Horticultural Disappointments

Well yes, i admit that i’ve succumbed to the sin of pride on occasion and posted pics of local floral extravaganzas.  Worse yet, i’d posted pics of my houseplants i wanted to show off.

So in compensation, i’ll share a couple of horticultural disappointments.  First, the “banana tree” on Hartford Street.

I don’t ride very often in the block of Hartford between 17th and 18th, but last year i noticed that this palm-like tree i’d thought of as a banana tree was sporting a large inflorescence.  I’m a sucker for large inflorescences, as folks will have noticed from my frequent photos of various agaves in bloom, so of course i snapped a pic of this one.


"Banana Tree" inflorescence

I was just fascinated by that three-foot-long inflorescence and kept swinging back by there for weeks, expecting it to erupt into a brightly colored blossom two feet across.  Umm, yes, until one day when i swung in close to examine the tip and looked up inside there.

"banana" inflorescence closeup

Click on the photo and look closely around the edge of the central shaded circle.  Those are dozens of miniscule flowers.  Whew.

The other great disappointment occurred in my own kitchen window, where i’ve had a little cactus for going on twenty years, so long that i forgot its name ages ago when it was clear that it wasn’t going to do anything except sit there obstinately.

Then finally last week my eye swept past it and skidded to a stop.  What!!!!!  Is that a bud?   Yow!   Nearly broke my leg getting a cup of water to it and then nursed it impatiently for several days until it finally opened.

ungrateful cactus

Yep, there it is.  My reward for twenty years of patient tending, a pale greenish yellow blossom fully three-quarters of a centimeter across.  Oh, and it lasted only one day.  And OK, i’ll admit it –  it blessed me with a second bloom a couple of days later.

Glad i wasted no effort remembering its name.

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