Leaf Texture

Cena(S CA 10A)October 4, 2003

Not something you really pay attention to, unless you are one of those unconscience strokers... But I noticed today that my S. phillippsiae has a unique texture to the whole plant. Sorta rough, bumpy, compelling feel to it. I am trying to nurse back a trade plant, that has sort of one root left, and I keep tossing it in buckets of water hoping it will osmose (the verb form of osmosis?) enough water to plump out abit. Not working so far, but I am hoping sheer attention will turn the tide.

I do absently fondle my S. trifaciatas from time to time. That's why I keep them way over in the corner. One of my kirkii's has a compelling feel to it also. But this plant is odd enough, I find myself carrying it around with me, looking like a total perve...

Anybody else have relationships with their plants that, um, transcend boundries?

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marguerite_gw

Well, it would be odd if there were boundaries about feeling one's plants - are we beginning to get to the stage where we dress-up our table-legs again? Some plants feel very good - like Panda plant (Kalanchoe), etc., I haven't got any Sans that are not S. trifasciata types, and I do think they have a lovely feel, cool in both senses of the word. This leads me to ponder, if our plants are sick would they have a change in temp. measurable on their skin like we do? Must check this out! Perhaps we should have a thread, Cena - what's your nicest-feeling Sans.? I wonder how we feel to them when we put our hands on them? And if you think that's a laughable speculation, remember the Sensitive Plant, Mimosa pudica! And the sting of the nettle is obviously a developed device for keeping hands etc. off! One of the things I do consider also with my plants is their portability - if I had to go away, which one would I take with me to keep me company? That would make another interesting thread!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2003 at 8:35AM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

One of the sans has a very distinctive rough feel to the leaves. I got it as abyssinica (don't hold me to that spelling!), but it has since gone through a name change to something I can't remember. But, if you lose its label it is easy to distinguish by its rough texture--there is a botnaical term for this type of texture but I can't seem to remember anything this morning.

Jon

    Bookmark   October 4, 2003 at 3:55PM
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biwako_of_abi

Strangely, I do find myself stroking my two leafy Sans. In fact, just before reading your post, I caught myself thinking how nice it would be to go out in the kitchen, where they now are, and feel their silkiness. It was as if they were calling to me. Have not yet reached the point of carrying one around with me, though! I read once that men in some Middle Eastern country (~ies?) carry "worry beads" that they can busy their hands with for a calming effect. Can it be that Sans have some mysterious quality that makes them ideal for a use like that?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 1:15AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

I have a huge old Yucca elephantipes sitting by a chair in the living room. My son and I both play with the leaves any time we sit in the chair. Why? Who knows. The leaves are stiff and rough-textured, the edges finely serrated.

I like the feel of Sans too. My old 'Laurentii' is so smooth and soft.

I think plants enjoy being touched and paid attention to. I may be all wrong, but my experience is that plants grow faster being handled rather than when they are ignored for the most part. I check all my plants daily to see if they need water or anything. During watering, I move them to the kitchen and clean their leaves and check them over. My plants are all perfectly healthy, so I know my TLC keep them happy.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2003 at 3:18PM
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russ_fla(9)

Well, now that we've all entered a totally weird area
here, I guess we should not consider this too pervy,
but rather sensitive people who enjoy exploring the sometimes unnoticed textures of our favorite subjects...Sansevierias. I don't think there is a law against this in any state, and it is of course
consentual between you and your Sans in the privacy of your own homes. :)
Seriously, there are several Sans that have a sandpapery feel to the leaves, and some that have ridges the length of the leaves. S. sp. FKH 424 'Horwood' has roughness in the lower part of older leaves. S. trifasciata 'Bantel's Sensation' and 'Black Sport' both have vertical ridges that correspond to banding or color that make the leaves seem rough. I'm sure there are many other examples.
Russ

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 1:19AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

You're funny, Russ - LOL! Can you imagine what non-plant people would think if they read this post? My co-workers already think I'm kinda strange for having this "obsession" (I don't consider it an obsession, it's life, like breathing).

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 10:28AM
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ooojen(z4MN)

My favorite touchable Sans (as well as my all-around favorite) came to me from one of the people here years ago! (Your generosity is still much appreciated!) It came to me tagged, "probably suffruticosa". There's a slight roughness to the leaves' surfaces, and they're wonderfully cylindrical & fun to stroke. Oh gosh, I'm so Freudian...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 10:55AM
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russ_fla(9)

I'm sure your 'probable suffruticosa' came from me, Jen.
I'm glad it's in such good hands even tho they are quite
the Freudian hands, as you say. Philofriend, my
coworkers of about 40 people also consider me a few
marbles short of a full bag in the 'what're you
interested in' department. But I get
horticultural questions almost every day, and
am called the 'plant man' on occasion, so it's
not all bad. I do not fondle my plants or play
Mozart to them like some of you strange people.
Once in awhile I do, however, open a bottle of
champagne with a trifasciata 'Silver Princess'
and spend a romantic evening in the swing on the
porch, which I don't consider strange at all :-)
Russ

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 1:37AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

I get more questions about outdoor plants and gardening (non-tropicals), which I'm not near as knowledgable about. I basically don't know anyone here locally that keeps houseplants (in live status for more than a few months).

