Graptopetalum paraguayense

grapto1.jpg

At least that is what I think it is called. Like so many of the plants in my collection now it started in home deposit’s nursery and did not have a proper tag. The nurseries here are operated by people who display no interest in plants and their names.

And this one is well worth knowing. It comes through our summer reliably, only becoming a little leggy. grapto21.jpgBut when the cool weather comes it grows again with that economy of form I love so much. We experience the occasional frost here but these leaves have always come through undamaged. I am in roughly the USDA zone 9 but if I were in 8 I would still give it a try.

There is something remarkable about this little plant and it is not that it is planted in marbles. My computer’s monitor is very high quality and is always calibrated and gamma corrected. I don’t know if you can see it in your monitor but these leaves have subtle colors.

This is a gray–leaved plant that can be slightly green in summer but at this time of year the green is gone and there is a dusty blue under the gray and an even more subtle rosy irridescense that you can only see from time to time. I wait through the seven months of the Pangaean summer to see those colors again. It’s our northern lights. How does a plant do that? The joke’s on home deposit anyway. Instead of buying a plant I just picked up a fallen leaf and kept it.

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