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Monday, May 6, 2013

Rock midgets

Mimulus rupicola

So its a blessing and a curse that I am driven to make a scientific experiment out of everything I possibly can in this world...if you harken back to a year ago I did a three part series on my adventure to death valley to find one of the rarest monkey flowers around.

Last year I was so excited to get seed I kind of rushed them into production. Trying lots of different soil mixes, but the results were the same. A few flowers then death without any seed set.

So this year I set about to experiment with them a bit. Enter a large piece of pumice that probably blew off the top of Mt. Mazama. Drill some holes fill it with a gritty soil mix and top dress the plants with aquarium grade crushed coral.

If you know the geological history of it, death valley was once an inland sea. I figured a little salt wouldn't hurt a plant from death valley... after all the entire valley floor is composed of salt and borax. And the calcium component of the coral seemed logical.
Anyway, the rock midget is said to grow on drippy limestone cliffs...so I let the hose trickle over the rock every once in awhile...I'm pleased with the results. This looks much more like the plant I always coveted from pictures

Hot sunny and very in Oregon like here now.