Monday, October 13, 2008

A trip to the USBG

I did a couple things this weekend. One was to attempt to sell plants at the Old Town Village Marketplace in Fairfax, where a large crowd was anticipated for the Fairfax community fair. It didn't work out very well because the large crowd at the fair didn't know we were in that building. This was another lesson learned in selecting a venue and why I shouldn't do a show last minute - I wore myself out preparing. Oh well. On Nov. 1st I'll be selling again at the DC Craft Mafia show in Bethesda. Come out & see me!

Aloe feroxThe more exciting news was a trip to US Botanical Gardens adjacent to the Capitol Building to genuflect at the plants. It was a very nice day for it. The NCOS show was this weekend too, but for the first time in years I skipped it, so I can't report on it for you.
In one room they trotted out a number of succulents and put up cards with a list of their traditional uses. As you might expect this display included several aloes with their well known uses. However, some had some interesting details I'd never heard of before. For example, this A. ferox apparently is used to make snuff. ??? Thats a new one by me!

Paph. Transvaal 'Orchid Loft'I also took a moment to muse about how a clone name can identify the origin of a plant. This Paph. Transvaal 'Orchid Loft' is a fairly obvious example, in that the original plant must have been owned by Orchid Loft at the time it was awarded.

Phal. Valentinii 'Harford'This Phal. Valentinii 'Harford' is a little more subtle, but anyone familiar with The Little Greenhouse will recognize Harford as their location and a name they use quite frequently with their clones. Incidentally, if you've never been to Little Greenhouse, which is North of Baltimore, make the time to visit the next time you're in the area. It's a charming greenhouse with lots of little goodies tucked away all over the place.

I think I should pick some names to tack to all my plants. I'll have to think about that one.

Globba winitiiThere were lots of other interesting things there as well. For example, this Globba winitii, which is in the ginger family. I used to have an alba form of this species. They're pretty easy to grow as long as the bulbs don't stay too wet during the winter months.

Oncidium onustum or Zelenkoa onustumFinally, I'll leave you with a photo of a nice cactus-mounted Oncidium onustum (a.k.a. Zelenkoa onustum). I don't remember seeing the plant there last time I visited, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. In any case, its nicely bloomed out!


swamprad said...

During residency, I spent 6 weeks in D.C. attending the AFIP radiology/pathology seminar. I attended class every morning, then skipped out in the afternoons and toured D.C. with the wife and kids every afternoon. We DID the city. The highlight for me was the botanical gardens. I remember it vividly and look forward to visiting again some day. I don't think I genuflected at the plants, but in retrospect, I should have.

My Transvaal is in bud with 2 spikes!

Good look with your shows/sales!

Wicked Gardener said...

I love gingers and I have never seen one like that Globba winitii. Now I have found something else I gotta have.

SapphireChild said...

Hi Wicked Gardener!

Yes, they're quite adorable, and also quite manageable for potted or flower bed culture. I highly recommend the species!