Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All Green Tuesday


One of my earliest memories is being lifted up high so that I could pull lemons off a tree. Even at about 18 months old, I loved lemons--I'd take a bite, shudder and grimace, and take another bite! My parents even recorded it in a home movie--a long, long time ago! Although I grew up around citrus orchards and loved all varieties of citrus, I did not plant my own citrus trees until the 1980s. We had one grapefruit tree and the two of us ended up eating all 92 grapefruits one year--not letting a single one go to waste. Then, for twenty years, I didn't have any citrus trees in my garden, until I purchased a Dwarf Meyer Lemon last year. It is in a huge pot, and will stay there. Currently, it has 20 lemons on its spindly branches, which I've had to tie up because the lemons are actually too heavy for the trunk and branches. The lemons are slowly turning yellow and ripening and will probably be ready by December. I found a split lemon last week and rather than throw it out, I cut it open and tasted it. It had a slightly sweet taste, far less tangy than I expected, even though it was far from ripe.

Earlier this year I purchased a couple of these unidentified plants for $1.00 at a Dollar store while looking for some plastic containers. I know a lot about desert plants and can identify most of them, but I'm usually at a loss with other types of plants. Recently I learned that this plant (the second one dried up within days of purchase) is an African Violet. I've learned the hard way not to get water on the leaves, as they invariably die. It's hard to water without getting the leaves wet because the leaves are so low they touch the soil. It has yet to bloom. After I learned what kind of plant it is, I read about its care, and surprisingly, I had done all the right things--location, watering, etc. Except for using extra care in keeping the leaves dry!

Does anyone know the name of this succulent? This was another unlabeled plant I picked up last year. It's done very well in the house, so I will continue to keep it indoors, but would like to know its genera and species so that I can learn more about it. I can't find it in my succulent dictionary.

Update:
(My blog friend, Georg, a succulent expert from South Africa, has identified this plant as Haworthia cymbiformis var. umbraticola. Others suggested H. cooperi, and Georg says this is not too far from wrong, as the two species do mix where distributions overlap.)

Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine'

This plant came to me as a free offshoot from our Cactus and Succulent Society monthly meeting, where folks bring in unwanted plants, offshoots and cuttings. It has done very well and has put out a number of offshoots of its own now, almost filling the large pot I have it in. This hybrid has become my favorite Sansevieria because of its wonderful coloration.

19 comments:

James Missier said...

hi, Just drop by from Blotanical.
You have a lovely collection of plants. Im just guessing that succulent is very much from a haworthia species. It may also be a varigated aloe.

You really have a beautiful mother in law tongue hybrid. Never seen one in that lovely colour.

Julie said...

Hi. Glad you found out your top plant is african violet. I used to have a collection of them...I used Schultz african violet liquid fertilizer, and watered about 3 times a week...mine were indoors on my kitchen window! They seemed to stay in bloom!!! I adore them!!!

The second plant I am thinking must be some variety of haworthia. Nothing completely matches in my succulent books...maybe Claude will know???

Lancashire rose said...

I for one wish they would label plants. I was looking at roses yesterday. They had this huge selection at Walmart but not one had a name! I love that unnamed succulent. Such a perfect shape.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

What a very verdant post this time! Can't help you with identifying the succulents as that is not my forte.

Your lemons made me smile as I have some growing here as well. In a pot of course but still outside if not for long.

Peter said...

The unnamed plant is a Haworthia, but there are so many species and subspecies, that it can be very difficult to definitively identify it.

Phoenix C. said...

I'll have a look in the Botanic Garden, as they may have a specimen of that particular Haworthia. Will let you know!

Claude said...

I have to agree with the above comments, that is definitely a hawthoria of some sort, but there are species, and sub-species and varieties and there's just no way of knowing the exact one... They're fun plants though.

I always watered my African violets from the bottom to keep from getting water on the leaves.

Aiyana said...

Thanks for the tips on the unidentied succulent. It's a Haworthia for sure, and as Peter mentioned, there are so many species I guess I'll settle for the genus!
Aiyana

Nicole said...

I love meyer lemons-they make a really great tasting fresh salad dressing/vinaigrette. I also made lemon poppy seed cakes with mine this year-putting the juice and zest in the cake and making a glaze with the juice and sugar for the top.
The Haworthia is cool looking.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

How neat to find your blog. I so look forward to meeting you on Friday. Thanks so much for joining us. Hugs, Marty

Abbey said...

perhaps haworthia cooperi?

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Aiyana!
Love the plants. You have a green thumb. I'll have to share my lemon tree story with you one day. We grew one from a seed, with the heart of a child involved. It is planted in our backyard today.

I look forward to meeting you on Friday at the AZ blogger luncheon.

Country hugs, Sherry

Flowers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aiyana said...

Abbey,
I tend to agree that it is probably H. cooperi.

jenn said...

I second the note from Claude. African violets do well when you keep them in a deep saucer and water them from there.

They also make a two part violet pot that has a water reservoir and an insert pot. This makes watering easy... but you need to let them dry out once in a while to induce them to bloom.

With either watering method, these plants tend to like being repotted in fresh soil every year or so. I use a bagged mix for violets and it does very well for them.

Good luck with this plant. When it blooms, it will be a lovely surprise - they have all kinds of colors - it will be fun to see what you have!

Dee said...

Loved your citrus tales- the home movie must be so precious! My lemon tree didn't put out a big crop this year- but I'll take what I can get!

Hort Log said...

I water many Gesneriads and Begonias from below - just place a shallow tray and ensure it always has water. I sometimes also place a thin layer perlite or grid on top of potting media will prevent droopy leaves touching the wet soil.

Erick said...

ABOUT THE AFRICAN VIOLETS U SHOULD WATER THEM FROM TH BOTTEM of the pot.what i mean is get a trauy and put water in it and let the african violets suck up the water. AND IF U WANT TO MAKE THEM FLOWER ONLY WATER WHEN THE SOIL DRIES AND THAT WILL MAKE THEM FLOWER THE GROW WILD IN THE RAIN FOREST NEAR KENNYEA UNDER THE SHADE OF THE TREE that is y they like bright but defused light
cool fact: did u know that african violets are going extingt and that a healthy aficn violet should bloom 4 9 months also they are prone to bloom when they are bot bound. and that u should only trans plant them only once to twice a year

Krazycricket21 said...

Hey, do you have any off shoots of this beauty? "Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine'"
I just love your blog and would love to give one of these beauties a good home.