native to the semi-desert areas of Africa and the Americas. I can't possibly see how it ended up in Greece except onboard some sort of vessel full of smuggling gardeners ... Still, it has adapted very well and grows in a dry, barren part of the island. I'm sure to all of you in the southwestern parts of the US, Palo verde is just an ordinary, everyday bush. In Australia even, it is is a Weed of National Significance. It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts. I have already germinated 3 of the seeds and the babies are doing great LOL.
When the strict protocols governing import and export of plants are concerned, gardeners are especially likely to snatch a plant part and smuggle it back home for propagation (are they ??). Concerning all that, I found an interesting article over at BackyardGardener - ''Gulid-free Souvenirs''. Also more on the delusiveness of plants ... LOL
Euphoric Euphorbia was the 1st plant I smuggled back to my garden from the land of Odysseus. But certainly not the 1st one that has put a spell on me. I was not bothered about all the safety regulations (I was not smuggling immigrants after all) , I had one fear only, of those passion-less passport control drones confiscating my little friends. But luckily they were always more concerned with my Carmex lipbalm. 3 years ago, back on Kefalonia island, in an old churchyard,
I spotted this beautiful, delicate plant fluttering in the wind. There was only another larger tree of the like on the island, in the protected laguna, already carrying seedpods but they were not ripe yet. I took some anyway, but never managed to germinate them. 3 years later, this August, it was the right time to harvest some more seed pods. Naturally, I still hadn't the faintest idea what the plant was, except that it belonged to the bean family, judging its seed pods. So instead of asking around, I went on a googling mission through the whole Fabaceae (bean) family. An hour later, already discouraged by hundreds of cousins and no look-a-likes, I suddenly came across this name. The foliage was identical, so were the seed pods, and seed size, shape and color. Parkinsonia. Parkinsonia acuelata ! Possibly. At least I think so, if you think I might be wrong, feel free to widen my horizons. After all, this has been a mystery plant here for years.
The Irish botanist Thomas Coulter was the first to categorize the plant. He obtained specimens near Hermosillo, Sonora in 1830. Also known as Mexican Palo verde tree, or Jerusalem thorn. I recently ran into an article about gardeners, their star signs and the plants they were attracted to. Apparently, Cancers are strongly attracted to the Bean family, esp. to the Mimosa tree look-a-likes. I can wholeheartedly confirm that, as I have had the strangest affinities towards the fan-like foliage which has led me to collect anything from Mimosa (Acacia dealbata) to Jacaranda tree, even though I can only grow some of them as greenhouse plants. Albizia julibrissin makes up for all those who can't be planted outside. I'm actually trying to push the limits and grow my Mimosa outdoors (with considerable winter protection) against the south wall along with Figs and Palm trees.
And the last one, but not the least. Not as mysterious but equally breathtaking. Urginea (Scilla) maritima or Sea Squill. Has absolutely gigantic bulbs which stick out half way above the ground level and have made my luggage wear the 'heavy tag'. I have smuggled four of these, having to choose only those smaller in size to be able to cram them in. While on a goat path, trying to find way to a secret cave somewhere between nowhere and goodbye of Kefalonia, I ran into a whole area dotted with hundreds and hundreds of these bulbs, actually there were so many you couldn't help but trip over them.
These beauties are native to the Mediterranean coastal regions, and while prone to fires and high temperatures, they are known to be frost tender in the continental areas. I'm pushing the envelope there too, planted one outdoors while the other three remain potted inside, chucklin' on the windowsill at their infortunate brother. Apart from being giants among all Mediterranean geophytes, the bulbs are also very poisonous. For more detailed info, visit here and there.