New Plant: Astelia 'Silver Shadow'
One of the first plants I ever mail-ordered was a painfully expensive Astelia chathamica 'Silver Spear', and it rapidly died. This from a West Coast specialty seller of some renown in the plant lover's world. Now I would know it was a poor specimen, that the roots, on arrival uctious, black, and stinking, were not supposed to be black and stinking, that I had been sent a poor plant and I should have complained. But back then I didn't know enough about roots.
Ever since, I felt I had unfinished business with the genus Astelia, and finally last week I got another, this one 'Silver Shadow', which is a selection of A. chathamica x A. nervosa. From a big-box store of no renown in the plant lover's world. Cheap. It looked so perfectly healthy--it called to me, soft and clear, as they do. You've heard the voices too, I'm sure. The voice we answer all too often.
I've never bought anything ever again from that West Coast seller of renown. One bad expensive plant was enough. Now, if the roots of this Astelia turn black and stink, it will be entirely my fault.