Searching for Skeleton Flowers

Recently I caught a glimpse of a very special flower … one whose delicate white petals turn translucently clear after a rainstorm.  The plant’s clinical name is Diphylleia Grayi, but it’s more colloquially known as the “Skeleton Flower.”  The rare plant comes from marshy, shaded areas in China and in Japan, and they are quite a treasure.

By the way, did you hear the part in this YouTube clip that says that you can purchase these flowers in the States for about $20/plant?

Yep.  I did that.  I actually did it last year, purchasing three Diphylleia Grayi plants from a nursery in Washington State.  I transferred the plants to pots, and everything looked great.  This is going to work.  I put the pots out on my porch so they could get sunshine and rainwater …

And they got hit by a snowstorm the next morning.  The plants were destroyed.  Urgh.

I tried to order some replacement plants, but the nursery’s stock was depleted.  Guess I gotta wait until 2017.

Oh wait.  It’s 2017 now.

I purchased three more skeleton flowers from the Washington State nursery, and just to be safe, I purchased three more Diphylleia Grayi plants from a nursery in North Carolina.  The North Carolina plants won’t arrive until May – apparently they know what I did to the plants from last year – but the Washington State plants arrived safely last Thursday.

I immediately transferred two of the three Diphylleia Grayi plants to pots, and put them next to the only morning-sunshine window in my apartment.

Yes, it was still kinda cold out when I put those plants by the windowsill…

So now comes the fun.  See, in the past, I’ve tried to grow various flowers and plants.  And the only ones that seem to have grown with any consistency or success … were either plants made of crabgrass or thistleweed, and flowers made of plastic.

No, I’m not kidding.  I could swear that I’ve developed thumbs that are made of RoundUp.

Oh, and yes I did order three plants … but I asked a friend of mine to take care of the third plant.  She could watch it and let it grow, in exchange for me photographing the plant when it blooms.  Then she could have that stalk if she liked.

When I potted these plants, their tiny leaves looked withered and worn.  But after a couple of days on the sill, and a fresh cup of water mixed with their soil and Bio-Tone mixture, the plants are at least developing nicely attenuated umbrella-like leaves.

And now … where do I go from here?

I wait.  I have to wait.  I can’t get plants to grow any faster, God doesn’t have that in His plans.

On Sunday, one of the plants – who I’m going to refer to right now as “Plant A” – unfurled its beautiful umbrella leaves.

There definitely is hope for this little project.  In fact, I even went out to the furniture store and bought a little plant stand, so that Plant A and its sister Plant B can comfortably reside in suitable ease.

I just really want this to work.  I want to be able to have those amazing whisper-thin white petals and have them become wet with rainwater, turning them into crystal clearness.  And if I can photograph these little treasures… oh you know that would be fun.

Wish me luck.