October 2012

Plants31 Oct 2012 10:55 am

Asclepias curassavica “Silky Deep Red”

Native to South America
Semi-Evergreen Perennial

Sun: Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Moderate
Size: 3 to 4 ft tall

Brilliant red/yellow blooms atop each stem in fall. Green leafy stems. Hardy to 15F. Can be grown as an annual; collected seeds can be planted in spring. Attracts Monarch butterflies.

Misc31 Oct 2012 09:30 am

You didn’t think I forgot my yearly post on the latest and the greatest in high tech cactus costumes, did you?

I would never forget!

We feature only the tastiest cactus costumes. The razzliest and dazzliest cactus costumes. The pastiest and brassiest. On to the costumes!

Up first:

Student in recycled materials cactus costume. Horizon School, Marin (CA).

And this one is an adult dressed as a cactus with a tail, as brough to to you by Coca Cola.

Finally this is a homemade Saguaro costume that is more cute than you all deserve. MORE CUTE!

How-to&Travel30 Oct 2012 01:39 pm

Plant succulents in a container of your choice. Don’t know how? Join some other people in or near Detroit (Troy is near Detroit, maybe?) with succulents to plant and you too could end up with a succulent container garden of your own. If you’re in Detroit this Saturday. If not, then nevermind.

Succulent Container Workshop: Bring your own container or choose from a variety of different pots. 10 a.m. Sat. Telly’s Greenhouse, 3301 John R, Troy. Workshop: $5 plus materials. Register. 248-689-8735. www.tellys.com.

Travel30 Oct 2012 11:56 am

This is a pretty garden indeed. Mature! Probably been around a few years and tended carefully and often.

THERE are some excellent gardens in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, one of which belongs to Susan Lancaster and houses a series of installations that she has created, often out of found objects. Her collection of succulent species also fascinates, however; they provide a perfect foil for the architectural form of the works of art.

Influenced by South American designer Roberto Burle Marx, the 0.75ha garden has been designed as a series of winding paths that lead visitors past collections of bromeliads, cordylines, agaves, yuccas, strelitzias, tiger grass and bamboos. Blocks of plants are repeated throughout the garden to great effect.

Wonder where this “Sunshine Coast hinterland” they speak of is? Let me show you.

Wow! That garden is a regular oasis.


Photography30 Oct 2012 09:35 am

Opuntia robusta

Berkeley Succulents29 Oct 2012 10:28 am


The Delosperma “Fire Spinner” is in bloom in the lovely Urban Farmgirls trough. The plants are so very green. The flower is practically too colorful.

National Parks&News29 Oct 2012 09:19 am

It’s been a decade since the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to have this cactus listed.


Acuna cactus at Organ Pipe National Monument. Courtesy National Park Service

Tony Davis Arizona Daily Star

A small, little-known cactus found in Organ Pipe National Monument west of Tucson faces a “high and immediate” threat of extinction, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in proposing to protect it as an endangered species.

The Acuña cactus, topping out at about a foot high, is declining fast, having dropped in numbers by more than 50 percent since 1981, the service said….

The service also proposes to designate 53,720 acres, including 29,500 acres of federal land and 14,266 acres of state land, as critical habitat for the Acuña cactus.

That is one very cute little endangered cactus. Cuteness is not the only factor the government considers when reviewing petitions for listing of species, but it doesn’t hurt.

News28 Oct 2012 12:50 pm

Phew! I thought today’s theme of cactus-themed bars and restaurants closing was a bad portent, but no! it’s not. It turns out while one cactus restaurant in Ohio closes another in Hawaii opens. Good fortune shines on us all!

Tina Yuen PBN

Cactus restaurant , which recently opened on Kailua Road in Kailua, Hawaii, is part of a trendy food scene in the Windward Oahu town.


News28 Oct 2012 11:47 am

It’s an interesting theme for a Sunday on the blog.

The Blue Ash outpost of Cactus Pear has closed, Polly Campbell reports:

Cincinnati will never be the same.

