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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.


Winter is the season for citrus. One of my favorites is the Clementine. But what exactly is a Clementine? This question has sparked a lot of debate in our office. I always thought Clementines were the same as mandarin oranges. Not quite. Any inquiry into the heritage of citrus fruits turns up a family tree originating in South- and Indo-China that is quite complicated. Clementines are...

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Bromeliads are members of a plant family containing over 3000 species. They are native to the Southern U.S., plus Central and South America. Columbus introduced bromeliads to Europe when he brought pineapple back the New World. Every wealthy European desired this delectable tropical fruit. To date, no other bromeliad has been cultivated as a food crop. However, several, such as Spanish moss, ha...

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Top Ten Houseplants

Top Ten Houseplants (Even If You Have a Brown Thumb!) Pothos or Devil's Ivy ( Epipremnum aureum ) Native to the Solomon Islands, tolerates wide range of light levels, though in low light leaves will lose variegation Extremely "brown thumb" resistant–will tolerate a lot of neglect and poor cultural practices. Easy to propagate...

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If you're looking for a unique flowering houseplant, consider Clivia . Clivia are native to South Africa. They are naturally found on south-facing slopes, usually under trees. English naturalist William J. Burchell is credited with making the first scientific collection of Clivia nobilis in 1815. Through the rest of the 1800's, three more Clivia speci...

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Black-eyed Peas and the New Year

There are many superstitions surrounding the coming of the New Year. Many cultures have traditions encouraging consumption of certain foods to "guarantee" luck in the coming year. Some of these traditions have become more or less part of mainstream America–one of these is eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. There are many variations on the Southern tradition of eating black-...

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