Cape Daisies

Osteospermums are easy to grow in the Bay Area. You can pretty much ignore them and they make nice mounding perennials with lots of spring and summer flowers. They’re called, generically enough, Cape Daisy since they come from South Africa. And they’re daisies, i.e. in the Aster Family, Asteraceae, a very popular flowering family that includes Sunflowers, hence the other name of the family, the Sunflower Family. Daisies, Asters and Sunflowers!

These particular daisies are more closely related to the Calendulas, as they are included in the Calenduleae Tribe within Asteraceae.


Osteospermum “3D Double Purple” so named for the obvious reasons.


Osteospermum “Mara” is a pretty copper daisy.


Osteospermum “Nasinga Purple” – Now finally we get to the famous Spoon Flowers! So named for the obvious reasons.


Osteospermum “Nasinga White” has been the most popular of the Cape Daisies here at the nursery this spring.

Echinopsis Hybrid

Echinopsis (2)

This is a color we’ve never had before. Here we see this Echinopsis Hybrid with two blooms about to open in the early morning.


Here we see this same cactus in the afternoon after it has fully opened. (Moments later the plant was purchased and taken away!)

We don’t have an official name for this particular hybrid. What would you call it? “Ice Cream”? “Mill Valley”? “Fork and Spoon”?

More from the Cactus Bloom Season

It’s cactus bloom season, also known as Spring. Part 2.

I hope you are still enjoying these pictures of cactus flowers because we have a few more to share, right here on the cactus blog.


Echinocereus viridiflorus is the infamous green-flowered cactus, Green Pitaya, from the Plains States. That’s right – it’s native to a range from Texas to South Dakota, even found in a corner of Wyoming.


Opuntia erinacea, possibly a subspecies of Opuntia polyacantha, is the Mojave prickly pear. That means its a California Native!

yellow flowered cactus

Yellow flowered Echinocereus grandiflora “Sunshine Yellow”

How many flowers are there on this one yellow flowered cactus? A Lot.

echinocereus yellow


Cactus Bloom Season

It’s cactus bloom season, also known as Spring. Part 1.

I hope you enjoy pictures of cactus flowers because we have a few to share, right here on the cactus blog.


Echinopsis chamaecereus is the renowned Peanut Cactus


Epiphyllums are the seriously underrated Orchid Cactus


Echinocereus “White Lightning” is photographed in front of a Tequila Agave.

Echeveria Bloom and Musical Number

The prettiest Echeveria of all is:

Echeveria lindsyana

Echeveria lindsyana

Wow! If I didn’t have a nursery, and thus have a whole bunch of these Echeveria lindsyanas already, I would for sure buy that.

Some facts for you: From Mexico, as is typical of these Echeverias in the Crassulaceae Family. Hardy into the lower 20s, but probably not all the way down to 20F. They will form small dense clumps of 6″ rosettes. And they’re pretty. Oh so pretty. They feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity any Echeverias who isn’t lindsyana tonight!


Echeveria Hybrids Dominate the Weekend

There are a lot of very Hybridized Echeverias on the Echeveria market. Some are from the 1950s and some are more recent. But they all are growing right now in our very spring weather. Every single one of them. And they are all showing great color in our very sunny spring. A lot of color!

Here are some that we like. I don’t have most of them named so I’m not including names with these, but some of them we do know the names and others I’m sure you also know the names, so there’s that.

Here we go!




Don’t forget to click your favorites to see a slightly bigger picture.

And we’re off again!




Wow, those are some colorful succulents. I couldn’t possibly have more. But I could! I do! And these are all out at the nursery right now. And even more than I’m showing here! So many that I couldn’t hold them all in this blog post.

On to the rest….





Cactus Flowers! It's Spring!

The Echinocereus grandifloras are in full bloom this weekend, so you know it’s spring out here at the Cactus Jungle.


We call this one “Amber Peach”


Rikki insists this one is “Tropical Pink”


I named this one “White Lightning”

In case you were wondering, these are all hybrids. They are intergenic hybrids between Echinopsis and Echinocereus. You may see these on various websites and at certain nurseries under various and sundry names. Some call them Trichocereus Hybrids or Lobivia Hybrids or Tricho-Lobivia Hybrids, however current taxonomy puts all Trichocereus and Lobivias into Echinopsis.

You may also see in certain quarters where they insist on particular cultivar names. However we have gotten our original parent plants for these hybrids from the original hybridizer and he does not name them himself. So we are free to call them by our own cultivar names. If you have better names for them than we’ve come up with, we’re happy to take suggestions!

Cactus in Bloom

Cactus bloom season has begun and first up are a couple of whitish-yellowish flowers.

Parodia crassigibba

Parodia crassigibba has highly variable flowers, as you can tell if you click the link. Maybe this is a different Parodia? Maybe it is the same?They do vary from White to Yellow to Pink, so it is quite possible

Gymnocalycium uruguayense

Parodia sellowii on the other hand is only supposed to get yellow flowers. So I must have it mislabeled. What shall I do to try to correct this horrible mistake? Obviously nothing before I post this. [Editor: It’s Gymnocalycium uruguayense.]

