Black Beauty Update

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Moose, Aug 1, 2011.

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  1. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    What? :confused:
     

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  2. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

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    10
    Looks like moose diggings to me.
     
  3. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    :rolleyes:


    :eek:


    :p


    :)



     
  4. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    :D I want to see pictures of it in its new home in Moose Land. ;)
     
  5. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

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    3,135
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Ron,

    My heart just about sank on my first viewing of this thread. Glad on my second viewing it's better news. You're a terrible liar. Your emoticons give you away LOL. Congrats on that snag!
     
  6. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

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    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    OMG!

    Swallowed by a black hole!!!
     
  7. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    4,845
    I see Moose tracks :D
     

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  8. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Some more moose tracks ... :rolleyes:
     

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  9. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

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    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    How about a dang picture there?
     
  10. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    4,845
    Ron, Now I want Moose Track ice cream. I am going to run to Publix and buy some. It will take about 15 min. that should give you enough time to post the pic of the Black Beauty.
     
  11. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Well ... :rolleyes:
     

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  12. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    I had to transplant this croton. The guy who lived next door passed away. His brother who lives in Arkansas owns the house now. It was under contract for sale but fell through due to no original will was found. It is now in probate. I am currently doing the yard work at the house. However the eventual new owner will likely tent the house for termites. If this croton had survived the tenting, I am sure that the painters would have destroyed the plant. It was transferred to the Moose Land to preserve this uncommon cultivar. :)

    Almost all growth is new. Air layers and many cuttings were taken. This is a real slow cultivar. Cuttings that were taken two years ago are only about 8-12 inches tall so far.

    The second photo has a Jackfruit tree in the background located to the north. Hopefully this will provide some windbreak and canopy protection from the north cold winds when the cold fronts come. The Black Beauty will receive morning to early afternoon sun and then be shaded for the rest of the day. ;)
     

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  13. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    Nice save!
     
  14. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

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    Great Save Ron!
     

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  15. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

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    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    I think this is one of the best stories that I have read on this forum. One of the rarest crotons ( that all of us did not have), ends up being discovered outside a moose sanctuary and has been rescued for all of us to enjoy. I really think if it was not for a moose on the loose, this croton might have been lost forever. Great job,Ron! Keep us posted on the transplant....

    Jeff
     
  16. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

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    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Nice job Ron!
     
  17. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    Thanks to the Moose there are even a few sticks of this beauty rooting out in Louisiana...
    :D
     
  18. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Peyton - Well the good news is that it will not take up much room in your greenhouse in the winter for quite awhile. This cultivar is pretty slooooow. :p

    When transplanting, I noticed some malformations on the trunk and lower branches. I suspect this may be evidence that it was "burned" to the ground when it snowed here in 1977. :confused:
     
  19. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

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    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Please tell me one of these rare crotons will be on display this saturday for the tour.
     
  20. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    After Ron's salvaging of this croton, perhaps we should call it Kiefert's Black Beauty.:p
     
  21. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    10 air layers were taken off the mother plant. Her size has been reduced by 2/3rds. Of the 10 air layers taken, eight were distributed to croton aficionados around the State of Florida who understand the rarity of this cultivar. I am sure they will take great pains to keep their plants alive. The original cuttings taken proved to be most difficult to establish and many, many were lost. Of the original surviving cuttings that were put in Jeff's mist house and then stepped up to one gallon plants - half of those were given away or donated to the Croton Society auctions. Great efforts have been undertaken to make sure that this will not be "another lost croton". As stated before, this is a slow to establish and slow growing plant.

    I have only two plants left from the air layers. They were recently stepped up into larger containers since they were full of roots. The mother plant looks like she is recovering from the transplant. I am concerned that if she experiences a severe weather event this winter, she could subcome in her still stressed state. I am keeping the larger Black Beauty as a back-up. I can always bring her inside if the weather becomes unsavory. The other "smaller" Black Beauty I am willing to bring to the Croton Tour and put on the Silent Auction table. Due to its size and how slow this croton is, the starting bid will not be cheap. Its like a slow growing palm, you are buying time when you get a big one. It may be years before another plant of this size will be available again. I am leaving the Momma plant alone for 3-5 years so she can recover properly.

    As a lover of these bizarre plants, I have tried my best to preserve this cultivar. :)
     
  22. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

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    1,439
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Mine's doing quite well. Almost 18" tall, not big enough for cuttings or an airlayer, but lots of new growth.
     

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  23. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Very nice Ricky! I think it was at your Croton Garden Tour was the debut of this plant. One went to the auction, the other was a gift to you! You were probably the first person to ever get a cutting since it was given to you prior to the auction. It was a friend of Rick Leitner's who won the plant in the auction if memory serves me correctly. Two growing seasons and your averaging 9" of growth per season, less the height of it originally. Like I said, not very fast. Yours looks perfect!!! :cool:

     
  24. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Ron,

    Any updated information or pictures on this original plant?
     
