Identification: Plant Identification Extravaganza!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    I'm sure some of you have been wondering, where has Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol been, with his endless string of plant ID questions? Is he all right? Is he now homeless and living on a bicycle?

    Well, ladies and gents, I assure you that I am ok, and have been in fact avidly continuing my hobby of bringing home plants that I am totally unable to identify. I just haven't been posting pictures of them here because, until today, I was forced to rely on my mildly disabled cell phone camera for pictures, which clearly wasn't cutting the mustard. But now my real camera is back in action, and boy do I have a lot of questions!

    Ok, let's get started!

    01) Pictures 1 & 2: Ok, this one I just took a cutting of today. Probably the hardest one for anyone to identify. I can tell you that the parent plant had several long, slender, woody stems, with one of these at the end of each. This is the best picture I could get. Shortly after taking this picture, I razored all except the top 4 leaves off, dipped 'er in hormone, and stuck it in some cactus soil. I'm not even sure if this qualifies as a succulent. There was a tag in the parent plant's pot, but with no name, just the name of a nursery in Arizona. Ideas?

    02) Pictures 3 & 4: I am pretty sure this is some kind of African Violet (I hope so, I bought a whole bag of African Violet soil for it). I thought this cutting would be a sure thing, but as you can see, is looking pretty sickly. It does appear, however, to be sprouting some new growth in the middle there. Anyways, please confirm that this plant is what I think it is, and if anyone has any further specifics, please share.

    03) Pictures 5 & 6: This is actually an outdoor plant. I propagated this one from seed, my first successful attempt at procreating from a seedhead of a plant that lives in my flowerbed. I am fairly, fairly, fairly certain that it is a Rudbeckia. Can anyone confirm this without a bloom? The only other possibility is that it is a Gaillardia or an Echinacea Purpurea. If it is not either, then it is probably just some damned furry weed that sprouted from a bag of potting soil, and I will be saddened. In any event, it is quite juvenile. What sayest ye?

    04) Pictures 7 & 8: The next several pictures were my first attempts at taking cuttings, which I did back around the 1st of the year. They are all commonly found in funeral arrangements. I know that because that is where I got them. (After re-reading this post, I realize this may sound creepy, so I will explain that I don't go raiding cemeteries for cuttings... I just work at a funeral parlor, and when families donate unwanted living plants to local hospitals, I take a quick cutting of the ones that strike my fancy before they go out the door.) In any event, they seem to have rooted nicely, and I expect great things from them. This particular plant is a neat, steely-purplish color, although I often see the same kind of plant in a more standard shade of green.

    05) Pictures 9 & 10: Also a cutting from an arrangement, this one was in a terrarium. I also see this plant in other color schemes, but this particular variegation looked neat and stood out to me.

    06) Pictures 11 & 12: The final of the arrangement cuttings. Clearly some kind of philodendron. Can anyone be more specific? Sorry, I had a heck of a time taking pictures of this one for some reason, and this is the best I could do. It has very shiny, glossy looking leaves.

    07) Pictures 13, 14, & 15: Ok, let's just focus on the first picture for a minute. The plant at the 6:30 position in the pot is a Crassula ovata 'Gollum', Trumpet Jade. I know that much. The other four all appear to be some type of Kalanchoe. Of those four, three are the same kind. The one that is different is clearly the one at roughly the 1 o'clock position. For purposes of hopefully identifying the specific types of kalanchoe that I have here, you may now refer to the other pictures, which are close-ups to hopefully give you some clues. The one of these kalanchoe that is not like the others (picture 3), appears to come from an adult plant where the leaves do not get significantly broader as the plant grows taller. They remain quite slender. The more greenish looking specimen, as you can see, develops a broader leaf.

    08) Pictures 16, 17, & 18: Last ones, I promise. Some kind of Ivy, I know that much. This particular plant is actually two plants put together in the same pot. Someone ordered a funeral arrangement where they just wanted some ivy clipped off and put around a statue. That left these two plants, which as you can see, are not doing spectacularly. Leaves are dropping like wildfire. I am not sure why. Any ideas? The easy answer is that they appear to be drinking themselves to death, but I assure you that those bottles were empty before they were put near the plant. So that's not an option. I am wondering if it is lack of light? Given the design of my apartment, it is very hard for me to give adequate light to plants with large pots, and I think this one may be suffering. It gets medium indirect light for most of the day. I also have been pretty faithful about watering it- once every week or so. Anyways, can anyone tell what kind of ivy this is? I am about to give up hope for this one.

    Ok, fire away. As always, I appreciate any and all information that you folks care to share with me.
     