Euphorbia "Portuguese Velvet"


Euphorbia characias “Portuguese Velvet

European hybrid
Evergreen spurge

Sun: Moderate
Water: Drought tolerant
Size: 12″ to 18″ tall w/24″ tall bloom stalks

Thick velvety grey green leaves on full stems. Large bloom sprays of green bracts and mixed brightly-colored blooms. Grow from seed and offsets. Deer-resistant.

Rare Hoyas Not in Bloom

People usually like to see Hoya photos that feature the wax flowers since the wax flowers are always so pretty. But I like to feature photos of the leaves.

That’s just the way I am.

Hoya macrophylla Variegata

Hoya macrophylla “Variegata”

Hoya nicholsoniae

Hoya nicholsoniae

Pelargonium ferulaceum


Pelargonium ferulaceum is a shrubby member of the Geranium family that will form a twisty caudex and get sweet little flowers. Easy to grow, hardy to around 30F, this plant is now on your list of favorites. You can thank me later.

Lithops Clumps


A very nice clump of Lithops in late winter splitting mode. You can really see the mimicry effect with the red rocks around them. Don’t water when they’re splitting like this. You want to make sure they absorb all the moisture out of the older leaves into the newer leaves, otherwise the new growth can be choked off.


Pink Rock Orchid


Dendrobium kingianum is hardy down to around freezing around here, and works well both inside or out. It blooms late winter, as you can see, through spring.

We grow them in orchid bark, or as we prefer coconut husk chunks. I think we will be watering weekly indoor, and every 2 weeks if they’re in a shady spot outdoor. Fertilize every month. Easy!


Chapparal Currant

Ribes Barrie Coate

Ribes “Barrie Coate” is coming into full bloom. I see that it has probably the most saturated color of the flowering currants, all native to California, that I am aware of.

I like it!

Ribes malvaceum “Barrie Coate”
Chaparral Currant

California Native
Deciduous shrub

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Occasional
Size: 6 ft.

Winter blooming hummingbird plant. Very dark pink flower clusters February-March. Woody branches have peeling red bark as they age. Hardy to 25F.

Common Wax Flowers


Hoya australis is a vining succulent in the Asclepiad (Milkweed) Family (Asclepiadaceae).

According to the Australia Native Plant Society:

Hoya australis

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Distribution: Rainforests and rainforest margins from north-eastern New South Wales to north-eastern Queensland.

Common Name: Common waxflower.

Derivation of Name: Hoya; after Thomas Hoy, English gardener. australis; southern, referring to the global distribution of the species.

Conservation Status: Not considered to be at risk in the wild

Blooming Spurges

A lot of our shrubby Euphorbias, i.e. the Spurges, are blooming right now or coming into bloom soon enough. While not strictly succulents, they are very drought tolerant and can easily mix in a succulent garden.

Euphorbia Bruces Dwarf

Euphorbia “Bruce’s Dwarf”

Euphorbia martinii

Euphorbia x martinii

Euphorbia Wulfenii

Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii

Euphorbia Ascot Rainbow

Euphorbia “Ascot Rainbow”

Euphorbia Blackbird

Euphorbia “Blackbird”

Euphorbia Tiny Tim

Euphorbia “Tiny Tim”

And just for fun, here’s one blooming succulent spurge – so many Euphorbias are succulent, and this one is succulent:

Euphorbia mauritanica

Euphorbia mauritanica

Ice Plant Politics

Some people think that our cute little blooming Delospermas are Ice Plants, just like along the highways and coastlines of California.

But they’re not! I mean, sure, they’re related and all, and the leaves are similar enough and the fruits are also edible enough so that maybe you could call them Ice Plants if you really wanted to, but the biggest difference is that these are not invasive. So I choose not to call them Ice Plants.

Here are some in bloom right now at the nursery. Look at all the pretty flower colors!

Magenta Delosperma

Would you call that Magenta? I would. Maybe some would say it veers toward fuschia. I would not.

Yellow Delosperma

Yellow is easy to ID. Plus it is particularly popular with the native bees. They like yellow! There must be lots of native yellow flowers, like the Mimuluses. I would like to name this color, Rapeseed Yellow.

Pink Delosperma

Pink is a varied color. Is there a shade of pink that would match this? It kind of matches MAC Eyeshadow’s “Swish” Swatch.

Red Delosperma

Red! Finally! Actually kind of a crimson red, so you know its good.

Orange Delosperma

…and Orange.

By the way, the most popular Delosperma flower color on my Instagram feed is…

Wait for it…



Flowering Currants


Ribes sanguineum

The California native currants are in full bloom now, with fresh new green leaves popping up everywhere too. We have 3 or 4 varieties right now, so you know they must be gorgeous too.

