Chirita Choices???

stonesriver(6B Tennessee)November 22, 2004

Hi, Folks:

I have my choice of three of the following Chiritas: Diane Marie, Blue Moon, Spadiciformis, Betty and Walkerea.

This is my first foray into Chiritas although I was given a Tamiana. If it were you, which would you pick? I like plants which spread out; not up. My Tamiana looks like this; I prefer the growth as pictured for Tamiana (Wisely).

I have gone to the Gessie reference web to look at photos. Couldn't find Walkerea or Blue Moon but the other three are very pretty.

I know Diane Marie is one of Jon's favorites.

Thanks so much,

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: More Upright Tamiana

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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Ooh, ears are burning again....

Yes, I like 'Diane Marie' very much. It has a wonderful leaf and then it flowers as an extra. The foliage has deep greens and natural silver patterns plus a very nice crinkle cut leaf edge, which it inherited from its green leafed parent C. fimbrisepala. The other parent is sinensis.

C. walkeri is a shrub type with deep purple flowers. It is totally different from the rosette types, and probably not what you want.

C spadiciformis is a species. I find it fairly easy to grow and it seems to flower easily. It has plain green leaves but I think I would make it my third choice.

C. 'Betty' is, as I understand it, a selfing of the popular old timer (it was very new about 10-15 years ago), 'Hisako'. But, it has much more silver in the leaves. I love it. I only saw it for the first time last July at the AGGS convention show, and I bought one. It would be my first choice, followed by 'Diane Marie' and followed by spadiciformis. C. 'Blue Moon' is a nice hybrid too, but it has plainer leaves that my first two choices and is a bigger grower than spadiciformis.

Jon

It would be interesting to hear some other opinions on these five.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 7:34PM
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komi(z7/8 DC)

Well I only have a couple, and then only barely. I have Diane Marie and it's doing well. I also have sinensis Silver Leaf which is just dying slowly. (Actually, most of the plants I got from this vendor are doing not so well.) I just potted sinensis down into a more airy mix and it's still losing leaves. Now that I am down to two small leaves, I guess it's going under a dome.

I love the silver in the leaves, so my vote is for as much silver as you can get.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 10:01PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Thank you, Jon. See, you are read. That's how I knew you liked 'Diane Marie' :-)

I don't have to make an immediate decision so I'll eagerly await reading others' opinions. I was, however, leaning heavily toward 'Diane Marie,' 'Betty' and couldn't decide between spadiciformis and C. 'Blue Moon'.

Doing a Google search I found two photos of C. 'Blue Moon'. However, the foliage looks different. One has more rounded leaf ends; the other more pointed. Both are lovely. Which is a more accurate photo?

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: C. 'Blue Moon'

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 10:16PM
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komi(z7/8 DC)

hey Linda, the left one is probably it. Both pics are from the same website, so the right hand one is just indexed wrong by Google. If you click on the right hand image, then click on the link for Blue Moon on the page, you will find that it takes you to the other (left) photo.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2004 at 11:09PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

'Diane Marie' is a very nice plant but tends to be a slow grower.

C. spadiciformis is one parent of 'Blue Moon' (C. sinensis 'Hisako' is the other parent). C. spadiciformis forms a very compact rosette that looks very much like an african violet until it blooms. One drawback is that it isn't terribly floriferous. 'Blue Moon' is a much larger plant (although it has never grown as large for me as I have seen it grown by others, possibly because they fertilize and water more regularly than I do). It has much larger flowers, more abundantly produced.

I haven't grown 'Betty' but I have seen it in flower shows. If you like silver, this is the plant for you!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 9:21PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Thank you so much for the information. I am prone to admiring plants/foliage and if blooms happen that's a plus. Maybe that's why I'm so fond of Columnea and have nearly 30 varieties :-)
Linda

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 10:42PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

30 varieties of columneas, now that is impressive. Just my kind of grower. Oh, I collect them and then I lose them and then I get them back again. I have no idea how many I currently have (less than 30 I am sure??) but I struggle with my columneas, though they are doing well currently. BTW: I got my 'Joy' back--I love saying that. It is the red flowered sibling of 'Early Bird'. One of these days I am going to do columnea hybridizing. I want more small growers.

