New Cactus, Succulents and Houseplants for the SF Bay Area

New and Featured Cactus, Succulents, and Houseplants for the SF Bay Area

AUGUST

I’m writing this on a Saturday, which is not normal for me as usually I am at a store on a Saturday, but not today. Today I got to go to the Farmer’s Market and pickup a delicious pastrami sandwich on rye. Mmmm. Maybe I should close the store on Saturdays so we can all go to the Farmer’s Market instead? Or should I move the whole store TO THE FARMERS MARKET!!!! Now there’s an idea.

In the meantime, we are still open every Saturday, don’t get any ideas.

This month we have a lot of new great houseplants so for the first time ever, I moved Houseplants + Carnivores up to the top above the succulents. I know, I’m a radical and all. But don’t get any ideas about this being a regular feature.


LOCAL DELIVERIES

Our online store is here. Delivering to areas near to our 2 stores, and to SF.

Deliveries are usually in 1-3 days but may take up to 1 week, Monday thru Friday. We will call to let you know when we will be by before we come.

List of the communities in the Bay Area we deliver to is here.

Pickup in store
Our online shop also has a way when you are checking out to click Pickup in Store, and then you can pick it up in store, especially useful for everyone who are outside our local delivery zones but still want to shop online and come in to our store, or if you just prefer to avoid people that works too.


Cactus Jungle, Berkeley
1509 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

(510) 558-8650

Open Tue-Sun 9:30-5
Closed Mondays

 


Ross Valley Nursery and
Cactus Jungle, Marin

130 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 870-9930

Open Wed-Sun 9:30-5
Closed Mon-Tue

 


HOUSEPLANTS

Alocasia “Red Secret” is nice. It’s the first plant today and it’s a nice one. I like the colors, the red colors and the dark greens too. I like the thick leaves too. It’s nice.

ZZ Plant is a classic and very fun houseplant. Zamioculcas zamiifolia if you care for the full latin name. Also very fun! Easy to care for, will grow to 3ft tall! Wow.

Aeschynanthus buxifolius is the Box-Leaf Lipstick Vine – And so we see! The leaves are boxy and the flowers are lipsticky and the whole thing is, well not exactly a vine, but it is a climbing plant. And it’s native to China and Vietnam! Very tropical.

Peperomia metallica is a species with nearly black leaves with red undersides. That’s quite an achievement. We like Peperomias, and this one looks like it will make a good hanging basket plant.

Philodendron squamiferum is an epiphytic tropical houseplant with bright glossy green leaves and speckled red bristled stems. Leaves will form deep lobes as they mature. But mostly people like it for the bristles.

Philodendron “Silver Sword” is one we’ve had before, but they were bigger and more expensive. These are younger and the leaves are not yet quite sword shaped, but they do have that silvery sheen. Buy young, grow them on!

Wow that’s a lot of fancy new houseplants! But wait there’s more! What if I told you you could get all of these for less than the price of a used Toyota Celica (2006 edition) AND still have money left over for a delicious pastrami sandwich on rye??? What then!!!

And there’s more! Ctenanthe “Compact Star” is the Fishbone Prayer Plant coming to us from the tropical regions of Brazil. I do not think they are praying to fish bones in Brazil, but what do I know, I’m not an ethnographer. Oh, wait, you’re telling me they didn’t name it that? It was the christian missionaries who decided that the Calatheas and such looked like praying hands? And they named these plants? Oh. I wonder what Brazilians call them? Turns out it is the Bamburanta plant. OK, we can all breath easier now.

Alocasia “Silver Dragon” is the prettiest of the Jewel Alocasias. Rowr.

My favorite new houseplant this month is Calathea “Flamestar”. People always ask me what my favorite is, and this month it is Calathea “Flamestar”. Thank you for asking! Glad I could help!


CARNIVOROUS PLANTS

Sarracenia “Judith Hindle” is a local favorite, always a good starter Pitcher Plant, easy to grow and it has those ruffled hoods that get very deep dark burgundy in full sun. And you should be growing them in full sun.

Sarracenia swaniana is not as well known in these parts, but we will get you to know everything about it so that you will love it too. It’s a naturally occuring hybrid out of Georgia and the Carolinas, Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa x minor var. minor. It will grow to 16″ tall, and is hardy down to 0F, but will go dormant down to the ground. Did I give you all the info you needed to fall in love with this plant?

And of course we have the best crop of Darlingtonia californica in Northern California – 4″ plants AND 6″ plants! Nobody else has them that large! So full and luscious that you can practically see them gorging on the flies.


SUCCULENTS

Finally! It’s the succulents and what better succulent to start with than Sedum “Cape Blanco”. It’s white.

Echeveria “Maria” is at best a variable succulent, but more likely lot’s of little Echeveria agavoides cultivars are getting mixed up and distributed with the same name. This crop looks nothing like our last crop. Take a flyer on this and see what happens!

Aeonium “Jolly Green” is another succulent with a name that seems to be applied to many different plants, or else it is just naturally remarkably variable. Sometimes the leaves are pointed, this time they’re rounded. I don’t know what to think of botanists anymore, screwing with my emotions like that. I shake my fist at you, botanists! (I am not a botanist.)

Another of the many agavoides cultivar Echeveria “Aquamarine” is more certain. It has that slightly green-blue almost aqua coloration and the tiny red tips. Very clear! Some succulents are just that way.

Mangave “Snow Leopard” is yet another new hybrid, so many new hybrids I can barely keep up. What is it about this one? It has a bit of leopard spots in the middle of the leaves with a nice band of snowy white on the edges. Very fine hybrid you have there.

