Favorite or New Plant
Pedilanthus macrocarpus grows in upright clusters, resembling a forest of 2 to 3-foot tall green pencils, some of which curl over at the top. It gets its common name from tiny orangish flowers that are shaped like slippers. Blooms appear at the end of the stems in spring and fall.
Growing Veggies for the South Pole
Gene Giacomelli, with the University of Arizona and Phil Sadler, a Tempe botanist, won a contract to construct the first greenhouse to grow food for 200 researchers at the South Pole. It will be a soilless, hydroponic project, providing fresh veggies for the 8.5 months researchers are isolated without outside contact. For more details on the project, www.tucsoncitizen.com/local/5_20_03veggies.html.