Thanks John for the information on 'Blue Moon'. I get some of the hybrids confused and don't know which is which. I just know that I like all the chirita rosettes even when out of flower. I also like how easily they reproduce from leaves or parts of leaves. My experiment with 'Betty' (I think I mentioned it in a thread?) showed me that Nancy Maybloom was right--the top half of the leaf will root and send up a shoot faster than the bottom half that has the petiole.

I have learned on many occasions that AV's root best from younger leaves, but I found that those older ratty leaves from the outside of a chirita propagate just fine. I am growing spadiciformis again after losing it to neglect once or twice. It has flower buds so I wonder if it likes cooler West Coast conditions better than Washington DC conditions. Time will tell.

At the convention I got a plant of liboensis that came (I think) from Lyndon Lyons. I know nothing about it and am happily living in ignorance. But, I am curious to know what it is I have--??? It has nice dark green rounded leaves.

On another off topic--at our meeting on Sunday, I took in a Gloxinia lindenii. It had gone dormant when I stopped watering my upstairs light stand during a period when I wasn't able to take care of everything. I thought I might have lost it by drying it out at the wrong time, but, no, since my watering schedule returned to an irratic but adequate normal level it has sent up a plethora of shoots in a five inch pot. It is a great and easy foliage plant with its beautiful leaves. I gave away lots of shoots and pulled off about seven or eight coming out of the drain holes for a raffle item. Some new members asked about the flowers and I said it will bloom if well cared for but I rarely have gotten flowers. Putting the plant away after the meeting I noticed it has tiny buds coming from lots of the shoots. I love the way rhizomatous gessies come back from a drought.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 2:00PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Well, Jon, come Spring I'll be putting columneas and trailers on my exchange list :-) I now have nearly 40 trailers, 20 episcias and I am *not* going to count the begonias but I think it's 22 ;-)

I switched from Stanrd AVs to trailers to make room for the columnea. How's that for rationalizing???

Linda

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 4:02PM
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ooojen(z4MN)

Heeeheee, now I know the 2nd reason I have limited myself to just the houseplants forum lately. The first is time constraints, but the second is that I don't find myself tracking down nearly as many new to me "must-haves" over there! ('Silver Leaf'- Hmmmm.....)
I do have and love 'Betty' and 'Diane Marie' (the latter just bloomed for me a little while ago- the first time, after eons of growing it!) but you've already pretty much settled on those. Are you sure you can only have three?

Jon- I have to laugh; you have fewer than 30 Columneas? You're not even kidding yourself, are you? There are always at least twice as many as one thinks there are!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 12:23PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

"Are you sure you can only have three?"

Well, I cheated. It was a three-for-$9.99 offer for fairly large plants but I added a fourth :-)

My office (formerly our living room) is beginning to look more like a jungle than an office. All those cabinet tops were just *dying* for tabletop fixtures and plants!!!

Linda

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 12:39PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I find chiritas to be slow but steady and easy growers. I have had the rosulate types now for about ten years, though I grew sinensis off and on before that. I really like the way they grow, with their slow growing trunks and slow tendency to offset. I know--some will offset pretty fast, like 'Kazu' but since I tend to grow them multicrowned I don't mind this at all. And, too, some, will make trunks pretty fast but I like that too. I especially like the way they look as a collection of potted plants--as if I could grow them in a fashion where they were actually displayed nicely as houseplants, instead of crammed in trays on windowsills, under lights, or in the greenhouse. But, when grown on, each one develops its unique qualities, Since the hybridizing of chiritas is still in its infancy, I can only imagine what the future will portend.

I also enjoy seeing how different growers treat them. They can be grown as single crowns without stems, just like AV's or they can be grown au naturale with trunks and offsets.

I also really appreciate how easily they propagate from leaves! My next goal is to set seed on some and then grow the seedlings on.

Jon

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 3:36PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Hi, Jon:
What does "offset" mean? Do you mean the sinensis offset? I think these two are beautiful.

http://www.gesneriads.ca/chirit17.htm

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Is this one

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 7:39PM
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ooojen(z4MN)

Dang, those are gorgeous! ...so 'Betty' is a selfing of sinensis 'Hisako'...that should mean I could take the latter off my mental wish list...but while 'Betty' is beautiful, it has so much silver that you lose those distinctive reticulations. A person should have one of each, I suppose. Next year---
So you got four, Linda? - cool! Which ones did you decide on?

