Plant Clinic

A clinic is defined as:

  • a place or hospital department where outpatients are given medical treatment or advice, esp. of a specialist nature
  • an occasion or time when such treatment or advice is given
  • a gathering at a hospital bedside for the teaching of medicine or surgery 


  • a conference or short course on a particular subject

My wife is a doctor so while she deals with "clinics" on a daily basis, I do not.

My kids had a tennis clinic last summer and so I thought why not involve myself in a clinic too.

Remember my Dyckia 'Platyphylla'?  I posted about the Dyckia the first time it bloomed.

Well, it bloomed again.

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Look Jane Look

From "Read with Dick and Jane: Go, Go, Go" published by Grosset and DunlapLook, Jane, look.

Look at Dick.

Or better yet, look at my Dyckia.

Dyckia 'Platyphylla'

The D. Platyphylla is from the Bromeliaceae family and is allegedly native to eastern Brazil.

According to Constantino of Dyckia Brazil, it is correctly written as Dyckia 'Platyphylla', with a capital "P" because the plant is not a species but rather a hybrid of Dyckia marnier-lapostollei  X  Dyckia brevifolia.  It isn't clear though whether it is a natural or artificial hybrid.  He also writes that claims of its existence in the wild have not been verifiable and rather that it is found in a collection in Rio Grande do Sul.

This is my D. Platyphylla.  I don't know how Constantino manages to keep his Dyckias so well groomed.  I really don't like handling the plant because the leaves' spines are incredibly sharp and scary .  I almost punctured myself moving it around for the pictures on this post.  

Loree of "danger garden" read somewhere that they should be placed in large pots to give the roots more room.  Uh-oh!  This is not one plant that I would want to repot.  Look.  Spines.  Look.  Sharp, scary spines. Remember?

Its leaves are relatively wider than the rest of the Dyckias.  The leaves are a waxy dark green on top.  The underside of the leaves are white and striated.  There is a pattern of dots (for lack of a better word) along the middle.  I have yet to figure out what these are.  Possibly impressions left over from when the leaves were coming out.  Understanding leaf morphology is difficult when one is not used to complex scientific terms.  The Dick and Jane books did not prepare me for them. 

The plant is supposed to bloom in winter.  We have no winter so I wasn't sure if and when it would bloom at all.  A few weeks ago, however, flower spikes started to grow.

The tips of the spikes look like this.

Based on what I've read, spikes can grow up to 30 inches in height.  Way above the actual plant.

Note the buds beginning to open.   The flowers are yellow-orange. 

They are tubular.  I've noticed that there have been a lot of ants since the flowers came out.  Since the Platyphylla is supposed to be pollinated by hummingbirds and we have none, do you think it is possible that the ants can and will serve as pollinators?

Look, Jane, look.  See the pretty flower.


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