July 2010

Misc31 Jul 2010 11:24 am

OK, so I’m not a doctor. And therefore you should not take any medical advice from me.

In fact, I won’t give out any medical advice.

I’m just passing along this list of home remedies. For canker sores. Ouch!

Following home remedies for canker sore are considered useful and are mentioned below…
Cactus Juice: Juice obtained from cactus helps in reducing canker sore. This juice must be kept in mouth for some 20 seconds. It exerts a drying effect on the ulcers by dehydrating them and shrinking them. Application of cactus juice on canker sores for 2-3 days aids in removing them.

I have not tried this home remedy, and I have no personal knowledge of anyone who has. They don’t tell you what type of cactus, or what type of juice. So in other words, this blog post is a complete waste of our time. damn.

Photography31 Jul 2010 09:16 am

Euphorbia flanaganii

This is a very difficult plant to photograph, since there is so much going on. So many colors, so many “things” hanging out in all directions. But this specimen is kind of unbelievable, so I have held it back. I don’t know when I want to put it out on the floor with the others, but if you want to see it in person just ask me at the store. It’s not too big, so not so expensive, just wild and untamed.

California Native Plants30 Jul 2010 11:50 am

Derby Street

Epilobium canum – California fuchsia. Now those are some tubular blooms. Also known as the Hummingbird Trumpet, since those tubular flowers attract hummingbirds, and the wide open end resembles a trumpet. At least, that’s what I would guess. But the truth is that a trumpet is brass-like in color and the Epilobium is bright orange, so the comparison only goes so far.

Anyway, it’s a nice full specimen plant, even if they are low growing and this plant is less than a foot high.

Whippets30 Jul 2010 09:41 am

Happy dogs in the new truck

News30 Jul 2010 08:56 am

Feed for the cattle?

A paper by John Kang’ara and Josiah Gitari, animal nutritionists at KARI, concludes that Opuntia species — the prickly pear or paddle cacti — have extreme tolerance to drought and remain succulent and easily digestible even in times of extreme water shortages, which makes them an excellent source of water and nutrition in harsh conditions.

They found that during a severe drought in 2008–2009, farmers who fed their cattle the cactus paddles (the large, leaf-like parts) lost none of their cattle to drought.

Meanwhile, some farmers, such as the Masai pastoralists in Laikipia North refused to use the cactus as feed and even pleaded with the government to eradicate what they consider to be an invading weed.

I remember reading about in Australia how certain very spiny opuntia escaped and naturalized, and the cattle would eat them during drought and be harmed by the spines. I guess you need a low-spine variety for cattle, or remove the spines yourself before feeding them.

News29 Jul 2010 07:45 am

It isn’t anytime soon, so I wouldn’t get too excited. Plus, they don’t have the money to hold the festival yet, so maybe you want to contribute?

But most of all, it’s in Santa Cruz!

First Cactus Festival set for November

The first annual Cactus Festival, to be called the Festival del Nopal, is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The event is designed to honor the prickly pear cactus, a staple of Latin American people that appears on the Mexican flag.

The Santa Cruz City Council agreed unanimously Tuesday to sponsor the festival in name only, declining a request to give $7,000 to the event during a time of fiscal restraint. But council members said they would support fundraising efforts for the event, which is being organized by the Viva Ozava! Guelaguetza Planning Committee, whose annual celebrations have drawn more than several thousand visitors to Harbor High’s football field.

Ticket prices are expected to be $10 for adults and $8 for children. Anyone interested in volunteering or fundraising for the Cactus Festival can contact Councilman Tony Madrigal.

I would like to also honor the nopal. I wonder what I would get if Cactus Jungle helped to sponsor this festival? More nopal recipes to share on the blog? A taste of a really delicious prickly pear pie? Cuttings from rare and unusual Opuntia?

Come back in November and let’s find out together!

Reader Photos28 Jul 2010 04:39 pm

Judy W. sends along these photos of a cactus she got from us, that was about to bloom – and then did!

Almost open

Later that night

By dawn, it’s fully open! Cereus spegazinni

Misc28 Jul 2010 04:34 pm

Aloe Soup

Environment28 Jul 2010 11:46 am

Can you plant a roof with sedums and sempervivums and other green roof succulents AND still have room for solar panel? Well, they’re doing the research in Oregon, and the picture seems to imply they’ve already reached an answer.

