August 2008

Misc26 Aug 2008 08:08 am

In Hesperia, CA in the Mojave they name the streets after plants.

I grew up in a town where the developers named the streets after themselves and their families. My street was called Malubar Ln. after the developer’s children Marilyn, Lucy and Barbara. Really.

In Europe, they name the streets after artists and architects.

Are you aware that most of the streets in Hesperia are named after botanical varieties? That is Hesperia’s “theme.” It’s also why there are streets named Lime, Lemon, Peach, Yucca, Olive, Walnut and Juniper, among others. We also, of course, have some numbered and lettered streets, and a Main Street. But most are plant names, though not necessarily desert plants.

No cacti among them, which seems strange since it is in the Mojave Desert. Let me check out teh google and see what I can come up with….

It seems that they are mostly named after tropical trees. But I see a Cactus St., and a Joshua St. But then I see the Mango St. and the Avocado St. and the Guava, Grapefruit and Pecan Streets and all is lost.

Quotes25 Aug 2008 10:19 pm

But I was a POW!
-John McCain

Blogs25 Aug 2008 04:28 pm

Ned Raggett ponders the succulent gardens planters at his favorite coffee and shares a picture.

(O)ver at the Gypsy Den, my regular coffee house haunt, they took out the old plants in the planters and replaced them with new succulents…. the more colorful arrangement is a nice touch.

I’m sure the fine people over at the Gypsy Den appreciate the appreciation. I wonder what city we’re talking about?

News25 Aug 2008 03:47 pm

…with the sound of succulents sipping water through the seasonal dry spells.

In Florida they can grow the classic Madagascar plants outside. Lucky Floridians

A twisty, spiny Alluaudia montagnacii thrives in the South Miami yard of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden….

Succulents… are endlessly visually interesting, with forms that make green-leafed shrubs seem deprived of imagination. And they are survivors, with a will to live that is in-your-face apparent, meaning they may be more at home here than you think.

”The tropical look here is an illusion,” says Harvey Bernstein, who has landscaped his front yard with succulent plants.

I like illusions. I harbor many myself. Like the illusion that this blog has dozens of regular readers. That’s a fun illusion.

Science25 Aug 2008 08:18 am

Well, I’m testing out the power of this garden blog. We have a plant we have been growing for many years. So many years, in fact, that we never checked the name. Our original parent plant came with a name, and back then we didn’t really check them out. Now it turns out this name doesn’t exist in any references, except our own site.

What is this plant? We call it Pachyphytum hassei.

Any ideas? It may be an Echeveria, or a hybrid Pachyveria. It’s not a Dudleya. I don’t think we’ve ever seen it bloom. Not that any of us remember.

Environment24 Aug 2008 10:43 am

I don’t know why I picked Iowa for this lovely Sunday stroll through the (green roof) park, but there you go.

Modular Green Roof – Old Federal Building, Dubuque, IA

Green Roof – Willowwind School, Iowa City, IA

Green Roof – North Ridge Park Pavilion – Coralville, IA

Green Roof – Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines, IA

If they can do all that in Iowa, then what’s your excuse?


Horoscope23 Aug 2008 02:06 pm

I’m creating a new plant based horoscope. It’s for cactus and succulents, mostly. Maybe other plants will get their own horoscope too. I haven’t decided yet.

First up, we have:

Ypremosus: the constellation just to the left and a little behind Orion.

Dates: February 3 – February 8 (these new signs are going to be very specific.)

Characteristics: Happy, healthy and full of vissicitudes

Your cactus’ horoscope for August: Ypremosus cacti are a little worried they’re too outgoing, too prickly to their neighbors. Be aware of your failings when visiting relatives, and keep quiet. Don’t put yourself out there. Set fruit, hang back and enjoy the summer sun, but be prepared for cloud cover to come soon.

Environment&News23 Aug 2008 07:46 am

Well, that’s the end of that.

Nearly all of more than 2 million acres of public lands in six counties surrounding Richfield would be open to oil and gas drilling and off-highway recreation, under a U.S. Bureau of Land Management proposal released Friday.

The plan, which would open about 80 percent of public lands to energy drilling and about 90 percent to off-roaders, also would allow OHVs into areas of Factory Butte previously closed for endangered-species protection and wilderness-quality lands….

A bit more than a year ago, the BLM closed nearly all of it to cross-country OHV travel…. The emergency action was taken to protect endangered Wright fishhook cactus and the threatened Winkler cactus.

Well, I’m sure the administration has looked into it closely and has determined that they’re not worth it. No good reason to save a couple small cacti. They are doing their best to serve us all, and if they decide we shouldn’t be saving an endangered cactus, well then who are we to argue. It’s for our own good, those actions they take for us, they are.

Misc22 Aug 2008 03:40 pm

They like the plumeria down in Southern Cal. Well, of course they do, since they can grow it outside, and it will bloom for them. We have a bit more trouble with it up here in the Northern parts of Cal. Indoor, and the spider mites love it. We get about 1/4 to rebloom in any good year.

