Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rhoeo discolor 'Stripe-me-Pink'

 Rhoeo discolor 'Stripe-me-Pink'
Like many members of its Family Commelinaceae, this plant likes it in a garden spot or in a container which is kept on the dry side and is, as well, tolerant of poor soil. It also likes it in a warm to hot place being frost tender. It is often available at Garden Centres included with indoor or balcony plants for those who garden in cool climates. The vibrant pink and magenta striped leaves are at their best however when grown in full sun and will more than likely fade in shady conditions.
Each spring I grow a batch for sale as summer bedding and those unsold will often succumb to rotting when given overhead irrigation in the humid summer months. Water collecting in the centre of the plants results in fungal disease problems and the whole plant turns brown and collapses (see picture below)

Rhoeo given too much water will quickly rot and collapse

The variety name 'Stripe-me-Pink' is a clever play on words and is based on the Australian colloquialism 'Strike me Pink' which probably had its origins in the sheep shearing sheds of yesteryear. 'Pinking' means a sheep has been shorn too close to the skin so that the pink skin shows through, making it vulnerable to fly-strike, hence 'Strike me Pink' is used when speaking in surprise or alarm. Can also be used in combination with the word 'strewth'.
A local 'pink' expression involving the town of Jamberoo can be found in the book by W T Goodge Hits! Skits! and Jingles! published in 1899: 'The leathery necks he pinked 'em too, / Did Gentleman Jack of Jamberoo'
2017 update: I no longer grow this plant.

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