Ferns, flowering plants, freaks of nature; they may not eat insects but these plants are strange and beautiful enough in their own right!
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Companion Ferns -$6
Ferns are favored for their tropical looks, and often great ease of growth and tolerance to shady conditions. A wide variety of fern species have popped up over the years from various soils in the greenhouse and other places, and I have more than a few to offer. Most are variants of the maidenhair fern group, with delicate, highly branched fronds and can get quite large over time.
Amorphophallus variabilis -$20
As the name suggests, while the leaflets look fairly similar, the patterning and colors of this plant can vary immensely, with the thick petioles sporting anything from solid shades of green to blotches, to mottling, or even a mix of them all. Individual clones tend to retain particular appearances, but can vary some between seasons even. Though none of mine have yet matured enough to bloom, they will eventually produce spectacular flower stalks up to 4 feet tall with lengthy white or pinkish spadixes surrounded by similarly variable, slender spathes, and they are reported to smell something like ripe durians.
Two clones are available, Clones D and E, tubers between 1-2" in diameter.
Epidendrum radicans -$10
An easy to grow, even weedy terrestrial to semi-epiphytic orchid in the right conditions; this plant develops clambering, branching stems that can grow 2-3 feet tall, with short solid leaves sprouting alternately up the stem. Long roots grow out the sides to anchor the plant on moist substrate, and once established each main branch will send up a tall stalk topped with potentially dozens of brilliant yellow and crimson red blooms, which give it the common name of "fire star orchid."
Available plants are rooted cuttings developing new growth points, between 4-6" in length.
Cynorkis fastigiata -$6
A perfect beginner's orchid with unusual flowers. Plants grow from underground tubers, producing a pair to three tapered green leaves up to almost a foot in length. From the center grows a tall, lanky stem that may hold up to a dozen or more blooms that look somewhat like a person wearing a hood, with two narrow bottom and two side lobes on the lower lip, and a pair of triangular projections on either side of the "hood" covering the reproductive organs. The whole bloom is washed in white to pale lavender and edged in deeper purple. In winter, the plants die back, resting in drier conditions as tubers.
Available plants are young seedlings with leaves up to 1.5" long.
Habenaria repens -$10
A relative of the Egret orchid, but native to the southeastern US; this one is known as the Water Spider orchid due to the shape of the small but spectacular flowers. Plants grow in wet soil or even aquatically, with thin spear-shaped leaves growing off of short stems that form in clumps. Each stem will sprout a tall stalk in summer to fall producing a couple dozen small, yellow-green flowers that have multiple filaments hanging off them like the legs of spiders. Plants will spread via rhizomes to form colonies.
Available plants are approx. 3-4" tall with leaves of similar length.