The Cactus Pear Southernwestern restaurant in Blue Ash has closed. However, the one on Jefferson Ave. near UC is still open.

Good to know!

News28 Oct 2012 11:37 am

Las Vegas will never be the same.

Northwest Vegas’ Chicago’s Cactus Club plans to reopen next February or March as Viola’s Tavern.

News27 Oct 2012 11:34 am

A consortium of the nation’s leading cactus doctors issued a new set of guidelines Thursday recommending that Americans drink at least 8 cups of water per year to maintain proper hydration.


Plants27 Oct 2012 09:12 am

Aster frikartii “Monch”

It’s a classic fall flower, and these are the stages of the buds.

Stage 1 is appropriately named the Stage 1 Bud.

Stage too is when the sepals have pulled far enough back that the petals are beginning to be visible. This stage is called Petaluma Charlie, and is named for a famed roadside diner where the buds grew wild.

The third stage is where the petals have poked through entirely but the face of the flower has not yet opened. It’s so colorful!

And now the flower is fully open and you can see that it is a classic disk flower from the Asteraceae family. We call this stage the Flower.

Berkeley Gardens26 Oct 2012 10:10 am

Our first crop of Scarlet Runner Beans – a few beans shelled by Keith.

Such pretty colors! I wonder if they’re delicious?


Whippets26 Oct 2012 09:19 am


See what happens to Benjamin when I get my hands on too many photo filters.

Plants26 Oct 2012 07:02 am

Prickly pear fruit, or tunas, are delicious to eat. And by eat I mean use in a margarita.

Here we have some almost ripe fruit from the Opuntia robusta. Shall we pick them soon?

Misc25 Oct 2012 02:18 pm

A new cactus lamp has finally made it onto the market, if you live in Europe. I don’t know of any US distributors but that’s probably only because I haven’t checked for any.

Cactus Table lamp
Brand: LZF

Designer Miguel Herranz
Cactus is a likeable and elegant table lamp made of wood veneer strips. Switched off it creates an interesting volume, and switched on it increases its beauty defining interesting volume, and switchd on it increases its beauty defining interesting patterns by the superposition of the different wood strips.

And it costs 271.83 € so you know it must be most excellent, and not just “likeable and elegant” which it certainly is also of course. I would totally agree with that marketing assessment. However the rest of the description looks like it went through a bad translator. “Increases its beauty defining interesting volume” is not a meaningful phrase in the English language. Maybe it was translated from an original Swedish, but through a midpoint of Italian and then to the French before finally landing on English.

Here let me show you how that works, but starting with English and then through Swedish etc and back to English: “The fox and the dog came to London to learn a new language” through the multi-language translator stuff comes back out into English as, “Fox and the dog came to London to learn a new language”. Huh! They’ve improved the translator programming. How about that.

Misc25 Oct 2012 01:10 pm

Last week I posted a picture of a cactus skirt by a company called Nasty Girl, although they were out of the skirt. Now this week we see that a company called koshka has a cactus dress for sale and its in stock! and it turns out that it is the exact same fabric!

Nice use of fabric. I wonder who the fabric designer is, and where we can buy the fabric, and if we bought the fabric what we could do with it – would you buy a cactus print muffler from us? a cactus print finger warmer? a cactus print fabric square? a cactus print laptop bag?

(Thanks to Angie for the link)

Nursery25 Oct 2012 10:41 am


Succulent terrariums are so hot they’ve made the very fashionable pages of GQ. Tillandsias too. The one on the upper left is by Roost and the one in the lower right is by Chive, and we carry both of them, right now!

Berkeley Gardens&Nursery24 Oct 2012 02:56 pm

Today we see our feared and ferocious Dimetrodon is in the Crassula garden.

With Crassula muscosa.

California Native Plants&Questions24 Oct 2012 09:26 am

Can you help ID this plant growing 50 miles north of Santa Cruz. Any ideas on a species?


Dustin –

It’s a Dudleya. 50 miles north of Santa Cruz is the Half Moon Bay area, so it is probably Dudleya farinosa, but possibly Dudleya cymosa.


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