Planetary alignment

Sometimes you wonder how events with different space & time coordinates are coming together – planetary alignment? Having got my first seedex batch, I was happy about getting Schizanthus coccineus (Schizanthus grahamii var. coccinea) and a red Rhodophiala but a bit upset for missing Alstroemeria umbellata – all of them seen during our trip to Chile three years ago. They brought back happy, sunny memories. The seedlings of Puya coerulea, growing close to my desk are grounding them well in reality.

Schizanthus coccineus seeds

Schizanthus coccineus seeds

On the same day, it was time to put order in my fridge space for the new seeds. In a lonely pot sitting in a corner I found, to my surprise, seedlings sprouting; on the label – Alstroemeria zoelnerii – Chile 2011! I remembered that at one point, in a no-germination frustration, I threw them in the fridge and then forgot about them. Well, these are a few images that bring back to me happy, sunny memories, not only of plants but of the people associated with them, which actually makes them so special.

There are about 15 Schizanthus species in Chile and Argentina (Fam. Solanaceae), commonly called ‘mariposita’, or ‘flor the pajarito’. The common names used for the few cultivated species are: Butterfly flower and Poor Man’s Orchid. The flowers have a particular morphology resembling somehow a flying butterfly and are brightly coloured. They are perennials or annuals, growing in full sun in various habitats; those at high elevations are characterized by large amounts of snow in the winter and dry summer months.

And for a completely justified alignment, our ‘de-frosting’ has begun today and so did my seeding Enterprise – exploring the galaxy and discovering new plant worlds!


4 replies
  1. mrsdaffodil
    mrsdaffodil says:

    What a wonderful splash of colour on this wintry day! The City of Victoria puts up hanging baskets every year, and one of the plants in the baskets is Schizanthus pinnatus. I often experience the no germination frustration you mention – think I’ll try the “throw it in the fridge and forget it” technique. :-)

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