Since moving to Florida, there are times when I feel as if I’ve landed on another planet — and it has nothing to do with the news items that have made the Sunshine State the punchline for late-night hosts. For me, the sense of wonder and bewilderment is the result of plants.
Take the desert rose, for example, the one that’s been blooming in a terra cotta pot beside the front door for five years. This plant was my first foray into the world of desert roses, a rose that isn’t a rose but more of a flowering succulent. I’ve loved the plant so much that I’ve even started some from purchased seeds and rooted cuttings. It’s an easy, no-fuss, drought-tolerant plant that even iguanas ignore (mostly).
A short time ago, Joe and I left on a road trip and I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary with my desert rose. One week later, upon our return, it looked as if it had grown a green mustache — either that, or some alien life form had hitched a ride on a meteor and rained down on my yard.
A little research later, I learned this was actually a seedpod — the first time any of my desert roses had produced a pair of seedpods — and that they should remain on the plant until they split. That’s when the seeds can be harvested and planted.
Now, each day — really, each time I walk in and out of the front door — I find myself examining these matching pods for any sign of a split. So far, nothing — just one beautifully groomed seed mustache from outer space — and one very eager gardener.