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  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    #1 ???

    # 2 plant- Saintpaulia "African violet"

    #3 ???

    # 4 plant- Peperomia caperata

    # 5 plant- Fittonia albivenis

    #6???

    # 7 three with scalloped leaves looks like kalanchoe's

    Last one.. Some type of ivy
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Isn't No. 3 same as No. 4...? Hmm. Math was ne'er my brilliant subject. ---So, Richard: have you yet named these adopted children? Perhaps the ivy is pinin' for the fjords, or maybe a name. "ROXANNE..." Sorry. Had a Sting moment there.

    In fact, I had wondered in an idle fashion at your absence...but my burning question is this: Why Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol? These four words are not a combination which one encounters in nature. Have you a liking for Mr. Holland? "Jaws", perhaps? Does your name express admiration, derision, or is it an arbitrarily chosen existentialist comment on the randomness of the universe? Please elucidate, O Maven of the Cuttings!
     
  4. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    #3 really looks like a young Gloxinia of some type, which probably means it's a Rudbeckia. It's definitely not Echinacea.
    #6 may also be a Pothos. Let it ramble and see if it morphs or blooms.
    #7 I'll second the Kalanchoe for the scalloped ones, and I'd lay a large bet on Sedum for the rounded one.
    The ivy looks like bog-standard English Ivy. I'd never name a plant Roxanne. Why not Sydney?

    Togata - are you trying to tell me that Richard Dreyfuss wasn't cool way back in American Graffitti?
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Soyez-vous heureuse, mon amie. I merely listed a selection of the great man's works.
    Nos. 11 and 12 look like a heart-leaved philodendron to me. (I am hoping my numeration is correct!)
    Baby Face Nelson, Duddy, Boy Wonder...
     
  6. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    Maven of the Cuttings... I like that. It's got a nice ring to it. Hard to believe that as of the 1st of the year, I was a Cuttings Novice, and 45 or so days into the year, I have shot through the ranks to the level of Maven! What a blur of success! Now I know how Joe the Plumber must have felt.

    In any event, by asking the question "Why Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol?", you have unwittingly discovered the answer contained within. Why indeed? There is no plausible reason why those four words should ever be associated... and that's where the beauty lies, I think. When I registered for this forum, I was trying to think of a new handle, since everything I've ever used for e-mail or chat or forums just felt kind of tired. So I tried to think of a phrase that no-one had ever heard before. Surely this name meets that exacting standard. As far as my feelings for Mr. Dreyfuss... well, I do like him, especially his characters in Jaws and Close Encounters. (Strangely, I have never actually seen Mr. Holland's Opus, which I think made me the only person in my high school bad not to have seen & loved it, so many years ago... but I digress.) Mild admiration aside, he's not one of my favorite actors. And if you were to enter my home, you certainly wouldn't find shirtless centerfold pullouts of him from a 1972 issue Teen Beat or the like... not that such a thing ever existed, I'm sure. In fact, my feelings for Mr. D lie somewhere between ambivalence and mild appreciation. I just enjoy the total incomprehensibility of the name.

    As far as names go, I haven't come across good ones for most of them. I think I want to call the Peperomia caperata "Zoolander," since it's got a model's good looks, but hasn't shown itself to be engagingly intelligent yet. I will probably just have to give the two types of kalanchoe one name that has some sort of collective connotation for the whole colony-to-be, since individually naming those suckers would be a rather exhaustive process in the long run.

    The problem I have found with naming plants is that I have to find one that really sticks, or else I will never really associate it with the plant in my mind. Out of the 20-25 plants I have owned, only 3 names have really stuck so far.

    -Nacho, the wacky echeveria spruce-oliver (don't tell the others, but I think this is my favorite plant)

    -Toaster, the Hatiora salicornioides extraordinaire, who I look at every time I use the loo, as he resides at about eye level on the shelf above my toilet, and

    -E.D., the plant that couldn't stand up in this thread:http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=47258 . Of course, I speak of E.D. in the past tense because he is no longer a part of Team R.D.T.I. Viagra couldn't help him, and by the end of the year he was terribly shriveled with unsightly etoliation. So I moved him outside, specifically to the dumpster, and E.D. is now D.E.D.

    I guess the moral of the story is that a good plant name is hard to come by for me. And if that damned ivy doesn't get its act together real soon, I'll be able to call it D.E.D too.
     
  7. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    Thanks all for the good info...

    Lorax, for group number 7, I can see where you are coming from with the sedum, but I am pretty positive that one is trumpet jade. The parent plant has the uniquely meandering woody stem so characteristic of the type. Hopefully, this one will someday have one of its own.

