Saturday, October 19, 2013

An Interesting Day Out in DeLand, FL

First, I really wish I brought my camera today, but I didn't so apologies for the iPhone pics.

Today I went with my mom to E.F.G. Orchids in DeLand, Florida, for "Orchtoberfest." Orchids for a mile and then German beer and bratwurst for lunch. Today was a good day.

Outside were some cute carnivorous plants, butterworts and Nepenthes.

A lizard trying to blend in and a donkey. I couldn't get a picture of the Emu, but they've got one of those too.

The front entrance to EFG

One of the vendors tents, can't remember the name but had some great hybrids

Another vendor had this orchid, appears to be Rssgls. Rawdon Jester 'Great Bee' from the tag/internet. A hybrid of Rossioglossum grande x williamsianum. I love it, a good hybrid should bring out a combo of the best of both species and this one nails it.

A Psychopsis hybrid my mom ended up buying

Paph. Pinocchio a cute sequential bloomer my mom picked up as well.

Inside E.F.G.'s greenhouse we saw this really cool idea...orchid mounted with a mousetrap!

A look down some of the isles

A huge wet wall down both sides. It is surprisingly chilly standing next to it.

Many of the orchids were mounted and looked super happy about it.

Some things in bloom

Nepenthes x 'Miranda'

Nepenthes x "Ventrata" wall down the left

Tons of cacti and succulents

I picked up a small Brassavola glauca from E.F.G. and a Cattleya intermedia fma. aquinii coerulea 'Hanada' AM/AOS x self from one of the other vendors. Pics some other time, nothing in bloom.

Then the day took an interesting twist. When someone says to you, "We have to stop at this one place on the way back!" I typically say sure, most usually glad I did. Somewhere right past the intersection of SR 40 and 17 is the wackiest place. Now this is the touristy Florida I remember, must have to get closer to Orlando/Disney World now a days to really get to see it anymore. Strange places made for tourists to shop are scattered all around Florida, but let me show you just how strange this one was.

Uh, I kind of really want this dinosaur in my yard. A little after this point, a small sign warns you to wear shoes due to the fire ants. I was in flip-flops, ants be damned, too many strange possibilities ahead to turn back now...

A pink rooster?

I also REALLY like these toucans. I know it's tacky, but I just can't help it. I love them and I want to hang one outside. There were thousands of these painted animals and pots, but the toucans are GREAT.

Also......gross...gator hands.

You see that toucan? Awesome, don't tell me it's not.

This place was also busy. It's saturday and a beautiful day so this place was packed with bikers.

Dinosaur or a knight anyone?

Is it a crayfish?

Suddenly, also patio furniture.

Need a flamingo or possibly Mary for your yard? FYI these are both about 6 feet tall.

Aw yeaaaa, more toucans.

There was also an iguana. Not for sale.

A skeleton dog?

Lets get real here. It wouldn't be a Florida roadside tourist shop without the following:

1.) Gator heads for sale

2.) Fruit for sale

Totally worth stopping and checking it out, just for the weird factor alone. Although I love orchid shopping, I do regret coming home toucan-less. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Can a purple "Moon Cactus" survive on it's own?

Everybody's seen "Moon Cactus" for sale. You know the one's that are usually red, yellow, or pink, a Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cacti grafted to the top of a Hylocereus cacti species? Don't think you know what I'm talking about? See here: "Moon Cactus"

There was some discussion as to whether the purple 'Hibotan' or "Moon Cactus" could survive on roots of it's own, as purple pigmentation doesn't mean a lack of chlorophyll, whereas the yellows, reds, and pinks are completely lacking any chlorophyll through a mutation. They therefore have to be grated to stock that does produce chlorophyll to survive, but what about the purple one?

I found a purple "Moon Cactus" in Home Depot after my G. mihanovichii var friedrichii succumbed to rot this summer (sigh, was my favorite one, almost gave up cactus growing for a minute there, but have since learned to alter my potting media and watering in this environment,) because this was as good a time as any to give it a shot. I removed the cactus and threw out the graft Hylocereus, let the Gymnocalycium's base heal and dry over for a few weeks. Then I just nestled it gently into some soil mix and let it sit for a while in some bright shade. I lightly watered the soil about once a month as the humidity was pretty high. Sure enough, the little cactus is now firmly rooted into the soil. Now it's trying to bloom.

So now I've got a small Gymnocalycium mihanovivhii var. friedrichii 'Hibotan'.....ha, can it's name get longer? The stalk and outer part of the flower is almost a violent shade of pink, more neon than a standard G. mihanovichii var. friedrichii. It's a little on the dehydrated side from having to make roots from a scarred over base, so now that it's settled in, maybe next year it'll grow some and flower better.

I felt a little bad for throwing out the Hylocereus base this cactus was growing on, but I already have a Hylocereus 'Halley's Comet' which is getting outrageously big. Then I was grocery shopping and guess what I found for sale....

Dragon fruit! Yup, this is the fruit of the Hylocereus undatus base plant that I threw out. Had I let it live on and flower, I'd get something similar fruit wise out of it. I love growing cacti from seed, so I was tempted to grow some of these seeds, but I don't have the space for them! Also, speaking of space, if anyone in the US is interested in a small cutting of my Hylocereus undatus x polyrhizus 'Halley's Comet', email me, I'll send you a piece for cost of shipping. They root easily from cuttings.