05 June 2020

Oortjies "little ears"

Falkia repens

"Little Ears"

African Morning Glory

Its Afrikaner name is Oortjies which translates as "little ears"


Falkia repens is native to the winter-rainfall areas of the Eastern Cape of South Africa where it often found on damp or temporarily inundated soils. 



Bees and other beneficial insects love the
Morning Glory-like flowers

A creeping mat-like perennial herb that forms a carpet of glossy rounded foliage only 2-4” tall

A creeping mat-like perennial herb that forms a
carpet of glossy rounded foliage only 2-4” tall

A creeping mat-like perennial herb, Falkia repens is a reliable groundcover with leaves that are slightly succulent, enabling to withstand high temperatures through conserving water its leaves. Falkia is propagated from rooted runners; divide sections of the plant with its roots.


Hardy and evergreen in USDA Zone 9-10 and comes back from the roots in colder locations and can be grown down to USDA Zone 7.

Falkia repens  is attractive to bees and other insects.













The leaves of Falkia repens resemble those of Dichondria micrantha but the species are easily distinguished when flowering There are white flowers with light pink blush flowers from early Spring thru Summer! This falkia can tolerate heat, drought and poor soil, despite its delicate appearance.















Kusamono and shitakusa (companion planting)



My first Kusamono from a Kora Dalager workshop
Falkia repens, Saxifraga stolonifera and Fuchsia

 


Kusamono are traditionally potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays. The name is composed of two Japanese characters-- “grass” and “thing”—which together suggest humble, everyday plants or even weeds, however the art of kusamono has developed beyond is humble origins. Today the term kusamono is used when the accent plants are exhibited as the focus. Kusamono can be tall, mixed plantings or all the same plant, in or out of a container. The kusamono determines the impression of place and season, such as a meadow, a bog, or the mountains. In the West, these displays are known as companion or accent plants


Shitakusa is exhibited with bonsai or similar displays. Outside of Japan you will commonly hear the term companion or accent plant, however complementary plant may be most appropriate as shitakusa is not meant to be the dominant focus of the presentation. Rather, it is intended to complete the exhibit of the main focus, which can be a bonsai, a suiseki, and/or a scroll


Jiita - "thin hardwood boards placed under suiseki (or bonsai) for display" A beautifully crafted Jiita will accentuate the heart and soul of a bonsai.





Kokedama, which in English translates literally "moss ball", is a ball of soil, covered with moss, on which an ornamental plant grows. The idea has its origins in Japan where this garden art is centuries old and is tied into the practice of bonsai, but it has grown into its own art form. Today Kokedama are displayed as the center of attention, typically affixed to a piece of driftwood or bark, suspended from a string, or nestled in a low attractive container.




Nearai is a form, not commonly seen outside of Japan. Nearai refers to a single plant or mixed plantings that have been grown in pots and when the pot is full of roots it is removed and displayed on a flat container. The purpose of this form is to showing the roots which can be washed to expose them for a more dramatic effect. Often Shitakusa, Kusamono or Kokedama can and will eventually develop into Nearai.








Half inch white flowers with light pink blush
spring through summer






30 May 2020

Many little monks coming out to pray in 2020....



Many Little monks coming out to pray in 2020

Podocarpus macrophyllus
Yew Pine
Southern Yew
Buddhist Pine
Kusamaki
Inumaki
Luo Han Song













Foliage with mature seed cones





The oval-shaped fruit which seated on thick fleshy receptacle turns reddish/purplish when ripened, which looks like a little Monk in a purple robe praying . The ripe purple-red fruit on female plants are edible, though the seed is not, and makes a good wine or jelly...







USDA Hardiness Zone: 7 to 10
 Podocarpus can grow to forty feet with a spread of about twenty. 
Native to southern China and Japan






Likes slightly moist soil, as its root ball
must not be allowed to dry out


Podocarpus have a strong apical growth habit remedied by cutting them back hard, which will result in aggressive back budding. Wire new wood for 2-3 months, being careful to watch for any signs that the wire is beginning to cut into the bark. Green shoots may be wired loosely. Old Podocarpus wood becomes very rigid as it ages and will be difficult to bend.