My plants get daily doses of heavy metal music, as that's what my son likes to listen to, and he plays bass guitar (hopeful future rock star here). Perhaps my plants like the vibration of the bass amplifier. Perhaps that's better than fondling or classical music.

So, Russ, do you share the champagne with your 'Silver Princess', give her a tiny sip or two? Could be a new secret of successful plant-keeping. I'm sure she enjoys your company on the porch swing. Sounds very romantic.

I can see people coming with the straight jackets already.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 9:31AM
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russ_fla(9)

Whoa, heavy metal and bass guitar. Now there's a stimulating reverberation for your plants. So I guess Mozart is completely out of the question, your son
would probably pack the strings and leave home :)
Jerry Baker, of 'let's feed your plants stuff from your kitchen cabinets' fame would probably find something very nourishing for Sans in champagne, so it's not so weird after all. Have to admit, the romance part--very weird and
just as you said you can see the straight jacket folks coming, there was a knock on the door......wonder if they have computers at the funny farm.
Russ

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 11:28AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

Oh, I'm sure there's something nourishing in champagne, and a touch of alcohol probably wouldn't harm any plant(it's mostly grapes or grains and such, right?). Might have a household of happy green drunks.

There's probably something scientific about stimulating plants with the vibration of a bass amplifier. If you've read "The Secret Life of Plants", there was much research back in the good ol' days about music and plants. They liked classical and some other types of music, hated news broadcasts. Too boring, too much bad news.

If plants were delicate little things which hated movement, noise, or being knocked over by a 90-lb dog that still thinks she's a puppy, they would never be able to survive living with me!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 11:39AM
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marguerite_gw

Philofriend, I have a variegated Yucca elephantipes since last week, and I had noticed about the feel of the leaves, too, even before I bought it! In fact, that may be why I bought it! And it looks how it feels, if you know what I mean. I was thinking, it's not so long ago since people were astonished at the idea that petting cats and dogs could reduce high blood pressure, so what's strange about a plant having the same soothing effect?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 4:19PM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

Plants definitely reduce blood pressure. After spending a day, or an hour, working with my plants, I feel so much calmer and relaxed. Good therapy for sure.

I like the finely serrated edges of the Yucca. Just have to play with the leaves whenever I'm sitting in that chair. Kinda strange. But, as Russ says, we're a strange lot anyway, right?

Leslie

    Bookmark   October 8, 2003 at 4:56PM
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ooojen(z4MN)

You're right, Russ, the plant was indeed from you! Since there were only 2 or 3 types of Sans ever available around here, I was pretty ignorant of the variety that exists. I'll credit you with getting me to look into these plants in the first place.
I personally doubt that my Sans get any gratification from being touched; I'm just a tactile person. I'm not quite in the camp with the obsessive-compulsives who have to touch each fencepost they go by, but I do feel compelled to experience different textures. It's all part of the rich experience of life.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 10:42AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

I'm not a "touchy" person either, but something about plant leaves, I want to feel them, get the texture, see the veining, etc.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 10:35AM
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joshc(Z8-TX)

I never thought I did this, but I just noticed last night, when I go out to water, repot, inspect, whatever, I tend to touch pretty much everything, especially a couple of my new sans. I think subconsciously I am checking for firmness, texture, cleanliness, etc. Or maybe I just like touching, who knows. Wait, were we talking about plants?

Josh

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 11:16AM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

Plants....yes, that's what we talking about. Plants invite touching. Well, most do. I had a cactus that stuck needles in my fingers every time I touched it (this fellow is now living with my cousin). I think plants might be a bit vain, they do so love being admired.

Leslie

    Bookmark   October 10, 2003 at 11:49AM
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biwako_of_abi

DH and I went for our annual physicals this morning. Had a bit of a tiff in the car on the way. I was feeling rather huffy for about half an hour, so I fully expected my blood pressure to be up around 160. In the examining room, and especially while the dr. was taking my blood pressure (which he apparently felt it necessary to do three times), I focused my thoughts on the two Hahnii-type Sans that I like to touch the most--and what do you know?--my blood pressure was only 110/74! It is usually about 120/80, has never been under 120, and sometimes the stress of a dr. visit can push it way up. So BEWARE: too much Sans-touching may dangerously lower your blood pressure!
Ah, you are wondering about my husband's bp. Well, he wasn't thinking about Sans, and I would expect his pressure to have been up, but he forgot to ask the doctor what it was, so I have no control subject to compare myself with. Too bad!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 4:56PM
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philofriend(z5 Central MO)

So, we don't even have to touch them, just think about them to feel better. Call me obsessed, I think about my plants all the time.

Leslie

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 10:29AM
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elfoxjr(Rapid City, SD)

I recently have purchased a yucca cane plant. I really enjoy feeling the leaves, for they give me a sort of calming feeling... Yeah that isn't weird is it? heh, I also like the feeling of the stalk because it is rough and has many edges to catch my fingertips onto. I have no type of sentual (spelling?) relation with my plant. I hope.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 5:10PM
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ooojen(z4MN)

While the word "sensual" can have a sexual connotation, it doesn't HAVE to! The root of the word is "sense" and it can mean "of the senses" in general. If you enjoy the sight, smell, and feel of your plants, you have a sensual involvement with them. (Still, you might want to avoid that term when you're telling your friends how much you enjoy your plants...just so there's no misunderstanding!)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 11:36AM
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