In A Vase on Monday – Surinam Shrimp


I am aware ‘Surinam Shrimp’ sounds like a dish at a Vietnamese restaurant, however the two main components of this vase are Surinam Cherries and Shrimp Plants. The Surinam Cherries are the fruit in the lower part of the arrangement.

I have a large hedge of these shrubs and was pleased to have a fruit producing hedge, thinking (silly me) the fruit could be eaten. I kept thinking the fruit wasn’t ripe or something as it tasted so bad. Finally my neighbor, a Florida veteran, picked one for me – properly ripe. Still tasted bad. I have seen the taste described as resinously bitter, and the description fits the fruit. Given the taste of the fruit and the colors in various stages of ripeness an arrangement seemed like a better use of the fruit. The rest will be left for our wildlife friends.


Here is another view with the nearly ripe Surinam Cherry beside the vase. As for the other members of the plant crew, we have: in dark red, flowers of the Red Shrimp Plant (Justicia brandegeana); the foliage of Boston Fern and the upright sticks are from a ‘Firesticks’ Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Firesticks’); in orange and chartreuse, the fruits of the Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora).

The vase was a long ago Christmas gift to my husband from his ex-wife’s cousin! We have absolutely no idea what it is, so if anyone has a clue please send a comment. We have been wondering for years what this is. The top of the vase is much thinner than the base and has a hole in it. It reads “Gd Cafe des Viticulteurs”

As for the ‘Firesticks’ Pencil Cactus’ here is a picture of the plant. Euphorbias still blow my mind, hello, Poinsettias? so weird- I have a few of these around the garden as they easily root from cuttings:


Now I am craving some Shrimp Pasta for dinner. Without the Euphorbias, of course.


29 comments on “In A Vase on Monday – Surinam Shrimp

  1. The vases from climates different from mine are always a revelation. I especially like those pencil cactus.


  2. pbmgarden says:

    Very nice! I like the deep color of the Red Shrimp Plant and the pencil cactus stems are interesting. Too bad you can’t eat the cherries but they work well in your vase.


  3. George Rogers says:

    Love those little red pumpkins with their ribs. You can have them with your shrimp pasta dinner.


  4. Cathy says:

    What an eye catching vase – and fascinating to hear about your experience with the contents! Viticulture relates to the study and production of grapes but if your ‘thing’ was from a cafe perhaps it was designed to hold a candle?


  5. Christina says:

    Just when I think I know what everyone will have in their vases someone (you in this case) come up with something totally different and totally brilliant – I love it. Love your Euphorbia too, too bad it wouldn’t grow here.


  6. Shrimp pasta, yes please. Your vase is lovely and so exotic


  7. Kris P says:

    Yum! Shrimp pasta sounds good to me right now (with lunch coming up). I’ve never seen a dark red Shrimp plant like that. I have to look around for it here.


    • These are common here, nearly indestructible and really a passalong plant; my neighbor gave it to me. I also have Yellow Shrimp Plants which are a different genus. Used to have ‘White Candle’ Justicia as annuals in the north.


  8. Another perfect tropical vase with such unusual plants especially that ‘Firesticks’ Pencil Cactus.


  9. Chloris says:

    Now, that is original- both the container and the contents. You have such interesting and unusual plants. I would never have guessed that the Cactus is a Euphorbia. It is so striking and I love those berries.


  10. Cathy says:

    This is great. Such a fun mix of exotic ingredients! I love the pencil cactus. 🙂


  11. Hannah says:

    I love the dark red/ burgundy shrimp plants, I haven’t seen them in real life. The color goes so well with the orange and pale green Surinam cherries. The ‘Firesticks’ sticking out give it a lot of character plus the peachy color. It’s a pretty tropical-looking arrangement, so nice to live in a warm climate, Shrub Queen.


  12. That title DID sound like a shrimp dish, but I must say that arrangement of your is also quite ‘dishy’. You really know how to put together striking arrangements that make me pause and look to see how you did it.


  13. Noelle says:

    How nice to view exotic fruits in an arrangement…they work so well in this arrangement.


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