    For number #6, after comparing pothos and the heart-leaved philodendron, I am leaning more towards pothos. The leaves have a very waxy, almost plastic-y appearance that are more consistent with the photos of pothos that I have come across. Did you know that photos anagram is pothos? You do now! In any event, I need to talk to someone who does floral arrangements for funerals, since #4, 5, & 6 are all very common in living plant arrangements that I see. I'm sure I could get a definitive answer there...
     
  8. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks for the fascinating exegesis, Richard. As T.S. Eliot told us (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats) cats, and by extension plants, have true names known to themselves. We poor humans can but invent and assign artificial ones. Employ the zen of plant-naming...let the name come to you writ large in letters of fire. If such event does not occur (as with your plants with the non-adhesive names) then this knowledge must remain a secret and a mystery. The plant knows what it is.---Barring that approach, you could just do arbitrary. I think that the important thing is to be consistent with whatever method you use. ---Back when I was in the guinea pig show biz, we named our hogs after gemstones. Suited most admirably. Seems as if your favorites are named for household impedimenta...endless possibilities there. Glad to hear that Toaster and Nacho are still with you!

    So what instrument did you play in the h.s. band?

    I agree with your final statement above: a florist could likely give you useful information.
    As for the phil/pothos: could the waxy effect be from that infernal leaf-shine stuff?
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    16-17-18 is Hedera helix (Common Ivy).
     
  10. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Bringing up the practical cats, I had a group of Maranta that I called Jellico, and an Acacia tree called Skimbleshanks.
     
  11. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    Maranta... now there's one that I commonly see in funeral arrangements, and have made a mental note to take a cutting from one when it becomes available. At least now I will know the name.

    I am a fan of the name Skimbleshanks. Any particular backstory on that one?

    Togata: it gives me a feeling of sublime satisfaction to have arbitrarily named a plant and know that I have gotten it right, as has been the case with Nacho and Toaster. In fact, speaking of cats, I have one, and I am pretty sure that I got his name right too. His name is Lunchbox (see below). I don't know how I know that I've gotten it right, except that maybe we seem to have broken down many of the usual cat human barriers, and live in total harmony, the occasional episode of feline emesis not withstanding.

    In regards to your question from yesterday regarding the genesis of the name Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol, I realized after some thought that I only gave you part of the answer. The whole business about choosing this name because of its utter randomness and absurdity is, of course, true. But after some reflection, I realized that by choosing a name with these qualities, I was allowing myself to enter a new forum with absolutely no limitations on how I choose to express myself, and conversely, with no possible preconceived perceptions about me. If I had picked one of my old names, for example, "Eazystevie," I would probably sound like some teenager who doesn't know how to spell easy, or worse yet, present with salacious connotations that weren't even part of the name to begin with. Nevermind the fact that I no longer really even identify with that name anymore. Or let's say I had picked "HockeyFan07," or "UpdikeReaderForLife." There again would been certain expectations. I suppose "John Updike Teen Idol" would have been equally as liberating, but it wouldn't have been nearly as accessible, either. Sorry, I seem to be rambling here. But you get my drift, I'm sure.

    While the housewares aisle has been good to me thus far, I don't think I will limit myself to it for purposes of naming. That could get kind of repetitive, I can see it now: "And this is my oxalis, Soap Dispenser." I am fond of the name Julio, and would like to apply it to something eventually. Same with "Six." I will have to keep my eye out for plants that fit those profiles. Actually, it has just occurred to me that now would be a great time to name one of my plants "John Updike." It would have to be the Oxalis or one of the kalanchoe, though. A plant that I could still possibly kill wouldn't make a very suitable eternal tribute.

    Oh, and I was a percussionist in high school. You know, the non-instrument.
     

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  12. namawa

    namawa Active Member

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    Mr. teen idol...(Ü)
    The plant in photos 1 & 2....can you describe their 'texture'?
    Are they rigid or succulent?
     
  13. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    namawa: I would say that the leaf-structures are succulent. They have a great deal of bend-ability, and do not have a hard feeling texturally, as would a pine needle. However, the size of each leaf is reminiscent of a pine needle.
     
  14. namawa

    namawa Active Member

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    Hmm...and since you say your cuttings of 1&2 were at the 'top' - I assume this is an erect growing plant...not a pendant/hanging plant?
     
  15. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    Correct. It consisted of several slender woody stems/branches. I would say the plant itself was about a foot tall. Very sparse-looking, although that isn't saying much: the plant was on a windowsill at a school library, where many of the plants were neglected, and some even dead.
     
