Happy Stuffed Champignons!

I meant to say Happy New Years!!

My question for your opinion today is.. Is a mushroom just a fungus or is it a vegetable? (It's a heated debate with my husband)

On the new years celebration finger food menu for today are:
( I had to mention it while I am waiting for stuff to cook......)

  • Port Wine cheese with Ritz crackers
  • French bread round rolls (the frozen kind), freshly baked to a crisp, stuffed with delicious spinach dip
  • Peppered pork tenderloin, thinly sliced (served cold)
  • and the most awesome meltinyourmouth stuffed mushrooms (family recipe)

And here is the mouth watering recipe...

12 - 15 large chamignion mushrooms
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small onion chopped
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash ground cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.



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Trumpets, Trumpets, Trumpets

This is my new garden project for 2009 - To have Angel Trumpets of all sorts of colors, all over the garden. Specifically trained or pruned small trees. Even though I already have pink, white, salmon, yellow and a variegated, I am still looking for shades of yellow and white, maybe double or shredded. My most desired cultivar is the double orange "Herrenhauser Garten" brugs pictured below of which I hope to get my hands on. A shrub with 12 inch double ruffled trumpets dangling show stopper. Rated extremely rare and challenging to grow. Whats time and patience for, right?

Price for the pinks, whites, yellow Brugmansia plants are aprox $10 per plant or cutting, but depending on the breed can be as much as $35. I found this to be the least expensive source.

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Frogs on a Pad

It's getting cold outside and I have been working on indoor goodies.

Since it's garden related I've decided to post my Frogs on a Pad knitting needles on this blog. Each pair created is totally custom made and one of a kind. Hardwood Birch sanded, waxed, sanded and waxed again. Sanding and refinishing nude furniture was my first self supporting job in the US, so these lessons stuck with me.

In the works are currently Ladybug, Turtle and of course Flower themes :)
Hey Son of Mineimasoanxioustoseeforchristmas, you get to help me!!
Hehe just maybe..

If you are inter
ested in a pair, let me know...but there aren't very many....

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Red Spider Lily

While looking for something more heat tolerant I found this nice Spider Lily. The past year most of our plants took a big hit during the drout and heat.
Lycoris radiata:
They are a natural for the Southern garden and should do just fine in the texas heat.


This is an incredible, small bulb, that can grow to just over 1" in diameter when mature, that surprises you at the end of August and early September every year with 4" diameter, dark-red "spidery" blooms on a 15" stem. The bulbs offset every 2-3 years and eventually form an attractive clump that will add interest to your flowerbeds. I grow them as a border, because they send up their foliage after they bloom and it stays green all winter, looking almost like border grass and dies back about April.


This bulb originates in the orient, and there are numerous species and hybrids available in white, yellow, orange, salmon and other shades. This variety is the most hardy. Another name for this is "spider lily", "naked lily" or "hurricane lily", because it blooms in the late summer before any foliage emerges.


These bulbs should be hardy to zone 7 and will grow in a wide variety of soils. It will do fine in sun or partial shade. Plants do best if planted in the ground, but they will make excellent container plants. They are evergreen in frost-free climates. Here in the colder part of zone 9 (temps. into the low 20's, they keep their foliage all winter). It seems to be very vigorous and and tolerant of more dry conditions too, unlike many other plants. Bulbs should not be planted very deep, just below the surface. If planted too deep, they will form another bulb on the top, one over the other. They show best, as do most bulbs, when planted in clumps of 3 or more.

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Thai Greater Galangal

Greater galangal: a tropical herbaceous plant of the ginger family reaching to about 2m (6 1/2ft). The blade-like leaves are long and wide, 50 x 9cm (18 x 31/2in); the flowers are greenish white with a dark-red veined tip. The fruits are red berries. The rhizomes are beige, orange to brown and ringed at intervals by the yellowish remnants of atrophied leaf bases.

What a nice spice. It resembles ginger in appearance. However, it tastes little like ginger; in its raw form, it has a soapy, earthy aroma and a pine-like flavor with a faint hint of citrus. Fantastic in seafood or fish dishes.

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We have a Papaya Fruit !

