Passing one of my caremyle pots the other day, I did a sudden double take. There, nestled beneath the foliage, were two little seedlings, with trifoliate leaves.
Intrigued, I looked closer. Not clover, nor Oxalis corniculata, but little oca plants - definitely. Unlike Queen Victoria, I was amused.
I must have repotted the caremyle with some spent compost containing oca seeds, which had then decided to germinate. I quickly extricated them and planted them in modules; I'll reunite these foundlings with their extended family in the oca plot when they reach the age of majority. Scrutinising the surface of the pot more closely , I noticed further seedlings starting to show.
Not long afterwards I was hoeing off some weeds and oca volunteers which I wanted to remove from a bed. I noticed that one of the ocas, small and stocky and moments before a picture of health, actually had cotyledons. This was none other than my first oca seedling to appear spontaneously outside in one of our beds and I had, in my enthusiastic ignorance, decapitated it. I held the the bisected beauty in my hands with an expression of mute incomprehension. No I didn't - I swore with undignified intensity and rapidity. Regaining my composure quickly (all of 30 minutes), I replanted the rootless stem and I'm hoping that I can persuade it to re-root. It at least proves that oca seeds can germinate and develop outside satisfactorily, although how large a plant it would have made before the winter is anyone's guess, especially with me acting plum loco parentis. If it survives, I'll name it Lucky, after that darn dog from that ol' poster: