Brazilian Bromeliads

billbergia_elegans

Billbergia elegans – a very elegant bromeliad with gorgeous flowers.

Brazil

Terrestrial bromeliad to 1 to 2 feet tall with subtle variegated pastel-colored leaves. Upright form. Multicolored blooms. Sharp edges with marginal teeth.

  • Hardy to 35F
  • Part Shade
  • Orchid/Jungle Soil
  • Low Water

Firesafe Succulents

aloe_firewall

Aloe ciliaris “Firewall” is a really good choice for planting as a firewall on the dry California hillsides that are subject to the fires, like right here in Berkeley and in the Oakland hills.

Vertical stems to 3 feet tall, spreads wide. Orange flowers in late winter. “This plant can be used effectively on slopes, and provides a great barrier against fires when planted in wide enough swaths because of the tremendous amount of moisture stored in its leaves.”

  • Hardy to 22F
  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Delta Aloe

aloe_delta_lights

Aloe “Delta Lights” is the newest of the small collector Spotted Aloes that we are offering. They are hardy outside, but look like they want to be sitting on your windowsill at home anyway.

Strongly spotted variegated leaves are green in shade and white in full sun, can get a pinkish tinge on the edges. Rosettes to 10″, clumps to 3 feet across.

  • Hardy to 25F
  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Parry's Agave

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Agave parryi v. truncata is one of the classic parryis, even if not the one true classic. But it is the prettiest of the parryis when smaller. This has really nice form even right now. Just imagine when it gets 3 feet across – oh that’s nice!

  • Hardy to 20F
  • Full Sun to Part Sun
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Red Rosettes

aeonium_urbicum_rubrum

Aeonium urbicum “Rubrum”

A profusion of red-edged green rosettes, deeper red in full sun. Low growing – 18″ to 24″ tall, but very full.

  • Hardy to 28F
  • Full Sun to Part Sun
  • Cactus Soil
  • Low Water

Rose Yarrow

The rosiest of the yarrows is the Rose Yarrow. So it would seem it has been correctly named, after all! But the common name and the cultivar name don’t match? What’s up with that? It turns out that Cerise (244, 0, 161) is just another name for Rose (255, 0, 127) in the color-wheel of plants.

Achillea Cerise Queen

Achillea “Cerise Queen”

Hybrid
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: Under 1ft. tall

Rose colored flowers. Drives the butterflies crazy. Remove spent flowers for a late fall rebloom. Cut flowers last a long time, look great dried. Hardy to below 0°F.

Crown of Thorns, Yellow Edition

These Crown of Thorn spurges come in quite a range of colors. This one is Yellow.

Euphorbia milii Dwarf Yellow

Euphorbia milii “Dwarf Yellow”

We have a lot of new vigorous growth right now since we have had a very mild winter. It’s sunny and warm most days. There’s been no cloudy rainy days at all. It’s like an early spring! And the plants are going nutso for the sunshine. Maybe they’ll be caught in mid growth if winter ever does come and then that would be a bad thing for the plants. They could get damaged.

And just for the fun of it, a Salmon colored one too!

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(I like the yellow one better. Less showy.)

Blooming Succulents

Lewisia cotyledon

Normally the California Native Lewisia cotyledons bloom in spring and summer, but we do always have a few that will bloom at other times of the year, like now.

In fact, we find that as these plants mature they can bloom up to 6 times per year! That’s a lot of blooms. You just have to dead-head them to prevent them from going to seed in case they were pollinated. If they go to seed then they are done blooming for the year.

Lewisia Alba

Bonus picture of an Owl after the break… Read More…

Christmas Cactus Saturday

Christmas Cactus1

All the brightly colored Christmas Cactus are out, and not a day too soon.

Christmas Cactus2

These are all hybrids from Brazilian species. Nobody knows anymore what the original species from the jungles were, but we like to think they are hybridized from Schlumbergera orsicchiana, which tend to be pendant and epiphytic.

Christmas Cactus3

All those green segments that look like leaves are really stem segments, and the cactus spines, as these are true cacti, come from the joints between the segments. The segmenting of the stems makes for easy cuttings.

Christmas Cactus4

Some would call these hybrids something along the lines of Schlumbergera orssichiana x truncata, but the truncata part of that was long ago gathered into Zygocactus, but then put back into Schlumbergera in 1967. So if you see these advertised as Zygocactus you should know that they are archaically sticking to the early 60s. Old people today.

