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Old 2021-10-03, 11:21   #1
greenskull
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Default Exotic flowers

I have an unusual hobby. I grow exotic flowers at home.

And in particular, I collect especially beautiful and rare Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) varieties.
Here is part of my collection.

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Which flower do you like best?

Here are some scans from old books about these delightful life forms.

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But among my plants there are several others no less amazing. If you want, I can tell you about them too.
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Old 2021-10-03, 14:11   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskull View Post
I have an unusual hobby. I grow exotic flowers at home

...

Which flower do you like best?
The ones I like least are those of sundry species of bamboo. I lost my Fargesia nitida when it flowered.

My Stapelia grandiflora is the most recent acquistion but I don't have an image to hand (it's on SWMBO's phone) so you have to make do with the Wikipedia image.

Out in the garden I have a couple of different species of Dracaena in flower and other succulents, including these Aloe arborescens and Agave attenuata shown here flowering in January 2020.

Incidentally, if the A. attenuata photo was taken today the flower stalks would still be there, though brown, and there would be a volcano erupting in the background.
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Old 2021-10-03, 14:28   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskull View Post
Which flower do you like best?.
Despite not liking bamboo flowers, I grow a number of grasses, rushes, reeds, and similar plants for their flowers here in the UK.

Stipa gigantea is spectacular, as are Miscanthus sinensis varieties. The Cortardera selloana outgrew its spot and had to go. Typha latifolia lives in a small swamp, well lined to prevent it escaping because it is a rampant spreader. Pennisetum alopecuroides is pretty but not too hardy and doesn't set seed here, but it is a serious invasive pest in La Palma. Too many other species to list them all now ...
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Old 2021-10-03, 15:39   #4
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I also grow salmon-colored brugmansia at home. The other name of the plant is Angel’s Trumpet.
It is an incredibly beautiful plant with huge flowers that exude a hypnotically pleasant aroma.
If heaven exists, then I am sure that this is how the angels in heaven smell :)

But brugmansia is quite poisonous. It contains high concentration of scopolamine. And it is advisable to work with it with gloves.

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Native Americans used it in their sacred ceremonies to predict the future.
In the modern world, scopolamine has been used in truth serum to induce people to reveal secrets. But I don't know all the details.

This is a drawing of the same variety as mine, made by a Japanese woman artist Mayumi Ezure:
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Old 2021-10-03, 15:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Despite not liking bamboo flowers, I grow a number of grasses, rushes, reeds, and similar plants for their flowers here in the UK...
Please choose the Gloxinia you like the most.
And I'll tell you which one is my favorite :)
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Old 2021-10-03, 16:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskull View Post
I also grow salmon-colored brugmansia at home. The other name of the plant is Angel’s Trumpet.
It is an incredibly beautiful plant with huge flowers that exude a hypnotically pleasant aroma.
If heaven exists, then I am sure that this is how the angels in heaven smell :)

But brugmansia is quite poisonous. It contains high concentration of scopolamine. And it is advisable to work with it with gloves.
<snip>
Native Americans used it in their sacred ceremonies to predict the future.
In the modern world, scopolamine has been used in truth serum to induce people to reveal secrets. But I don't know all the details.
<snip>
Many years ago, I was house sitting for someone with a DIY greenhouse made by modifying a garage which had been made a garage by modifying a stable. The greenhouse had, shall we say, good ventilation. One of the plants in it was a brugmansia, AKA a "Datura tree."

Unfortunately, while I was house sitting, there was a severe cold snap. The temperature hit 15 below zero Fahrenheit (around -26 C) and, despite my best efforts to protect the plants, the brugmansia died. (All the other plants survived, though.) I offered to replace it but my offer was refused.

[Apparently plants in the genus Brugmansia used to be classified in the genus Datura, but were reclassified. The principal difference seems to be that Datura blossoms are erect, but Brugmansia blossoms are "pendulous" (hang down).]

