I purchased this in a mercado in Tonala, Mexico in 1975. I knew of the plant and
wanted one. The proprieter had placed a water lily flower carefully between the
leaves. I played dumb and asked the child working behind the counter if the flower
was part of the plant. "Absolutely," he responded. The older man
working with him (probably his father) overheard and ran over to assure me that it was
there only for decoration. I guess he recognized that I would've walked away if they
had continued with that lie. I bartered for the plant and then asked how much it
would cost without the decorating flower. I believe the final cost was 72 cents.
This is also a plant that can be tormented and ignored yet will bounce back and look like
new. It has sprouted masses of offsets and has supplied several friends with plants.
So with all this history in a plant, you'd think I knew what it was called. For
twenty years I've called it a crystallinum. I've given
offsets to friends self-assuredly labeling it as crystallinum.
Recently, I received email pointing out the error. It's a clarinervium and if I had
bothered to check, I would've realized that clarinerviums are native to Mexico. It would
have been unlikely that a village street mercado would have a Peruvian plant like the