Monday, April 30, 2012

Calathea Crocata

Out of the 150 varieties of calathea, calathea crocata, also referred to as "eternal flame," stands out for its fire-orange blooms. Most of the other varieties are prized for their stunning foliage only, whereas this plant seems to have it all (and then some): ribbed or puckered leaves, dark green with maroonish undersides, and those little profusions of golden petals.

It belongs to the Maranta family and its native habitat are the tropical jungles of Brazil, although it can be found growing throughout tropical America. Although it can be kept as a houseplant, it requires a higher level of maintenance than many other indoor species and really can't be grown out-of-doors due to its specific climate needs, including high humidity and consistent temperature.

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Mammillaria Hahniana

A native of Guanajuato, Mexico, this show cactus only looks delicate, even soft. Its lengthy, hair-like needles come to sharp, very fine points and will stick to you upon contact.

Mammillaria haniana is often referred to as "Old Lady Cactus," due not only to its tufted, grey spindles (which serve as protection from the desert sun) but also to its small, humble form and its signature dust-pink blooms. It only grows to heights hovering around six inches, but it flowers from the late spring through to the winter months when kept indoors. As is characteristic of most all succulents, this cactus is particularly hardy and can verily survive draught conditions for a time.

As a side note: I'm now dead-set on having one of these little babies nestled within the space of my bedroom window. For more information, please visit Dave's Garden.