Photography&Plants01 Feb 2014 07:31 am

The rosiest of the yarrows is the Rose Yarrow. So it would seem it has been correctly named, after all! But the common name and the cultivar name don’t match? What’s up with that? It turns out that Cerise (244, 0, 161) is just another name for Rose (255, 0, 127) in the color-wheel of plants.

Achillea Cerise Queen

Achillea “Cerise Queen”

Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: Under 1ft. tall

Rose colored flowers. Drives the butterflies crazy. Remove spent flowers for a late fall rebloom. Cut flowers last a long time, look great dried. Hardy to below 0°F.

News&Photography&Plants21 Jan 2014 06:26 am

Agave Kichiokan Marginata

Agave “Kichiokan Marginata”

How dwarf? 18″ dwarfed. Sweet! Those bright red marginal spines look like horns. Goat horns. But really those are 2 different leaves with their end spines pointing out and I took the picture at just such an angle to cause it to seem like these Agaves have Goat Horns.

Photography20 Jan 2014 07:23 am

These Crown of Thorn spurges come in quite a range of colors. This one is Yellow.

Euphorbia milii Dwarf Yellow

Euphorbia milii “Dwarf Yellow”

We have a lot of new vigorous growth right now since we have had a very mild winter. It’s sunny and warm most days. There’s been no cloudy rainy days at all. It’s like an early spring! And the plants are going nutso for the sunshine. Maybe they’ll be caught in mid growth if winter ever does come and then that would be a bad thing for the plants. They could get damaged.

And just for the fun of it, a Salmon colored one too!


(I like the yellow one better. Less showy.)

California Native Plants&Photography03 Dec 2013 07:10 am

Lewisia cotyledon

Normally the California Native Lewisia cotyledons bloom in spring and summer, but we do always have a few that will bloom at other times of the year, like now.

In fact, we find that as these plants mature they can bloom up to 6 times per year! That’s a lot of blooms. You just have to dead-head them to prevent them from going to seed in case they were pollinated. If they go to seed then they are done blooming for the year.

Lewisia Alba

Bonus picture of an Owl after the break… (more…)

Photography&Plants30 Nov 2013 09:23 am

Christmas Cactus1

All the brightly colored Christmas Cactus are out, and not a day too soon.

Christmas Cactus2

These are all hybrids from Brazilian species. Nobody knows anymore what the original species from the jungles were, but we like to think they are hybridized from Schlumbergera orsicchiana, which tend to be pendant and epiphytic.

Christmas Cactus3

All those green segments that look like leaves are really stem segments, and the cactus spines, as these are true cacti, come from the joints between the segments. The segmenting of the stems makes for easy cuttings.

Christmas Cactus4

Some would call these hybrids something along the lines of Schlumbergera orssichiana x truncata, but the truncata part of that was long ago gathered into Zygocactus, but then put back into Schlumbergera in 1967. So if you see these advertised as Zygocactus you should know that they are archaically sticking to the early 60s. Old people today.

Photography&Plants25 Nov 2013 09:00 am

Here are two very nice Parodias. Parodias are known for their yellow flowers, although not all Parodias have yellow flowers, but there is a yellow color known as Parodia Yellow so you can imagine that they are well-known for their yellow flowers.

Many people will argue over the shear number of Parodia species, even though many or most are really subspecies of only about 65 species.

Native to the South American Highlands. And Lowlands too.

Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp gutierrezii

First up is Parodia mueller-melchersii ssp gutierrezii, one of those cacti that have been wrongly categorized as separate species over the years, more recently known as Notocactus gutierrezii, a name that some cactus growers cling to out of tradition or anger or for the shear spectacle. Native to the Rio Grande do Sul in Brasil.

Parodia nigrispina

Next is the very attractive and slightly more common Parodia nigrispina, originally in the 19th century assumed to be part of the Echinocactus genus, but that’s ridiculous. These hail from the fine country of Paraguay, which I believe is in South America.

Photography&Plants24 Nov 2013 09:12 am

Kind of a very vibrant red against a sky blue backdrop, if you choose to photograph it that way, which I did because this particular Paws has very tall bloom stalks so it is hard to photograph it against the foliage way down below. Instead shooting up towards the sky works well.


Anigozanthos “Big Red”
Evergreen Shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water:Moderate in Summer
Size: 4-6ft. tall

Vibrant fuzzy tall red flowers,blend well with red stems in Spring and again in Fall. Long lasting blooms are perfect for cut flowers. Hardy to 20F.

Photography23 Nov 2013 07:50 am

It’s the new Orchid colors, just in time for Thanksgiving. You will have to choose the right color for your T-Day table. If you pick wrong, your Aunt May will berate you.

Choose wisely.

And we’re off!!!!

Phalaenopsis1 Phalaenopsis3 Phalaenopsis6 Phalaenopsis2 Phalaenopsis8

These all were Phalaenopses, by the way.