It's been a long time coming. My son Alex helped me nurse the seedlings 2 years ago from seeds and look what we discovered this fall. One large Papaya and several babies. All of the 4-6 ft trees are still blooming like crazy and it's almost December! This makes me very happy because all my tomato plants fried this summer and harvest was pitiful. We had to buy tomatoes for Salsa this year.

There will be papaya sauce!

Scallops with Spicy Papaya Sauce

  • 1 small papaya - peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound sea scallops

In a medium bowl, combine papaya, red pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, cilantro. Set aside.
Combine flour, black pepper in a sealable bag. Add scallops, and shake to coat.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallops; cook and stir until golden. Serve scallops over papaya sauce.

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The Monarch

A picture from my favorite garden photographer. This pictures was taken at the Houston Zoo in Fall 2008.
We have tons of butterfly attracting plants in our garden too. Monarchs live there in abundance.

Monarch on a purple Butterfly bush.

Monarch Caterpillar

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Giant Spider Lily Queen Emma

'Queen Emma' (Crinum augustum). Queen Emma was the wife of Kamehameha IV.

Our last visit to the Houston Zoo showed a great deal of magnificent plants. Ronnie took some great pictures. One of them was a 6 foot tall spider lily.

So I went web surfing for several weeks with a just a picture on hand, not knowing what it was, I found one on ebay Wohoo. I am not quite convinced this is for real because rare plants are rare plants and they usually cost more than $10 unless they are a pest "there".

Cross fingers we got lucky :)

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Lion’s Ear

Lion's Ear Leonotis leonurus

We're told this plant was used in religious ceremonies by Zulu priests and that if you smoke the dried leaves it causes euphoria. We don’t know any Zulu priests so we couldn’t verify this information.

Lion’s ear can reach 6′ in height and 3′ across. It needs little water, so find a relatively dry location for it.

Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant. They had already migrated through here before this plant bloomed so we’ll know better next year. I’ve also read it attracts many wild birds.

It will happily bloom in sun or shade, just less often in the shade. You will want to prune it back late winter to early spring to keep it looking nice, otherwise it will require little care. It will lose its leaves after a frost but should recuperate nicely.

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Exotic acquaintance - a stunning Reptile

Look what we found on our weekly trip to our favorite Garden Center.

Definitely not somebody local. Ronnie managed to get a real good shot with his new camera.

What is it?

We're guessing it's a Red Neck Lizard, no pun intended. We are in Texas after all..... This one looks different. We are not reptile experts. Surely a stunning specimen.
Please drop us a line if you know what it is.

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Magic Tower

Kalanchoe serrata
Several species of Kalanchoe may be found growing as houseplants in Canada & the USA. The young plantlets which grow along the leaf edges are easily dislodged to become new plants and can be found in profusion around the base of the adult plant. Very fast growing, drought tolerant small shrub. Tolerates almost any conditions. Spectacular bloomer!

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The Scared Gardener - Saturday Night Live

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Vote Plumeria !!!!

USA Elections 2008!

Vote Plumeria!!

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Plumeria Puu Kahea

This weekend I managed to get my hands on a Plumeria Puu Kahea. This specimen is very hard to come by and runs in the online stores for $35 plus for an un-rooted cutting. The danger of it not rooting was to great for me therefore spending that much was not an option.
At the traders village was a nice gentleman that spends his retirement raising and rooting Plumeria. He had a nice assortment of rare named Plumeria and he offered a fully rooted 16 inch Puu Kahea plant for just $10!
Was it really the right stuff? Yes it was. He was armored with a catalogue and a bowl of fresh flowers of each variety. Each plant was nicely labeled with cutting date and name. And of all, he wore this huge 2 inch golden Plumeria around his neck.

And I found a huge fresh dragon fruit (Pitaya) as well.

That's my success story for today :)

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Queen of Flowering Trees - Amherstia

Another Stunner!This one however I just want to point out. I don't think I'll ever have enough room to grow this one too but will post any place that has them available.

