Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Poinsettia and the Rarest Cycad in the World

A Poinsettia and the Rarest Cycad in the World
‘Nutcracker Red’ Poinsettia
Euphorbia pulcherrima
(yoo-FOR-bee-uh) (pul-KAIR-ih-muh)

These are a few more pictures from Longwood Gardens. ‘Nutcracker Red’ Poinsettia was the main red Poinsettia used in the Conservatory displays this year. It was a handsome and bright Poinsettia that seemed to setting off the white flowers it was mixed with including Snapdragons, Cyclamens, and Paperwhites.

Wood’s Cycad
Encephalartos woodii
(en-sef-uh-LAR-tos) (WOOD-ee-eye)

This was a very special plant blooming in the Conservatory. One that Wikipedia said, “It is one of the rarest plants in the world”. I couldn’t really get a good picture of it since it was set in the planting bed 8 to 10 feet deep and a waterfall was on the other side. It was one of the first things I noticed in the Conservatory and I was immediately drawn to the huge yellow cones protruding from its center.

The only known specimen in the wild of this South African native was first discovered 1895 and died around 1912. It is now considered extinct in the wild and all existing plants are from that one original tree. For more information on its interesting story and history try these links:

It truly was a sight to behold and I think even non-gardeners would have had to stop and remark on this plant.

I ordered my new camera and a couple of lenses yesterday, more on that tomorrow. We are supposed to have a big snowstorm on Friday and there are a couple of things that have to be done before than. They are forecasting 12 plus inches (30.5 cm) of snow.


Anonymous said...

The poinsettias are beautiful! And that cycad -- how spectacular! (When I tried to Pick this post, I got an error mssg that there was trouble with your feed?)

Anonymous said...

I love cycads! They are such a unique plant and you can easily feel yourself thousands of years ago!

Les said...

That Cycad, wow!

Max-e said...

Interesting post on the cycad. We had a property several years back with a vey tall cycad - I am not sure what species - but it also put out the large orange fruit. We were required to have a permit for it and if any of the suckers were removed, we had to get permission to do so.
We had to leave the plant behind when we left.
It is such a pity that these plants have been plundered in the wild. I remember seeing cycads growing in the wild on the way to East London about 30 years ago. They are all gone now. Quite recently someone was arrested in the area with about 700 plants stolen from the wild. I cannot understand why some individuals cannot understand the concept of leaving a legacy for the future - rather that making a quick buck.
Like a neighbour of ours (many yeqars ago)who rented some state land which had a profusion agapanthus on it (They are endemic to this area). One day they were all gone and he proudly told us that he had removed them all and given them to his brother who had a nursery. To this day there are no agapanthus on that property.
Even though we have good legislation protecting our plants some unscrupulous individuals will always find a way around the law.