Mexican Buckeye and Anacho Orchid Tree success

wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have had germination with both of them . The orchid Tree will have tone babied along in pots for a year or so but the Mexican (really a Texan) Buckeye is jumping out of it seed and some already have a foot long + taproots in a month of growth. I BETTER plant the ones in the pots now. I have about 12 in pots. I planted 4 today. I went on a walk into the valley and of the ones that I planted in groups of three straight into the ground unwatered, we had 2 or 3 out of each of the groupings that had germinated. I might have a forest of these plants forming. All good news.

Here is the thread that this is a CONTINUATION OF.

Here is a picture of the one month old plants. They are in a hurry to get on with life. I had to dig some deep holes for them in my rocky canyon ( one of my favorite things to do on a hot humid day). My valley will be smelling might sweet 8 years from now in the early spring.


Here is a description of the plant for THOSE PLANTS

and a picture in habitat. Now if they will only live through the next strong La Niña and it drought.



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texasranger2

Looking at how long the roots are after only a month its a good thing you are getting them out of the pots and into the ground so they don't girdle. Maybe the weather will cooperate for a season and allow them to grab hold. I'm optimistic (sort of). I wonder if since you loosened the areas you could insert a tube down deep by the plants to water them while its still loosened? I always find the biggest problem is getting the water to soak down into the soil in summer when its dry, usually it just runs off for me and I can't get it wet where it needs it. Anyway, I'd consider doing something like that. At the park up the street they planted trees during the drought and put those manufactured cone things around them to hold a lot of water. People volunteered to take turns keeping them watered but then that was a situation where there were water sources close by and you could fill them without toting water "way out there" like your situation probably is. .

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

The regular buckeyes that I planted a couple of years ago and I never watered them because we have had some wet years and they are still going but yes I could do that with the pipe. I chose places that had a fair amount of leaf liter duff mixed with rock and not far from drainage spots.

The woman who gave me the bag of seed also gave me some plants that she had sprouted in backland Dallas clay and one in potting soil. They are TINY and 3 times as old. I grew this in one gallon pots and when I saw them bolt , I knew I had to act fast and get them in the ground now and not in the fall.

The bottom plant I grew in DG, hardwood deposed mulch and perlite (used soil)

and the top two , one was in a commercial soggy potting mix and one was in straight backland Dallas soil. They are 3 times as old ( I am repeating myself.

I leave my dirty ugly feet in for scale (size 7)


I have 5 more to plant tomorrow. While wandering around I got a gift of discovery, The largest clump of wild orchids yet just breaking ground and some milkweed vines where I was clearing 3 years ago. These orchids are funny creatures. No chlorophyll and they bloom and then did not come back the next year. I don't know if they die after blooming. I don't think so. Some research has them taking 20 years from seed to bloom. This is the third clump in the third consecutive year that I have found.


The first years clump looked like H. nitida with is very rare whereas last years clump looked like H. spicata. I need to get some of the native plant guys out here for a stroll. Here are some sites.

Spiked Crested Coralroot


Distribution of Hexalectris spicata var arizonica



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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

OK , this is weird. I read the preceding thread to this and one of the seeds that I found in my pocket that I was waiting till fall or late winter to plant was the Matelea reticulata, that sweet milkweed vine above. I guess I can collect lots of seed now and plant it elsewhere. I don't have to be afraid of failure. It was never here before. I walk here a lot and I have cleared underbrush here twice now. This also makes me happy. I think I will give it its very own pile of brush to climb on.

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texasranger2

Those orchids look like the blooms on hesperaloe coming up out of the ground, seems like the deer would chomp them down, do they? Pink asparagus (deer candy)

About that important seed in your pocket, I always like surprises of finding a plant I thought failed or that I didn't have. This year my surprise was two sand penstemons (P. ambiguus) volunteers that showed up when I was trimming back grasses. I was very upset that my one and only plant had died last year, the one started years ago from seed I'd purchased from PoSW. This is my absolute favorite penstemon and I always saved every seed and sowed a lot of them by hand and tossed all the rest in that area but for some reason its not too successful from seed, unlike the other types. Last fall I'd planted the last saved seed in pots left outside and ended up with zero plants. I CAREFULLY moved one of the plants to a choice spot since it was hiding under a large grass. So far so good. It blooms for almost three months and is gorgeous, flowers so brightly white they are like porcelain.

You mentioned Yucca glauca elsewhere and how pretty the bloom is, I agree with that. We have a lot of them coming up on the land we own out by Norman, in fact they are quite common in Oklahoma. Twice I've dug a few tubers, planted them and then dug them back out again. With my space issues I always rethink it and then decide I don't need it. Partly the plants don't look all that great unless they are growing in a big field where they form large colonies with lots of dead yucca leaves but even so, its good contrast in the grasses because they are the same height and those stiff spikes just look fantastic as you look across a field. They look great blooming from a distance but up close they look like a good place for rats to nest in.

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

The orchids have no chlorophyll and the deer leave them alone, so far. I never got a chance to plant the seed. They just appeared. The seed is still in the envelope.

Great news on the sand penstemon. They are beauties. I have never succeeded in getting a plant out of the seeds that I have gotten. I have tried more than once. What kind of soil is it in Norman?

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texasranger2

The soil is heavy clay in some parts but on the east side of the property where its higher there are large red sandstone outcroppings that are exposed and very well worn by weather, thats where most of the yucca glauca grows in large patches but it also grows down lower in soil that is clayish and terra cotta red. Walking up the slope to the sandstone ledges is where I dug up a couple baby narrow leaf bluet plants. I collected some native sedge in the same spot growing in full sun. I don't know what kind of sedge, its light green and has lots of seeds in spring which is different than a type I found growing in shade under some trees at a construction site in OKC. I have both kinds growing out back but frankly, I'm not blown away by either of them. There are rose rocks that form out there too and lots of small red sandstone pebbles everywhere on the ground, all the soil is the color of clay flower pots and there is something about the rain, acid and other elements that makes the rose rocks. The soil forms small weird squiggly piles on the surface, some fall apart when you reach down to pick them up but in other spots those weird ground level uprisings form rose rocks. I suppose its rich in iron oxides?

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Very interesting.I love rocks. The difference between soil communities of sandstone and limestone is something that I could do some learning about. I get the difference in alkalinity and calcium content. We have red clay but it sure doesn't act like that. People call it Red Death but I do see that it is possible to break it down into a clay based humous by going bunch grasses. The sandstones of NM and Utah were so interesting. I was always looking at the soils.

I killed 3 expensive Indianrice grass that I got from PoSWwith the rain and the caliche. Oh well, another lesson to stick with things from closer. BUT 3 tall Thin Man Indian Grass is doing well after a rocky start, still not tall and thin but they are growing thicker and making more. One is a bit small still. I picked a spot where water drains by and dirt has gathered a wee bit thicker and I added a bunch of granitic sand and compost. Most indian grass here grows in places like that. I have a bowl shaped drainage and it is at the mouth of it.

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