Crown of Thorns Series Spectacular

Euphorbia milii “Red Speckles”
So named for it’s red-speckled bracts. I think this is the last of these crown-of-thorn photos I’ll be posting for a little while.

Tubular Red Blooms

Rechsteineria leucotricha
A caudiciform plant in the gesneriaceae family, which includes many flowering bulbs like gloxinia. Caudex can get to 8″ across. Red blooms form a crown on top of the leaves that protrude up on gentle stems.

Crown of Thorns Series Continues

Euphorbia milii “Dwarf Apache Red”
These are a fan favorite – short, shrubby, very branchy, small deep red bracts. It’s everything you ever wanted in a crown of thorns.

Bloom Stalk

Aloe striata
Also known as the Coral Aloe

Albuca Bloom

Albuca namaquensis
Winter growing bulb with curly leaves. The sun was very bright when I took this photo. Maybe too bright for the delicate petals.

Yellow Blooms

Bulbinella robusta
A grassy relative of aloes, forms mounds of narrow succulent leaves with bloom stalks as tall as 30″. From South Africa, where it is known as Cat’s Tail. Propagates easily by division in the fall.

Aeonium Blooms

Aeonium arboreum
These blooms can take a lot of energy out of the plants, and can cause some of the rosettes to die back, even setting the plant back a couple years. Not as bad as some other Aeoniums, especially the ones with the pyramidal bloom stalks. But they’re pretty.

Hen and Chick

Sempervivum “Emerald Empress”
This little guy has been growing very nicely through the winter, when most of the other sempervivums have been dormant. Good color range too.

Hawaiian Succulent Bloom

Brighamia insignis “Olulu” or “Alula”
An endangered species native to Kauai. Short-lived, there are only about 50 left in the wild. A friend has been propagating and growing these and finally let us have a very few. We’re hoping to be able to collect seed. Can reach 6ft. tall with a swollen bottle-tree base.

Black Rose

<img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/aeonium_schwartzkopf5.jpg" /><br /><br />Aeonium &quot;Schwartzkopf&quot;<br />Popular winter-growing succulent, gets very dark in summer and full sun. Shrubby branches to 3 or 4 ft. tall. Yellow pyramidal bloom stalks can sap the energy right out of the plant, killing it or setting it back for a couple years, so we like to cut them off before they get too big.<br /><br />Cultivated from Aeonium atropurpureum which has the same dark color, but only on the leaf margins.<br /><br />We’ve cultivated a variety we’re calling &quot;Whippet&quot; because it’s so fast growing. It’s shorter, and midway between A. atropurpureum and &quot;Schwartzkopf&quot; in color.<br /><br />

Blue Eyed Grass

<img width="319" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/sisyrinchium_bellum_blue_eyed_grass.jpg" /><br /><br />Sisyrinchium bellum<br />These great native grasses get about 18&quot; tall, and bloom in late winter, i.e. now. The 4&quot; starts have about 6 blooms each started, while the gallon plants are going nuts with literally dozens of blooms ready to open. They do want a full sunny day or they just won’t open.<br /><br />

Succulent Closeup

<img width="432" hspace="5" height="322" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/trichodiadema_decorum.jpg" /><br /><br />Trichodiadema decorum<br /><br />Fuzzy leaves up close look very strange. This is the world for the bees and butterflies that pollinate these suckers.<br /><br />

Jungle Cactus in Bloom

<img width="432" hspace="5" height="371" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/rhipsalis_microcarpa.jpg" /><br /><br />Rhipsalis microcarpa<br />A long dangly jungle cactus. Low light is the key.<br /><br />

Aloe Bloom in Closeup

<img width="346" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/aloe_arborescens_bloom_closeup.jpg" /><br /><br />Aloe arborescens. <br /><br />This is a closeup of the same bloomstalk as yesterday.<br /><br />

Aloe Arborescens

Aloe arborescens in full bloom.

