Monday, December 11, 2006

Solandra Maxima


solandra maxima, originally uploaded by farmboyz.

Our Solandra Maxima bloomed this week as if to defy the freezing temperatures just outside the windows. When I came home from work, its scent rushed to greet me before I turned on the lights. (It is like the Night Blooming Cereus in that way, but not nearly so poisonous.) Commonly known as the Golden Chalice, this wonderful flower will send out ballooning buds wherever you prune it. The blossoms are eight inches long and turn a deeper golden color as each day passes until they droop and fall to the floor after about two weeks. left to its own inclinations, this plant would form a huge shrubby mass, but it does not seem to resent being kept small. A wonderful bonus: I once pruned off several branches and shoved them into a clear glass cylinder of tap water in which I watched them sprout roots. I kept postponing their transplant, and after a year, they went into bloom anyway. I gave them to a co-worker who has a degree in botany and a large greenhouse. She potted them up properly and they are performing gratefully as foster children. Our Solandra Maxima is over twenty years old. Next year at this time, we will have sold this house, and we will be full time in NYC and Fort Lauderdale with no room for our tropicals. We'll have to find good homes for them, and will miss them dearly.

8 comments:

Joshua said...

Wow, that's beautiful! Finding homes for all your babies may be a little tricky, though :)

Cooper said...

That's stunning! Gorgeous. I'm jealous. Ms Solandra must be part of the lily family? I'd offer to adopt one of your babies if I lived closer.

Dagon said...

I have a home for tropicals here in TX!
Starting in the spring I'll have access to a hothouse too.
Send me cuttings!

Anonymous said...

Wow that is beautiful,i'm a little too far away to have your babies and England is HORRIT with no warm weather but I had to comment its LOVELY xx

Ken57ct said...

What a beautiful flower!

dave said...

Honey, Night Blooming Cereus is not poisonous... if you are correctly identifying the plant you have. Cereus is in the cacti family, which does have some hallucinogenic members, but not NBC.

dave said...

Oops, meant to add that Solandra, which may be in the solanaceae (nightshade/tomato/potato) family may very well be poisonous. Cheers!

shapeshifter said...

solandra maxima is poisonous and hallucinogenic. an anticholinagenic deliriant the most serious kind of shamanic plants around. Only consumed by the most experienced and brave medicine men. Can be fatal, if too much is consumed you die by failure of respiration and cardiac arrest. If not consumed in fatal doses can still do damage to kidneys if not properly handled. Alkaloids can be consumed transdermaly.