Aloe “Blue Elf” is a low growing, practically a sprawling, blue aloe from the Aloe humilis hybridizing group.

Agave “Blue Ember” is a hybrid with similar characteristics as the better known “Blue Glow” but it is smaller and the terminal spines are more vigorous.

Cryptbergia “Red Burst” is not a succulent, it’s a bromeliad, but I don’t have a separate heading for Bromeliads. Sometimes I do! But I would rather not create the heading today for just one plant. Seems wasteful. Instead I will talk you through why it is in succulents even though it is not a succulent. Not at all.

Malephora lutea is a small iceplant with yellow flowers, in the Iceplant Family (Aizoaceae, though also known as Mesembs after the former Family name Mesembryanthemaceae).

Echeveria setosa v. deminuta is a small fuzzy echeveria or something something. I don’t know, it’s bluish. It’s fuzzy. Yo yo yo. Hear me out! The new GoT prequel, House of the Dragon is supposedly coming later this month, it is scheduled, but do we trust HBO now that Discovery is f’in with them? Anything is possible these days, even insurrectionists getting 7 year prison terms! Sandy Hook truthers losing $49 million judgements! More to come?

That last caption took some real turns there. This one will be more straightforward, I assure you. Mangave “Red Wing” is a reddish mangave intergenic hybrid. No loose threads there! Straight to the point!

Sempervivum “Bronco” seems to come back often, maybe because it has nice color?

Echeveria “Blue Curls” is a classic curly edged rosette, blue with pink edges, but not the same as “Pink Edge” or “Pink Frills” or “Blue Frills” or “Giant Blue Curls” etc


CACTUS

Opuntia engelmanii is one of the classic fruit-bearing prickly pears. It’s delicious, or so I’ve heard. I myself prefer the low spine fruit. Some people are really good at pealing past the spines, not me.

Opuntia santa-rita “Tubac” is one of the nicest of the purple prickly pears. <Insert explanation or joke here>

Austrocylindropuntia verschaffeltii is a small purple cholla from South America. Those little tubular purple leaves will drop off but you will get small red flowers, which to be honest are a small consolation for losing those gorgeous purple tubular leaves.

Echinopsis huascha subsp. purpureominiata is generally not considered a true subspecies, but a local variant from Sierra ambato (Las Juntas y La Puerta), Catamarca, Argentina. Flowers are variable yellow, orange and red. We usually see red flowers on these. It’s not blooming right now.

Did anyone bring the Ferocactus glaucescens over from the Marin store to Berkeley? I don’t know if we have them in Berkeley yet. Can someone get on that please? Justin?

Goddam these Oreocereus trollii are fat.

Espostoa lanata for the win! I don’t know what that means, please don’t quote me on that. I just feel like I’ve never seen them in habitat since they’re from western slopes of the Peruvian Andes and I’ve never been to the western slopes of the Peruvian Andes. I wonder if I copy-pasted that phrase or typed it up all over again. I’ll never reveal my botanical secrets! Unless you get me a show on Discovery+.

Opuntia microdasys v. rufida is the most dangerous cactus in the world – it’s called the Cow Blinder Cactus for a reason! Plant away from pathways, place your potted rufida away from people! Don’t breathe it in. Don’t touch, god forbid. And don’t stare intently at the areoles and all those glochids.

Epiphyllum anguliger has gorgeous huge white night-blooming flowers when it is a few years older. Not this year, but maybe in 2026. The flowers are fragrant; the plant is native to Mexico; it is called the Zig Zag cactus and the Ric Rac cactus. Some call it the Fishbone cactus.


RARE PLANTS

Cyphostemma juttae has the attractive peeling bark on the misshapen caudex and the thick strappy leaves. Only a few in this year’s crop.

Aloe claviflora is a gorgeous small blue aloe that is stemless and generally solitary. It will form a full round rosette over time.

Orbeathus hardyi is a Stapeliad that comes to us from a small 500 kmĀ² part of South Africa. Not a wide range! I hope it survives. Especially on the rocky outcrops of the Blyde River Canyon. Geography!


TREES AND PERENNIALS

I didn’t photograph many perennials this month, sorry about that. But I do have two trees for you!

Olea “Wilsonii” is the fruitless variety and each store right now has one giant specimen in stock. I bet you can carry it out if you try. And have 3 other people with you and a pickup truck too.

Chilopsis linearis are nice compact Desert Willow trees that only get to 30ft tall. Wait, what? Oh, they USUALLY top out at 15ft but apparently they can get huge. Yours will be compact I am sure of it. Every year when they come into bloom is when they sell – look at those gorgeous flowers. And now is that time.

Anigozanthos “Black” is weird because the blooms come in dusted in black before they open. Every single one comes in and I think it is already finished and I get ready to chop them off (deadhead your plants!) but then I realize it hasn’t opened yet! Weird.

Plectranthus montanus is a lovely fuzzy fragrant plant that has the scent of menthol. I’m allergic to menthol so it always scares me. Get away from me! To be fair, it is in the mint family (Lamiaceae) so it’s not surprising it might smell like mint.


POTS and GIFTS

New toys include Tokidoki Mermicorno Series 7, which I forgot to photograph. But it is available on the website here. The 2 on clamshells are the best.

And we now have Studio Ghibli Blind Box Toys, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. Some people get scared of No-Face in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away…. Aggh….

And now we carry Kitan Club Blind Box Toys, including Pop-Out Cat in a Matchbox and Pop-Up Cat in a Cactus Pot.