Botanising with my feet up

Last week we had friends round. Richard spurred me on, accidentally, by asking if the big Agave ovatifolia is a cactus. It made me realise that my blog plant list has cacti and succulents lumped together, and that I might teach myself a thing or two by putting it in better taxonomic order, what with Agave being more closely related to a lawn than to cacti.

Four hours later. . .

. . . and it’s looking more sleek from the point of view of botany. Besides, my foot has coloured up something shocking, so a sit down job felt like a good idea. The process has brought up as many questions as it had answers. For instance, how the dicots are ordered outside of the Asterids and Rosids. Where does Magnolia fit in to the scheme? Where do Caryophyllales sit? How about evolutionary throwbacks like Illicium and Tetracentron? Seems like the answer is half down to me not understanding it yet and half down to science being an ongoing project.

Actual gardening got a bit of a look in today too. I cast an eye over yesterday’s haul to see if anything could use potting on. Ruscus aculeatus might be the new Arecaceae, by which I mean you get a lot of roots for very little above ground action.

While I was at potting on the Butcher’s Broom I potted on Lobelia fistulosa too. They’re very healthy looking. But hanging over all this is do I plant all these tree saplings yet? I should put some in the ground. We’re getting a bit crowded out here but i’m sure they can fight it out and find their own level.

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