California Native Plants&Photography19 Nov 2013 07:00 am

calystegia candy cane

First we have a profile shot of the very attractive flower of the:

Calystegia macrostegia “Candy Cane” – California Morning Glory

California Native
Herbaceous Perennial Vine

Sun: Full Sun near coast, Afternoon Shade inland
Water: Moderate, deciduous in summer if dry
Size: Twining Vines

Long lasting colorful blooms for a good part of the year. Great for climbing on fences. Keep watered through the summer to keep green.

And then we have a head-on shot too.

calystegia candy cane2

If you click the link above you can see another picture with both a head-on and a profile shot, togethewr in one amazing picture. Calystegia macrostegia California Morning Glory

Photography&Plants15 Nov 2013 02:42 pm


brighamia insignis

It’s my best shot yet of a Brighamia insignis flower! And there are 2! Plus a bud as a bonus. A bonus bud? From Hawaii? Indeed.

Here’s what the whole plant looks like.

Brighamia insignis2

Photography06 Nov 2013 07:56 am


That Aloe is on fire! Aloe “Coral Fire” that is.





It’s cold out this morning

Photography05 Nov 2013 07:40 am


Do you like succulent photos like this Echeveria? Follow me on instagram! And you can have succulent photos all day long!


Like this new picture of a small mixed Sempervivum pot/terrarium with dragon.

It’s all on my instagram feed, and more!

Cactus&Photography04 Nov 2013 08:14 am


Astrophytum capricorne is known as the Monks Hood.


Astrophytum ornatum is the well known Bishops Cap.

Or is it vice-versa? Hard to know. Cactus are such mysterious creatures. But we do know the A. ornatum will grow to 3 feet tall, while the much less common A. capricorne will stay below 12″.

Nursery&Photography28 Oct 2013 09:21 am

Cactus and Succulents!


Yuccas and Pachycereus! (and an aloe too)

Photography&Plants25 Oct 2013 06:51 am


We have a few larger specimens of the white-spined version of the classic golden barrel. We call it Echinocactus grusonii “White Ghost”. Some prefer to call it c.v. alba or even v. albispinus! Those people are ridiculous.

The golden-spined species is probably the most commonly propagated species of all time. But did you know that its native habitat in Queretaro, Mexico has been nearly eliminated by the construction of a dam?

Photography&Plants16 Oct 2013 12:53 pm

I see we have some vibrant and colorful Mesembs in full and gorgeous colorfully bloomed.


Lapidaria margaretae


Lithops salicola

The plants are barely even visible under those giant and colorful flowers.

Photography&Plants04 Oct 2013 08:17 am

These are our newest cutest little Living Stones in the Mesemb Family (Aizoaceae, Subfamily Mesembryanthemoideae)

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae

Lapidaria margaretae flower

And the flowers! Oh the yellow flowers…

And a bonus Mesemb! This one isn’t a Living Stone Mesemb, but an Ice Plant Mesemb, and quite the hadry little flowering plant.

Oscularia caulescens

Oscularia caulescens has the most adorable (i.e. unpronounceable) common name – Dassievygie.

Photography19 Sep 2013 11:00 am

Mark and Bill were happy to share their lovely mixed Succulent pots.


Echeveria “Doris Taylor” and Graptopetalum paraguayense seem to dominate. Is that a Graptoveria “Debbie” I see in back? And the bowl is Ironstone. We don’t stock Ironstone at the store, but we can special order it in.

mixed sempervivums

Sempervivums are hard to ID, but I’m going out on a limb here and say its Sempervivum “Pekinese”.

mixed sempervivum

Sempervivum arachnoideum in bloom in a hand-poured sand-cast “stone” trough.

What a pleasant group of succulent pots!

Photography&Plants12 Sep 2013 07:25 am


Agave shawii is a coastal California native, Southern Cal. and Baja, but still coastal so you know it will do well in Berkeley and nearby. While the rosettes will get 2 to 3 feet across, taller than wide, they will also form large clusters so the agave can take over an area easily 10 feet across if you let it. And with those gorgeous red spines on the new leaves glowing in the California sunshine why wouldn’t you let it? Once they’ve formed a large enough cluster it would be difficult to remove, so make sure you have it in a place you want it.

Full sun at the coast, it could do with afternoon shade further inland.

Should not bloom until 15 to 20 years old, and then the bloom stalk could be particularly impressive for such a smaller species – up to 40 feet tall? Harsh!


Photography10 Sep 2013 07:37 am

Nicole took home this adorable little caterpillar but not before I got a photo and edited it on my phone with cute editing software. And the plant underneath of course is aButterfly Milkweed.


Asclepias “Silky Gold”

Native to South America
Semi-Evergreen Perennial

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

Brilliant gold-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.

Next Page »