Friday, May 15, 2015

Well That Was a Surprise

though I don't know why I felt that way. Let me tell you the story.

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.


Jo said...

Funny that, you are so used to the plant being there I suppose that you didn't really look at it. It certainly has lots of flowers.

Helen V. said...

I think it's partly being so used to it, Jo, and partly that because I'm short the flowers were above my head and until they got really long stems they weren't in my line of sight.