Succulent Flowers

3 Adeniums and 1 Pachypodium.

First up we have three hybridized Adenium obesum flowers with very different colors. How do they get so many colors?

Adenium obesum bloom1

1. A fairly standard, but very saturated, solid pink.

Adenium obesum bloom2

2. A crazy bi-color. Most 2-color Adenium flowers are center/edge colored, not striped like this.

Adenium obesum bloom3

3. This one is closest to the true species. And you can see the 2-colored with the petals being white towards the center and pink along the edges.

And then we have a very lovely solid yellow colored Pachypodium rosulatum flower.

Pachypodium rosulatum bloom

String of Buttons


Crassula perforata have the tiniest of blooms. They don’t really look like much. They crowd together at the tips of a growing stem which will then benefit when you cut the spent blooms off. It’s hard to tell without a magnifier when they’re spent or still in bloom. I would guess the tiny flowers are only 2mm across, but then I don’t know the metric system at all so I could be wrong. Here’s a life-size metric ruler, so they say, that shows what 2mm is.

The macro photo is not so clear. But it’s the best I’ve been able to get. It almost looks like a watercolor. Here is the same photo with a watercolor filter applied.



African Aloe

It must be winter-growing-aloe-bloom-season in the Bay Area!

aloe africana

Aloe africana is an African Aloe also known as African Aloe. It’s from South Africa, of course. The Eastern Cape. These are some very orange flowers. The plant itself is a single-stemmed, generally solitary tree aloe to 10ft. tall. The marginal spines are vigorous, though not so large or numerous as to be hazardous.

Silver Torch

cleistocactus straussii blooms

Cleistocactus straussii is the first cactus I have blogged around here in ages. It’s been so long I practically forgot what a cactus even looks like. It looks like this.

They are summer bloomers, but there’s often stragglers on and off throughout the year.

I wonder what they look like at the tip of the plant, against a sky blue backdrop?

cleistocactus straussii2

From the high altitude plains of the Himalayan mountains. I mean the Andes, sorry about that.

Hummingbirds love them. I do too. Am I a hummingbird? No, I am not. I am your faithful blogger, a person. And I have never been to South America.

Chaparral Currant

We’re getting into bloom season for a whole bunch of native currants.

ribes barrie coate

Ribes “Barrie Coate” is a favorite for the rich deep color of the blooms. The berries are edible of course, but it is grown primarily for the flowers. Because, I mean, look at them.

Ribes “Barrie Coate”

California Native
Deciduous shrub

Sun: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Occasional
Size: 6 ft.

Winter blooming hummingbird plant. Very dark pink flower clusters February-March. Woody branches have peeling red bark as they age. Hardy to 25F.

You can see from the photo that the blooms come before the leaves with this species. By spring it will be a gorgeous green shrub and will still have more blooms too!

Sarasota Airplants


A tiny Tillandsia attached to a tree amongst the lichens. In Sarasota! (that’s Florida)

Shagbark Manzanita

Arctostaphylos rudis Vandenberg

Arctostaphylos rudis “Vandenberg” is a very attractive manzanita from the wilds of California. Wild indeed. Found originally on Vandenberg Air Force Base, near San Diego, it is a satisfying 7 foot tall tree with shaggy red bark. Left in its wild state it will be much wider than tall, even over 10ft. wide, but it can be kept pruned for shape to as wide as tall, though I wouldn’t recommend trying to prune this into a vertical tree.

Arctostaphylos “Vandenberg”

California Native
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low, summer-drought
Size: 6t x 10w.

Dense foliage forms a deep green garden backdrop, or perfect as a hedge. Clusters of small pink flowers in spring. Hardy to 15F.

The pretty pink bell shaped flowers are great for attracting hummingbirds.

Oregon Sunshine Still Blooming

eriophyllum siskiyou bloom

Eriophyllum lanatum “Siskiyou” just never wants to give up with the blooming. This is a strange time of year to see even one of these cute yellow daisy flowers.


Eriophyllum lanatum “Siskiyou”

Native to California and Oregon
Evergreen Perennial Groundcover

Sun: Full to Partial Sun
Water: Low
Size: 12″h, spreads 3ft. wide

Pretty whitish to grey-green woolly leaves with stunning displays of yellow daisy flowers throughout the spring. Tidy and low-growing groundcover, blooms pop up to 12″h. Cut back after blooming. Hardy to 15F.

Red Yarrow

achillea red velvet

Achillea “Red Velvet” has some of the deepest purplish maroony reds around. In the flowers that is, the leaves are still green. You can be sure there will ber a lot more blooms than this measly spray by the time summer rolls around. It’s nice to even have these late blooms this time of year. I appreciate them. Do you too?

Achillea “Red Velvet”

North America; Cultivated variety
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: Low, blooms to 3 feet

Green gray foliage. Flowers summer thru fall. Often used for cut or dried flowers. Attracts butterflies and birds. Hardy to below 0F.

June 2023

US Constitution


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