  16. namawa

    namawa Active Member

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  17. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The Jellico Maranta did better at night, so that name was a natural. It also tickled me that they had a herringbone pattern and were named for cats.

    Skimbleshanks just seemed to fit the tree - I'd had the name in the back of my head for some time, and the temprament of the tree fit the temprament of its namesake... My own cat, a Russian Blue called Niro, is a big fan of lying on a branch and dropping onto unsuspecting birds and lizards.

    May I suggest naming your Pothos Julio?
     
  18. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Your cat is most handsome. Mr. Mistoffelees, indeed.

    Just read this in a local publication. Cosmically timely in re. the name issue.

    "If a cow is given a name by her owner, she generates more milk than a cow that's treated as an anonymous member of the herd. That's the conclusion of a study done by researchers at Britain's Newcastle University. 'Placing more importance on knowing the individual animals and calling them by name,' said Dr. Catherine Douglas, 'can significantly increase milk production.' "

    Gives one furiously to think, n'est-ce pas?
     
  19. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    LOL! I would have gotten "John Updike, Teen Idol" - that's fantastic.

    I say Julio for the Pothos because of how good "Juilo de Pothos" sounds. John Updike would have to be a cactus, don't you think? Oh, and if you're going to name a plant Roxanne because of the Sting connection, it should really be something with thorns, or else a nettle.

    And I was first-chair flute in my band.
     
  20. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Perhaps the ivy could honor Kurt Vonnegut. Despair, yet hope, amidst the beer bottles.

    I was in the orchestra. String bass.
     
  21. Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol

    Richard Dreyfuss Teen Idol Active Member

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    Namawa: I don't think it is Peperomia ferreyrae. The leaves are much, much smaller, like pine needles, or maybe slightly bigger. I will have to get a picture of the parent plant if and when I am in the neighborhood again.

    I have been calling my plants by names for the past few days, yet milk production has not increased. That's too bad, because I was hoping to save a little money on dairy in this fashion.

    I am ok with Julio for the pothos. I hope it survives. Unlike the other two cuttings that were taken the same day, it doesn't seem to have developed much in the way of roots. It can still be pulled from the soil with relative ease. I have decided to remove its Ziploc Greenhouse, and see if it does any better. I think it may be too damp.

    I have decided to assign John Updike to my oxalis. For one, it's very prolific. Also, I find it to be quite visually intriguing, perhaps odd given it's status in places as a weed. But it's the only plant of mine that does that neat thing with the leaves, and that to me is fascinating.

    The ivy is not doing well. I might as well name it Kurt Vonnegut, as it won't be long before it has something else in common with him.

    You know, I had names for the kalanchoe, but I seem to have forgotten them. I guess that's a sign that they might not have been the correct names after all, eh?

    On an aside, a family left a little arrangement in a basket the other day, and I scored one each of the following:

    -gerbera jamesonii
    -some type of narcissus
    -hyacinthus orientalis
    -primula vulgaris
    -and another african violet

    Not bad for free. Thank god for plants that are actually labeled. I just hope the gerbera survives long enough in my insufficiently lit domicile to make it outside somewhere sunny when it's finally warm out.
     
  22. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I have a gerbera that is spending its second winter in my plant hole. (Sorry---room.) Was given to me for my b.day in 2007 by a coworker. Since I like my c.w., and throwing out plants is against my deeply-held ethical beliefs, I thought I'd try to keep it alive. (The gerbera and my d-h.e.b.) The plant got leggy but made it through to spring---it did not bloom, but became luxuriantly verdant. I was proud of it. This winter it is back to the leggy stage but is doin' its BeeGees thing: i.e., Stayin' Alive. ---Am contemplating the use of fertilizer this year.

    The cow study did not impart one important datum: over what period of time must the name-calling occur? Perhaps one must murmur "Julio" for weeks, if not months. Years, even.
     
  23. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The cow thing - it works best if you name them as calfs (or when you get them) and continue to call them by that for the rest of their lives. I know with my Guernseys, which I have had since widgie little things, they've been individually named since I got them (the two cows are Lacy and Hyacinth, and the bull is Ferdinand) and they're a bunch healthier than my neighbor's Jerseys, and he calls all of his cows "cow."
     
  24. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Remember a report a couple of years ago, someone imported some cattle into England from France. After performing very poorly for a while, they upped their milk production a lot when they got someone in who spoke to them in French instead of English.
     
  25. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Yeah, I have to speak Spanish to mine. They don't respond to English at all - they just stare at me like I'm jabbering.
     

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