Friday, October 29, 2010

Massachusetts Horticultural Society To The Rescue!

See the plant in the picture? I've had it for about twenty years. I bought it at Woolworth's for about five bucks and it was a little bitty plant. About the size of the baby plant coming out of the bottom of it now.

There was wax on part of it, which I was told would prevent it from growing very tall and that it would be a great indoor plant. Well, it's a great plant, but it's huge now and still growing.

So here's what's new about this plant. Last year. Out of the blue. A long stalk of white flowers seemed to appear overnight. The fragrance is absolutley out of this world. The entire apartment smelled like flowers. The plant had never flowered before, so I didn't know what to think. It was rather random, but random things always happen to me.

So just a few days ago, I'm standing in the apartment when I'm all of a sudden overwhelmed by the scent of flowers. I haven't bought any flowers recently and had forgotten what happened last year. G smelled them too and we just stood looking around. Then I looked up. And noticed that the long stalk of flowers had grown out again. So bizarre!

So we're just standing there smelling this incredible fragrance. I really started to get curious about this plant. What the heck do I have growing in my apartment? The smell is so intense. I started hoping that it wasn't toxic. Yikes!

Then the next day, the smell seemed to be gone. Later on in the evening. Out of the blue. Again, this intense fragrance. The same thing has been happening all week. Here's the thing. You can only smell the fragrance at night!

Now this just seemed too weird, so I started Googling and found that there are some tropical plants that emit their fragrances more or only at night. Lady of the Night, or Brunfelsia Americana was a plant that I kept finding in my search. But the pictures didn't look right. My plant looks more like a palm tree.

So earlier today I called Arnold Arboretum and left a message for someone to call me back. But I really wanted to know today. The voice message recommended also trying The Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Bingo! Why hadn't I thought of them before?

So I called and reached a live person. A very nice live person named Frank, a Master Gardener, which looks like a very cool program by the way. It was really nice to find someone who likes to talk about plants as much as I do. I really could go on and on. So I described my plant flowering mystery and emailed Frank some pictures.

He called me back in a flash! Mystery solved! My plant is a Dracaena Fragrans, also called a Corn Plant. Thank you Frank!

If any of you have any plant mysteries or questions, definitely give the Massachusetts Horticultural Society a call: 617-933-4929.

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alessandra said...

Ha, I have the same plant, almost 20 years too, but it never bloomed, great thing it happened to you.

angelasw said...

That is too cool! Also, you must be the greatest gardener ever! between my husband and me, we've managed to kill 4 of the 6 cacti (cactuses?) my sister gave him for Christmas five years ago.

Lisa said...

alessandra - I guess it was quite remarkable for a house plant. Hopefully you'll get a nice surprise one day too. ; )

angelasw - I think that everyone is good at growing some plants; they're just different plants depending on personality. I tend to kill plants that don't need too much watering or care. I find it hard to ignore my plants and when I do, it's a major effort. Rather ironic huh?

Disclaimer: Nothing stated on Anali's First Amendment should be construed as legal advice. No attorney client relationships have been formed on this blog. © 2006-2016. Anali's First Amendment/Lisa C. Johnson. All rights reserved. Do not use writing or photographs without permission.