Devils Hand Tree

This weekend we are growing Chiranthodendron pentadactylon from seeds. My favorite seed supplier got some in, we're plenty stocked up and off we go. Suppose to be really easy, but given the availability this has yet to be seen, but I am confident!!

The seed trays are ready and so is the green house. Will update as we go along.

Available here

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It's Tomato time!

I've always liked simple good and identifiable food with fresh herbs. Here is one of my favorite super light summer hors D'oeuvre or snack recipes.

4 Ingredient Bruschetta

  • French bread
  • Ripe Tomatos
  • Fresh Basil, cut into thin strips (never dried)
  • Fresh sliced Mozzarella cheese
Slice or dice fresh french bread into 1" slices
Slice fresh Tomatoes 1/4" and place on bread (1, 2 or 3 slices)
Top with 1 slice of Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450f, place bruschetta on cookie sheet into the oven and reduce heat to 275f
Bake for 10 minutes
Add a good amount of fresh shredded basil on top of the hot cheese (adding basil prior baking will make the herb gray looking and shriveled up). Voila'

My boy's literally "inhale" them like a vacuum, so I have to say 4 to 6 per person

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Dorstenia - The Star Trek Plant

A new find, the very rare caudex plant Dorstenia also known as star trek plant or alien plant. This one I'd like to grow from seeds completely. It will be a challenge to find them.

Dorstenia is a large genus occuring in the tropics around the world. There are succulent and non-succulent species. Most of the succulent species come from Africa. It belongs to the fig and mulberry family, and has also an unusual flower arrangement. The flowers are grouped in a structure called hypanthodium, and many in this genus have a common name of 'shield flowers'.

When the seeds are ripe, they are expelled at distances of several several feet.

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Tropical Rosary Pea

Weeeh. That picture is enough to scare anyone. Unusual tropical seeds.

Rosary Pea, Crab's Eye, Abrus precatorius

The plant is a slender twiner with alternately placed compound leaves. Each leaf has about 20 pairs of narrow, oblong leaflets, looking like a delicate feather. The rose to purple flowers are crowded at the end of a stalk. Fruits are short, inflated pods, splitting open when mature to reveal the round, hard and shiny seeds which are scarlet but black at the base. The plant is native to the tropics. It grows by the seashore among the undergrowth and in hedges. Seeds when broken or chewed or when the external coat is removed are highly toxic. The highly attractive seeds are sought after by children for beads. They are sometimes made into necklaces and rosaries.
Seeds are extremely poisonous if cracked; a single one, if swallowed can be fatal.

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Lotus berthelotii, another Kaka Beak

Call that hot stuff ground cover or pot companion.

Lotus berthelotii is a perennial plant native to the Canary Islands. In the wild it is extinct or almost so as it was pollinated by birds that are also now extinct in the Canaries. Flowers are pea-like and come in shades of red, yellow, and orange. It has needle like foliage covered with fine silvery hairs. It is a creeping ground cover spreading to 3 feet in full sun.

Credit for this image: Haplochromis

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Brighamia Insignis

Ancestors of the Hawaiian Palm probably arrived on the Hawaiian Islands millions of years ago. Because of the isolated location of these islands in the Pacific Ocean, plants and animals were able to evolve mostly undisturbed and form unique and remarkable relationships. It is thought that the long, tube-shaped flowers of the Hawaiian Palm evolved in parallel with a moth species, believed to be the only one capable of pollinating the plant’s flowers.

The delicate natural balance of the Hawaiian Islands was dramatically disturbed over time with the arrival of people on the islands. Through clearance and the introduction of non-native plants and animals, the moth’s natural habitat disappeared. It is thought that the moth itself has also disappeared. Without these moths the plant cannot easily pollinate and reproduce. As a result, no more than seven of these plants are known to exist in the wild on the island of Kaua’i, making the Hawaiian Palm one of the world’s rarest plants. According to the IUCN Red List, Brighamia insignis is listed as Critically Endangered.

Propagation by Seeds

The fruit of Brighamia insignis is a green capsule about 1/2 inch long which ripens six to eight weeks after pollination. When mature, the capsule splits open releasing many small, smooth seeds. Capsules may still be green when the open or they may have turned pale yellow or light cream in color. Some seeds may remain stuck to the sides of the capsule. The capsules can be harvested just as they start to crack open. Place the capsules in a paper bag or envelope until the seeds fall out of the open capsule.

Most sources state that Brighamia seeds require light to germinate and to sprinkle the seeds on the surface of moist, fine textured medium that drains well such as fine perlite or commercial peat/perlite potting mix. Seeds should be kept in partial shade. Seeds will begin germinating in a couple of weeks and that most seeds will sprout at the same time.

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Indian Blanket

A stunning native of Texas that loves sun, sea and salt water.
Scientific Name:
Gaillardia pulchella
Common Name: Firewheel, Indian Blanket, Blanket Flower
Flower Color: Red rays with yellow tips
Plant Type: Herb, Annual, Biennial, Perennial
Height: To 2 feet (61 cm) tall

The up to 3 inch (7.6 cm) wide flowers have 8 to 14 three-cleft rays. The leaves are linear,
spatulate, or oblong and may be toothed or lobed. This wildflower is usually an annual and often blooms earlier than the similar perennials G. aristata and G. × grandiflora.

Great cut flower

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Another Unusual Plumeria

A friend of mine just introduced me to the "Hanging Wind Mill" Plumeria and a cutting is in the mail (to moi!!!!) . Holy cow, this is very exciting.

At this time I have no good experience or feedback on this plant, borrowed or otherwise collected. We must see and wait.....

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A Tree Lily

I often wonder what makes some people look so hard for other life forms on other planets. There is so much here. Have they seen it all already?

And when I thought there was no other possible surprise, here we go again. Looks almost like a very rare Angel Trumpet, but is not anything like it. Not even close..........

"This is a Portlandia relative native to the Dominican Republic. It has pendulous, bell-shaped, cream-colored, flower, unusual and rare in the United States. It is a delightful shrub and would be a wonderful addition to any garden."


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Indian Curry Leaf - Murraya koenigii

Another gem herb. Indian curry. As a wife and mom, I cook and I cook dishes from all over the world.

This one is just about impossible to find. Where can I find seeds or plants or cuttings? Please let me know if you have an US source.


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July Gardening

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