I love seeing plants I've never heard of. What I saw at Roger's over the weekend was Bravoa geminiflora. Never heard of it. Where have I been?
No, I didn't buy one. I am doing my sincere best to avoid impulse buys, ("Do you have a spot for that?") and believe it or not, it's working. So I'm making up for all that discipline by thinking about new plants, even if I don't buy them. I did succumb a couple of weeks ago to this "Wow A Dollar" plant from Home Cheapo. How could I not? Four inch annuals are triple that price.
Home Cheapo had a bunch of gallons out front, fresh off the truck and as yet not dessicated by reflected heat from concrete and asphalt. There were lavenders, Euryops, something else I didn't want,and these 'Sensation Rose' hybrid Salvias. I did have a spot for it, and I can call it my "Wow A Dollar" plant while it survives, which since it was a dollar, I'm not hopeful about. Possibly a grower trying to make their second quarter earnings, dumping a bunch of stuff two days before quarter's end on June 30th. But I digress.
According to what I gleaned from the Internet, Bravoa geminiflora is a bulb-like perennial from central Mexico, in the Agavaceae family according to some references. The most helpful page, since it wasn't trying to sell me the plant, was this brief entry, which places Bravoa in the genus Polianthes, the more famed member of which is the lavishly perfumed tuberose, Polianthes tuberosa. Bravoa geminiflora wants plenty of water in the growing season, dryness in winter. Okay--exactly what I don't want. I want plants--other than roses--that like rain in the winter, because of course that's when we get it.
I do have a couple of tuberoses (Polianthes tuberosa) and adore them. That fragrance! Where is Smell-O-Vision when you need it? Two tuberose are not enough. Get the single, not the double flowered bulbs, because the single is more fragrant. Who cares if the flower is flimsy when they smell like that? I'm even tempted to buy them as cut flowers, though I can hardly justify buying cut flowers when I have a garden stuffed with the attached kind. My Beloved once gave me a bouquet with a couple of tuberose in it, and the sweet perfume is mixed with that sweet memory.
Someone, Robert Smaus, I think, wrote that tuberose don't always come back every year, but rather every other year, and that's what has happened with mine. This is their off year. They appeared last year, besotted their area with perfume, and vanished again without explanation, like a run of good luck.
After my bit of Bravoa research, I'm glad I didn't buy one. I am glad I thought about buying one. Since I got to do the thinking out of the blazing sun (our precious June Gloom vanished yesterday), and had time to take a detour into memories of tuberoses, it was nearly as fun as a purchase. Maybe more so. I'm not out there in the sun looking for a spot to plant a Bravoa.
A bit of eye candy to close. That might be an Assassin Bug at 12 o'clock. A predator. A good guy.
Rosa 'French Lace':