Amherstia (Amherstia nobilis) also known as orchid tree or queen of flowering trees is a rare fauna in Indian forests. It is also found in countries like Burma, where it is known as pride of Burma. The flowers are red, bright and attractive

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National Flower of Trinidad

Look what the web dragged in. I stumbled across this beauty in a flower arrangement. But where can I find a plant?? Or a cutting??

Chaconia, (Warszewiczia coccinea), also popularly known as the Wild Poinsettia, or Pride of Trinidad and Tobago, is the national flower of Trinidad and Tobago.
Having been referred to as the wild poinsettia, Chaconia flowers are in no way, related to the true poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima). Chaconia tree and flowers are used for ornamental purposes.

Chaconia tree is remarkable for its inflorescence with bright red bracts and inconspicuous yellow flowers and petals. Flowers are yellow-orange colored which have scarlet, 3-inch-long, enlarged lower lobes. The inflorescences show leaf-shaped, bright-colored calycophylls, expanded foliaceous structures made from floral petaloids with enlarged showy calyx-lobes. The flower has the tubular yellow corollas and the inferior ovaries.The characteristic feature of these flowers are one-inch bright red bracts of the calyxes, grouped together in panicles, which are often found to grow more than a foot in length.

Facts About Chaconia flower

* Chaconia tree is an evergreen ornamental tree.
* Chaconia tree grows to 20-feet in height with opposite, undivided, obovate leaves ranging from eight inches to two feet in length.
* The most widely cultivated form is Double Chaconia which has a double row of bracts.
* Chaconia has loosely organized pseudanthium or cluster of flowers that mimics a single flower as the attraction unit for pollinators,i.e, the main task of calycophylls is to attract pollinators.
* Chaconia represents the imperishability of life and the continuity of the nation - Trinidad and Tobago.
* Chaconia known by its long sprays of magnificent vermilion usually blooms around the time of the Trinidad's anniversary of Independence.

Growing Chaconia

Propagation of Chaconia by seeds is a very rare phenomenon, but not completely absent. Chaconias are mostly propagated by cuttings taken directly from the plant.

* Chaconia needs a constantly moist soil, full sun, high temperatures and humidity.
* The soil should be mostly sandy, mixtured with an organic portion.
* The planting soil must be well drained.
* The seeds won't survive long after collecting, so sow them on sandy soil as soon as possible.
* Sow the seeds with the minimum of space between the seeds.
* Water the seedlings regularly. Do not allow the soil to dry during the period of germination.

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Ahhh! It's a Rangoon Creeper

On the weekly trip to our local garden center, we've came across this show stopper. Huge clusters of flowers hanging on 3-5 inches long threads in abundance down a fence. After long research with just a picture on hand, I've found the beauty's name. Rangoon Creeper or Quisqualis indica.
These intoxicating scented flowers open in the morning a pure white. As the day goes on, they turn first pink and then darker and darker until they are a brilliant crimson. Butterflies and Hummingbirds love it.

And yes, I got one to try!
As this is a zone 10 hardy plant, I can only try my luck!

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In my never ending research on Photoshop tutorials, I've come across this fantastic site. Artist mess with various graphics, manipulate photos, creating new and unusual creatures. In this case it was plants with animals.
It fit the blog theme so I figured I'll post them for your viewing pleasure. The images are not mine and belong to their owner on

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The Majestic Travellers Palm

It's been a quiet month for blogging as it has been wayyyy to hot to even think about gardening. Here is something I am currently looking for. The Ravenala madagascariensis

Common name: Traveler's palm, traveler's tree, arbol del viajero, waaierpalm, Arbre des voyageurs, Baum der Reisenden, Travellers Palm

Family: Streliziaceae (Bird of paradise family).

Overview: Although Traveler’s palm is called a palm; it is not a true palm. It grows up, to 50' tall, while the big banana-like leaves can grow up to 15' long. The leaves are arranged in a fan-shaped manner; it has a rather short, palm like, trunk. The small white flowers are held in bracts. In these bracts and leaf folds, rainwater is collected. The fruits are brown while the seeds are blue.
Hardiness: USDA zone 9B - 11.

