Monday, November 2, 2009

The Three Petrocosmea minors - Part 2

A flowering plant of Petrocosmea minor pointed leaf form shows the smaller flowers, branched cymes or peduncles and smaller rosette size. Note the tips of the leaves on the leaves in the middle of the rosette have a pointed tip due to the margin of the leaf "rolling under" on each side. Once the leaves age, this tends to flatten out and the leaves take on a more rounded or orbicular shape.

The second form of P. minor to show up in cultivation in the US was the form now called "pointed leaf form". This name refers to a characteristic of the younger leaves to roll under at the margins near the apex of the leaf, causing a point to form at the tip. This form is often still exhibited as P. minor without any designation of the variety or form. This form differs from the smooth leaf form in several ways. The rosette tends to stay more compact or smaller in size. The growth rate is slower, for me. The color of the leaves is deeper green and the veining is slightly more prominently incised or "deeper" than with the smooth leaf form. Leaves are not as glossy as on the other two forms. Flowers are smaller, more cupped and have a large white throat. They are bluer in color than the more purple or violet color of the smooth leaf form. Petals are smooth with slight veining, although not as deeply veined as seen in the flowers of the veined leaf form. Lastly, the inflorescences, or peduncles are branched, with primary and secondary bracts. Calyx lobes are longer, there are still six of them, however, being longer, they form a "bell" around the bud, which in this form, tends to hang downward or droop on the inflorescence until just prior to opening.

Judges should note which form they are judging as the different characteristics might be viewed as culture flaws by the inexperienced judge. The pointed leaf form is the smallest of the three forms, is significantly slower to mature for me, and is not as glossy and shiny as the smooth leaf and veined leaf form. Also, in this form, the leaves do not lay as flat on the rosette, causing a more open and upright form to the rosette. These points could easily be attributed to poor or inconsistent culture resulting in a "stressed" plant by a judge, and therefore marked down in the scoring.

A flower of P. minor pointed leaf form.....note that it is smaller, and more cupped, with the calyx extending farther onto the upper lip. The white throat is more pronounced.

A cyme or peduncle from P. minor pointed leaf form. Not that there are primary bracts at the base of the first two branches and secondary bracts at the base of each calyx. The buds hang downward and the calyx lobes are longer forming a cup around the buds. Cymes are rarely ever single flowered, most always they are branched with three to five buds being typical.

Note the secondary bracts at the base of the calyx. This is the only form of P. minor to have this trait.

A close up of the center leaves of the rosette of P. minor pointed leaf form. In the early stages, leaves are more cordate in shape, with a pointed apex, but as they mature, they become more circular or orbicular in shape near the outer rows of the rosette. Leaves show deeply incised veins along the midvein and the lateral veins only.