Sunday, March 18, 2018

Botany picture #256: Solenostemon presumably

In spring we bought three types of Sempervivum (Crassulaceae) and planted them in a large bowl. Two little seedlings spontaneously came up in the succulent soil and, recognising them as members of my other favourite plant family Lamiaceae, I transferred them to a different pot where they would get more water.

I was curious to see what they would grow into - perhaps a useful aromatic herb? Well, they grew and grew and grew, but they did not flower until just now. Although it had become clear to me some time ago that they must be some kind of Solenostemon or relative and are presumably cultivated as ornamentals rather than as kitchen herbs I was hoping that they would at least have nice flowers. The reality, alas, is a bit of a let-down. Not terrible but not exactly stunning either. It is unlikely that they will survive winter anyway, as they are probably tropical plants.

In other news, Canberra was covered by dust blown in from western New South Wales today. The sky was of an otherworldly grey and only returned to its customary blue colour late in the afternoon.

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