Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mystery Plant on Steroids


Between our small porch and the sidewalk lies a tiny plot ground. Here, in the spring, I clean out the little pond and drop in the goldfish. Then I may plant a few coleus or petunias to go along with the yellow iris and hang up the hummingbird feeder and a large ugly thing, that possibly looks like a Christmas Cactus on steroids.  It's huge.

A few weeks later the overgrown patch of yellow iris spring into bloom. About that time I surgically remove all the half dried up arms of "The Thing" . It has been hiding in the basement all winter, away from the critical eyes of Mrs. T, who cares for it naught.

By early July it looks much greener and begins to sprout little buds which quickly grow and begin to open by mid July.
 

Even Mrs. T admits it’s gorgeous (albeit for "only 2 weeks out of the year”.) Neighbors and strangers stop by on the street and "ask what is it?" "Well, I say, it was a gift years ago from Mary Ann, but I've forgotten the name. I just call it my giant Christmas Cactus." Then I shrug my shoulders.
 

Maybe you know???  I got more comments that ever before on my question and finally someone had the answer. 
http://www.kentucky.com/2014/03/21/3153756/orchid-cacti-are-easy-to-grow.html
"This is an Epiphyllum or orchid cactus."  

Then I recieved an email from the original source, who now lives far away in retirement, in the North Country.

"Your information and photos were of great interest. The mystery plant is an orchid cactus. I have two -one has pink flowers and the other has red. They are gorgeous flowers and I have used photos on cards."

Mystery solved! Thanks Mary Ann.


There is an interesting follow-up to this story which begins with the fact that I began to successfully take cuttings and propagate this gorgeous plant to hang on the porch.  Eventually in a clearing out downsizing mood I began to learn how to sell items on Craigs List. This included one large extra Orchid Cactus. Having no idea as to its value I put $30 on the item.  To my utter and complete surprise  a woman from nearby Rochester came to purchase it. Even more surprising was when she  told me she had one for years from her mother, had left it in the care of her daughter while wintering in Arizona and came back to Minnesota to find it dead.  “I’ve never been able to find another one” she said and then began to cry…..

24 comments:

  1. oh, how wonderful that the woman was able to purchase yours! it is beautiful.

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  2. I posted on my blog the flowering of "My Thing" plant http://theuniversesmiles.blogspot.com/2014/09/patience-is-virtueespecially-for-this.html.
    Mine is an Epiphyllum hookeri with white flowers that bloom at night and fade by the late morning.

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  3. Ah you are making women cry! You could have taken cuttings and sold them to supplement your retirement:)

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  4. Remarkable gardening tale and followup!

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  5. Great story! And yes it's an odd looking plant, but now you know just what it is. Valuable, too. BTW, it was Far Side of Fifty who knew it was you who mentioned the book "The Burglary" which I just finished and loved! Thank you for the recommendation. :-)

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  6. The great mystery solved! It's a beautiful plant, too.

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  7. Very nice blooms. I am not sure were I will store all the house plants I have outside all summer. Some have really gotten big.

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  8. all this story about plant and it's life.

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  9. What a beautiful plant and how neat you were able to give that lady back a sweet memory.

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  10. WOW! It is beautiful! And I'm glad you figured out what the heck it is. Amazing that someone else was out there looking for one.

    So, I want to know? Did you still charge the lady? ;)

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  11. Beautiful blossoms, beautiful story.

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  12. And Mrs. T let you part with it? I understand. I also had never heard of it... if it ever shows up again, one of us had better let the other know! ;-)

    I don't doubt you have plenty of leaf litter!! And I'm sure it's beginning in Earnest, right now!

    Thanks for your visit!! :-) Happy Fall!

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  13. I have never seen this plant before but if I'd been in your area I would have outbid that lady. Yes, I am callous that way...smiles. Never mind, you made someone very happy whichever way you look at it.

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  14. Wow! Glad the mystery was solved and loved the rest of the story. I'm hoping just to keep a dahlia going this year that my daughter gave my mom.

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  15. I'm not sure I've ever heard of an orchid cactus before, but it certainly is beautiful.

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  16. That's a really cool story! I love that she will appreciate it so much :-)

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  17. That's a really cool story! I love that she will appreciate it so much :-)

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  18. Orchid Cactus, huh??? It is gorgeous... That is a great story that the woman --who wanted it so much---was able to purchase it from you... AWESOME story.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  19. Thank you for sharing. :-)
    I love the plant too.
    Blessings to you!

    And thank you for the fun comment about Chippewa Falls ;-)
    I agree, a great place to visit!! And sample a few beers too.

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  20. So glad the mystery is solved. A touching story about the women that bought one of your orchid cactus plants from craigs list. We can become very attached to living plants that signify a person close to us that is with us no longer. -- barbara

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  21. What a heartwarming story! The plant is really beautiful and touched another's heart. Amazing!y

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  22. Love that story! Who knew you could sell plants on Craig's list.

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