In light of the good weather, I’ve been watering my plants like crazy because I thought they needed it, but apparently I was wrong. I started seeing signs of brown spotting, and quickly thought they were suffering from root rot.
I couldn’t tell how my cactus was doing, so i stabbed it with a needle. A healthy cactus would ooze clear fluid, while a dead one would be dry. Neither happened. White stuff came out (that’s what she said ;D) instead, and I was surprised to find that I did not have a cactus.
Meet “Prickly the 2nd!” I bought him after my mother’s bypass surgery last year as a healthy reminder of the milestone. A common identity mistake, this plant is actually a Euphorbia, also an Angiosperm like a cactus, but from another family.
The two can be differentiated by the poisonous, soapy white liquid. It’s actually an ester derivative which can cause inflammation and irritation when in contact. Some are even considered cancer-causing agents. I’m glad I Googled it before poking at the the white jelly.
While I’m at it, I might as well introduce you to my other plants.
You’ve already met my small angiosperm plant plug, “Tempest,” who I got from the great storm of the Philadelphia Science Festival 2011. I still need to buy soil and transport this little guy 😦
The next two plants here are actually presents from my parents for my 21st birthday.
The “Money Tree,” also known as Pachira aquatica, is actually a tropical plant that can grow to almost 60ft in the wild. It had gotten it’s nickname from a myth that a poor man prayed for money and had magically received the braided tree, whose seeds he sold for money. It was popularized by Eastern Asian culture .
I appropriately named my money tree “Dinero,” which means money in the Spanish language.
Finally, we have “Poe-Poe’ named after the Kung-Fu Panda hero (so excited for the sequel!!!) because it reminded me of bamboo leaves. The tag classifies it as “assorted foliage,” but based on it’s characteristics I hypothesize it’s a Chamaedorea plant from the family Palmae
I used this awesome dichotomous key: http://www.gflora.com/index.php?cmd=def
Hope I can invoke my inner gardener so these guys can flourish!