Boys with Plants

The name of an Instagram site, which I learned about from Laura Staum Casasanto today. Stunning plants (heavy on houseplants, but by no means confined to them) accompanied by good-looking men, handsomely photographed. Laura supposed, correctly, that the combination would work well for me, and she was right.

The Monster. Let’s start big, with a young man hefting a potted Monstera deliciosa:


The plant is young, and (for a Monstera) small. From Wikipedia:

Monstera deliciosa is a species of flowering plant native to tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, south to Panama. It has been introduced to many tropical areas, and has become a mildly invasive species in Hawaii, Seychelles, Ascension Island and the Society Islands.

The specific epithet deliciosa means “delicious”, referring to the edible fruit, while monstera means “monstrous,” in reference to the sheer size that this plant can grow to — over 30 feet in many cases.

Common names include fruit salad plant, fruit salad tree (in reference to its edible fruit, which tastes similar to a fruit salad), ceriman, Swiss cheese plant (or just cheese plant), monster fruit, monsterio delicio, monstereo, Mexican breadfruit, locust and wild honey, windowleaf, balazo, and Penglai banana. The names in Spanish (costilla de Adán) or Portuguese (costela-de-adão) or French (plante gruyère) refer to the change of the leaves from entire to fenestrated (comparing it in the first case with the ribs of Adam and in the second with the hole-filled gruyère cheese).

… Monstera deliciosa is commonly grown for interior decoration in public buildings and as a houseplant. Commonly referred to as the Split Leaf Philodendron. It grows best between the temperatures of 20–30 °C (68–86 °F) and requires high humidity and shade. Growth ceases below 10 °C (50 °F) and it is killed by frost.

Monstera is in the arum family (Araceaea) — with spathe and spadix flowers, like calla lilies or spathiphyllums:

(#2) Flower and immature fruit

The Spikeulent. (My ad hoc portmanteau for spiky succulent.) The woofy Australian yoga guru Patrick Beach embracing a really big agave:


Bird of paradise. Finally, for nipple fans, a young man in the shadow of a Strelitzia plant:


From Wikipedia:

(#5) Strelitzia reginae (orange bird of paradise) in flower

Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. It belongs to the plant family Strelitziaceae [a new family on this blog, #74]. The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower / plant, because of a resemblance of its flowers to birds-of-paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower and is featured on the reverse of the 50 cent coin. It is the floral emblem of the City of Los Angeles; two of the species, Strelitzia nicolai and Strelitzia reginae, are frequently grown as house plants.

A showy plant, often used as an accent plant in the gardens of coastal California. A magnificent stand of Strelitzia reginae grew just outside the front door of my man Jacques’s dementia care facility. Unfortunately, it turned out that he deeply detested the plants, why I don’t know, and was inclined to swat at them in anger.

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