I've been working a lot in the garden over the last few days and have been going in and out totally focussed on what I had to do next - and obviously not paying enough attention to what was happening around me. That's how I happened to miss what was going on with this plant.
This is a Dracaena fragrans - better known as a happy plant or Chinese money tree. This one has been living in a pot in this corner of my back veranda for around twenty years. It's a bit over two metres at the moment and it would have been much taller if I hadn't cut off its top a few years ago when it was leaning on an awkward angle. This means it now has two crowns and makes a beautiful foliage specimen, as does the original crown which I planted into a pot.
But back to my story. I had noticed that something sticky was getting in my hair but had no idea of where it was coming from although I'd checked all around the garden. Then last night I went out on to the veranda at night and suddenly realised what I'd been missing. The happy plant was in bloom and the stickiness was nectar.
Although it's obvious now I think about it, I had never expected this plant to flower. After all, they're marketed as foliage plants but, of course, they must have flowers in their natural habitat, mustn't they. So here's a close up of what's happening to give you a better idea of what's happening on my veranda.
That it has flowers has not been surprising to others. When I looked it up I discovered that the happy plant flower opens at night and is noted for its fragrance. Well, given it has "fragrans" in its name, there was a bit of a hint, I suppose, especially as its leaves have no apparent smell. I have to say, though, while the flowers have a subtle, sweet scent it's nothing like the overpowering perfume many people complain of. Still, as you can see in the close up, only a few flowers are open at present so maybe this will change. I'll let you know if anything else happens.