A houseplant older than most of us

Luann Waldo with her long-lived plant

Luann Waldo, publisher of The Scranton Journal and the Bayard News Gazette, is featured along with her 85-year-old Christmas cactus in the February/March edition of The Iowan magazine.

The short feature, titled “This Gift Keeps on Giving,” was written by Lora Koch.  Waldo shared with her readers in January that her Christmas cactus had bloomed another year. The plant was a gift from Luann’s grandmother Bessie Mains to Luann’s mother Edith Crawley on Edith’s wedding day, Nov. 30, 1931.

Luann took over care of the plant 15 years ago after the death of her mother. She’s “managed to keep it alive,” she said, but as insurance, she’s started several shoots off it.

“How my parents kept the cactus from freezing in the winter when they lived in a drafty old chicken house during the Depression is beyond my imagination,” Luann is quoted as saying.

The Christmas cactus was a wonderful gift, but Luann suspects it wasn’t the best gift the couple ever received. She was born on her parents’ 23rd wedding anniversary in 1954. Her parents were 42 and 40 years old.

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