April 2011

Misc30 Apr 2011 09:01 am

It’s a cactus “Cholla Scarf Slide” as seen on Etsy. I don’t really understand. What is this about?

Here’s a part of the description:

Here’s a really unique idea for the cowboy in your life…..a scarf slide made from the skeleton of a cholla cactus. The cholla cactus is quite beautiful and decorative but boy does it have a “bite” when it’s alive…lol.

This selection is cut on an angle or is pointed at the end adding to the overall length of the slide. A little fancier or more unusually shaped than the standard slides. We try and use the natural form of the cholla to shape these :-)

Genuine Cholla Cactus skeleton

Does that help you? It doesn’t help me. And what’s up with the acacia branch in the photo?

Photography30 Apr 2011 08:05 am

Hoya lanceolata subsp. bella variegata has awesome foliage and the flowers are what one might call, if one were Italian that is, “bella”.

Misc29 Apr 2011 10:08 am

We do recommend this event to you and your family for a really nice Mother’s Day.

Dear Friends of the Edible Schoolyard,

I am writing to follow up on the email I sent you today about the
Mother’s Day Plant Sale and Celebration. This year’s Plant Sale has
a lot of new offerings (gourmet treats to give Mom, workshops from
Local 123, greater selection of food…) and we really want to get
the word out to as many people as possible. If you would forward my
previous email with all the details about the Plant Sale to anyone
you think would be interested, we would really appreciate it.

And, of course, I hope to see you at the Plant Sale on May 7th!


– – –
Administrative Coordinator
The Edible Schoolyard

1781 Rose Street
Berkeley, CA 94703


Photography29 Apr 2011 08:53 am

It’s an unnamed Hoya species. The flowers are pretty, if mostly white. The leaves are pretty standard Hoya, medium sized ovoid. Any ideas? Here’s a good place to look.

Of course, it’s probably one of the H. carnosa hybrids, but I refuse to stick my neck out for this guy.

Whippets29 Apr 2011 06:08 am

Photography28 Apr 2011 04:56 pm

Almost yellow flower.

Questions28 Apr 2011 11:28 am

I’ve had my beautiful beloved cactus from you guys for about a year. Everything has been great until a week ago when my husband accidentally took a chunk out of it with the patio chair. It appears to be growing black spots of mold? I have sprayed it twice over the past week w/ neem oil. What else should I be doing to save it?

Please help, if it dies so does my husband! Its an outside cactus w/ full afternoon sun.

It would be best if you could bring the Echinopsis pachanoi out of the sun while the plant heals. Never spray in full sun, and open wounds should also not be exposed to direct sun.

You’ll need to cut off the damaged part as it has started to rot in the area. It doesn’t look too bad but you want to keep the damage from spreading. Once you get down to clean flesh, then you spray with Hydrogen Peroxide to help it heal and Neem Oil to help fight off any fungus problems.

If you need help with this, we can do it for you if you bring it in to the nursery. Sooner is better.

Photography28 Apr 2011 07:47 am

Adenium somalense is from Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania and will grow a caudex to about 20″ It looks superficially like the more common A. obesum, but it’s smaller and the leaves are distinct and if you know the A. obesum flowers, you can tell that the petals on this one are also pretty distinct, although clearly an Adenium.

Quotes27 Apr 2011 03:31 pm

“I literally could not care less if I were in a coma.”
David Rakoff in Salon

Photography27 Apr 2011 02:37 pm

Unknown Gymnocalycium, also known as gymno’s.


Questions&Reader Photos27 Apr 2011 11:31 am

Hi! Love your blog! It’s been real fun to look at succulents and cacti from all over the world, especially those that you don’t come across everyday at your neighbor nurseries.

I came across this plant (I think it’s a succulent?) in the courtyard of a store yesterday. I think it’d be perfect in my yard. Do you know what it’s called? Thanks in advance!!


Looks like a Euphorbia lambii in bloom which is hardy down to 25F and will get up to 10 feet tall! Not a succulent, but it is drought tolerant.

Berkeley Gardens27 Apr 2011 08:51 am

Himalayacalamus hookerianus

We installed this a couple years ago and it’s filled out very nicely.

Questions&Reader Photos26 Apr 2011 09:33 am

Hi there.

Do you know what kind of tree this is? Pretty awesome. I saw it in Santa Barbara.

Rose Ann

Rose Ann,

It is Dracena draco, aka the “Dragon Tree”.

I love these plants, but they are a bit moody this far north… and take frost damage between 30-28 degrees when young, they can deal with it better older. So they are good candidates for growing in pots or in a protected spot against a structure and blanketing in the worst winters. But they also make great “Big” houseplants and can handle hot windows as well as bright diffused light.


California Native Plants26 Apr 2011 08:56 am

Salvia brandegei “Pacific Blue” – is from Santa Rosa Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara.

These are a nice size. They’ll get 4 ft. tall x 6ft. wide. Heavily branched, the narrow green leaves are nicely scented. The tiered whorls of dark lavender blue flowers open slowly over the course of a month long bloom period. Long-lived, very drought-tolerant, hardy to at least 15°F.

Nursery25 Apr 2011 02:40 pm

The local feral cat has moved into the back. I suppose the black nursery tray was warm in the sun.


California Native Plants25 Apr 2011 09:23 am

Fremontodendron californicum

This is a shorter of the California flannels. Generally it will stay below about 10ft. They put out an amazing show of these buttercup-yellow flowers in spring, i.e. right now. Right Now!

I hear from the grapevine that they will espalier well. They’re totally freeze tolerant so you could probably grow it in Oregon too, just try to keep them a bit drier in the summer.

Questions&Reader Photos25 Apr 2011 07:56 am

We like IDing plants. Send in your photos!

I hope that you can help me to identify the Euphorbia that’s in the attached photos taken in the past 10 days. I recently took over this garden, don’t really know how well the soil was prepared, but it was planted about 4 years ago. You can see it is not a tall euphorbia…any ideas what it might be? I want to get some more of these to reflect this bed on the other side of the driveway.

Thanks for your help!



It looks like one of the E. characias hybrids, or possibly Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii.


Photography24 Apr 2011 10:58 am

Aloe somaliensis blooms are subtly colored and best viewed by holding the pot up high against the blue sky backdrop. A corner of a building looks good too. Make sure the wires are out of focus.

Misc24 Apr 2011 06:57 am

I’ve been sampled!

Hi Cactus Jungle folks,

You might be entertained to learn that Peter makes a cameo appearance in this DJ set, at about 21 minutes. It’s a sample from one of your amusing instructional videos on YouTube. Also, I hope you enjoy the picture of, well, not a cactus (Euphorbia magnicapsula).
Be well,
California Native Plants23 Apr 2011 10:51 am

Encelia californica, also known as the California Brittlebush. You can extend the bloom season by deadheading religiously. The shrubs will get hundreds of flower heads at the same time. It is a daisy, or sunflower, or aster, depending on if you prefer to call the Asteraceae Family the Aster, Sunflower or Daisy Family. I usually call it the Daisy family since the flowers are all, clearly, daisy flowers.

It will survive most Berkeley winters, but is short lived regardless, so mix it in with your ceanothuses and your echeverias for maximum effect.

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