Earth octopus

Yesterday I spent quite some time into the darkness of the garage, doing archaeological plant-digging in containers. I was looking after various creatures that like to spend the winter dry and need to be unearthed by late April and be brought back to life (if possible).
A large earth octopus almost jumped out of a pot! Luckily it proved out to be a gentle one. I checked its legs one by one, all seemed to be fine; eyes wide open and smiling. It was carefully placed in fresh, rich potting mix as it likes it, free to swim and have fun.

Roscoea auriculata 2

The earth octopus (Roscoea auriculata)

I’ll wait with the water until it starts growing a bit (it’s an earth octopus with rhizomatous fleshy tentacles after all). Somewhere in mid-summer a strange phenomenon will happen: the earth octopus will bloom!

Roscoea auriculata flower
There were also a few baby octopuses (not completely developed, some have only 2-3 tentacles), all fine looking and ready to start earth swimming. Roscoeas are very pleasant plants to grow from seeds; it will take 3+ years for the first flowers to appear.

Roscoea auriculata it is a hardy ginger from Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan, where it grows in grasslands at 2400-2700 m altitude. As the name suggests, it has consistently auriculate (eared) leaves on the pseudostem. The height can be variable 20-40 cm and the flowers are large, in various shades of purple to deep violet or even white. It can be mistaken with R. purpurea but it flowers a bit earlier and the flowers have usually white upper staminodes and a strongly down-facing labellum.
4 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      Thank you so much! Sometime I feel like an athlete, quitely preparing for the big competition, which then will last only a few minutes! (well, in my case a couple of months).

Comments are closed.