Monday, February 20, 2012

Zombie Amaryllis

So last year, Auntie Pat gave Sparky this big, beautiful plant, a red Amaryllis. It had the biggest blooms I've ever seen on a plant in a pot, bigger than Easter lilies. And when it finally died it left this huge, root-bound bulb and Sparky was at a loss as to what to do with it (me, I was no help. I am flower-impaired.) So she tried to dry it out as I remember, and took off the roots. She stuck it back in the pot in the back room, figuring it was probably dead. Well don't you know, this winter the thing started growing again, in spite of being dried out and all but discarded. it sprouted one big, fat stalk right out of the middle of the bulb poking up at the ceiling defiantly like some sort of botanical middle finger.

It grew visibly every day, just a stalk with a big bud on the end. It was a little disturbing. No leaves, just the stalk. NO LEAVES. How was it photosynthesizing? No visible means of nutrition. I wish I had taken a pic of it at that point. Sparky put it on the kitchen table where it could get some sunlight, and every day I would come in and there it was, sitting there with an attitude. Most plants lean toward the light. Not this one, it demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the sun and in fact, seemed to lean AWAY from the window, much like any undead thing. Even the cat gives it a wide berth.

When it reached the height it felt it was supposed to reach, it stopped growing vertically and started putting all its energy into the bud, which after several days revealed 6 of those huge flowers looking a lot like 6 loudspeakers on top of a pole. (no leaves. That's just not right.) And then, just when the flowers started to die...Son of the Zombie Plant emerged from the bulb, right next to the first one. THAT's not going to amount to anything, said Sparky. But it is. Note the pen marks on the first stalk; that represents about an inch a day in growth. She's not feeding it, I don't even think she's watering it. But still it thrives. I don't know what it's using for fuel, but i notice the mouse population has sharply dwindled. I'm just sayin'.