"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sago Palm, Orchids and Unknown Plants

This year, my Sago Palm is growing new fronds earlier than last year, thanks for the warmer weather.  I was a little concerned about the yellow spots on the old leaves.  I did some research over the Internet, and I think it might be caused by magnesium deficiency.  This weekend I applied some Rite Green Magnesium Sulphate Soil Enhancer to it, and then watered it thoroughly.  Hope it can correct the issue.

The ground cover under the sago palm is Acalypha reptans, also known as Dwarf Chenille or fire tail.  They look together beautifully, especially when the Sago leaves are all nice and green.

I love orchids, and found myself bringing more and more home.  My family also gifts me with orchids for my Birthday, Mother's Day, and other holidays.  I started with 4 orchids about two years ago, now I have 22 of them.

The first two are the new purchase.  Could not resist the colors and the pattern. I love orchids with speckle pattern.

This one was a Christmas gift of 2010.  It had two flower spikes when I bought it.  After it finished flowering in February, I thought I have to wait for a long time for its reblooming.  It surprised me with another flower spike a couple of weeks ago.  Love an orchid can bloom more than once a year.

Vanda Sawita 'blue'

Another orchid with speckle...

I placed three flowering orchids together in a plant stander at the front door patio.  Every time I enter the front door, I stop and enjoy their beauties.

Now I need some help with two unknown plants in the garden.

Since I discovered some local nurseries, I check them out quite often for any new plants.  A couple of months ago, I spotted one small container with a lily like plant hidden in a corner.  I asked the owner what it was, and she said it was something similar to rain lily.  There were no flowers, only leaves.  I love anything lily related, and I trust that nursery since they only carry the plants that can thrive in my area.  Also I like any bulb that grows well in this weather.  So I brought it home.

It did not grow any bigger except setting some new leaves.  The leaves are about 6 to 7 inch long, with  one inch width.  Recently it started flowering.  The color is beautiful lavender.  The shape of the flower also resemble some crinium lily, but smaller.  It doesn't look like rain lily though.

Anybody recognizes this plant?

Here is another plant that I need help with the ID.  I found it when I was weeding the flower bed this morning.  It is under my Tropical lilac tree, so it is in a  deep shade.

Two flower spikes are above the ground.  No leaves were found on the plant.  The flower is very small, maybe at most one inch across.

Next to the flower spike, I found a bulb like new growth.  Not sure if they belong together to the same plant though.

The flower reminds me of orchid, but I never saw it anywhere before.  This flower bed was opened last summer, so I know it is not something from the previous owner.  It also doesn't look like another wild orchid (Oeceoclades maculata) I found in my yard before.

I love mystery, now who wants to be the detective?


  1. Twenty-two orchids, wow! They all look so healthy and happy too. I'm glad to see the Sago and chenille plant combo up close. They look really good together. I will have to try that in my new "church garden" area under the Sago. I have the chenille as a ground cover in part shade in my own garden and it did really well through the winter and is going crazy now it's Spring.

    Sorry I can't help you with the IDs on your mystery plants but how lucky to find such a cute little (I think) ground orchid.

  2. Wow Ami 22 orchids. They are beautiful and so healthy looking. I always love seeing your lovely gardens any time of the year.

    I don't know the names of either of your unknown plants, but that last one looks like a little orchid to me too. How wonderful to find surprises in your gardens.

    Happy Gardening ~ FlowerLady

  3. Beautiful orchids! And yes, that sago combo is pretty. A little Epsom salts sprinkled around the base a couple times of year will provide that magnesium sulfate as well. If forgot...that is something we traditionally do in our area on the sagos. I used to do it routinely on the sagos and other plants as well...back before those cycad wars going on in my garden.

    Your ground orchid looks like wild coco (Eulophia alta). Awesome finding a wild orchid in your garden! That purple mystery plant is beautiful! Sounds like you have found a great nursery!

  4. Your orchids are beautiful. I'll tell you how I would go about finding what the unknowns are. For the orchid, I would do a search for 'small green orchid' if the last suggestion doesn't work out -- if you search using Google you can then click on Images and look at hundreds of small green orchids.

    For the pink rainlily look-alike, I might start with rainlily sites which will lead me to both Zepharanthes and Habranthus. But wait! The descriptions of both of these say (and show) grass-like foliage. On to other Amaryllis family members. Rhodofiala and Lycoris both show similar pink flowers, but the flowers bloom ahead of the foliage. We're looking for a pink blossom with wider strap-like foliage. On to Brunsvigia and Nerine. You can take it from here, I'm exhausted.

