Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Fat Bottomed Girls

Queen -- Fat-Bottomed Girls

There are certain features of plants that make them a sure hit for me.

Dangly bits.

Garrya elliptica's dangly flowers

Dicentra's dangly flowers

Peely or colorful bark.

Eucalyptus bark

Paperbark maple



Big flowers.




You're probably starting to wonder what fat-bottomed girls have to do with anything...

Caudexes (Is that the proper plural?)

I love my caudiciform plants. I love their big fat bottoms.

I have four plants, all houseplants, that have a caudex. A caudex is a thick, fat stem or trunk used for water or food storage, allowing the plant to go for long periods without water or other nutrition.

Two are Pachypodiums. The largest, who I named Maude, was given to me by Matthew, a Portland blogger at The Lents Farmer, at a plant swap a couple of years ago. 


I bought my second, smaller Pachypodium from Rare Plant Research a couple of years ago. I named her Flora, although she has yet to flower.


My third is a ponytail palm, Beaucarnea recurvata, which is not actually a palm tree, but a perennial native to Mexico. I named this fat-bottomed girl Jean.


You can see from the caudex why this plant is also called elephant foot palm

My fourth fat-bottomed girl is a recent acquisition. Her name is Ruby, and she's an Adenium obesum. I bought her for myself as a Christmas present from the online nursery Logee's. When she arrrived, she was about to flower, but the change in her circumstances caused her to drop those buds almost immediately, before any of them opened. Fortunately, since then she seems to have settled in and decided she likes life in the greenhouse, because she has budded up again. She's a named variety -- 'Immortality' -- described on the Logee's website as having "maroon-black inner petals and red outer petals. The flowers have a slight frill at the edge of each petal and the colors become darker as the flowers age."


With any luck, Ruby may flower soon

How did my fat-bottomed girls get their names? They're all named after great-aunts, sisters of my paternal grandmother.

So, just in case you're wondering -- no, there won't be one named Alison.