  25. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Jeff - as per your request, here are some shots of the "original" plant. These photos were taken this morning at sunrise. Multiple air layers were made and cuttings taken before she was transplanted. She continues to prosper but has not produced the larger leaves and heavy gauge stems that she originally had. This may be due to the fact that it was a very old plant and this will take much more time.

    On a sad note, of all the air layers that were distributed of the "old growth" stems. Photos of her progeny have rarely been posted. I have yet to see any of her children from cuttings achieve the leaf size that were found on Momma when first discovered, thus the true potential has not been realized.

    One thing can be said for Black Beauty is that she has never been mistaken for another cultivar. She remains unique while there are so many "looks like" cultivars around.
     

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  26. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Found another shot of Momma on my SD card. For scale, you can find my coffee mug in the background sitting atop the AC. Taking a early morning saunter with my dog Stretch while drinking coffee - usual practice when I don't have to work. :)
     

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  27. Emmylou

    Emmylou Active Member

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    90
    Location:
    Miami
    Beautiful Ron. Is the Black Beauty that I got from you from this plant? Mine is wonderful and seems to love the spot I chose for it. If I can learn how to post pictures I'll try to post for you to see or you can always come by and see for yourself. Marnie
     
  28. Kingdavid

    Kingdavid Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    st lucie co
    Definately the KING of the Black Beauty"s What do you guess the age is ???? 40 - 50 yrs
     
  29. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    David - I am unable to find the original thread.

    In short, I was new to crotons and through serendipity "discovered" this plant. It was Ray Hernandez who was able to ID it. Embarrassingly at the time, I thought it was "just another croton". The story I got from the previous owner (who has since passed) was that it was planted by his father. John's dad passed away in 1961 - its a pretty darn old plant.
     
  30. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Ron, big mama Beauty is looking good. She should be proud she has so many fine offsprings. I have a small one that I acquired at the spring auction. She is doing well. I will post her sometime this week. It is not one of the thick stemmed ones, though, but she is real cute.:)
     
  31. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    This was my last "old growth" Black Beauty bb m.JPG . The last of my original air layers. It takes a quite a few years to establish their long tightly spiraled leaves. This resides in Marnie's (emmylou) garden now. When she said she would never make cuttings but allow it to keep its original growth habit, I cut my price in half. It was nice to have someone understand and appreciate it's "old growth" characteristics. She related that many visitors to her garden have asked for cuttings, which she has refused.

    The original mother plant that had multiple air layers and cuttings taken from her has still not developed the grandeur that the "old growth" had.
     
  32. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Actually Marnie's was not the last of my old growth air layers. There is one other, it was the air layer that I made for myself, not knowing I would get permission to dig out the mother plant. Its in a 15 gallon container and actually looks better than the mother. It probably represents about 25+ years of growth. I would sell it but I don't think someone would spend the money for a croton that I feel it is worth. Its destiny may be that it gets planted in the Moose Land.

    Here she is ... B;ack Beauty.JPG
     
  33. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Wish we could get a photo of this one in good lighting with a light background, and with no other plants around it- to be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the plant. I'm not asking for much;) am I? I'm sure that baby weighs a good fifty pounds:eek:.
     
  34. Kingdavid

    Kingdavid Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    st lucie co
    How much sun do they like ??? Mine doesnt get any direct sun and isnt as full as yours seem to grow more sparse . Does it need some direct light ? thanks David
     
  35. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    David - surprisingly for a dark thin leaved cultivar, this plant appreciates at least half a day of afternoon shade. This plant gets morning sun only. Its a bit bright right now but the Jacaranda tree that gives it afternoon shade is starting to sprout its new leaves. In a month it will be very shaded by 11:00 am on.

    Mine looks full as it came from a large air layer (root ball about the size of a pumelo). It took over 3 months to fill the spagnum ball. It went straight to a seven gallon container. After about 2 years, it got stepped up into its current 15 gallon container.
     
  36. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Ana - Perhaps I will get around to request in the future. Unfortunately it weighs closer to 100 lbs. I will need assistance from my 19 year old son to move it. Getting assistance from him will be an adventure all of its own. Arghh
     
  37. Kingdavid

    Kingdavid Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    st lucie co
    Thanks i will move mine to a spot to get a little direct sulight hopefully morning
     
  38. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Black Beauty Flowers.JPG
    Here is a first for me, Black Beauty producing male flowers. These plants are so genetically unstable, not sure if any of the Black Beauty DNA characteristics will be carried on as the ants will be distributing its pollen.
     
  39. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Black Beauty seeds.JPG

    A Black Beauty flowering is a rare occurrence. Never seen the mother plant flower. In fact, the only other incidence of flowering that I am aware of was Jeff Searles' Black Beautyabout three or four years ago. Oh, there are a couple of seeds too. Wonder what duds these will produce?
     
    Kingdavid likes this.
  40. Kingdavid

    Kingdavid Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,151
    Location:
    st lucie co
    Super seeds Very nice
     

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