top of page

PLANT OF THE MONTH: May 2017 Plant Display

By Sherrill Leist and Lisa Marun.

What is the Plant Display?

Each month, members bring in plants, cuttings, or flowers and put them in blue bottles on our display tables at the monthly meeting. What a great way to see which plants grow well in our area. EVERYONE is invited to participate. All plants are welcome. Write descriptions similar to those below and put them with your plant(s).

Join the fun and bring something to the next meeting. We thank those people who brought in plants to show to other members.

Available FREE on our website:

All 22 years worth of plant descriptions!

Freesia laxa (= Lapeirousia laxa, Anomatheca laxa, Anomatheca cruenta, or Lapeirousia cruenta) FALSE FREESIA (Iridaceae) Kenya to South Africa

Grown from corms or bright red seeds, this plant reaches up to one foot tall. Displays green sword-shaped leaves arranged in a fan each spring. In summer, it sports bright coral or white flowers less than one inch wide with the lowest three sepals having a darker marking (see photo). It prefers moist conditions.

(Sue Fouquette, El Cajon, 5/17) – S.L. & L.M.


Striking spires of up to 100 tiny lavender flowers on bright red poker-like spikes are spectacular attention-getters as cut flowers. Native to the mountains of China, this plant thrives in a damp, shady environment. Height may reach eighteen inches with a spread of one foot. Cut it back after flowering and it should reward you with blooms a second year. As the foliage goes dormant for over six months, it is best to locate these plants strategically among other small plants in the garden. A short-lived plant, it tends to self-seed. (Ausachica Nursery, El Cajon, 5/17) – S.L. & L.M.

Puya alpestris SAPHIRE TOWER (Bromeliaceae) Chile

A large clumping succulent bromeliad that forms a rosette six feet wide armed with green, sword-shaped leaves with sharp spines. In spring, it produces an amazing four- to five-foot tall pink stalk covered with masses of bell-shaped metallic teal flowers accented with orange anthers. These waxy flowers are overflowing with bird-attracting pollen and the anthers provide handy bird perches. Native to the Chilean Andes, Puya alpestris tolerates cold, dry climates. Watering needs are similar to those of other garden succulents. (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 5/17) – S.L. & L.M.

In addition to the plants described above, the plants listed below were displayed; all have been described previously.

Plants marked ‘3’ are fully described in the SDHS Plant Forum Compilation, available online for FREE at

3 Albuca clanwilliamae-gloria (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 5/17)

3 Aloysia citrodora LEMON VERBENA (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Alpinia zerumbet ‘Variegata’ VARIEGATED SHELL GINGER (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Arundo donax ‘Variegata’ VARIEGATED GIANT REED (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Borago officinalis BORAGE (Sue Fouquette, El Cajon, 5/17)

3 Chlorogalum pomeridianum SOAP PLANT (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 5/17)

3 Clarkia unguiculata, ELEGANT CLARKIA, MOUNTAIN GARLAND (Sue Fouquette, El Cajon, 5/17)

3 Coprosma repens MARBLE QUEEN (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Miltoniopsis, MILTONIA, PANSY ORCHID (Charles Fouquette, El Cajon, 5/17)

3 Plectranthus amoinicus, CUBAN OREGANO, MEXICNT MINT, SPANISH THYME (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Stipa ichu, PERUVIAN FEATHER GRASS (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17)

3 Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ PURPLE –LEAVED FOUNTAIN GRASS (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 5/17).

bottom of page