Garfield Park Plant Sale

Yesterday the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago had a big plant sale to help raise money for roof repairs after their massive hail storm on June 30th.  Actually I think the main point was to avoid composting several thousand plants that had been growing in their back greenhouses before the storm hit, but I’m sure raising money off of said plants was also a major goal.  At first I felt slightly skeezy about going (as Mr. Brown Thumb said on his facebook page, it did “feel like I’m rummaging through the belonging of a family that has fallen on hard times and needs to sell everything to pay the bills.”, BUT since I found out all the plants were getting composted at the end of the sale (since there was no where to store them over the winter) I felt a lot less guilty.  I was saving a plant, right?  Right.  Anyways I didn’t get much (it’s amazingly difficult to transport large plants on the El and Metra), plus anyone who’s ever seen my apartment knows that I have space for exactly zero more houseplants.  What did  I get?  I got a Pereskia aculeata:

Pereskia acuelata is a very primitive cactus (yes this leafy woody plant is a cactus) that forms a caudex (I love caudiciforms…I WANT THEM ALL) and gets cream colored flowers in the fall.  The plant naturally wants to grow as a vine (vining cactus…just what the world needs).  The fruit are bright yellow and edible (a common name for it is Barbados Gooseberry, but it’s not actually related to gooseberry).  It’s a quick growing plant so I’m really not too worried about how sparse it looks right now.


My other purchase that won’t be hanging around too long (it’s for someone) was a pot of “unidentified tropical bulbs”.  They had quite a few unidentified tropical bulb pots for $3.  Most of them were clearly Eucomis (which I didn’t want) but there were a few pots that I had absolutely no idea what they were.  Naturally, those were the ones I gravitated to.  I got this (hideous) pot of tangled blue-green leaves.  I have no idea what it is or where to even start.  The foliage actually reminds me a lot of daffodils.  Anyone have any guess as to what it might be?

4 thoughts on “Garfield Park Plant Sale

  1. Does the “daffodil” have succulentish bulbs? It embarrasses me that I purchased myself a little treat this weekend that might be the same thing you are calling hideous. My guess would be pregnant onion (Ornithogalum caudatum). I think it is pretty awesome and I cant wait to watch the miracle of birth.

    • I already know it’s not O. caudatum, I’ve got one of those back in MN ( pot with about 400 babies). It’s really a great plant, I love them to death. Mine is definitely not it. And I only think this one is hideous because it was so banged up from a subway and train ride home. It was actually fairly decent looking before that.

  2. I didn’t even know about Pereskias until this August – and now I want one!

    The bulb, I really can’t say, though it might be a Pancratium (might probably be fifteen thousand other things as well). My P. maritimum is daffodil-like and blue-grey, at least.

    • I’m not TOO concerned about IDing it, I’m sure what ever it is I’ll love it unconditionally (cuz that’s what I do with all plants. Except cordylines…I’ve decided those are stupid and not worth my time and space). Pancratium would be fun though!

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