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Crucifix Orchid Seed Pods

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Crucifix Orchid Fruit Pod

Note and Update on Epidendrum ibaguense:

This morning when I was cutting off the spent Crucifix orchid flower stems, I noticed a couple of pods. It really is a nice surprise as the plant never had fruits before. Actually Crucifix orchid (Epidendrum ibaguense) can be readily and easily propagated by using the keikis/pups. If the plant has some seed pods, it will be a bonus, but growing the seeds will be harder and take longer time.

Our Crucifix orchid has grown quite big with long tangling stems and it looks very busy with many aerial roots. Many keikis are ready to separate to grow in new pots, but I will do this another time as I am running out of orchid media. Once established, Epidendrum orchids will keep on growing flowers for many months of the year. The tiny long lasting blooms grow in clumps on long stems. Our plant is still growing new flower spikes. Balanced liquid fertilizer and seaweed will make it happier and productive.

I have tried to find another Crucifix orchids with different flowers; yellow, pink or orange will be nice…. but so far no luck at all. It is very easy to grow this orchids and it is very good for those who want to start to grow orchids.

Crucifix Orchid - Many Pups

Bushy Epidendrum ibaguense with many keikis (pups).

Crucifix Orchid Fruit Pod 2 Crucifix Orchids Blooms

Rare Succulents

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Both of these plants are succulents, they are not cacti. A succulent plant is named a cactus if only it is prickly and spiny. Both Euphorbia obesa and Senecio globosa are spineless and smooth. The two plants are quite rare here in Melbourne as they are a bit hard to find.

Euphorbia obesa:

Euphorbia obesa - Baseball plant

Euphorbia obesa – Baseball plant

Euphorbia obesa is also known as baseball plant and it is now a protected native species of South Africa. There are male and female in which they will produce some seeds. New plants will only grow from seeds as this plant does not grow offsets. The attractive plants are beautifully marked and they are rounded when small, but will grow oval shape on maturity. The female ones are rounder than the male ones.

Euphorbia obesa - rare cacti Euphorbia obesa - small Euphorbia obesa

The big one that we have is very old, well over15 years old. It was one of the pairs that we bought long-long time ago, but one of them, the female one died. So far we have managed to buy two more but they are still small. As the plants grow very slowly and they only grow by seeds plus that they are now protected in the native habitat, it is not too surprising if they are hard to find here in Melbourne and the price is not cheap.

Euphorbia obesa is best grown by using sandy soil. Moderate watering during warm seasons (only when the media is dry) and none at all during winter time.

Senecio globosa:

Senecio globosa 3

Senecio globosa

Senecio globosa is one variation of Senecio articulatus (= hot dog or candle cactus). Many times it is also referred as Senecio articulatus v. globosa. The globosa’s jointed segments are more rounded compared to those of the articulatus species.

Not much information about this rare succulent. There are many different species of Senecio plants and mostly are native to South Africa and Madagascar. Just like any other cacti and succulents, S. globosa has to kept drier during winter months and moderate watering during warmer months. Some leaves will grow during the cooler months.

Nothing really spectacular about this dainty plant except the odd shape and the interesting leaves are quite pretty. The small globular stems seem to be stacked in a precarious way that you may be afraid they are going to fall. Ha, ha…… I read somewhere that this plant has flowers, so I cannot wait to see mine flowering.

Senecio globosa 2

Senecio globosa 1

Senecio globosa 4

Thought of the day:

Praise is good, but too much of it can make you sick……………

Tillandsia

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Tillandsia

Just an update on the Tillandsias:

After finished flowering the T. brachycaulos has grown a small pup. Meanwhile, the T. melanocrater ‘Tricolour’s pup is getting bigger.