Propagation: Seeds, replanting of the clumps. Due to recalcitrant nature of the seeds, they have a short viable life, can not be dried well and can not withstand low temperatures.
Culture: Full sun / partial shade; grows well on moist and rich sandy loam and clay soils. The traveler's palm can be used as an accent plant. Protect from frost or plant in frost free locations. It can also be grown indoors or in the greenhouse.

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Strongylon Macrobotrys Jade Vine

I want one! - But wont have one, will not survive zone 9. Neither do I like the pollinaters - Bat's.

The jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) is a native of the tropical forests of the Philippines. Its flowers are the color of jade, and hang in bunches up to 90 cm long; each clawlike flower is about 7½ cm long. In its native Philippines, the jade vine's flowers are pollinated by bats.
S. macrobotrys is prized in tropical and subtropical gardens for its showy flowers which are a highly unusual blue-green. It is usually grown over a pergola so that the flowers may hang down below where they can be seen easily. In South Africa the jade vine is mainly restricted to the warm humid strip of coastal Natal but grows in a few frost-free spots inland.
The superficially similar red jade vine is in fact a species in a different genus, namely Mucuna bennetti.

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Miracle Fruit Synsepalum dulcificum

Guess what I got!!

The Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented by explorer Des Marchais during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. The plant grows in bushes up to 20 feet high in its native habitat and it produces two crops per year. It is an evergreen plant with white flowers that produces small red berries. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans.Although the berry itself is not sweet, it contains an active glycoprotein molecule with some trailing carbohydrate chains called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds causing bitter and sour foods to taste sweet. This effect lasts between 30 minutes and two hours, and eating more than one fruit does not increase the intensity of the modification.

It is unfortunate that heat destroys the active principle, so that canning, jams, preserves, baking, drying, etc. are impossible. However, the fruits can be held for an indefinite period of time by refrigeration or freeze drying.

Miracle Fruit's natural sweetening power is perfect for:
* A fun twist on everyday food
* A diabetic watching sugar intake
* Picky eaters eager to add some sweetness to healthy foods
* "The Night Crowd" looking to sweeten that tequila or vodka drink
* Chemotheraphy patients having trouble eating (eliminates the bitterness)
* Healthy eaters intent on cutting out the 'crash' of a sugar high without losing the taste
* Anyone who likes making food taste sweeter/better!!!

What a cool idea! (check out the video)

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Jicama - Mexican Potato

This week I am testing this newly discovered Vegetable. Never heard of it until I saw it "on sale" in a local grocery flyer and decided to look it up. I wont have the room to grow it, but will definitely taste it. Here is what I've found out about it.
Will post more about it, after a dinner that includes Jicama :)

Jicama looks similar to a turnip or a large radish, and it can be used as an alternative to the water chestnut. Its skin is thin and can be gray, tan, or brown in color. Additionally, it has a short root and contains white flesh. The skin is typically peeled before eating it raw. Raw jicama tastes similar to a pear or apple. It also does not discolor when exposed to the open air for awhile. Because of this, raw jicama is often used as an accompaniment to raw vegetable platters. When jicama is used in cooking it tends to take on the flavors of the ingredients that it is being combined with. Therefore, jicama is a nice complement to various stir-fry dishes because it blends well with many vegetables and seasonings.

Jicama is a very versatile vegetable that contains a high amount of vitamin C, is low in sodium, and has no fat. One adult serving of jicama, which is equal to approximately 1 cup of cubed jicama or 120 grams, also contains only 45 calories.

Serving Size (60g)
Amounts Per Serving % Daily Value *
Calories 25
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 20%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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More Adenium

This is a picture I took this morning! It actually turned out alright! Wohoo! My Husband usually takes the "amazing" shots :)
Like that single bloom image.

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Dioscorea bulbifera - The Awesome invasive Pest

Synonym(s): air potato, bitter yam, air-potato, air yam

Air potato is an herbaceous, twining vine that can grow to lengths exceeding 60 feet. It invades open areas in the sub-tropical southeastern United States. The leaves are alternate, long (8-12 inches), wide and heart-shaped with prominent veins that resemble greenbrier leaves. The rounded stems are thin and wiry. The chief means of reproduction are aerial potato-like tubers (bulbils)
located at the leaf axils. The vine rarely flowers. Air potato can form dense masses of vines that cover and kill native vegetation including trees within a variety of habitats such as forest edges, hammocks, and many disturbed areas. It was introduced from Africa for food and medicinal purposes in the early 1900s. Air potato is a common and widespread food crop throughout most tropical regions of the world.

