Friday

Rare Calico Monkey Flower Mimulus pictus

A truly rare gem. Calico Monkey Flower Mimulus pictus

This wildflower is endemic to California, found only above the southeastern San Joaquin Valley within Kern County and Tulare County.

It is known only from the western Tehachapi Mountains and southernmost Sierra Nevada foothills, at elevations of 443–4,101 ft.  It grows in open California oak woodland habitat, in bare rocky soils around granite outcrops.

Nothing like any Mimulus you have ever seen. A very rare and unusual plant with creamy-white rounded petals delicately patterned with fine dark-red to purplish brown spider web-like lines. Foliage is velvet fuzzy textured. Loves a well drained but moist soil in light shade. Zone 8+. Low growing about 6" to 12" in well drained, moist soil, sun or part shade.


It is a listed Endangered species on the California Native Plant Society Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants.

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Dioscorea elephantipes Elephant Foot Caudiciform

A fascinating plant. 

Dioscorea elephantipes (syn. Testudinaria elephantipes), also commonly known as turtle back, elephant's foot, Hottentots' bread is one of the most beautiful, weird and wonderful, caudiciform plants around!

It has a deeply fissured surface, resembling an elephant's foot, hence its common name. It makes a most interesting container plant. The stems grow in a climbing fashion. The leaves are heart-shaped. Flowers are pale greenish yellow and normally appear in winter.

It is believed the Khoisan used to bake the starchy, bread-like trunk which was used as a food source. Other members in the genus Dioscorea are used to extract steriodal saponins which are used to produce cortisone and and contraceptives.

Easily grown in any well drained inorganic soil. 


Seed Source: Dioscorea elephantipes

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Rare Heirloom Giant White Choclo Corn from the Inca empire - Cuzco

NEW! Rare Heirloom Peruvian Giant White Corn Choclo Cuzco Maize Zea Mays var. Cuscoensis - 40 SeedsChoclo, is a variety of corn, also referred to as Peruvian corn or Cuzco corn (named for the capital city of the Inca empire - Cuzco), is a large kernel corn from the Andes. It is consumed in parts of Central America and South America, especially in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. Kernels are 1/2" inch and cobs grow to 8" inches.

Choclo is used in the making of humitas in Bolivia, choclo arepas (Corn Griddle Cakes) in Colombia and for pastel de choclo (Corn Pie). 


NEW! Rare Heirloom Peruvian Giant White Corn Choclo Cuzco Maize Zea Mays var. Cuscoensis - 40 SeedsIn Peru, choclo is commonly served as an accompaniment to dishes such as ceviche, and its toasted, salted form, similar to corn nuts, are customarily given free to restaurant patrons upon being seated. Full ears of choclo are also a popular street food in Peru and other Andean countries, typically served with a slice of cheese as choclo con queso. Finger foods like choclo con queso mirror the popularity of corn on the cob as a convenient street snack in Latin America.

I wonder if it makes giant popcorn as well :)

Seed Source: Choclo Perivuan Giant White Corn
 

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Grow Your Own Pistachio Nuts!

Pistachios are a great source of vitamins and minerals and are naturally cholesterol free. A serving of pistachios contains 170 calories and is a good source of many key nutrients containing over 10% of the Daily Value of fiber, protein, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
In addition, scientific evidence is mounting to show that consuming nuts can play a role in managing your weight.

They aren't hard to grow and the seedlings potted up in a cute container will make a nice exotic Holiday Gifts for colleagues at the office.

Pistacio makes broad feathered, glossy, dark leaves and terminal clusters
of small flowers followed by red-skinned fruits on female plants.

The fruits contain the well-known Pistachio nut inside. The reddish, wrinkled fruits are borne in heavy clusters somewhat like grapes. Although known as a nut, the fruit of the pistachio is botanically a drupe, the edible portion of which is the seed. The oblong kernel is about 1 inch in length and 1/2 inch in diameter and protected by a thin, ivory-colored, bony shell. Normally the shells split longitudinally along their sutures when mature.
Pistacia vera develops strictly either male or female plants, thus several plants have to be grown together for pollination. An ornamental container plant suited for any well drained, rich soil in a sunny spot.

Pistachios should be planted in full sun. The size of the slow growing trees can be further controlled by pruning. When planting, avoid rough handling since the budded tops are easily broken away from the understock.
The trees do best on soils that are deep, friable and well drained but moisture retaining. It can, however, survive in poor, stony, calcareous, highly alkaline or slightly acid, or even saline soils. The root is deeply penetrating.

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