Monday, April 6, 2009

Cheater

Sika and I went for a walk at an asian garden near her Mom's house yesterday, and I told her how I cheat at this all the time. I take a picture of something I'm pretty sure I know, and look online. If I was right, or close to right, then I count it as something I identified. "How," she asked, "is that cheating?" Well, it's not allowed under the original rules, but sincescsours doesn't seem to have done any plants since 2008, and in fact she only did 3 plants before she stopped, I figure I can have some wiggle in the rules as I implement them. I did a search and no one else seems to be doing it right now, although a number of other people did do it in 2008 for a bit (Yellow House Homeschool got all the way to 72, which is mighty impressive.) Anyway, if I'm doing this by myself, I figure I'm allowed to cheat. I have a feeling that I may go past 100 pretty quickly once summer hits and I start planting vegetables, so I may even go past 100. I should write up the list of the plants I've done so I don't start duplicating.
Flowering plum
48. Flowering Plum
Already knew: Plums have white or light pink flowers with five petals. They are a popular design element in China and Japan, probably they symbolize something, but I don't know what. You can tell this is a flowering only variety not a fruiting kind because it is covered in the blossoms (try to imagine a plum every place there's a flower right now. Not going to happen) and it's bloomed so early. Fruiting trees tend to bloom later and less prolifically because they are saving their energy for the good part.
Recently learned: The spread on these can get to be about 25, so if you plant one you want to leave lots of space around it. It likes acidic soil and as a mature tree takes less watering then other flowering trees, making it a better choice in dryer climates. There's not a lot of information I can find about the ornamental versions of this tree, and wikipedia mostly talks about the fruit.
White Willow
49. White Willow
Already knew: One of the parent trees for the Weeping Willow, and it shares most of the characteristics of it. The major difference being that it is tall and thin instead of droopy and wide.
Recently learned: The leaves on the White Willow are paler then other Willows because of a covering of fine silky hairs. The flowers grow in long skinny bunches (called catkins) in early spring. There are separate male and female trees, which is likely why hybrids happen so easily with Willow trees. White Willows are realatively short lived because they are susceptible to a wide variety of diseases.
Star Magnolia
50. Star Magnolia
Already knew: The Star Magnolia is a bush (or small tree) with big white blooms that have a bunch of skinny petals in one big cluster, kind of like a Chrysanthemum. It blooms about a week earlier then the other Magnolia that is common in this area (the Tulip tree). The buds are fuzzy, and I'm now thinking that what I identified as a pussy willow earlier this month was actually one of these.
Recently learned: It is native to Japan. It comes in a variety of colors from the white I'm used to to a bright pink. The roots grow close to the surface and do not like to be disturbed. You can grow a new Star Magnolia from a cutting of a root taken after the flowers have bloomed.

No comments:

Post a Comment