Rattail

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Aporocactus flagelliformis is a South America epiphytic cactus, pendant to 4ft. long or so, that grows particularly well in cactus soil in a hanging basket. This one is covered with a lot of pink flowers right now. And a few weeds poking through that are hard to get out of the pot since these stems are very spiny.

It's the Continuation of Cactus Bloom Season

It’s the continuation of cactus bloom season around here, i.e. Spring!

opuntia_basilaris_santa-rita2

Opuntia basilaris x santa-rita is a nice low spine hybrid that has remarkable fully saturated flower colors. We have a number of very nice plants out right now. Enjoy them!

These are going to grow about 2 feet tall, and spread quite a bit wider if you let them. We find they are hardy down at least into the mid-20s, and lower if you keep them really dry. These are very popular with the pollinators as they have a lot of pollen. Bees appreciate them.

parodia_leninghausii2

Parodia leninghausii is the Golden Ball Cactus from Brazil. Central stems can grow as tall as 24″, surrounded by a host of smaller golden balls. While small the form is clearly ball shaped, but when taller they are slanted apically which is different than most other cacti. Unique! Also hardy into the mid 20s or so.

Spinning Ice Plants

delosperma_fire_spinner2

Delosperma “Fire Spinner” is a very low growing, slowly creeping, member of the hardy Ice Plant Family, i.e. Aizoaceae. In case you were wondering why they are called “Mesembs” along with the Lithops and such, they are part of the Subfamily Mesembryanthemoideae. That’s a mouthful.

While a mat-forming groundcover may not be the most unique plant in the plant world, they do have a sparkly glistening coating on their green leaves. So that’s cool.

For some reason the “Fire Spinner” name is a registered trademark, so I probably should figure out how to include one of those r in a circle thingy’s appended to the name. But on the other hand this plant also seems to be called Delosperma “P001S” with the Fire Spinner part not even being part of the official name of the plant at all. Hard to know! This may mean something to someone or not.

As might be expected, these are hardy below 0F.

Another Cape Daisy

How could I forget this one?!? The bestest Cape Daisy of them all.

Osteospermum Sunny Xena

Osteospermum “Sunny Xena” so named because of the famed Xena’s famed sunny disposition.

Echeveria Hybrid Blooms

echeveria violet queen

Oooohh!!! Nice Echeveria “Violet Queen” hiding in that mixed wall panel with the yellow flowers poking out.

sedeveria bloom

Aaaahhh!! Nice Sedeveria, an interesting enough intergenic hybrid, hiding in that mixed succulent pot with the yellow flowers peeking out. Hypertufa pot by Urban Farmgirls of San Francisco.

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_double_purple

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

osteospermum_mara

Osteospermum “Mara” is a pretty copper daisy.

osteospermum_nasinga_purple

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

osteospermum_nasinga_white

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.

Echinopsis

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.

IMG_20130412_145127

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.

IMG_20130412_135756

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

Pretty!

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.

IMG_20130410_114257

Echinopsis chamaecereus is the renowned Peanut Cactus

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Epiphyllums are the seriously underrated Orchid Cactus

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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!

echeveria_hybrid9 echeveria_hybrid8 echeveria_hybrid7

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

And we’re off again!

echeveria_hybrid12 echeveria_hybrid11 echeveria_hybrid10

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….

echeveria_hybrid15 echeveria_hybrid14 echeveria_hybrid13

Phew!

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.

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We call this one “Amber Peach”

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Rikki insists this one is “Tropical Pink”

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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

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_ferulaceum4

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

lithops_clump

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

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

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…

Pink!

Science!

Flowering Currants

ribes_sanguineum

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_blooms

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.

crassula_perforata_watercolor

Nice!

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.

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