Friday, September 19, 2014

Dancing Dolphins

Columnea 'Melissa'
 I went to the Ohio African violet show and sale today at Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio. If you've never been there, you should make a point to get there. It is a beautiful garden. The sale was great, but the judged show is amazing. One gets to see African violets and other gesneriads (African violet cousins) grown the very best they can be. One group of plants really caught my attention and we are going to talk about them today, the last day of National Indoor Plant Week.

Columnea 'Melissa'
Columnea are commonly called the "goldfish plant" though the goldfish plant is Nematanthus. These plants are gesneriads, cousins of African violets. Their long tubular flowers are horned and so give the illusion of flying fish. They are also called "dancing dolphins" and "Shark plant" because of the shape of the flowers.They are cascading plants and so usually are sold in hanging baskets. They, like African violets need a bright, but not hot window. They are epiphytic plants (which means they grow on trees without soil) from Central and South America. They prefer to be kept evenly moist with a very well drained soil.


Columnea 'Melissa'

My first Columnea was a gift from my sister-in-law and I wrote about it here:
  http://houseplantguru.blogspot.com/2013/02/heres-to-you-fabio.html
Columnea 'Light Prince'
Columnea 'Firebird'
Columnea 'Firebird' flower
Columnea 'Aladdin's Lamp'
Obviously this Columnea above was the best gesneriad overall in the show.  I don't think it's hard to see why.

Columnea 'Aladdin's Lamp'

Check out the yellow base of the flower. To me it looks like a wax dot holding the flower on. I'm always amazed by the diversity of flowers. God's artistry is so obviously seen in flowers!


6 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa, I'm Jaime. I'm so glad I found your blog! (via your Instagram which I found through Bren of gardenchat on Twitter) I'm plant obsessed as well. I can't wait to read through all your posts. I think this may be the start of a beautiful relationship... ha ha...

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    1. Thank-you, Jaime! I love Bren! I'm so glad you are enjoying the posts.

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  2. LISA ... you forgot to stop by on your way down to Ohio! HA Great article - I want to grow more houseplants because you always inspire me.

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    1. My friend was driving! We should have stopped and picked you up!

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  3. Wow, I'm impressed. Keep blogging. Glad I found your blog. I'll be reading and reading your past posts.

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    1. Thank-you, Linda! I appreciate your kind comments!

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