Identification: A Broken Succulent

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by plpham11, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. plpham11

    plpham11 Member

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    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have done the unthinkable; I fiddled with someone else's plant on their desk in the office. While trying to do a good deed, I put in an all-wood chopstick to help prop up someone's flowering stem, I broke the stem....not off, but broken enough where it quite clearly bends. The pic below shows the stem towering above the plant.

    two questions:

    how can I heal the stem? right now I've got it kind of splinted, so its standing up, but anyone moves it and it'll show its damage.

    Can anyone identify the plant so that if I have to make restitution I can at least buy the right plant?
     

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  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The plant won't die from having a flower stem broken. The flower may die before it opens though. If it did not break too much it may still flower successfully.

    I don't know what that is. Some plants like agaves are monocarpic, meaning they bloom once and die after blooming.
     
  3. mrsubjunctive

    mrsubjunctive Active Member

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    My guess would be a Haworthia, but the plant in question has a sort of ambiguous look to it that makes it tough to pin down. (Pachyphytum/Pachyveria wouldn't surprise me either. I doubt it's an Agave, as none of them flower while still so small, as far as I know, and the plant in the picture appears to have translucent leaf tips, which isn't something Agaves do as far as I'm aware.) A photo of the actual flower might help with ID: Haworthia flowers are small and white, with five petals; the petals usually have a brown or gray stripe down the center. (example)

    My initial reading of this was that the stem had been snapped or severed under the soil, in which case the plant would likely re-root in place without anyone needing to do anything, though that wouldn't be certain to happen. If it's just the flower stalk, then Eric La Fountaine is correct and this is of little consequence to the plant.
     
  4. plpham11

    plpham11 Member

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    I suspected it was a pachyveria but I couldn't find any image with a flowering stalk that extended so far above the plant. The stalk is about 12" high, and barely stands up under its own weight.

    I'll try to get a picture of the top of the stalk on Monday, but the kicker is that it hasn't flowered yet; its budded, but not flowered. Its not severed clean through, but it is broken somewhere near the 6" mark.

    My question is, will the stalk eventually heal up? Or are we talking lop it off at the broken section and hope it grows back?
     
  5. mrsubjunctive

    mrsubjunctive Active Member

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    I don't think it's possible to know at this point. If the stalk is permanently bent, I would say probably it can't heal. If it's still more or less vertical on its own, without support, then it'll probably recover. The plant as a whole will not be harmed either way.

    If the plant is in fact a Haworthia (still my guess), cutting off the flower stalk below the injured part will probably not result in a new bloom stalk coming up immediately to replace the old one, nor will the stalk sprout again from the stump. The plant will still be able to bloom again in the future, though it'll probably be several months before it tries again.

    If it's a Pachyphytum or Pachysedum or something like that, I don't have any guesses as to what will happen; I'm less familiar with them.
     
  6. mandarin

    mandarin Active Member 10 Years

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    Note: the flower stalks on the (very few) Haworthia I have owned have not needed any support despite being long and thin ...
     

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