Plants in both genera are often called "angel's trumpet," though jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is also called "devil's trumpet."

I grow flowers, but mainly stick to native species or standard ornamentals. This year I did grow some "moonflower vines" (Ipomoea alba). They have large white trumpt-shaped flowers that open in the evening, are strongly fragrant, and only last a single night. They easily filled the lattice I had provided for them to climb on, and weren't about to stop there. So I added long pieces of twine to give them something else to climb on. They overran those, too. The ends of the vines are hanging down. But they've pretty much stopped growing and, being tropical, the plants will die when it gets cold. But there are plenty of ripening seed pods.

I was a bit confused at first because I knew of another "moonflower" which is a somewhat bushy annual or tender perennial (Datura innoxia) which is commonly grown as an ornamental in some regions, and has toxicity similar to most plants in Brugmansia or Datura. There is yet another species, "sacred datura" (Datura wrightii) which is also called "moonflower" and has been used in the ceremonies of aboriginal Americans.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2021-10-03 at 16:32 Reason: xignif topsy
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Old 2021-10-03, 17:28   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Many years ago...
Is it your real story?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
But there are plenty of ripening seed pods.
Don't think about eating them!
You can catch a bad trip :)

Last fiddled with by greenskull on 2021-10-03 at 17:38
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Old 2021-10-03, 17:58   #8
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Unlike brugmansia and ipomoea, gloxinia is not at all poisonous.

The main parts of these plants are potato-like tubers that are hidden underground.

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From October to February, tubers sleep in a chill (14..16 ℃).
And at the end of January or February, the tubers release new bushes and bloom from April to August.
I really love these ugly tubers that are capable of producing such incredible beauty.
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Old 2021-10-03, 18:22   #9
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Of course you all know who Xōchipilli is.
This is the deity worshiped by the ancient Aztecs.
His name translates as the prince of flowers.

In the mid-19th century, a 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli was unearthed on the side of the volcano Popocatépetl near Tlalmanalco. The statue is of a single figure seated upon a temple-like base.

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Both the statue and the base upon which it sits are covered in carvings of sacred and psychoactive organisms including
- mushrooms (Psilocybe aztecorum)
- tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
- Ololiúqui (Turbina corymbosa), it is a close relative of Ipomoea alba
- sinicuichi (Heimia salicifolia)
- possibly cacahuaxochitl (Quararibea funebris), it is kind of cacao
- and one unidentified flower, presumably brugmansia

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Old 2021-10-04, 02:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskull View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Many years ago...
Is it your real story?
True story.
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But there are plenty of ripening seed pods.
Quote:
Don't think about eating them!
You can catch a bad trip :)
I've heard since decades ago that morning glory seeds (and Ipomea alba is in the morning glory family) can be hallucinogenic and are slightly toxic. I hadn't planned to eat them, though. These will be for planting!

Plants in the genera Datura and Brugmansia, though are quite toxic. Anyone eating their seeds might catch a bad trip indeed - to the hospital or to the morgue.

It seems the rest of the plant Ipomea alba is not seriously toxic. Someone else who was growing them had trouble with rabbits and deer eating them. And while rabbits and deer are not known for their darting intelligence, they're smart enough to figure out in pretty short order that a toxic plant isn't good to eat, and to leave it alone - with one exception which I have observed: Rabbits will snip off leaves and stems from plants they can't or don't want to eat - nice clean 45 degree cuts - and then just leave the severed parts lying on the ground.
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Old 2021-10-04, 09:38   #11
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Plants are silent life forms. They don't wag their tails, bark or meow. And if you do something wrong and they don't like it, then they also silently die.

Working with them is interesting primarily because it teaches you to subtly feel an almost imperceptible reaction. And on the basis of this, to adjust the conditions.
As a reward for making the right decisions, you receive bouquets of flowers and sometimes seeds.

For example, some time ago I studied the process of winter drying of the soil clod of my cacti. It was very exciting. Now I understand some of the features better and this allows me to get good results.
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