Friday, March 07, 2008

The Longevity of Plants

We've had this Kohleria for more than twenty years. We've cut it back to its roots dozens of times. (The cuttings will root in a glass of water.) It blooms all year. Suspend it, and it will cascade several feet below the pot so that you can view the decorous faces of its bells. It ignores the aphids that overpopulate the sunroom in dry winter air. Any New Yorkers who want a cutting, speak now and I'll bring some in tonight.

We've had this orchid for more than twenty years. A gift from my brother's first wife. (Surely she's out of prison by now.) Sometimes we count more than forty blossoms on its muscular stem.

C inherited this from his Great Aunt Ruth. We have named it after her. It is estimated to be well over one hundred years old. I can't lift it.

Some of the newbies show stamina. We found this orchid in the trash on the sidewalk in New York last November. Just a couple of withered straps and mangled roots and no flowers.

I've combined it with this beauty, a Valentine's Day gift from C.

They may outlive us. They have no regard for time. They bloom often, and whenever they do, I inspect their flowers for wrinkles or faded colors or some geriatric indication, but I find none. Each explosive array is as vivid as the ones they gave us in other years and in other houses. I just wish they could talk. Wish I could learn what they know.


Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures. I have a pacapodium (sp?) that stands 9 feet tall and I have no idea how to get it to Seattle without it falling over in the truck and breaking. It was a cutting 9 years old now. My Grandmother has a Jade Plant in her yard in Cape Town that was planted in 1910. It is 8 feet tall and just as wide, its a beauty. That xmas cactus is huge!

John in Seattle

dantallion said...

Beautiful...I wish I weren't so predisposed to killing plants...

Gavin said...

I've had dozens of orchids over the years and could never get them to re-bloom. I need to know your secret!