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 10:47PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

I decided on 'Diane Marie,' 'Blue Moon,' 'Spadiciformis,' and 'Betty.'

These are my windows which have allowed me to remove the begonias and episcias from stands and make more room for chiritas :-)

The stand is in our den; the South-facing windows are in my home office.

Hope this works. Thanks to Larry B and Elaine I signed on with PhotoBucket. If the photos are too small, let me know and I'll enlarge them.

Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Why I can have Chiritas

    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 11:22PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

Hi, its now 9:30 PM and the houseguests and roommates have all gone to bed. Well, almost, my cousin David is putting the last of the food away (but he fell asleep in the living room while we were all having desert). I am stuffed........but yes, that is an offset on the chirita in the photo! An offset is a new side shoot that grows off the older stem, usually from the base.

I was showing our guest, Patrick the ornamental pumkins (white, celadon green, deep orange, multicolored; and, one turned out to be a turban squash, so he cooked it! We also had sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and what seemed like a dozen other things. I do like the vegies. And, I also showed him the crop on the quince tree and so we picked a big basket of them, and he made quince compot too--very good, kind of like a homemade apple sauce. My old tree, planted by a previous owner, turns out to be an unusual variety called Chinese quince (pseudocydonia sinensis), which makes these huge fragrant bright yellow beautiful fruit--some were 7-8" long. I just love the botanical name of this tree--it just rolls off the tongue. Note: the three similar sibilant sounds all start with a different letter--p,c,&s.

Yes, Jen, next year you will need to get 'Hisako' (who is Nagahide's wife, while 'Kazu' (another must have chirita) is his son. His name is NOT pronounced like the fake leather product.) And, also Jen, you will definitely need a few other chiritas, but we can talk about that later......

Jon, one eyelid barely open.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 12:50AM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Hi Linda,

You have some really nice plant setups there. The pictures could be a little larger. It would definitely show some more detail. Anyway, I really like your shelves.

Larry

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 5:19PM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

Hi, Larry:
Thanks for the tip about photo size. Here's another link. It's to my WebShots album. It's free, too. I just signed on yesterday.

See what you and Elaine started???? :-)
Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: My WebShots Album

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 6:00PM
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larry_b(Zone5/CO)

Linda,

That is much better. Now I can see individual plants. You really have nice windows and your plants look so healthy. Looking at year violet shelves you have some pretty healthy looking plants there too.

Larry

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 6:27PM
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ooojen(z4MN)

Linda- I agree- That window spot must have made you really happy; it surely looks nice! By the look of things, you still have room for several more plants before you have to start stacking pots ;) It sounds like you made some good choices, and I hope you really enjoy your Chiritas!

Jon- I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving! Ours was nice too. MIL didn't say a single negative thing about the house, and all was quite pleasant. I don't want to hijack the thread, but sometime I'd like to hear input on what you think of Chrita 'Gemella'. It's so cute in the pictures I've seen-- almost like a Pet.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 6:58PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Chirita 'Chastity' has been a good performer here, flowering continuously for the past several months under lights.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 9:03AM
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JaggedRainbows(10a FL)

I have just purchased Aiko, Betty and Silver Surfer and have found pics of Aiko and Silver Surfer but no pics of the flower of the Betty... can anyone help?

Amanda

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 11:41AM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I haven't seen 'Betty' in flower, though I have been growing it for almost a year. It is a selfing of the hybrid, C. 'Hisako' so should have a nearly identical flower. 'Hisako' is a hybrid of two forms of the same species--S. sinensis, so the flowers on 'Betty' would be like any sinensis, more or less. Although this species is known to have highly variable foliage, it is not known (to my knowledge anyway) of having variability in its flowers. They are purple, and on nice tall stems. I have seen 'Hisako' in flower and it can be a breathtaking sight. However, it may be that 'Betty' is shy to flower, since it is so heavy marked with silver. There is another clone of sinensis, known as 'Silver' or 'Silver Leaf' that is known to be a shy bloomer. Check out the photo of 'Betty' on the Gesneriad Reference Web--it is an excellent picture of an outstanding plant.

Jon

Here is a link that might be useful: link to Gesneriad Reference Web

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 2:18PM
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JaggedRainbows(10a FL)

Thank You! I will check that out! :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 9:06AM
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