Ed Crisostomo / The Press-Enterprise
“They take all the heat you can give them,” says Seymour D. Van Grundy of the tropical plumeria plant.

Questions22 Aug 2008 01:34 pm

Ruth Bancroft is very good at answering questions.

But first they publish a photo from the gardens.

Prickly pear, Opuntia ficus-indica, is tree-like. Becky Rice/Ruth Bancroft Garden

Now here’s the question:

Q: I have an assortment of planters on my deck, mostly planted with succulents. Their interesting forms and delightful colors have long been a source of pleasure for me and my visitors. In the last year or two, I have noticed that many of them seem to be in decline, with shrinking heads of leaves and less flowering. What might the problem be?

A: First off, people often plant Aeoniums… and are alarmed when the leaf-heads become markedly smaller and stop growing in summer. Since this is a winter-growing plant, summer shrinkage is normal…

Aside from this, it is not uncommon for planter boxes and dish planters to decline over time if the planting medium is not renewed.

It’s true.

Whippets22 Aug 2008 11:17 am

Jaxx is going home soon.

News22 Aug 2008 10:28 am

From Florida where they eat cactus:

Opuntia cochenillifera’s thornless pads are a fine addition to salads, omelets, soups and stir-fries….

One species long favored in Mexico for both food and medicine is Opuntia streptacantha, whose polysaccharides have been confirmed by modern research to stabilize blood sugar. For that reason it is used by many people with diabetes, either as a vegetable or in capsule form at health food stores.

And from Texas, where they also eat cactus:

Ranchers in Texas long ago resorted to burning the spines off prickly pear cactus with a flame thrower to make cow feed out of it.

Well, someone’s eating cactus there.

Misc22 Aug 2008 07:28 am

I love crocheted cacti! They’re my favorite crafted cacti around!

Wow, now that’s some crocheted cactus, that is. 2 blooms and deep green ribs. I’m going out on a limb here and guess it’s a Yarnicereus flopibloominus v. albinus.

Here is an amusing project for the crochet enthusiast. It can be accomplished in two or three sessions and is easy enough for the novice crochet enthusiast to practice their skills.

Blogs21 Aug 2008 04:37 pm

Philip has a very nice post of photos of the restoration of Chrissy Field in San Francisco.

Science21 Aug 2008 09:36 am

Apparently this is a more rare form of this plant.

Euphorbia horrida v. striata

They can grow to 3′ tall, getting wavier as they go. Tiny unisexual flowers are grouped into cyathia. The seedpods have caruncles.

Isn’t science wonderful?

Misc21 Aug 2008 02:56 am

News&Recipes20 Aug 2008 05:48 pm

Just for you, the Casa Grande News let’s you know when the next class will be to learn how to make fresh cactus fruit punch.

Apache Junction resident Jean Groen, author of “Foods of the Superstitions,” will teach visitors how to harvest opuntia cactus fruits and extract the juice from the prickly pear without turning their hands into a “porcupine of cactus spines.”

The class, which is free with regular admission, will be repeated Aug. 23 and Sept. 1.

I guess you need to be midway between Tucson and Phoenix to take advantage of this news. Sorry about that.

Science20 Aug 2008 03:42 pm

I love the Smithsonian. I always visit another one of their museums every time I’m in Washington. Plus, I go back to the Air + Space each time too. Lunar modules make me giggle.

© Smithsonian Institution

Plate Number: 1901
Publication: assumed to be unpublished
Client: Britton, N.L. and Rose, J.N. – Size: 11×14
Remarks: unable to locate in The Cactaceae

Mammillaria miracantha (Cactaceae) – Collection: Pattison, S.L., U.S.A., Texas; fruiting plant.
Artist: Eaton, M.E. – Date unknown – watercolor

Quotes20 Aug 2008 01:38 pm

The hoax was discovered after an “expedited melting process,” Kulls wrote. “A break appeared up near the feet area … as the team and I began examining this area near the feet, I observed the foot which looked unnatural, reached in and confirmed it was a rubber foot.”


News20 Aug 2008 01:37 pm

I never thought I’d have cause to use that headline, stored in the back of my head for years. But now, the Pensacola News Journal has convinced me to break it out and print it bold and loud.

With summer in all its glory, there is nothing better than strolling through (the Milton Garden, located on the Pensacola Junior College/University of Florida Campus in Milton) filled with brightly colored flowers and plants.

“We have one of largest collections of day lilies in the area.”

Reason enough? I was still feeling a little skeptical… But no, that’s not all.

“We decided to see how the cactus would do growing here,” Thetford said. “Since traditionally cactus enjoys dry soil and extreme heat, we weren’t sure how they would grow in this climate since we have quite a bit of rain. So far, they are doing very well.”

Well, now I’m convinced. The gardens in Pensacola really are beautiful.

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