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.