Note: This plants is highly invasive, but with the responsible proper care and maintenance a showy garden specimen as you can see from my backyard pictures.

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Ixia Viridiflora

Family: Iridaceae (Iris Family)

Common Names: Green Ixia, Groenkalossie, Green Flowered Corn Lily

I stumbled across this beauty on the web. African flower, rare and endangered. - searching for a seed supplier :)

Ixias have been cultivated in Europe since the mid 1700's. Getting material of the true species is difficult and growing them is more challenging. Ixia viridiflora although quick to flower from seed, is not the easiest of the ixias to grow, as it is quick to rot in poorly drained soil. The basic requirements for growing this ixia are: sandy soil with good drainage, a sunny location, and a completely dry, dormant period in summer.
Ixia viridiflora makes an excellent pot plant but is not well suited to a permanent position in the garden, even in winter rainfall areas. They are susceptible to fungal diseases, are eaten by mole rats and porcupines, and need a completely dry summer. To deal with this problem, one can plunge pots of Ixia viridiflora into the garden during the growing and/or flowering period and remove them during the summer dormant period.
Corms should be planted in autumn (April-May) while still dormant. You will need a pot at least 30 cm in diameter. Place a layer of stone chips over the drainage holes and fill three quarters of the pot with a freely-draining soil mix, e.g. equal parts coarse river sand and fine compost (leaf mould). Plant the corms in a 1 cm layer of pure river sand and cover with a 1 cm layer of the soil mix. Water thoroughly immediately after planting and place in a spot that gets at least half-day sun. Once growth becomes visible, a good drenching every ten days is recommended. Because Ixia viridiflora is tall, it may need to be staked if your garden is windy. Inorganic fertilizers should be avoided, particularly high nitrogen fertilizers, but organic fertilizers can be used sparingly. When the leaves begin to dry, stop watering altogether. The corms can be left in the pot, provided it is stored in a cool, dry spot. It is advisable to lift them every second year. This gives you the opportunity to clean them, inspect them for disease and discard the badly damaged ones.

Seed should be sown in autumn (April-May) in a sunny spot, in well-drained medium at a depth of 3-5 mm. Sow thinly and allow good ventilation, otherwise damping off may occur. It is best to use a seed tray that is at least 10 cm deep, or raised seedbeds. Keep the soil moist and germination should occur in three to four weeks. Ixia viridiflora is a rapid grower, and can produce its first flowers only seven months after germinating although most seedlings will flower in their second season. It is best to leave the seedlings undisturbed until after their second season.

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June Toon

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Salpiglossis Sinuata

Also - Stained Glass, Painted tongue. This plant is extremely hard to find and as well as beautiful. I am on the hunt for seeds.

This Chilean Native plant has its natural habitat at the foot slopes of the Andes Mountains and is sometimes found at the coastal cordillera, in full sun exposures and well drained soil.
In our zone 9b it is an herbaceous perennial, reaching 50 to 80 cm height (20 to 31") and a diameter of 30 cm (1'). They bloom during spring, producing white, red, blue, yellow (and all colors in between) 5 cm large flowers, with very contrasting veins of a different color.
Salpiglossis is very easy to cultivate, is a fast grower and blooms the first year from seeds. A good choice for new gardeners.
Propagation: sow directly in nutrient rich soil (compost/regular garden soil rate 2:1) in early spring and pick once the plantils have two real leaves. Deadhead if you want a long blooming time.

Salpiglossis requires staking or the support of other plants.

Edited: Sept 3rd, 2008
Here is a Place I found them to be sold

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Showy Melastome Medinilla Magnifica and Medinilla cummingii

What a beauty! One of my overseas gardenfriends emailed me those pic's. This plants for me shows definatetely a "need to have" symptom.

Medinillas are very beautiful plants but unfortunately a nasty pest in the tropics. Tropical evergreen epiphytic shrub grown for its lush foliage and huge panicles of pink flowers.