  5. Nice collection of orchids, I am jealous

  6. You always have such pretty things going on. I think the yellow on the palm almost looks like it's supposed to be variegated! Hope the stuff you gave it will help. I also love that yellow speckled orchid. Gorgeous.

  7. Epsom salts often works, as Floridagirl suggested. It's worked on mine.

    Love, love your orchids, especially that purple beauty. I also loved the little collection by the front door. You obviously have the touch with Orchids.

    sorry I can't help with the unknowns.

  8. Hey again, Ami! Possibly your gorgeous purple mystery is Griffinia cordata, a native of Brazil. It is in the Amaryllis family and as such would be related to the crinums, rain lilies, and of course, amaryllis. I find myself wanting this plant BADLY!!!

  9. The mystery plant could also be another Griffinia species, such as Griffinia aracensis or G. liboniana. They all look simmilar to me. I have never seen this plant but now I must hunt one down. ; )

  10. NanaK: I think you will do very well with your new "church garden" duty since you have put so much thoughts into it already. Yes, that chenille was not doing too well since it got a little bit too much sun before I put the sago palm there. Now under the canopy of Sago, it is thriving, and even winter quite well.

  11. Flowerlady: Thank you for the nice words. Yes, that little orchid was a complete surprise to me since that flower bed was only less than one year old. It is always exciting to find surprise in the garden.

  12. FG: I read all three of your comments, Thanks for taking time to find the mystery plants for me! thanks for the tip of Epsom salts. Until now, I have been letting sago do its own thing without special attention other than water. I guess a little bit more caring will make it more beautiful :)

    I checked out the picture on Internet of Eulophia alta, and the flower doesn't quite match. Maybe I should wait for it grows the leaves to see if it would be easier to identify.

    As of that lavender color bulb, I think you are very close. All of three Griffinia looks very similar. I think Griffinia liboniana might be the closest match since the leaves has some dots. Thank you for nailing down another plant ID! You are so good!

    Good luck with your hunting! I found it purely by luck. Now I often go to that nursery for treasure hunting. Yesterday I brought another lily-like plant home with no name from the same nursery. When it flowers I will post :)

  13. NellJean: Thanks for walking me through the way to search an unknown plant. I really need to find some time to go through those images for that orchid. Sometimes, it is just easier for somebody else to tell me the name if they happen to have the same plant :) One benefit of blogging :)

    Thanks again, and thank you for stopping by!

  14. Rusty: Thanks! I found it is a little addictive once you start any collection. I can see orchid has become one of my collections, others are begonias, bromeliads, lilies, and etc. :)

  15. Wendy: You are funny girl! Yes, that is another way to look at it viewing the yellow spots on the sago as variegated! LOL

  16. Bernie: Yes, thanks for both you and Floridagirl's tip about epsom salts! Always something new to learn :)

    Thanks! I won't say I have the touch with the orchds since not long ago, I could not keep orchids life. I guess now I learned a little more than before. I am trying not to get addicted to Orchid too much, since it would be quite an expensive addiction :)

  17. Hahaha, i smiled at your last comment that if you will go on, it will be an expensive hobby. That happened to me long ago, and i resigned! You are a very diligent gardener and your choices are great, your expenses are worth it, for the show they give you and us! So thanks very much. I read all the comments and i would say you got a very kind and generous friends here, i learned from them too.

  18. Hey Ami...You are catching up with me on the orchids. They all look so beautiful, and you obviously have the perfect touch with them. Those spikes coming out of the ground look like an orchid. I won't believe it if you have another wild orchid variety coming up on its own. You lucky girl! If that magnesium doesn't help your sago fronds...try manganese. I have to apply it to my sagos every year. As a matter of fact...i need to do it now. Thanks for the reminder.

  19. Andrea: I knew you love orchids so much from various posts you made on your own blog. So you just can not really resign from orchid world, can you? LOL

    Yes, I do have lots of very kind and generous friends here in the blogging world. I know I can ask their help when I need :)

  20. Susan: Catching up with you on the orchids? That is scary! I know you have more than 50 orchids, and I have long way to go. But with the rate I am bringing in all those orchids, maybe not that long way :)

    I could not believe either that I found another wild orchid in my yard if that indeed is an orchid. I probably will send an email to Prem at www.flnativeorchids.com. Will publish an update if I ever found the correct ID of it.

  21. gorgeous flowers and beautiful photos. i have a few orchids in my garden as well but they can't compare to yours!

  22. Did you ever i.d. this orchid? I have friends looking to i.d. what appears to be an exact lookalike found at a boatworks near Vero Beach, and I am a sucker for this kind of research project! Photos here:



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