Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Green Sticks I Have Known and Loved

There's no accounting for taste. Why we prefer one type of book but not another. Why we keep falling for the same type of person at the expense of so many other types. Why I'm drawn to these odd plants but not those odd plants.

These three stalks belong to the Euphorbia genus, and none of them do much other than be green stalks. I love them.

On the left is what I have hesitantly IDed as  Euphorbia alluaudii. Hesitantly because I bought it as a small cutting at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show back in March, and it came with no tag. It was just a funny green stick. In the intervening eight months it has continued to just be a funny green stick. It never puckered for want of water, never shrivelled from too much water, never changed colour with changing light conditions or the shifting seasons. It has seriously done sweet f-all. In fact, it was only in repotting it into the above container that I had any proof it was alive.

Look! It has roots! It was doing something after all!

Plants find their own way to communicate their needs. Well. What they're doing is reacting to their environment and altering their structure to best protect themselves, but it can be a form of communication for the gardener. This plant apparently wants for nothing because it doesn't communicate anything. It's a native of Madagascar (maybe), and I can't imagine Melbourne providing the same climate and soil as Madagascar, but hey, it's happy. So, having transplanted it, I'm going to continue ignoring it.

The middle is Euphorbia debilispina, which did come with a tag, purchased at the yard sale of an award-winning plant grower. A native of southern central Africa, I haven't had it long enough for it to start complaining about the conditions I'm providing. My goal is only ever to not kill my plants.

On the right is Euphorbia antisyphilitica, (ANTI-SYPHILIS?!) which was purchased from the same sale and thankfully tagged. Despite being another nondescript green stick of the Euphorbia, this hails from southern USA to Mexico. I'm expecting it to do not much at all.

They should all do well going in to summer. I intend to leave the pot where it can get full sun and pretty much cook them alive. Hopefully this will get them nicely established before the cold soggy seasons roll around again. 

Why am I drawn to these seriously undramatic plants? I have no idea. They're ridiculous. They're just sticks. Frustratingly vague sticks. Still, I love them, I go stand in front of them with my hands on my hips and purse my lips and curse them for being ridiculously low maintenance and entirely happy. 

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