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I Was Gonna Stop Collecting!

May 30, 2010

I always seem to go through phases of collecting a certain type of plant. Last autumn, around the time I left my old job after completing my apprenticeship, it was Pilea – I brought home cuttings of every species we had at work, and bought some more.

But when I lost a couple of them during the winter, I told myself, ‘This is stupid, and they’re really not that pretty, I’ll stop collecting.’

And then I paid the garden centre a short visit yesterday, just to get pots to plant more strawberries, cast a quick glance over the annuals, and what do I see? Pretty, pretty Pilea microphylla (Artillery Plant, Gunpowder Plant). One of the victims of winter darkness (and possibly, of my less-than-regular watering).  How could I resist? Never mind that I could have gotten cuttings for free  two different ways.

But with a cutting, I’d have to wait a while for such a lovely plant. There’s something to be said for instant gratification.

So my collection is now back up to six kinds of Pilea: P. cardierei (Aluminium Plant),  P. involucrata ‘Moon Valley’ and  ‘Silver Tree’ (Friendship Plant),  P. microphyllaP. nummulariifolia (Creeping Charlie) and P. peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant, Missionary Plant).


For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to plant all the cuttings in one bowl. I can't have been thinking very clearly last year.

I’m especially fond of P. peperomioides, both because it is a wonderfully weird-looking plant, and because I was the one to finally, if accidentally, get an ID for it at work, and one of the two students who got it properly tagged at school (it was first tagged as some kind of Begonia.)


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