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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Albuca spiralis

"That's the difference between governments and 
individuals. Governments don't care, individuals do."
Mark Twain

Albuca spiralis

This plant was a gift from a good friend this Christmas season. This is such a fun flower bulb, I didn't capture it's one stunning feature in the picture above. The leaves spiral like perfect corkscrews, unfortunately it's a hard plant to capture a good image of, at least under houselights and with a point and shoot camera. Google around if you want to see more of it. I'm always fascinated by botanical adaptations and it seems no one really knows exactly why the leaves curl like tendrils on this species. One great blogger postulated that it's an adaptation to intense sunlight and possibly prevents dessication in the seasonally dry native grasslands of the South African cape it calls home.

I did notice that the tight curling spirals of foliage the plant had when given to me, soon gave way to lankier less curled foliage as I have been treating it as a houseplant. Since the relative humidity in the house now is quite low, my guess is the intense curling is induced by high light levels predominantly.

Some people say the flowers smell of vanilla, but honestly I pick up an almost chemical odor like some sort of a flea treatment you would use on a cat or something to that effect.

Well there you have it, the first flower of the year 2019. Here is to a flurry of flowers hopefully to come in a prosperous year. I've got a good feeling about this one.

Temps were down in the high 20's this week with some freezing fog to end the old and begin the new year. I think 26 is the coldest temperature I've seen so far this year and it really has been a mild winter. Hardly any snowpack in the cascades to speak of points towards a droughty summer. The Chimonanthus is beginning to flower and the Hellebores are showing color as well. In the greenhouse the Fritillaria's like F. agrestis and F. obliqua ssp. tuntasia are showing strong emergence now.



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