Likes slightly moist soil, as its root ball must not be allowed to dry out, but provide adequate drainage. 
Podocarpus can be grown successfully indoors in a well-lit cold house. Like most conifers, it has a tendency to dry out without proper humidity, and will prefer being kept away from dry heat. For the long term health of the tree summer outside. USDA hardiness zones: 8B through 11.


 provide adequate drainage.

In cold climates, Podocarpus can be grown successfully indoors in a well-lit cool house environment. Prefers winter temperatures above freezing, do not allow the roots to freeze. Like most conifers, it has a tendency to dry out without proper humidity, and will prefer being kept away from dry heat.

Podocarpus  roots are of two kinds: long-branching roots and short-branching coralloid roots, which form symbiotic associations between plant roots and fungi. The plant provides carbon to the fungus, and the fungus greatly increases plant acquisition of phosphorus  There is no strong evidence for nitrogen fixation in the nodules. Repot every 3-4 years in spring. Roots should only be lightly pruned, and only when the roots have become very dense.

Podocarpus likes slightly acid soil with enough magnesium and iron; apply a dose of chelated iron twice yearly. To prevent magnesium deficiency, use 2-3 applications of Epsom salts (1 tbs per gallon of water) a year.





"Podocarpus macrophyllus, Satori-city,Japan"



Buddhist Pine is highly regarded as a feng shui tree. The Tree, which is not a true pine but a podocarp, is thought to be the harbinger of good fortune. Along with the Bodhi Tree, the Buddhist Pine plays at important inspirational role in Buddhist religion. The fleshy red seeds represent 'disciples' of the Buddha, assuring its owner of never being impoverished. Many believe the pine attracts good health, and that the wealth is a by-product of being healthy





Podocarpus macrophyllus bonsai


  Podocarpus macrophyllus bonsai



If you're buying a collected tree, be sure it has been in its current container for at least a couple of years.


Poducarpus macrophyllus 2

Podocarpus macrophyllus.

Bonsai is often used in the life improvement system of feng shui and are known to be grown on temple grounds of China.



小田原城跡のイヌマキ

Podocarpus macrophyllus
of Odawara Castle Ruins



Phipps - 008

Buddhist Pine Bonsai in Phipps Conservatory


If you're buying a Buddhist pine tree bonsai, it's best to purchase a plant with the size trunk you want. Podocarpus trunks develop very slowly, especially in a container.




 Podocarpus macrophyllus forest bonsai

26 May 2020

King Sago




Cycas revoluta
Sago Palm

The name Cycas comes from Koikas, Greek for palm,
and Cycas are the most palm-like cycads.
King Sago
Sotetsu

The periodic "flush" of new leaves Sagos produce is called a "break". New leaflets emerge coiled and then slowly unfurl. When the break begins, remove the older foliage to remove any insect and disease that could transfer to the fresh leaves. The name Cycas comes from Koikas, Greek for palm, and Cycas are the most palm-like cycads. They can be grown as a houseplant, anywhere with adequate bright light. C. revoluta are one of the simplest and most forgiving of all plants to bonsai. Drought tolerant. Chronic over watering can kill the plant; do let the soil dry out. (colder = drier) Avoid overhead watering; this may cause rot.


New leaflets emerge coiled and then slowly unfurl. 





















 Re-pot in spring or summer. Cycads prefer to be root bound and should be re-potted into a container only slightly larger than the root system. Cycad seedlings initially form a stout, fleshy taproot augmented by secondary roots which also are quite thick and fleshy. Branch roots are of two kinds: long-branching roots and short-branching coralloid roots, giving them an irregular, beady appearance. The coralloid roots contain symbiotic bacteria, which fix nitrogen Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season. King Sago is a easy care "living fossil", from the Far East.


Small sago with Pups
June 2014

Small sago with Pups
May 2020






























Large Sagos often produce new offshoots (pups) at the base or sides of the trunk and can grow into huge clumps. Also this species occasionally produces a cluster of heads in the crown. Small multi-head and multi-trunk sagos in 6" to 10" (15 to 25 cm) pots are extremely rare and provide unique additions to indoor plant collections. Small multi-head or multi-trunk sago palms are often used as a subject for bonsai. Cycads are one of the simplest and most forgiving of all plant genera to bonsai. MULTI-HEAD SAGOS are an unusual creation of Mother Nature.



  multi-head

Cycas revoluta is one of the easiest plants to grow, indoors or out. It is not unusual for potted specimens to be hundreds of years old.  The sago palm is native to Japan’s southernmost islands—a subtropical area of high rainfall and warm temperatures. RE-POTTING is best done in spring or summer. Cycads prefer to be root bound and should be re-potted into a container only slightly larger than the root system. Never over-pot a Sago. King Sago will actually grow well in almost any medium provided that it is well-drained. 


 new offshoots (pups) at the
base of the trunk

 When the break begins,
remove the older foliage to eliminate
any insect and disease that could
transfer to the fresh leaves
Propagation of Cycas revoluta is either by seed or clonally by removal of basal offsets.

triple-trunk sago
Gloucester Street
Brunswick. Ga



Female
Male
As with other cycads, it is dioecious, with the males bearing pollen cones (strobilus) and the females bearing groups of megasporophylls. Pollination can be done naturally by insects or artificially.




multi-branched clump

Twin-trunk sago with pups



C. revoluta-
close-up of maturing seeds.




 Sago Palms in Yoshino Park
Kagoshima City  
Japan in 1985



Sagos at private residence in Kagoshima City



22 October 2019

Fowl's foot- Euphorbia




Wrinkled Leaf Spurge 
Decary's Spurge
Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

Wrinkled Leaf Spurge
Fowls foot
Decary's Spurge





Euphorbia (yoo-FOR-bee-uh)
decaryi (de-KAR-yee)


Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

Euphorbia decaryi is a mat-forming stem succulent
 that spreads almost horizontally on the ground




Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

An odd but intriguing plant







cyathia

water-wet/almost dry rhythm



From southeast Madagascar, Euphorbia decaryi is a mat-forming stem succulent that spreads almost horizontally on the ground by means of rhizomes. This type of Euphorbia has many branches that tend to form a thick canopy. Some of horizontal branches can be removed to expose the roots. Euphorbia decaryi is a small succulent with a shrub-like development. Simple zigzag edged leaves form apical rosettes on the stems and suggest a flattened palm tree. The stems sprawl and spread via underground stolons.



Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

Beige, bell-shaped false flowers
 (cyathia) form in spring.

They are easy to cultivate Even in winter its soil should never completely dry out. Though it tolerates a dry over-wintering, in spring it needs moisture when new roots form. These plants prefer bright light, and do not take a prime growing space. They can grow in pots or in the ground in areas with mild climate, and they can be grown indoors. Euphorbia decaryi can survive outdoors when protected from light frost and freezing temperatures.






Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

irregular stems bearing slender wavy edged leaves
Use very well draining loose soil and plant in a wide flat pot. Wait about two weeks after re-potting to let all wounds heal then water it with warm water. Let the soil dry out between watering, very little in water when the plant is dormant. Both the stems and leaves can take on a purple color if exposed to midday sun. They don't grow as well, but they can tolerate the intense light with enough water. Give them morning and late afternoon sun and shade in the middle of the day. Water regularly but do not over-water them.


Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge

tentacle-like stems thick, crinkly, leathery leaves


- a wide flat bowl
- a very loose soil
- semi-shade
- warmth
- water-wet/almost dry rhythm.







Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Euphorbia decaryi









Warning: Like all Euphorbia handle with care, the latex/sap can cause skin rash or itching.



Wrinkled Leaf Spurge Fowls foot Decary's Spurge
Some of horizontal branches can be removed to expose the roots



                    

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