Heather Noddings/Portland State Vanguard
Eco-roofs: Eco-roofs are being studied at PSU through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Berkeley Succulents28 Jul 2010 07:17 am

Derby Street

Very nice large Agave medio-picta with a pretty nice Opuntia ficus-indica that probably has lots of fruit every year. And a bonus California fuchsia (Epilobium) in bloom at the bottom of the photo.

Misc27 Jul 2010 12:18 pm

I added the beginnings of a Houseplants page, including orchids and terrariums, to the website.

I don’t really know exactly what to do with the page, but it’s a start.

Any ideas? (And don’t give me no Martha Stewart)

Berkeley Succulents27 Jul 2010 09:33 am

Mabel Street

Gorgeous large Aeonium “Schwartzkopf” in summer-dormant mode, with a Crassula ovata and some Echeveria too.

Misc27 Jul 2010 07:29 am

Now it turns out that Martha Stewart has been all about the round presentation of succulents all along. Her succulent triangle this summer at her Connecticut home turns out to be the exception, and not the rule. Who knew she could be so fickle?

Making beautiful terrariums is a perfect way to bring the outside indoors during the winter months.

So finally we agree, Martha and I. That is a beautiful terrarium, and it sure would spice up your winter months. And I’m not just talking about those of you kind readers who live in Iowa. We’re having winter right now here in California (brrr…) and I like them!

Just be careful watering succulents in a terrarium, since there isn’t proper drainage.

Berkeley Succulents26 Jul 2010 11:55 am


Bonar St.

I see 3 types of Aeoniums and a bunch of smaller Echeverias too.

Misc26 Jul 2010 10:27 am

OK, so we have discovered that Martha Stewart has determined that succulents should be arranged in a triangle; that you don’t cross Martha Stewart; and that succulents arranged in a semi-circle, while attractive, are just plain wrong.

So why is Martha Stewart’s own website featuring succulents arranged in a circle – or 2 semi-circles if you prefer!

And she even admits this in the body of the text!

Special thanks to Simply Succulents for providing round wreaths.

Round! Now what am I to think?

News26 Jul 2010 08:15 am

And the local news is there to cover it.

Carlie Barnhart’s flowering agave plant (Agave utahensis) is blooming for its first and only time in the middle of her cactus patch in Cooke Canyon. (Barb Owens/Daily Record)

If the local news covered every agave bloom in Berkeley…. Oh the articles they would have.

What would Martha think?

News25 Jul 2010 07:59 am

According to Martha Stewart, quoted in the post directly below this one, you’re supposed to lay out your succulents in a triangle.

What I remembered is her cacti and succulent garden for its size, plant diversity and very personal design. To provide good drainage, a must-have for cacti, Sandy built a semicircle mound, added several large, attractive and locally purchased rocks to help keep the soil in place, and with little previous knowledge of cacti varieties, set out to collect the plants that would be set into the garden alongside the indoor-grown cacti from her previous home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Oh no! They went with a Semicircle!

News24 Jul 2010 06:46 am

And I absolutely fell in love with several types (of tropical plants), such as cycads, agaves and aloes….

I suggest a visit to a great tropical garden such as… the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Arranging succulents in a triangle, with the tall plants in back and the little ones in front, lets each plant how off its unique form and texture. (Photo: Richard Felber)

Interesting how certain she is that succulents look best in a triangle. Hmmm.

News23 Jul 2010 02:38 pm

A cactus grower wins an award and makes the news in Derbyshire, UK.

Brian Fearn watering his huge stock of plants

Receiving the award from Alan Titchmarsh

This month he was given his first official recognition for the research he has carried out for more than 50 years.

At the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, in London, he received the Brickell Award 2010 for excellence in plant conservation, following his study of the plant genus Lithops, commonly known as “flowering stones”.

Brian, of Old Hackney Lane, was presented with the prize by gardener and television presenter Alan Titchmarsh.

Sweet! Can we get an award for our 10 years worth of trying to plant cactus in Berkeley clay?

Berkeley Succulents23 Jul 2010 11:20 am

Parker Street


Next Page »