Page 14 - Aberystwyth EGO January 2021
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       Nature Notes

       By David Williams

               osh another year     in the late 60s and early 70s and are   combination could describe a lot of
               starting already, where   still popular today.   plants not only this particular genus.
               did 2020 go? Now that   We nearly all recognise the   They have fleshy white tuberous
      Gthe festivities are at an    evergreen plant with long strap-  roots which store nutrition for next
       end and the outdoors is looking so   like leaves mostly having a white   season's growth. They can easily
       uninviting there may well be some   or cream stripe down the middle.   be seen on the young plants which
       natural interest to be found indoors.   But that's not all as there are 215   hang from runners after flowering
       Houseplants are becoming a greater   recognised species of Chlorophytum   has taken place. They flower readily
       part of our lives than they have been  found in tropical and subtropical   along the stems which are going to
       for many years due to Covid. Their   Africa, Asia, South America and   have the baby plants. In the wild,
       popularity has increased and there's   Australia. They were first found   the plantlets take root as soon as
       no sign of that ending. Many people   in British homes during the 19th   they hit the ground. The vigorous
       have houseplants but how many of   century after being imported from   plantlets will already have a good
       us know where they are from and   South Africa and they have remained  amount of root very soon after they
       what they are like in the wild?  popular ever since. It is one of 114   emerge from the flower stems. The
         Many years ago, lost in the mists   genera which make up the asparagus  flowers are white with six petals
       of time, I was fascinated with the   family of which there are 2900   and protruding yellow stamen. They
       humble Chlorophytum comosum   known species.             can flower and produce plantlets at
       better known as the spider plant.   Many plants have names using   any time of the year as long as they
       As a toddler I used to play with the   Latin words. Chlorophytum isn't   are watered correctly and fed. It's
       leaves and watched it flowering   one of them. The name translates in   the plantlets which weigh down the
       occasionally. I still remember it   Greek as green plant. Chlorus being   stems after flowering that give the
       clearly. They were all the rage back   green and phytum being plant. That   plant the common name of spider

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