Pictures of p1r8ed plants…

Everyone does one of these totally annoying posts where they post some meaningless triviata of their life with (poorly-composed, blurry,) huge pictures that take forever to render. So…. The plants in my room / office, and where they came from :-) With very few exceptions, all of these are pirated from somewhere.

I don’t know what this is exactly… grown from a cutting of a plant that accompanied my Grandma N’s funeral (sophomore year of college). There was a tag on the original naming it a ‘Covette’ (I’d smell a trademark suit, but this has less wheels) and actually claiming a US patent on it (blood = boil boil boil), although I’ve seen this type of plant all over the place.

Not actually growing right now :-) But they’re pretty and they brighten up my room…it could use a little brightening this time of year. (yes, I’m a dude, and I like flowers. Deal.) The one on the left is a gift from a very good friend in Boston. My mom painted the one on the right long ago, found it during some basement cleaning and was going to throw it out. (The partially visible bumper sticker was IIRC found on the sidewalk near Davis Square…actually, I think J.R. found it and stuck it to my butt!)

Golden Pothos, or Devil’s Ivy(?), or whatever these are called…one hanging from each of my windows, a third greening up my office a bit. Housemate E.R. left them when I took over his room.

(Left) A small bunch of ferns taken from the woods at the cabin in Morris, IL. It’s kind of like (literally) having a little piece of home in my apartment.

(Right) No idea what this is. A little sprig of something found neglected and rootless at my folks’ place near Chicago, brought here and rooted.

(Top / left) I’m told this is a Wandering Jew. Rooted from a little sprig found in the bottom of a shopping cart at Shaw’s one day. One is a cutting from the other; a third is currently wandering all over J.R.’s windowsill.

(Right) Home De(s)pot is a hardware store. Especially in the middle of winter, where they got the idea to start trying to offer a plant selection is beyond me. This spider plant is the 2nd generation of a small spiderling “liberated” from a sickly plant under bad (mercury vapor?) shop/gym lighting. Again, the ‘Big Brother’ of this one is at J.R.’s house trying to make the windowsill disappear.

Mimosa, aka sensitive plant, aaka shame plant (I guess because it “hangs its head in shame” when touched). If any of the leaf trigger hairs are touched, or heat is applied, the leaves rapidly fold up and sometimes the entire cluster droops toward the ground. They re-open after a few minutes. (Here is a video of one of these in action.) Grown from seeds I field-collected while on vacation in Hawaii, where it grows everywhere and is kind of considered a nuisance plant.
I moved it from my desk to the windowsill not only for light, but also because my officemates can’t resist coming over and poking at it ~ 10 times a day. (Also why I don’t keep any venus flytraps at the office.)

Naughty aloes. Nauuuughty! Seriously, there used to be only one in each pot. Now they’ve gone and overpopulated, and it looks like they’re trying to escape. I suspect they get up and walk around the room when I’m not looking. One is from a tiny 1″ sprig from a plant that “came with the house” (looked like it had been watered maybe once a year), the other was a defunct-looking brown thing J.R. gave me (I think it was with an “I bet you can’t make this green again!” dare). Yes, it’s growing in half a soda bottle because I ran out of pots.

Unknown waxy-leafed, viney thing. A cutting from a plant my Grandma G gave me years ago…the original is still living in ‘my room’ in Chicagoland (if anyone there is actually watering it!). Every couple years they produce clusters of small, white waxy flowers. They don’t look like much at all, but you can smell them 3 houses away. Pleasant in very small concentrations…but just plain overpowering when you’re in the same room with it (white and pink and yellow…texture of ribbons overlaid with the compoundly-serrated edge of a saw that really means business).

A few (hot/green?) pepper plants eeeking out an existence in my room, where the lighting is terrible. They also came from J.R., who had so many of them she was giving them away on LJ. (The directions said to let the entire pot sprout, then thin the herd down to about 3 or 4 plants. The herd was at least 20. Pull them out and… just throw them away to die? Noooo!…) Now that it’s… November, one plant now shows the very beginnings of a pepper on it.