These do really well in the Bay Area. They love our winter rains and can be seen in bloom around the bay for months on end. They tend to form large mounds up to 4 ft. tall, but sometimes single stalks will reach up to 6 ft.

Some people prune them into hedges, but I don’t like that at all. Big puffy mounds with dozens of bloom stalks all at once is the ideal.

California Native Manzanita

<img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/arctostaphylos_pajaroensis_paradise.jpg" /><br /><br />Arctostaphylos pajaroensis &quot;Paradise&quot;<br />This is my favorite manzanita. The soft grey-green leaves are beautiful year-round, while the large sprays of small pink flowers in winter are spectacular. The new leaves come in deep red!<br /><br />

California Native Manzanita

<img width="432" hspace="5" height="346" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/arctostaphylos_morroensis.jpg" /><br /><br />Arctostaphylos morroensis – from Southern California, it’s <a href=";entry_id=1693" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">listed</a> as a threatened species. It grows well in coastal areas throughout the state, and is fairly tall for a shrubby manzanita – up to 6′ tall. It will have red berries if these lovely lavender flowers get pollinated.<br /><br />

Closeup Bloom

<img width="329" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/aloe_ferox_bloom_closeup.jpg" /><br /><br />Aloe ferox<br /><br />


<img width="303" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/aloe_ferox_bloom.jpg" /><br /><br />Aloe ferox<br />I’ll post a closeup tomorrow<br /><br />

Grand Rapids Succulents

The Fredrerick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI had a christmas show recently and used our photo of our succulent wreaths on one of their banners.<br /><br /><img width="288" hspace="5" height="432" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/meijer_wreath.JPG" /><br /><br />It’s very nice indeed. I hope all you Michiganders (I voted for Michiganians, <a href=";entry_id=1665" title="" onmouseover="window.status=’’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">but I lost</a>) get to visit the park this spring.<br /><br />The park is well known for their modern art collection. I like the di Suvero and the beautiful Goldsworthy arch.<br /><br />

Pelargonium ferulaceum

Pelargonium ferulaceum
Caudex forming succulent. Grows well outdoor in the Bay Area, in the ground with improved drainage, as a shrub. Lovely little flowers. Prefers light shade, and some protection from frost. We grow it up against the north side of the house, and will cover with frost blanket if it gets below 30.

Can be pruned to look like a bonsai, or actually grown in a pot as a bonsai.Those leaves are so green and lush, it hurts my eyes, but I just can’t look away.

New Camera

I got a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50.<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="351" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/haworthia_bolusii.jpg" /><br /><br />Haworthia bolusii<br /><br />

Thursday Bottle Blogging

I got a new camera, and before trying it out in macro mode on plants, I took a picture of a bottle.<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="324" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/bottle.jpg" /><br /><br />I hope you like it. The original photo is a humongous file, since it’s a 10mp camera. Here, let me zoom in….<br /><br /><img width="432" hspace="5" height="404" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/bottle2.jpg" /><br /><br />Oy, that’s close up. You can really see the dust collecting on it. Where’s my dust rag? Let me get that…<br /><br />

Berkeley Succulent

<img width="335" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/grant04.jpg" /><br /><br />Grant Street<br />Echeveria<br /><br />

Winter Blooms

<img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/aloe_thraskii_bloom.jpg" /><br /><br />Aloe thraskii<br /><br />

Older Pictures

One of the first pictures I took for the nursery about 5 years ago was this lovely succulent. Back then, I was trying different backgrounds. Having decided that the greenhouse did not make a good backdrop, I took a few pictures in the dining room. It’s not bad.<br /><br /><img width="216" hspace="5" height="288" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/ceraria_pygmae.JPG" /><br /><br />Ceraria pygmaea<br /><br />

Old Photo

<img width="432" hspace="5" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/cactus/cacti-1working.jpg" /><br /><br />Cactus photo taken in Cuba in the 1950s by Harold Hollibaugh<br /><br />

June 2023

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