This past week when people have come over, they aren't far in the door before they ask, "What is that?".
The simple answer is "a succulent". Echeveria gibbiflora to get all Latin-y. To explain it a little further, it's a succulent blooming. But it's more than that. It's a plant process called "etiolation".
Etiolation is a process in flowering plants grown in partial or complete absence of light. It is characterized by long, weak stems; smaller, sparser leaves due to ...blah, blah, blah.
It's not really a good thing. But it's something we'll all be seeing as daylight wanes in the coming months.
Most folks call it getting leggy. Which is different from getting jiggy.
I learned this new fancy word while researching an upcoming article about growing succulents in cold climates. When I used this lingo on a friend to describe what was going on with my coffee table specimen, he replied, "You mean it's not happy".
Here is the Echeveria in sunnier, happier times, out with its companions on the patio. Don't use just love all those ruffles? But all good things must end and then it's either the dumpster or the dining room.
The swirling shape was created while I moved it first to the garage to escape freezing and then under the solarium windows at the kitchen table where it threatened to double dip in my husband's salsa. Then it was on to the coffee table where it has impeded my husband's view of the TV. Meanwhile the stems continue to curve seeking out any sunlight available.
This time of year, even low light indoor plants or plants brought indoors need the brightest windows available, and attention should be given to temperature. Some plants like succulents will tolerate chilly temps while others will catch cold. Tropicals will wither too close to windows.
Eventually I will trim off the spent flower stalks and try to once again center and anchor the plant.
The growth habit reminds me of an ocean wave or a curl of smoke. And while I don't mean to make light (oh, bad pun) of the Echeveria's predicament, right now I think it's beautiful in a twisted sort of way.