Field of Science

Fabulous Flower - winter edition

It's been a tough go for Friday Fabulous Flowers, sort of a seasonal drought of flowering, and with limited diversity to begin with, you've seen most of them.  TPP does have a few bonsai trees of the sort that thrive upon neglect, but over the years they've become old friends.  The oldest was a house plant of some considerable size, Pittosporum tobira, a cheapy plant picked up down in Florida somewhere where they use them as foundation plantings and hedges.  The genus is pretty ancient with a distribution over the former super continent Gondwana.  Ours was kept by a south window in our hallway for years, but things changed and it became necessary to reduce this shrub's size, so TPP came up with the idea of turning it into a bonsai specimen with some pretty drastic pruning.  That must have been at least 20 years ago.  Now it stands about 18 inches tall with a rounded crown about 27 inches across, and a gnarled trunk about 2 inches in diameter, which bears the scars of several mishaps: a cat who missed judged his jump and broke a limb, a fall from a display bench that broke a limb, a huge chunk bitten out of the trunk by a stupid, stupid squirrel, and getting in the way of a fallen limb from a much bigger tree while summering outside, which broke off still another limb, but they give it character.  Train and prune all you want, mishaps happen.  Most years it flowers in February, and while pretty enough up close, the floral display of white flowers is nothing to bragg about, but they smell great, something sort of mid-way between orange blossoms and camellias, so during the winter the house gets a nice dose of floral fragrance. Too bad the "scratch and sniff" computer screen has not yet been perfected. 

1 comment:

Larissa said...

your houseplants make me wish a certain feline didn't consider all leafy things snacks