Sunday, May 11, 2008

Otherworldly Offerings in Unlikely Places


Sometimes you find them in the places where you'd least expect them. And when you do find them, you're not quite sure what you've found. But there's something strangely compelling about them and before you know it, it's on its way to a new home - yours.

This week, while waiting to get my Medrol Dosepak prescription filled, I had to kill some time walking around one of our local Meijer stores. Meijer has a rather nice garden center and many of my plants have been purchased there, so of course I had to take a look. It was raining, windy and cold out there, so it was a very quick look, but I'd already seen what they had to offer last Saturday in Defiance, after attending The Lilac Festival.

Inside, however, it was warm and toasty so I browsed the houseplants, which are pretty nice, too. They've always got some beautiful orchids, many of them unusual varieties that I've not seen elsewhere. I resisted those, but a tiny little thing caught my eye and I walked over to it, not even sure if what I was seeing was a real live plant.


See? Looks like a plant right off the set of The Jetsons, doesn't it? It's called Syngonanthus chrysanthus 'Mikado' and it's a Brazilian native. Fully grown at 10-12 inches tall, it likes loose, humusy soil and high humidity. The tag said not to let it dry out and put it in a bright window out of direct sunlight. It can live outside, as long as temperatures don't go below 50° or so.



The flowers in bud form are a metallic gold, as if they've been spray-painted. The bud at the right is about the size of the pearl on the head of a fancy straight pin, and is the largest one on my plant.

Mine doesn't have a fully-open flower on it yet, but this one is getting there:



Flowering year-round if they're happy, a fully-open flower resembles a strawflower in appearance and in texture and they last a relatively long time. Online research tells me they've been around for several years, especially in Europe. A Dutch company owns the exclusive rights for propagating this patented plant.


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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Meijer is doing good work with The Nature Conservancy to inform the public about non-native invasive species, and they carry native plants.

Helen said...

Are you sure its real!!!

garden girl said...

very unusual-looking plant!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That does look like an alien plant.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Absolutely fascinating! What a special little plant. (How's the poison ivy "rash"? Better, I hope.)

Muum said...

Huh, that is a strang-o plant.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is a real conversation starter. What fun it will be to watch it glow and grow.

I am glad you got something for your poison ivy.

Cinj said...

Neat plant! I've never seen anything like it. Are you sure Ester's family didn't bring it here to earth when they moved in?

Sheryl said...

What a neat find. Dignified little beauty isn't it?

Ewa said...

that alien plant is very cute :) I had one once, but it didn't want to cooperate :( not enough light or moist? hard to guess. I wish you good luck with it.

Shady Gardener said...

I'd never heard of the medicine you purchased for poison ivy. Is it a prescription? Did it work for you?

Meyers is not here in Iowa, but it's in Michigan. We'll be going there on Thursday (!) to visit my son, daughter-in-law and their family!!!! It's a 10-hour trip, so we don't go very often. I can hardly wait!!!

Perhaps I can get to Meyers while we're there. ;-)

vonlafin said...

Thanks a lot, I have a Meijer store 2 miles from my house and now I am going to have to hike over there and see these for myself, and probably have to purchase one!

Stonk21 said...

Hi, I live in England and these thiings seem to have started appearing recently.

Last year i was at a stall in Basildon, Essex and didn't manage to get one. Today, however, i managed to find one of these little plants in a small nursery just outside the town. It's going to go in our bathroom due to the humidity and indirect light. I have been told to water it from below so will get a saucer when i am out tomorrow and try that.

Does anyone know how wide these might grow given the chance? I'd love mine to be a little bigger and better established.

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