Parodia

Here are two very nice Parodias. Parodias are known for their yellow flowers, although not all Parodias have yellow flowers, but there is a yellow color known as Parodia Yellow so you can imagine that they are well-known for their yellow flowers.

Many people will argue over the shear number of Parodia species, even though many or most are really subspecies of only about 65 species.

Native to the South American Highlands. And Lowlands too.

Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp gutierrezii

First up is Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp gutierrezii, one of those cacti that have been wrongly categorized as separate species over the years, more recently known as Notocactus gutierrezii, a name that some cactus growers cling to out of tradition or anger or for the shear spectacle. Native to the Rio Grande do Sul in Brasil.

Parodia nigrispina

Next is the very attractive and slightly more common Parodia nigrispina, originally in the 19th century assumed to be part of the Echinocactus genus, but that’s ridiculous. These hail from the fine country of Paraguay, which I believe is in South America.

Red Kangaroo Paws

Kind of a very vibrant red against a sky blue backdrop, if you choose to photograph it that way, which I did because this particular Paws has very tall bloom stalks so it is hard to photograph it against the foliage way down below. Instead shooting up towards the sky works well.

anigozanthos_big_red3

Anigozanthos “Big Red”
Australia
Evergreen Shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water:Moderate in Summer
Size: 4-6ft. tall

Vibrant fuzzy tall red flowers,blend well with red stems in Spring and again in Fall. Long lasting blooms are perfect for cut flowers. Hardy to 20F.

Moth Orchids

It’s the new Orchid colors, just in time for Thanksgiving. You will have to choose the right color for your T-Day table. If you pick wrong, your Aunt May will berate you.

Choose wisely.

And we’re off!!!!

Phalaenopsis1 Phalaenopsis3 Phalaenopsis6 Phalaenopsis2 Phalaenopsis8

These all were Phalaenopses, by the way.

Candy Cane Morning Glory

calystegia candy cane

First we have a profile shot of the very attractive flower of the:

Calystegia macrostegia “Candy Cane” – California Morning Glory

California Native
Herbaceous Perennial Vine

Sun: Full Sun near coast, Afternoon Shade inland
Water: Moderate, deciduous in summer if dry
Size: Twining Vines

Long lasting colorful blooms for a good part of the year. Great for climbing on fences. Keep watered through the summer to keep green.

And then we have a head-on shot too.

calystegia candy cane2

If you click the link above you can see another picture with both a head-on and a profile shot, togethewr in one amazing picture. Calystegia macrostegia California Morning Glory

Brighamia insignis – Olulu

 

brighamia insignis

It’s my best shot yet of a Brighamia insignis flower! And there are 2! Plus a bud as a bonus. A bonus bud? From Hawaii? Indeed.

Here’s what the whole plant looks like.

Brighamia insignis2

Coral Fire

aloe_coral_fire

That Aloe is on fire! Aloe “Coral Fire” that is.

 

 

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

 

It’s cold out this morning

Succulent Photos All Day Long

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Do you like succulent photos like this Echeveria? Follow me on instagram! And you can have succulent photos all day long!

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Like this new picture of a small mixed Sempervivum pot/terrarium with dragon.

It’s all on my instagram feed, and more!

Astrophytums

astrophytum_capricorne3

Astrophytum capricorne is known as the Monks Hood.

astrophytum_ornatum3

Astrophytum ornatum is the well known Bishops Cap.

Or is it vice-versa? Hard to know. Cactus are such mysterious creatures. But we do know the A. ornatum will grow to 3 feet tall, while the much less common A. capricorne will stay below 12″.

Retro Instagram

Cactus and Succulents!

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Yuccas and Pachycereus! (and an aloe too)

White Spined Golden Barrel Cactus

echinocactus_grusonii_white_ghost

We have a few larger specimens of the white-spined version of the classic golden barrel. We call it Echinocactus grusonii “White Ghost”. Some prefer to call it c.v. alba or even v. albispinus! Those people are ridiculous.

The golden-spined species is probably the most commonly propagated species of all time. But did you know that its native habitat in Queretaro, Mexico has been nearly eliminated by the construction of a dam?

Living Stones

I see we have some vibrant and colorful Mesembs in full and gorgeous colorfully bloomed.

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Lapidaria margaretae

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Lithops salicola

The plants are barely even visible under those giant and colorful flowers.

Living Stones Succulents

These are our newest cutest little Living Stones in the Mesemb Family (Aizoaceae, Subfamily Mesembryanthemoideae)

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae flower

And the flowers! Oh the yellow flowers…

And a bonus Mesemb! This one isn’t a Living Stone Mesemb, but an Ice Plant Mesemb, and quite the hadry little flowering plant.