Tips: Tillandsia or air plant on it’s own may not look so attractive. However, if you grow them mimicking nature, it can look very interesting. You can choose many themes, like for examples: rockery, sandy beach or dessert. Air plants are also very good for a terrarium. While the ones that we have does not follow any of these themes, we planted them on an interesting piece of old wood and the result is rather nice :)

T. brachycoulos' pup

T. brachycaulos’ pup

Growing pup - T.melanocrater 'Tricolour'

Growing pup – T.melanocrater ‘Tricolour’

Clumping Tillandsia stricta

Clumping Tillandsia stricta

Tanaman Kencur

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Tanaman Kencur Kaempferia galanga

Tanaman Kencur – Kaempferia galanga

Horeee…. pesanan tanaman kencur (Kaempferia galanga) dari Queensland sudah tiba pagi ini. Cepat juga, karena M (anakku) mengordernya hari Selasa yang lalu. Parcel tiba dalam bentuk kotak karton yang cukup besar untuk satu tanaman kecur. Eh…. ternyata diisi dengan kepingan stryrofoam untuk melindungi tanaman dalam perjalanan. Tanaman kencurnya masih banyak daunnya dan ditanam didalam seedling tub. Nanti  di musim dingin/winter tanaman akan dormant atau besar kemungkinan daunnya akan rontok, tapi akan tumbuh kembali dimusim semi. Selama musim dingin lebih baik tidak banyak disiram. Saya baca dari info internet, katanya kencur siap dipanen jika daunnya sudah mengering ??

Di Melbourne sini, hanya bumbu kencur yang agak sulit didapatkan. Kalau jahe, lengkuas dan kunyit segar bisa dibeli. Tadinya ada toko bahan makanan Indonesia di Clayton tapi sekarang tokonya sudah tidak ada lagi. Biasanya saya beli kencur kering di toko itu. Kebetulan bumbu kencur didapur kami sudah tinggal sedikit dan juga sudah hampir expired, jadi saya cari di internet barangkali ada yang jual tanaman kencur di Australia, eh…. ternyata ada dari Queensland.

Harapan saya semoga tanaman kencur ini akan bisa tumbuh dengan baik dan nanti bisa untuk masak. Duh…. sedapnya bikin bumbu pecel dan urap dengan kencur segar. Waktu saya keluarkan dari pot dan menanamnya kembali di pot yang lebih besar daunnya sudah mengeluarkan aroma kencur yang segar :) Karena udara di Melbourne sini sudah mulai dingin jadi saya taroh tanaman kencurnya di bawah naungan beranda.

Oh ya, tanaman kencur berikut ongkos kemas dan pengiriman hampir $20.

Tanaman kencur dikemas rapi.

Tanaman kencur dikemas rapi.

Tanaman Kencur - Kaempferia galanga

Akar kencur yang besar dan panjang.

Akar kencur yang besar dan panjang.

Tanaman Kencur - tunas daun

Catatan: Kalau daun kencur dibasahi akan terlihat mengkilat, di foto sampai terlihat seperti diminyaki :)

Late Autumn 2015

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13/05/2015: Snow flurries in May?? It is snowing on Mount Dandenong, Kinglake, Toolangi, north-east of Melbourne and on top of Mount William, in the Grampians. Overnight temperature was around 6 deg. C and now it is 10.4 deg. with on-offrains and hails.

Snow near Toolangi

Snow near Toolangi

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Pear Tree in late Autumn

Pear Tree in late Autumn

Windy, wet and cold Autumn…………..Today will have a chance of hail and storm. Our pear trees are displaying brilliant autumn colours. Most of the leaves are still intact. Some of the Cymbidium orchids have developed some flower spikes, but my prediction is that quite a few of them will not flower this blooming season as most of the new bulbs are still too young. The biggest surprise is that the Beallara ‘Eurostar’ is suddenly having a spike (about a month ago was still none), while the Dancing Lady still has not shown any flower growth. The Zygopetalum maculatum two flower spikes are getting bigger and bigger, still cannot get rid of the black spots. The spots make the plant look a bit ugly, but otherwise they don’t seem to affect the plant in general. Our new Psychopsis papilio flower has wilted away with a new spike growing next to it. Being sequential, it will continue to grow flowers on the same stem. The Zygocactus plants are in bloom. Pheeew….. the wind is getting harder blowing cold air from the south.