Drosera capensis, a.k.a. sundew, a carnivorous plant with leaves lined with small sticky hairs that trap small insects. Not pirated! Gotten from Cook’s Carnivorous Plants. One (pre-potted, in a little mini-terrarium) croaked immediately; the other (bare-root, planted by me in a cut-in-half soda bottle with a baggie over it, that I expected to croak immediately) is doing fine.

Nepenthes ventricosa, a tropical pitcher plant native to Asia. Also from Cook’s. The pitchers are those big lumpy things, of course…the bottom of each pitcher fills with a sweet, but digestive “nectar” bugs can’t resist, and become a source of nutrients for the plant. (From what I’ve read, the whole process is surprisingly humane…the juice contains an anesthetic that puts the insect to sleep quickly, which also keeps the pitchers from being damaged by lengthy escape attempts.) Currently, this plant lives in a makeshift terrarium made from a 3L soda bottle (sparing no expense…Shaw’s brand fruit punch, because that and a few others are the only things they sell in 3L bottles), but I have a plan in the indeterminate future to build an actual climate-controlled plexiglass terrarium.

Unknown ferny things. The top one I picked up on vacation in the Northeast last August, and brought home in a little baggie. The other two were pots that I had seeds or something planted in at one time, put a bag over them and kind of forgot about them for a long time after nothing grew. When re-discovered in my room, they had ferns (or the beginnings thereof) growing in them.

The Plant That Took Over The World! I think officially this is called Mother of a Thousand. It’s indestructible. This one is a sprig J.R. found…6 months?…after moving to her new place, all shriveled up in a box somewhere, and stuck in dirt. They just keep getting taller and wider, and once they hit a certain size, new plants begin to form ON THE LEAVES, at each little jagged edge. Then the new plants, with little proto-roots already formed, drop off the leaf by the dozens and start growing like weeds on whatever they land on – you have to be careful not to put other plants too close, because their pots will soon be overrun with these things. J.R. found one growing inside the moist little center of a pineapple plant. I have one of those growing downstairs too, and it’s getting to be fairly big, but I’m too lazy to go down and photograph it now that it’s getting all dark out.

Feeeeeeed me Seymour! My venus flytraps, also a gift from from J.R. (well, now we know who the plant lovers around Boston-land are ;) This is actually an old picture, showing their “autumn” (low to the ground) leaves; in the spring the traps stand skyward on long slender leaves. But right now they’re going into winter dormancy and aren’t very picture-worthy. I have to keep all the carnivores safely out of reach of people so that they don’t get immediately destroyed by careless poking and prodding.

PS. If anyone reading this would like to pirate a few of these themselves, reply below and I’ll make you a cutting (for those things that can be propagated from cuttings). Note though, the carnivores in particular are annoyingly difficult to propagate (and no, I don’t do tissue-culture in my kitchen), so you might be on a pretty long waiting list for them :)


2 Responses to “Pictures of p1r8ed plants…”

  1. gardenladydori says:


    I think your plant is Schefflera actinophylla?: Covette?

    Your plant is definitly called a Schefflera or Umbrella Tree Plant.

    Your plant’s picture (The first pic on the page) helped me find out the name of this plant. I have one too, which my aunt sent to me. She didn’t know the name, so my quest was to find out the botanical name even though we called it, “Uncle Sam” after my uncle who died and she received the plant from the funeral home.

  2. me me says:

    The Covette is one of the species of the Schefflera that began growing on a farm in Florida in the 80’s. It was sold in Walmart and Home Depot stores throughout the 90’s. The Covette is heartier and resists many common diseases, which is how you make money growing plants. There are over 150 different species in the Schefflera family. And yes it qualified for a new patent. They also propagated a variegated version called the “Coveen” also patented. Here’s the info: I was an employee at the farm in Florida at the time the patent application was completed. The owner, Ernest Gorvel, asked me about a name and so I blurted out “Covette” as the farm was on Cove Road in Stuart, FL.

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