Oscularia caulescens

Oscularia caulescens has the most adorable (i.e. unpronounceable) common name – Dassievygie.

Mixed Succulents, Alamo

Mark and Bill were happy to share their lovely mixed Succulent pots.

mixed-succulents

Echeveria “Doris Taylor” and Graptopetalum paraguayense seem to dominate. Is that a Graptoveria “Debbie” I see in back? And the bowl is Ironstone. We don’t stock Ironstone at the store, but we can special order it in.

mixed sempervivums

Sempervivums are hard to ID, but I’m going out on a limb here and say its Sempervivum “Pekinese”.

mixed sempervivum

Sempervivum arachnoideum in bloom in a hand-poured sand-cast “stone” trough.

What a pleasant group of succulent pots!

California Native Agave

agave_shawii3

Agave shawii is a coastal California native, Southern Cal. and Baja, but still coastal so you know it will do well in Berkeley and nearby. While the rosettes will get 2 to 3 feet across, taller than wide, they will also form large clusters so the agave can take over an area easily 10 feet across if you let it. And with those gorgeous red spines on the new leaves glowing in the California sunshine why wouldn’t you let it? Once they’ve formed a large enough cluster it would be difficult to remove, so make sure you have it in a place you want it.

Full sun at the coast, it could do with afternoon shade further inland.

Should not bloom until 15 to 20 years old, and then the bloom stalk could be particularly impressive for such a smaller species – up to 40 feet tall? Harsh!

 

Gold Butterflyweed

Nicole took home this adorable little caterpillar but not before I got a photo and edited it on my phone with cute editing software. And the plant underneath of course is aButterfly Milkweed.

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Asclepias “Silky Gold”

Native to South America
Semi-Evergreen Perennial

Sun: Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Moderate
Size: 3 to 4 ft tall

Brilliant gold-yellow blooms atop each stem in fall. Green leafy stems. Hardy to 15F. Can be grown as an annual; collected seeds can be planted in spring. Attracts Monarch butterflies.

Variegated Corncob Succulent

euphorbia mammillaris variegata

Portrait of a Euphorbia mammillaris variegata coming into bloom with all the pretty colors.

It is from the Little Karoo region of South Africa. It will grow maybe a foot tall and will sprawl outwards with many new branches growing along the older branches. Read More…

Rare Succulents, Whitesloanea Edition

Whitesloania crassa flower bud

Whitesloanea crassa is a rare and unusual succulent in the Stapeliad Family (Actually the Dogbane Family Apocynaceae or the Milkweeds Family Asclepiadaceae, depending on who you ask.)

And then that cute little flower bud opened up and we had a beautiful and vibrant and hairy flower.

Whitesloania crassa flower

They come from the hills of Somalia where they grow with just a little bit of sun and in very gritty soil with very little water. That’s exactly what I would have guessed! We tend to reduce the water in the winter down alm,ost to nothing, but not quite. In summer I keep it in a hot window and water with half as much as my other succulents, but once per week.

Join me after the break to see what a branching Whitesloanea looks like. Read More…

More Prickly Pears and Beavertails

Some closer-ups of yesterday’s Opuntias. Plus a bonus flowering cholla, also theoretically an Opuntia, but not exactly.

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Blue Beavertail

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Used to be an Opuntia, now considered a Tacinga, though still in the Opuntiodeae tribe.

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Close up of a different Beavertail Cactus!

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Bonus cholla… Used to be an Opuntia, now a Cylindropuntia.

Any guesses as to the species of them all? I gave good hints.

Aloe africana

Aloe africana 2

Aloe africana

Single stemmed to 12ft., solitary rosette with marginal spines. Hardy to 25F.

Aloe africana 1

The common name in South Africa for this lovely tree aloe is Uitenhagse-aalwyn. The bloom stalks on top of these 10-12ft. trees will get an additional 8 feet taller. Impressive! They’re found in a small part of the Gamtoos River Valley east to Port Alfred, particularly the Uitenhage District, hence the common name. Lowland, it grows coastally.

The Gamtoos River Valley is… so peaceful, so serene, so close to nature,  its hard to believe that Port Elizabeth`s Green Acres Shopping Centre is only 55km away!

Narrowleaf Milkweed

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Asclepias fascicularis is my favorite California Native Milkweed this year. I don’t know how I’ll feel next year since there are so many beautiful milkweeds in the world and a few of them are California’s own. Check back!

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