Use a GOOD rich potting soil (a soil that retains water yet drains well), such as an African violet mix. Use a pot with a hole.

Watering: Keep the soil barely moist and if you use rainwater, be careful as it could be acidic. Use warm water.

Fertilizer: Feed every two weeks during the spring and summer with a water soluble fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Stem cuttings with bottom heat in the spring through summer. It is best to propagate any type of cuttings in a mixture of moist peat and perlite. Cover the pot and plant with a plastic bag secured by a rubber band to prevent the moisture from escaping. Place in indirect sunlight or under a fluorescent light. Repot in its regular mix after it has been growing for a while.

Mist frequently with warm water (lime free to avoid leaf staining) and avoid drafts. Place pebbles or gravel in the drainage dish to hold water and increase the humidity, make sure the pot is sitting on the gravel and not in the water. Should be pruned after flowering and repotted every spring. Needs sufficient light to bloom.

US Source for Medinilla seeds

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Terrestrial Bromeliads

I've finally bought seeds of the Puya Alpestris. No, they havn't arrived yet!
(pictures are borrowed from various botanical garden sites)
This Giant Bromeliad has a caudexes like stem bearing a dense rosette of narrow , spiny Variegated leaves Shiny Light Gray Green and recurving 2 to 3 inches wide . Silvery Gray beneath. Pyramidal flower spikes over 3 ft long of funnel shaped Metallic Blue flowers and Orange anthers
. Hardy in zones 9 -10.
An indoor plant in all but the most mild wintered areas . Planted out doors it should be in full sun and protect from excessive w
inter moisture. Grow indoors as a fantastic Bromeliad specimen. A good cactus mix for soil works well , place in an area that has full sunlight.

Here are some other varieties:

Puya Mirabilis
Puya Alpestries

Puya Berteroniana
Puya Venusta
Puya Santosii

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Madagascar Colville’s Glory

We have another Seedling!

One out of 10 seeds sprouted (so far). I've learned that the "boiling heat" of 100+ degrees helped this one to come up. We hope for more of course.

Colville’s Glory (Colvillea racemosa) is a species of legume in the Fabaceae family. It’s a rare flowering tropical tree - difficult to find and cultivate.
It’s conservation status is ‘Near Threatened’.

Colville’s Glory is a beautiful, large tree from Madagascar with large pinnate leaves and very conspicuous cylindrical or cone shaped clusters of bright orange flowers that are bright red in bud. It is a sight to behold when it shows off its fiery blooms. Its grape-like clusters of velvety buds range from chameleon green to blood orange.

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Love in a Puff

Cardiospermum Halicacabum, Heart Seed, Balloon Vine, Love in a Puff'.

I've got a nice gift from one of my trading buddies. A small plant still but thats what it's going to look like.

The balloon vine is a small climber, woody at base, with finely hairy stems. It grows with the help of opposite tendrils born under the flowers. The minute petals are white. The fruits are papery inflated capsules, light green ripening light brown, triangular.

The seeds are rounded, small, black to dark blue, with a heart-shaped white helm (hence the name, cardiospermum means heart-seed). Leaves are usually triangular, alternate, with three leaflets. The stem is thin, rounded, up to 15 feet long. The leaves are used against rheumatism (external use), as well as for treating eczema and hives.

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Silk Floss Tree

Chorisia speciosa:
Here is an interesting Tree. Our local garden center sells these. I have not yet had the courage to get one, but the more I look it the more I am changing my mind. We'll wait till fall comes and their 70% off sale. These trees get quite large.
Great for Bonsai if seed raised

Gorgeous ornamental tree producing profuse amounts of large pink, purple, or red flowers followed by inedible fruits. The fruits split open when mature, releasing masses of white silky material.

Fast growing tree to 30-60ft tall. The floss silk tree is fairly hardy and will survive freezes. It grows very well in both tropical and subtropical climates, and is a popular street tree, due to its beautiful blooms. The trunk is also unique, containing numerous prominent spines. Leaves drop during flowering time. Grow in well drained soil. Trees do not need a lot of water, particularly during flowering.

Propagation: Propagation is usually by seed, or grafting.

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