Gesneriad v2.010

I had a very busy plant-related day yesterday. This post isn't about all of that, however; it's about only a fraction of it. I went to the Gesneriad Society's plant show and sale again. It was smaller than last year, but it was at the National Arboretum--perfect, because I had to drop off some photocopies so I could finally get my volunteer badge! I never got around to it last year for various reasons.

So, I bought some new plants! I limited myself to four, because it's one more than I bought last year. I kept the Episcia and the Streptocarpus alive (if not a-thrive). If I can keep three of the four new ones alive, I'll allow myself to get even more next year!

While browsing, members of the National Capital Area Chapter of the society were extremely helpful to me, particularly one woman, Kyoko. She explained care of different plants, helped me find ones with excellent variegated foliage, and even looked up pictures of flowers on her mobile phone!

I'm starting with my third pick-up, which was grabbed on Kyoko's suggestion of "You need some rhizomes," because I didn't take a picture of it before I put the rhizomes in a pot. It's Kohleria "Silver Feather." Kyoko actually donated the rhizomes herself (society members provide plants and/or plant material that is sold to raise funds for the society). The leaves are soft grey-dark green with grey venal areas. The flowers are similar to my Episcia in shape, but maybe not in colouring. It'll be a mystery!



The first plant I chose was Streptocarpella "Good Hope." It was also kind of handed to me after I explained how my Episcia was the only gesneriad to do well for me so far. I forget the woman's name who initially helped me, but she suggested this as a good one for me, in addition to the following plant.


Chirita is the other plant that was suggested to me on the basis of my watering habits, light, and self-proclaimed Episcia master. I chose "Deco" for its variegation. There was a smaller one available, but it was only $1 cheaper, so I grabbed the one that was in bloom. A little piece of a leaf broke off while I was on my way back home, so I stuck it in the pot with the Kohleria tubers, just for fun.


The last purchase was what Kyoko looked up on her mobile phone for me. It's Bulbophyllum gracillimum, an orchid. For my last plant, I wanted something fun, exciting, maybe different. When I saw this photo on Kyoko's phone, I was immediately decided. (There are better ones if you click through.) The flower is just so... Odd, but beautiful, and I would be indelibly excited for mine to bloom at any point in the future. For now, however, I will work on just trying to keep it alive long enough for it to do anything. Kyoko suggested just letting it grow until it started growing offshoots, and then mount it or get bark and pot it. This is as close as I could get to finding summarized care instructions on the plant. I think sphagnum moss might not be the optimal medium, but it should do for the moment.


After deciding on what plants to buy, I wandered around to look at the show plants. There were fewer entries in the show portion of the Gesneriad Society plant show and sale this year, but I truly enjoyed this one. To my delight, I saw it was Kyoko's entry, and she had won first place! What first caught my eye was the Nautilocalyx pemphidius (it's the one on the left with the small white flower). The rugged terrain of the leaf, the brick/rust colouration and the fringe of green, just awesome! Maybe in a few years, I'll be awesome enough to grow a collection of stuff like this?

Also in this collection are scattered Sinningia pusilla, little tiny things (one is blooming front and centre); Aeshynanthus sp. over the rock in the back; Episcia "Goddess Pele" (pinkish veins on the right); Chirita angustifolia between the Nautilocalyx and the Episcia; and some Selaginella kraussiana and "moss" as decoration.

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8 Responses to Gesneriad v2.010

  1. The plants in that last picture look perfect together! I like the leaves on the Cherita and the flower of that Bulbophyllum is amazingly strange...

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  2. great scores! I honestly don't know where you find the space for all your leafy roomates!!

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  3. Aerelonian, agreed. It's a nice contrast with several focal points, but nothing garish. All the glass cases reminded me that I wanted to try germinating some Sundew seeds again... So I did. Last night.

    Erin, they're taking over my living space. The Alternanthera dentata is getting so big that the branches are falling over and knocking other plants down. I mentioned before that an amaryllis flower stalk started leaning so bad that I had to duck around it. Soon, I'll sell the bed so I can buy benches with suspended fluorescents and grow more plants.

    I'm joking, but in all seriousness.

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  4. hey you can hang a bunk for sleeping from chains and fix more lights underneath to grow plants under the whole sleeping space... yikes, it would appear I've got this living small thing down to a science!! :)

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  5. I'd really like to try some carnivorous plants. A terrarium filled with sundew, pitcher plants, and different coloured venus fly traps would be awesome. That should be my next seed batch. Yeah more germination!

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  6. Nice!

    They had a bunch of gesneriads at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show but I didn't want to pay those crazy prices for something that looks easy to kill.

    I'll just live vicariously through your blog posts.

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  7. MrBrownThumb, some of these guys are worthwhile, and the prices are min/maxed. There is very little in the middle range. They are all so incredibly easy to propagate, it's amazing that they cost anything at all!

    The national chapter of the Gesneriad Society has meetings every other month. Kyoko convinced me pretty well to attend the next meeting (April 10), where members bring random plants/plant parts for propagation and everyone gets at least one free plant, but I can't because of stupid volunteering. Sigh.

    Anyone want a leaf or something of what I got? I am always more than happy to spread the addiction. :D

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  8. "alive but not athrive"
    Sums me up nicely :-)
    Brillant polished floor to display all those spiderful snailfree plants of yours.
    Didn't you fancy any Saintpaulia's from the sale?

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