Friday, January 16, 2009

Mystery Plant

Our "Emily plant" flowered for the first time in December 2006

Emily originally had the plant in my office -
this is what it looks like in its entirety

While the weather is so hot and dry, the odd exotic bloom in my garden is under a bit of stress. My indigenous plants in flower, Agapanthus (A. africanus), Aloes, (Aloe spp) Falling Stars, (Crocosmia aurea), Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) are thriving provided they receive a sprinkling once a week. However, every year at this time, I am blessed with an indoor plant which yields the most beautiful bloom. I’m sure it’s an exotic but then again, I may be wrong. I cannot for the life of me, find anything in my gardening books which is remotely like this bloom. For want of a name, our family calls it the Emily plant because she first planted it in a container and brought it into my house in 2005. (Those were the days when I lived in West Africa and there were no gardeners here at home)

My house is full of plants which Emily tends. Last spring she called me and pointed out that the Emily plant was root bound and needed repotting. She and John carried the pot out onto the patio. (The extent of Emily’s gardening stretches only to tending the house plants, the harder jobs are for me and John! :)
John and I then tipped the pot over and carefully dislodged the plant. Once it was out, we saw that there were TWO plants. John fetched another pot from the garden room. He rinsed both pots, placed some flat stones over the holes at the bottom. Then we added a cupful of gravel, filled the pot halfway with ground from the garden and placed a single plant in each. We topped this with a healthy level of potting soil, tamped it down gently and watered it. John placed the pots against the cathouse in the shade to allow the soil, water to settle and the plants to re-acclimatise to their new home.

As always, the mystery plant -
AKA our "Emily plant"
flowers at Christmas again.
This year was no exception

Later that afternoon he carried the pots into the entertainment lounge which is also an enclosed sun porch. Just before Christmas I noticed the first plant’s closed flower; steadily it opened and as always, on Christmas Day, we are rewarded with a fully opened bloom. The other plant has not flowered and I’m not sure whether it will this year.

If there is anyone out there reading this post who knows what my mystery plant is called, please let me know.


  1. No ideas at all on this one, Jo. It is beautiful!

  2. Awww, Peggy, I was hoping you'd have an idea ;) As has happened over the years, many plants have been hybridised and the names changed. As far as I'm concerned this is an old-fashioned plant and my dad would have known what it is. Thanks for popping by. I've at last managed to post on your blog -for some reason I could not comment at all. I'll visit you often from now on. You motivate me to tend my meagre vegetable garden! (I'm posting about this next week) I also LOVE that you recycle. Organic is still in its infancy here so I really enjoy your blog. Hugs Jo


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo