The Perils of Taking Pity on a Plant Without a Label

So I was at Meijer Thrifty Acres a few weeks ago, when a beautiful globe-shaped woody plant that had dark green waxy leaves speckled with gold and pink spots caught my eye.It looked a bit forlorn, with the curled leaves dropped on the soil surface and the whiteflies buzzing about. Alas, I have a soft spot for orphans. More than once I've lost my entire plant kingdom trying rescue some clearance sale pestilent-ridden white elephant that should, by all rights and the opinion of sensible ethical gardeners everywhere, be tossed in the trash bin.

I took my new darling home, and treated it to a nice organic insecticide shower. Before I placed it in its quarantine spot, I was curious about the species, and checked it for a label. And the label said...."Tropical Plant." Duh!This has resulted in hours of sitting at the computer, clicking into plant sites, attempting to identify this particular houseplant by photo.

I never realized there were so many many many many houseplant names! I've become a little obsessed with giving my plant it's identity back, though, and I'm sure I'll be at this puzzle for ages until I piece it together.

I think this has something to do with how I have been feeling about roots and connection lately. I lost two of my dear grandparents to the next life this year, and my beloved step father two years ago. I regret not having taken the time to write down the stories they told me. My grandparents, especially, were my link to a sense of place history. I grew up in a military family, so we moved about every two years during my early childhood. This gave me many fascinating experiences with various cultures I would have never otherwise had, and I'm greatful for that. For a long time, it also left me feeling somewhat socially disconnected, as it was hard to make friends, or really gain a sense of FAMILI-arity or history.I never really felt grounded. The closest thing I had to consistently call HOME were my grandparents houses for many years.

Now that I'm older, I appreciate that family does not have to be about "where", but about "who." Still, I have a yearning for a connection to a "bit of earth," and blood ties. The few that I've found are very precious to me, and I enjoy the sense of wonder I feel when I come across something in writing about one of my ancestors.I want future generations of my family to be able to look back and find some sort of record of what my generation felt and thought and did and believed. I am driven to write down my own memories and experiences, and I'm encouraging my other family members to do the same. I want to remember the immigrations, the travels, the patriots, the traditions, the lands, the celebrations, the defeats, the kin and the kith. I want to remember the sweet and the bitter. I want our future generations to look back and see how little orphan plants with their leaves falling off and whiteflies buzzing about, persevered, survived, and sunk their roots in deep, wherever those roots happened to land.

Views: 21

Comment by Dragonwraith on March 29, 2008 at 9:13pm
ya hows the plant doing and did you id what plant it is now im curious
Anubis Blessings
Comment by Lilac on March 30, 2008 at 7:47pm
Well, the plant is a bit droopy now. I suspect it may be a light issue, but not sure. I haven't i.d. the plant yet. My daughter is going to come over, take a picture, and post it on a few boards she goes on to see if anyone can identify it.
Comment by Arthurswench on April 3, 2008 at 10:03am
Ah.....we are knee deep already in planting. I was out and about with my son in the corn fields yesterday, finding field rock to line the front garden with. We filled his wagon with tons of stone....and now half the garden is finished.

(We live in a 100 year old farmhouse, that was once owned by my husbands grandmother. Grandma Beecher died 6 or so years back......and the gardens have been unattended since then.)

I started some broom corn, sage, peas, ruby red sweet corn, lightening tomatoes, squashes and some lumina pumpkins (my favorite) all inside.

I promised the girls a wee fairy shall have to let me know if you have any ideas.

Keep me updated on your gardening!


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