Shorter days in fall and winter, combined with comparatively chilly fifty-degree nights in the greenhouse, inspired my colony of paddle plants to soar into bloom. Vegetative stems are squat, with closely spaced pairs of round leaves that are, indeed, the size and thickness of paddles—or flapjacks or cabbage. When each stem is a year or two old, a tall flowering stalk emerges from its tip. Mine developed so quickly that they hit the translucent roof of the greenhouse before I noticed.
I put the container on a lower bench, bringing the entire colony into right-at-hand view in the process. And hooray for that: a paddle plant in bloom is a strange beast that deserves to be appreciated in every detail.