Friday, April 1, 2011

Piccabeen Flowers

Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
I am delighted that my Piccabeen is flowering at last.
I planted in it 1988, so it’s taken 23 years to reach this level of maturity. It’s had a hard life, in rather unforgiving dry soil. I imagine that a plant which had been better cared-for, with rich soil, water, and mulch, would have got to this point considerably sooner.
Each of the two spikes unwrapped itself, like a birthday present, from a spathe which was only revealed when an old leaf fell off the plant. Prior to that, it had been just a little pregnant bulge under the leaf’s petiole.

The flower spikes are pearly white (and gleam in the moonlight), and you can see how lovely the little purple buds and flowers look against the stem colour.

The buds open a few at a time, so the first spike, which appeared about six weeks ago, still has a lot of buds on it.

I am now hoping the flowers will be followed by a showy display of orange fruits.

1 comment:

Caroline Wenger said...

Thanks for your blog Patricia. I was googling Teucrium argutum to see where I should plant it for best chance of success in Canberra's dry climate. (Have now decided to try putting it in a spot where it might help stabilise some soil falling onto the driveway). I loved your article on snails. The triangular slug in shower story reminded me of a rental house I once lived in with rising damp (fortunately many years ago) which had a very healthy population of bright orange rubbery looking fungi. I wonder if your slug would have helped me! Caroline