The Cyathea Has Landed

Well, it finally happened. I acquired my first Legit Tree Fern. After much heartbreak with a trunking fern of the Blechnum persuasion, I searched high and low for a suitable replacement. As much as I love to shop for plants online, the prices are usually prohibitively expensive. Also, tree ferns are just really goddamn hard to find. You can imagine, then, the enormity of my freak-out upon finding a big beautiful specimen of Cyathea ├žooperi at Heinz Brothers Greenhouse in St. Charles, IL.

I went into Heinz Brothers to see if they carried vermiculite. Very few places do anymore... apparently there's something about the mining process that is a bit naughty. I felt pretty guilty about this purchase, so I wandered around the greenhouse for a while clutching the bag like a vermiculite junkie and rationalizing, "I just need a little bag, and I'll make it last... then no more..."

I turned a corner, and BAM! There were the Australian tree ferns (also known as scaly tree ferns). These monsters were in ten inch pots, about three feet tall and about four and a half feet in diameter. They were expensive, and deservedly so. I left Heinz Brothers with only my vermiculite and a deep, deep longing.

Later I emailed them to ask if the ferns were a part of their summer sale. They were not (flowering tropicals only), but the person who responded to my email offered me a bad-ass discount nonetheless. So I returned. I combed over the selection, trying to find one with some new growth, and settled when I found THE CROZIER TO END ALL CROZIERS.

There was one setback- in the upper branches, nesting like majestic pterosaurs, were a couple of huge mealybugs. But the plant was in such good condition otherwise, and it was such a good deal on a rare find, I didn't really mind. Into my car went the fern, where it spent the car trip trying to hug me from the back seat and showering me in needle-sharp hairs.

Now it is safely home, and hopefully adjusting. I don't have enough room to isolate it entirely, so I have it sitting in the corner of the plant room, with my mealybug mis-en-place close at hand.


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