Monday, January 22, 2024

A Sweet Green Surprise!


Waiting years and years for this giant monstrosity to decide to have any flowers, I finally got the thrill of seeing it bloom in my porch this November in Minnesota.

This Green Goddess of a Gesneriad is called a Paliavana prasinata! It's a shrubby mini-tree is from southern Brazil. When they say it can grow up to 7' tall it is not an exaggeration. The plant likely should have plenty of sun to form a better looking and decently compact shape. With more limited light it likes to grow in a somewhat unkempt, rambling manner.

It is an easy plant to take cuttings from if they are not particularly woody. It grows quickly and will tolerate being moved outdoors during warm seasonal weather and then being brought back in before the temperature drops below 40°F. in the fall and winter. 

There is a very strange property about the plant too. One of my cats acts like a cat acts when using catnip. He will even howl at the plant and leap into the air to knock off leaves and carry them around. Since some of the Gesneriads are known to be hallucinogenic I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it also has some compounds in the leaves that are not really safe around pets. I've had the plant and the pets for over 20 years and neither of them have perished, so I still take the chance on keeping the big Paliavana.

Paliavanas are related to Sinningias but lack the underground tuber. These are also pollinated by bats, among other things, because of abundant nectar and a fairly strong fragrance.

My plant did not produce seeds this year even though I tried a few times to pollinate the flowers. The flowers are quite heavy and waxy and I was guessing they would last quite a long time on the plant, but after about 3-4 days each bloom was ready to drop off. 

I'm looking forward to seeing if I can get it to bloom again by moving it to a much sunnier summer location this year when it is time to move it outdoors. These are a treat to see in bloom!

Monday, January 21, 2019

2019 A New Gesneriad Year!

Hello! This is a test of getting the Gesneriast uploaded to the blog.

If you see this while it's in progress please be patient!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 This is Primulina bipinnatifida. A cool newer Primulina from East Asia/China. This plant and a very similar one, Primulina repanda, var. guilinensis (whose leaves smell incredible to me) both are hard to get to set seed. They try their best to not self pollinate.

Here's a bit of an article talking about that.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

 In only two days, the Minnesota Gesneriad Society will host its spring display and sale. Although the weather might be cloudy outside, our street will be bright and warm inside!

Come on by for a visit, all are welcome!
Just in case you felt nerdy today, here's a chart of why Gesneriads are ... well.... Gesneriads! They have certain characteristics and features common to the plants in this particular family. They typically have five fused petals, and anthers that are fused. They make many teeny-tiny seeds (to SHARE).... in other words they are a lot of fun and you might need to come see some!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Here's a sneak peak at our street!

There will be houses and flowers and surprises. The new Minnesota Gesneriad Society is excited to present a spring show with a "House"-plant flair!

Come to Bachman's on Lyndale in Minneapolis April 29 - 30, 2017 and join in the fun!

Lots of different houses....
Lots of different looks.

Sale plants and more!
Please stop by Saturday 9-5 or Sunday 10-4 April 29-30, 2017

Need a fun plant society? We've got just what you're looking for!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Minnesota Gesneriad Society!

Hello and welcome to the new blogspot blog, Minnesota Gesneriads, hosted by the Minnesota Gesneriad Society!

We hope you will enjoy our new blog and follow us! Check us out often for photos of Gesneriads and information on their culture, quirks and fun!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Geophytic gesneriads

A beautiful scaly rhizomes of Kohleria spicata.
What's a geophyte anyway? Well, generally defined, they are plants that produce resting structures that allow the plant to go dormant during harsh conditions such as summer drought or winter cold. There are actually quite a number of geophytic gesneriads. We know them as genera that produce tubers and scaly rhizomes.

The Pacific Bulb Society wiki is a place where you can find information and photos on pretty much any genus of geophytic plants. However, the coverage for geophytic gesneriads was pretty sparse. I find this pretty shocking, given that I have been contributing to the wiki for many years. And so, a cross-over of societies took place. I teamed up with Jinean S. from the Twin Cities Chapter of the Gesneriad Society and we put together a list of geophytic gesneriads. Some of these may be on the borderline but we included them anyway. The PBS wiki is still pretty depauperate with these genera but eventually it will be filled in. Here's the list for your enjoyment!

A tuber of Sinningia macrostachya.
Achimenes, Amallophyllon, Chautemsia, Chrysothemis, Diastema, Eucodonia, Gloxinia, Gloxinella, Kohleria, Mandirola, Niphaea, Phinaea, Sinningia, Smithiantha, Sphaerorrhiza.

As you may already be able to pick out, these are all New Word gesneriads! It appears that the Old World gesneriads never evolved a way to cope with drying conditions as these New World ones did.