‘Have you seen the octopus?’

‘Hai visto il polpo?’ *Waves arms to impersonate octopus*

‘Its warm today isn’t it mate’ I said while flapping my arms back to him

My current boss called Marcello is very enthusiastic and passionate. Also, thankfully; very patient with a Non Italian speaker. Marcello began working in a nursery when he was young and confessed he didn’t care about plants. This all changed when he got pair with an older man who had been working on the nursery for years ‘He put the passion in me’. Marcello has continued his teachers traits, picking bits of plants and making me smell them. Magnolia grandiflora ‘Gallisoniensis’ flowers which has a rich lemon perfume and the scents Eucalyptus and Myrtus communis foliage.

Marcello and I have connected on plants. He gets great pleasure from my glaikit ( Is an adjective used to describe a stupid, foolish and thoughtless person or action) look on my face. I am constantly amazed by the quality of the plants from the ‘art forms/ macro bonsai’  (https://stories.rbge.org.uk/?p=29158&preview=true), new plants and plants we cannot grow outdoors in Scotland.

The octopus in question, Citrus medica var sarcodactylus Mano Di Budda aka Hand Of Buddha

This is a beautiful variety of orange, it will progress to bright yellow as the fruit matures. It more for ornamental effect than for edible fruit and have been in Italy since the Renaissance, displayed in large terracotta pots as decorations in the gardens of Medici family.

It is hardy to zone 9 meaning it needs to be taken in and kept at temperatures of between 4-10C during the colder spells. I wonder if it would be possible to cultivate at Logan botanic gardens if sheltered in the glasshouse overwinter? I know it is not of conservation value but, it is an interesting fruit which I believe would be a of visitor value.

For more articles follow the #italianhorticulture

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1 Comment

  1. Gail Meriwether

    I love to read about your adventures in the world of plants. I wonder where you will go next. It’s great to learn some history, as well. Have fun in Italy

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