Laine
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Location: Greenwood, SC

What Kind of Tropical Plant Am I?

I picked this guy up at my local Food Lion because almost all of the soil was gone from the pot. You could see the roots-or should I say root. It has one thick root coiled around from being in such a small pot; this root has hair-thin roots coming off of it. I didn't exactly see new soil in its future, so I'm off on another rescue mission. The only tag on the plant says it's tropical (no phylum name, no common name, no name at all) and it likes moist soil. I've never seen anything like it! I repotted it in plain Miracle-Gro soil in the same pot when I got home, just to tide him over (I tend to think of plants as males-I name all of my plants). I also misted him. I mist my ficus; I figured he's tropical and I mist him twice a day, so I might as well mist this guy, too. Any info would be great!

[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/lainewh/Plants/New%20Guy/8-13wholeplant.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/lainewh/Plants/New%20Guy/100_0817.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/lainewh/Plants/New%20Guy/8-13closeup.jpg[/img]
This is a close up of the base of the plant.

Thanks in advance!
Laine H

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microcollie
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Location: Western MA

My first guess was an avocado, but the color of the nut isn't right. Even if they shed their covering, they're usually much lighter green. Maybe some odd tropical nut like orinoco? But that seems like an odd thing to find at a chain supermarket. Maybe someone at the store could help?

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lorax
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Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

How about Castanospermum australe - Moreton Bay Chestnut?

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microcollie
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Good call, Lorax. A "Lucky Bean".

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Cool. I'd say that was a lucky find!
I hadn't heard of it and had to look it up.
Here's an interesting website: https://www.teachers.ash.org.au/bushtucker/mbchestnut.html

Laine
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:39 pm
Location: Greenwood, SC

Crisis-The evil black cat in the photo attacks!

I keep my babies in locked in the bathroom to keep them safe. They have a window in there where they get lovely direct morning light. The reason they have to be locked up is the cat in the photo-Aramis. He seems to think cats are omnivores. It goes way beyond a cat just munching a little on a plant or two; he’ll eat every plant in the house right down to the stems if you don’t stop him. He’s lucky he’s so cute, ‘cause I could’ve strangled him when I saw what he did to this plant, who as of yet remains unnamed.

[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/lainewh/Plants/New%20Guy/8-16AramisDamage2.jpg[/img]

If you look closely in the very center of the photo, you’ll see three leaves that have been half eaten. (Luckily Aramis seems fine. He didn’t even throw up.) You can also see some leaves with teeth marks where he just gnawed on the middle of the leaf. That’s his M.O. He eats the leaf from the middle out.

[img]https://i799.photobucket.com/albums/yy280/lainewh/Plants/New%20Guy/8-16AramisDamage.jpg[/img]

You can see some more leaves with teeth marks and a close up of a leaf that’s half eaten.

What do I do with the leaves that are half eaten? Do I leave them on, or do I cut them off? If I cut them off, where do I make the cut (please be specific- I’m a newbie). If I do cut them, will another leaf grow back? What about the leaves he only scarred as opposed to devoured? What should I do with them?

Also, if we’re thinking this is a Moreton Bay Chestnut, how big is this thing going to get? Did I buy a freakin’ tree at the grocery store?

Sorry. I just thought plants would be a less expensive, space consuming way to “rescue.â€
Laine H

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applestar
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My kitties like lettuce and carrot peelings. One likes cucumbers and summer squash, the other one likes green beans. They both love corn on the cob and French fries. :D They eat/sample less houseplants if I give them their favorite veggies regularly. :wink:

...but African violet flowers are a snack item not matter what. :roll:

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lorax
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I'd be tempted to call the tree Morris, due to my own strange interior logic. It is indeed a tree, but it will stay small and manegable for many years yet.

