Also known by the much more charming and descriptive name, Baby Toes.
Yesterday, I found this variegated Cuban oregano plant for only a couple of bucks at a small parking lot nursery. Isn’t it gorgeous?! I wish the internet had smell-o-vision and you could get a whiff of this thing through the screen. Delicious, pungent, sweet, and strange all at once. A lot of new plants have come into my life this spring, but I am probably most excited about this one.
Maybe. I don’t know, ask me again tomorrow. My favourites tend to change rapidly throughout the growing season. Two days ago it was a variegated hot pepper plant. I experienced a recurring love affair with the ‘Tom Thumb’ peas just five minutes ago. With so much happening in the garden from day-to-day, it’s hard to stick to any one plant. They all have their moments!
I haven’t come to any solid conclusions about Broadleaf thyme, aka Cuban oregano, Coleus amboinicus, aka Plectranthus amboinicus since I last wrote about it in 2007. I still can’t say definitively which is which; however, I have come upon several plants since then and there are distinct differences. About a year ago, at a small corner shop, I have found a type for sale with a similarly distinct and pungent aroma, but with much smaller leaves and softer fuzz than the plants I am familiar with.
I have also seen the plant cultivated in Cuba, and it was the one I’ve had for a few years now, the one I previously referred to as broadleaf thyme. Given that I saw the plant in Cuba, I’ve since switched to referring to it as Cuban oregano (Plectranthus amboinicus var.) and will continue to do so until I am convinced otherwise.
Do you have any experiences growing and eating these plants? have you come to any conclusions about the name?
This plant was another gift from Barry, a gardener who lives just around the block. I finally got a chance to visit Barry’s garden yesterday and all I can say about that is, WOW. Literally every single inch of Barry’s garden is well considered.
One of the highlights of his garden, among many, is a collection of agaves. I have a special place in my heart for agaves — they’re incredibly interesting plants from an ethnobotanic standpoint, although I suspect they also hold a grass is greener appeal with this Northern gardener.
I have to admit that I am a little bit intimidated by this special agave gift. Now I understand why people are sometimes overwhelmed when I give them a plant. There’s pressure to do well by a gift plant, especially when it’s an unusual variety!
Must not kill the extra special agave. Gah!
Remember when I was complaining about being unable to bring home a sundew last month? Well, I found one! Two, in fact. Thanks so much to Mel who offered to take me along on a trip to Humber (which I had never been to before and is like a million miles outside the city) where I scored three carnivorous plants. They were not on The List, but sometimes you just have to say “F-ck it” and ignore the list entirely. Which I did.
And then I got a hold of my senses and put some stuff back before checking out. Although, I’m still kind of regretting that I didn’t buy the blueberry bushes…. or the hardy opuntia for that matter.
Last night I scored a small tank for free from the curbside economy while walking home from the video store solving the problem of where to put these new plants. It’s all coming together! Not that there was a plan… but let’s just say there was and then pat ourselves on the back for making it happen, however unintentionally.
I’m a bit of a closet African violet fan. More than any other plant, African violets seem to have a demographic, and I am very much not it. My interest began with the success I had with a couple of plants while living in a dorm room in my first year of university. I already had the plants and didn’t think much of them until I discovered that they loved the hot and humid environment in my room. From that point on I have always had at least one. I currently have six, which is all the space I can afford to dedicate to them.
If I had more space you can bet I’d have lots more. I’m addicted to the variegated varieties with frilly leaves. I can’t resist the African Violet Society tables at events like the CNE. The society sells leaf cuttings of all sorts of interesting varieties for easy propagation — only 2 bucks a pop. All but one of my current plants were acquired in this way. These days I just repeat the mantra, “Walk away, don’t even look at those cuttings.” and buy another bulb I don’t have space to plant at the bulb booth instead.