kinds of cactii in this basket of spines, some of the "leaves" or stems - whatever they are called - are triangular others are flat.
So I've learned quite a bit this morning.
And I suspect that this fall I am going to have to transplant this baby into a bigger pot. Being root bound does help with flower production, but on the other hand, there is a limit. Before I do that though I'll be going back to do some research - so easy now that it's at our fingertips - a virtual library in an instant.
Despite all this, the glorious crimson flowers are a delight to see, particularly on this gray cold morning that belies the forecasters call for sun and is spitting rain. The tropical beauty of the blooms gives the illusion of heat if not the reality. But I think I can see the plant shivering in its pot this morning. It's not that much above 0C this morning - perhaps 10 degrees? Sit by the fire and read kind of weather.
However it's the day after Labour Day, school buses ply their routes once again and it seems as if we're gearing up to get back in business. Somehow the first of September has always seemed more to me like the beginning of the year, than close to the end. I suppose really if you follow the pagan calendar, the Vernal equinox should really be the first of the year. Whatever, I will carry the idea of the hot tropics, created by these lovely huge blooms (about six inches across when really wide open) with me throughout the day to warm my thoughts if not my body.
Hope you have something hot to keep you warm if you're in a cool climate today.