Laine
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Location: Greenwood, SC

I am extremely impressed

Well, I sent an e-mail to panda greenhouse, and to my shock and awe, they got back to be either the same day or the net day (I can't remember). I am very impressed with you guys-you were indeed right. It is the Australian Black Bean TREE! Who sells a tree in a grocery store fruits and veggie department-or any department for that matter? I've also decided that if plants are poisonous, companies should have to stick labels on the pots (on them, not just in them) warning about the poisonous parts. Think about it-every other industry has to do that. Who knows how many children and pets get sick every year (and when it comes to pets, probably die), because people bought a beautiful plant at the store without knowing it was toxic. As my situation proves, those little tags that they stick in the soil can come out easily enough. Also, who knows if the tag with the name even mentioned the leaves and fruit were toxic-it can even cause dermatitis if you just come into skin contact with sawdust from the tree. People all over the southeast dot their lawns with azaleas, not knowing how toxic they are. I had a dog years ago that ate a few leaves and bled from his anus as a result. I don't mean just a drop or two, either. Talk about scary! Even tomato leaves can be toxic. Speaking of tomatoes, one of my tomato plants (the one that was doing so well) just randomly died the other day. It just withered up like it hadn't been watered and died. It was fine-no better than fine-it was almost seven feet tall and covered in beautiful little yellow flowers on Tuesday, and on Wednesday it looked like it hadn't been watered in days. I was devastated. Sorry, ADHD rears its ugly head. My point is, businesses that grow plants should have to label poisonous plants as such. Like I said-every other industry in the world has to. Not that it would have helped in my case, since my cat only got to my plants accidentally. However, considering I have a cat rescue, there's a very good chance I wouldn't have bought it if I had known it was poisonous, even though my plants will be kept in a closed off room when I get back to my house. I still have a simple question-why would you sell a tree in a grocery store? Even if it had had the name Australian Black Bean, I wouldn't have known it was a tree. I know, you should research before you buy a plant, but really, we know that the majority of people out there don't research before OR after buying a plant-especially in a grocery store.

Also, aren't African Violet leaves toxic, too? But the flowers aren't?

The cat in the pic loves french fries, too, but only thick ones-not like regular fast food ones. I let him outside to eat grass whenever he wants. About 36 hours after eating the leaves, he started throwing up-I hope he didn't eat enough "lucky bean" leaves to get sick. What's so lucky about a plant that's entire contents are toxic? and Why would you make furniture out of a tree if you can get dermatitis from the sawdust? I know that the sawdust can maybe get in your pores and the hard wood can't , but really, why take the risk? The people who make the furniture or work at the plants where the furniture is made have to be around the sawdust, after all. Strange.
Laine H

Cerbiesmom
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I have a kitty that looks just like your guy! her name is Bubbles. She's been the most difficult animal ever. She once brought me a not-quite-dead cockroach, put it on my leg, and I swear she laughed as I ran around the house pulling my pants off bc the nasty thing went in my pants. That was the day that if I'd caught that cat, it wouldn't be living with us anymore. Luckily for Bubbles, my husband came in the door as I was chasing her with a spray bottle screaming obscenitites at her. He told me to go put some pants on and he'd take me out to dinner. LOL. Good story from cat person to cat person, right? Bubbles and I are friends now.

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Troppofoodgardener
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Location: Tropical North, Australia

So.. what has been the fate of your Lucky Bean tree?

It's a common enough tree in Australia, apparently it is quite popular and lines the streets of suburban Brisbane. I haven't seen it as far north where I am, but I wonder if it will grow here...

No pets for me, but I do have neighbours' cats who like my garden for some reason. Had no idea cats ate grass!? though I've seen dogs do it.
A fledgling gardener's attempt to grow food in the northern tropics of Australia:
https://troppofoodgarden.blogspot.com

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lorax
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Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Some cats are huge veggie monsters - mine have preference for grasses, corn foliage, beet greens, spider plants, carrot greens, cooked broccoli, and young bush beans straight off the bushes (I have to watch Niro in particular with the young beans, because if she has her way, I don't see a harvest.)

I had an Abyssinian cat once who would pounce and devour any greens dropped on the floor - didn't matter if they were brussels sprouts, peas, lettuce, whatever. If you presented her with them, she'd turn up her nose, but if she felt that she'd "caught" that veggie, it was hers and she was going to eat it, dagnabbit!

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