Beallara ‘Eurostar’:

Beallara 'Eurostar' Flower Spike

Beallara 'Eurostar'

Surprise flower spike – Beallara ‘Eurostar’

Zygopetalum maculatum:

Zygopetalum maculatum orchid - Flower buds are getting bigger

Zygopetalum maculatum orchid – Flower buds are getting bigger

Oncidium ‘Dancing Lady’:

Oncidium 'Dancing Lady' - growing very good but no signs of flowering this year.

Oncidium ‘Dancing Lady’ – growing very good but no signs of flowering this year.

Psychopsis papilio:

Psychopsis papilio new flower bud

Psychopsis papilio new flower bud

Cymbidiums:

Cymbidium Spikes

Cymbidium Spikes

Zygocactus:

Zygocactus mauve

Zygocactus red

Zygocactus 1

Psychopsis papilio

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Psychopsis papilio

Psychopsis papilio

Psychopsis papilio orchid (formerly known as Oncidium papilio, and the common name is Butterfly Orchid) has pretty flowers that somewhat resemble a butterfly. Psychopsis orchids are native to South America, Central America and Trinidad.

The seller in the market told me not to cut the 3 long flower stems, as they are sequential and will often grow more flowers on the same spikes. One of the stems has a flower. I still keep this orchid outside under cover, but will move it inside near a sunny window in the winter. Still not so sure of the specific growing requirements, but I will treat it the same way as the Oncidium, then see what is going to happen.

Psychopsis papilio 2 Psychopsis papilio 4 Psychopsis papilio

Chrysanthemum

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Chrysanthemum - yellow 2

It is when the summer has lost its beauty and gone. While autumn turns into red, orange and yellow. When the sun refuses to shine and the rain drops are cold and damp. Just before all the deciduous trees are naked and bare….. It is when the Chrysanthemum flowers bloom. Roses declare themselves as the summer queens, but during the dreary days that follow, the Chrysanthemums are indeed the autumn queens……

The weather forecasts lately say that the temperatures will feel colder. Like last night, they said that today was going to be 14 deg. C in Melbourne, but would feel like 10 degrees, and it is true that it is cold today. This year the Chrysanthemums in our garden are not doing so good with only few flowers. The mauve pink ones that always flowered every year in the past ten years or so are not growing at all. It seems that they have disappeared completely. Usually they have started to sell Chrysanthemums few weeks before mother’s day, but I haven’t seen them in the shop. I saw few were sold in the market but they did not look so good.

Anyway, these are some photos of the Chrysanthemums taken from our garden:
Chrysanthemum - Cream 2 jpg

Chrysanthemum - Cream jpg Chrysanthemum - Mauve Chrysanthemum - yellow

Chrysanthemum - yellow 3

Common Chrysanthemum synonyms: Dendranthema, Mums, Chrysanth.

White Chrysanthemums

My White Chrysanthemum

As purely white as is the drifted snow,
More dazzling fair than summer roses are,
Petalled with rays like a clear rounded star,
When winds pipe chilly, and red sunsets glow,
Your blossoms blow.

Sweet with a freshening fragrance, all their own,
In which a faint, dim breath of bitter lies,
Like wholesome breath mid honeyed flatteries;
When other blooms are dead, and birds have flown,
You stand alone.

Fronting the winter with a fearless grace,
Flavoring the odorless gray autumn chill,
Nipped by the furtive frosts, but cheery still,
Lifting to heaven from the bare garden place
A smiling face.

Roses are fair, but frail, and soon grow faint,
Nor can endure a hardness; violets blue,
Short-lived and sweet, live but a day or two;
The nun-like lily bows without complaint,
And dies a saint.

Each following each they hasten them away,
And leave us to our winter and our rue,
Sad and uncomforted; you, only you,
Dear, hardy lover, keep your faith and stay
Long as you may.

And so we choose you out from all the rest,
For that most noble word of “Loyalty,”
Which blazoned on your petals seems to be;
Winter is near, stay with us; be our guest,
The last and best.

Written by Susan Coolidge (1835 – 1905)

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