Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fascicularia pitcairnifolia var bicolor

Have you ever lusted for a plant in someone else’s garden only to discover that you already have it in yours? Sounds pretty pathetic doesn’t it? Let me explain…

I’ve been watching this bloom take shape on a Fascicularia var Bi-color in Roger’s garden. Roger is a regular poster on the Northwest Palms and Subtropicals discussion board. I’ve never met him but I know he lives in Olympia, WA and has an amazing collection of plants. These pictures, with the vibrant red leaves are his.
Fast forward to last weekend, I’m looking through the book where I keep my plant tags, familiarizing myself with the tenderness of some of this years new acquisitions. That’s when I see the name Fascicularia pitcairnifolia var bicolor. A quick online check confirms that this is the same plant I’ve been drooling over online! I own it! The tag confirms that it’s the hardiest of the Bromeliads and the leaves at the center of the plant turn red upon blooming.

It all comes flooding back to me now.

I bought this plant during a January (or February?) trip to Cistus. They had one in bloom on display next to the counter, how could I resist? I had told myself the trip was to see how their plants were doing after the winter’s arctic event, but I left with a couple of new, marginally hardy, plants. Where’s the sense in that? Human psychology is an interesting thing...

Here is how the Fascicularia is looking in my garden. And my other purchase that cold winters day, these Aloe striatula. Supposedly the hardiest of the aloes, according to the tag (if you can trust that) the top portions have withstood the upper teens with the roots surviving to around 7 degrees, with mulch. They are planted around the grounds at Cistus and looked great, even then. Here’s hoping they’ll look great in my garden come spring.


  1. How cool is that? It's not pathetic, it's kismet!

    What a gorgeous plant: no wonder you fell for it at Cistus. I bet yours will bloom no problem, but probably not in February (unless you find that greenhouse space you've been looking for, that is!)

  2. DG~~ This just shows that you're consistent in your plant desires. As for your memory, welcome to the club. A sense of humor is vital in times like these. :] I hope you'll proudly post a photo of yours when it blooms. It is a beaut and I can understand your desire.

  3. That Fascicularia is really beautiful. I like it very much :-) Have a great weekend.

  4. Oh, I have done the same more than once. Also bought a plant I already had, not remembering that it was already in the garden. Wow, that red center zone is amazing, I hope yours does the same lovely thing and everything survives this winter. Supposed to be an El Nino year, right?

  5. Sounds familiar. In my case it's more a matter of this unreliable memory of mine. That's a gorgeous bloom, I'm so excited to see if yours will do the same.
    And that aloe can make it outside? Unexpected good news. I have one in a small pot, I think I'll overwinter it in the breakfast nook, but next year it's going in the ground.

  6. Jane, I appreciate your positive attitude, I'll be happy if it lives to bloom someday ...whenever that may be.

    Grace, you bet! If mine blooms I will be driving everyone crazy with the play by play!

    Stephanie, it is...hopefully someday mine will be as beautiful!

    Karen, so glad to hear you do it too! YES! It is going to be an amazingly mild winter!!!...please...

    Megan, I hope mine does the same...god I do. As for the aloe...yes, at least on Sauvie Island...hopefully in NE PDX too...


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!