May 31, 2023

Spiny Showy Haremint

binomial #019_
Lagochilus platyacanthus is a plant that I have been growing since winter 2020.

I got the seeds from a Czech nursery called "Nova Zahrada" (they only had them once in 2019 and haven't again). Its name in Kyrgyz is жалпак тикендуу ак тикен (jalpak tikenduu ak tiken) which according to a translator means "flat spiny white thorn."

I didn't know a lot about Lagochilus germination, so it started out as a single puny seedling that got spider mites instantly.
But it survived. For the next 2 years it would grow lanky, try to flower, die off, then somehow regrow. It looked like this:
It is the exact same age as my large adult Lagochilus inebrians, which is thick-trunked and wiry, but even today it looks pitiable! This year I decided to start watering it more and adjusted the soil a bit. The base of the plant has gotten a little thicker and it seems relatively happy.
The flowers are very showy - clusters of beautiful light pink, with dusty pink lines on the lower lip.
Last week I returned home after a week away - it had produced this single, tiny flower. It's quite fetching.
The weather was weird the week I was gone - quite cloudly and rainy outside, while inside the plant got super dry. I am guessing that confusion caused it to miniaturize and abort the other flowers.

Earlier this year, it flowered profusely and produced a good number of seeds for the first time. I reserved some in the event of disaster, listed some on ebay, and am sowing the rest.

In my first batch I got three sprouts - two died while I was gone, but one survived. I have more seeds in the fridge cold stratifying, which should do better.

From seed to sprout, sprout to plant, plant to flower, flower to seed,