Rare flower found in Louisville Gardens

Jun 24, 2009 at 5:00 am
Rare flower found in Louisville Gardens

Resident green-thumb Jeanine Wiche, co-host of weekend delight “Homegrown” on the local NPR affiliate station, busted up with vegetative victory Saturday after discovering a rare plant inside Louisville Gardens.

This is no mean feat. How could anyone have foreseen that a lowly hippeastrum would not only sprout but thrive in the dark former armory.

“Damn stonemasons — I knew there was a crack in the bedrock somewhere,” Brinton Beaurigard Davis, the armory’s chief architect, howled from beyond the grave.

A genus of the Amaryllidaceae, hippeastrum — not to be confused with a patchouli-drenched busker — is found only in South America, and requires as little intervention as possible. Wiche described it as a freak of nature. “And a beautiful one at that,” she said, at which point the hippeastrum sharpened a leaf and sliced open Wiche’s curious index finger.

Adjectives failed to materialize for Wiche’s “Homegrown” co-host, Bob Hill, whose utterances consisted of “Gosh!” “Golly,” “I didn’t know that,” and other awshucksisms.

J.K. McKnight quickly re-branded The Forecastle Festival poster with various artistic interpretations of the rare flora and switched his music lineup exclusively to obscure Latin lyricists. Nanz & Kraft cleared an entire wing of its St. Matthews headquarters just for photographs.

The sighting forced a switch in Gardens event programming: Next week’s wrestling match between Laila Ali and Jerry Abramson will go off an hour later than expected, but the Shriners’ annual “Fez Fetish” party on July 4 weekend will proceed without calamity. 

*This story is part of LEO's Fake Issue.