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Collector Plants

We are so excited to have received two very unique plants for indoors this week!

Peyote
 
 
Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)

This very slow-growing and hard-to-find cactus originates from arid regions of Texas and Mexico. It has known psychoactive properties, and was used in rituals by aboriginal peoples. In some countries (such as the United States) it is illegal to sell or possess because of this. Legal in Canada, this is one of the most coveted and sought-after species by cactus collectors. We love it for its dark green, grey-green or blue-green, smooth, usually spineless body and pretty pink or pale white flowers. Some forms can develop offsets after a number of years. Grow it the same as most indoor cacti, with very bright light (sunny window), average household temperatures, and very little to no water during the winter.

 

 

Monkey Puzzle TreeMonkey Puzzle Tree closeup
Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana)

This curious and beautiful coniferous tree is native to Chile and is surprisingly hardy, being able to withstand temperatures down to –20C. Popular as a landscape tree on the west coast, it can be grown as a houseplant in our climate. It is closely related to the more familiar Norfolk island pine (Araucaria heterophylla). The branches tend to be arranged in a somewhat spiral pattern around the tree, and are densely covered in sharp, scale-like leaves. When this tree was first brought into Europe in the 1700s and 1800s, it was remarked that due to the dense covering of sharp leaves, even a monkey would be puzzled to figure out how to climb it. While this tree will reach up to 150 feet in height when grown in the ground, it can be trained into a bonsai specimen in containers. Grow it in very well-drained potting soil, allowing it to dry slightly between watering, but do not allow the soil to completely dry out. Also provide very bright light indoors (sunny window) and avoid heat registers. Plants will benefit from spending the summer outdoors in a sunny or partially shaded location.

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