Classic caudex-forming plant from South Africa. Easy to grow, with massive vining. Tiny flowers coming right at the leaf nodes off the vine. Nice orange color, very unusual.
This member of the Cucurbitaceae family comes from southern Africa. First described by Benth & Hooker, and then by William Henry Harvey in 1867.
I don’t know what this is. We have a whole bunch of them growing. They’re only 4 years old, but I don’t even know if they’re a small barrel, getting close to full size, or if they’re a giant barrel just starting off. I’m guessing it’s an Echinocactus, but I just don’t know. I’ve identified about a dozen genuses it could be.
Here we have a beautiful daisy-like flower, larger than the little succulent hiding underneath. You can see it peeking through the petals. I wonder what it is?
Another picture after the break…
Look what we found in among the olive trees.
There’s been a lot of spiders out this time of year. I carry a bamboo stake when coming in to the nursery first thing, to clear all the webs along the aisles. It’s starting to get to the point where they’re across the window on the car, across the front door at home, and they spin those webs so fast that you can clear an aisle and find another full web within an hour!
Maybe I should ask Keith to stop feeding them slugs so they’ll go away.
I try to use these quotes as a way to add a little politics to the site without writing political posts. So now should be the time for presidential candidate quotes. But events overtake, and I really like the way this is phrased. It’s not really a quote, more like a subordinate clause:
…Wall Street’s blind faith in its own ability to transubstantiate subprime mortgages into AAA-rated, investment-grade paper…
Now that’s an image to hold onto. (Billmon)
And here’s an image for your patience:
It’s a closeup of an Opuntia subulata c.v. monstrose. A wonderful example of how a small virus can take a giant tree cholla and turn it into a densely packed apartment-block of branches no taller than 3ft.
by DevilsTower. I’ll wait for you to finish it and come back….
OK, so that was interesting.
Here, have a picture for your effort:
Echinocereus morricalii – a spineless hedgehog cactus (well, almost spineless)! Sprawling clumps of low stems from Monterrey, Mexico. They will have Magenta flowers, if you can wait. We’re keeping them indoors, because they’re just a bit frost sensitive.
I hate that common name. What a stupid name. They should change it. I’m going to call this the Cherry Pie Yucca, because it’s delicious.
Yucca rostrata – From Texas, it can get over 6 ft. tall, and will look a lot like a Joshua Tree, but it will survive the winter in these parts, thrive even. Still, it’s not as famous as the Joshua Tree, and so most people aren’t interested. I suppose if Bono hasn’t sung a song to it recently, then you might not want it. Well fine. More for me.
Here’s a Saguaro photo that appears on a site called Now Public. It lists a creative commons license that allows reproduction with attribution.
Photo by drewnaustin
I think this was OK for me to do.
It’s a new Sedum for us, S. Rosy Glow. I think they call it that because it has a bit of a rosy glow to it. It’s low growing like one of our other favorite shrubby sedums, S. “Bertram Anderson”, but a milder color.
Cistus x. skanbergii – Pink Rock Rose
Hybrid from Mediterranean Natives
Evergreen Fragrant Ornamental
Showy 1″ pale pink blooms. Great for informal divider, in rock gardens or accent plant. Deer and Fire resistant, good for coastal locations.
What more could you want out of a plant, anyway?
These green sticks with tiny green leaves are very similar to the more common Pencil Cactus, Euphorbia tirucallii which also are sometimes known as Firesticks when they have red tips. Anyway, this species, not that other one, is hardy outside in the Bay Area. So we like it. And you do too. But just don’t get any of that milky white sap, i.e. poison, on your lips or in your eyes. It will hurt like the dickens. Hospital visits may ensue. Some crying, some burning.
Similar to the more common “Bishop’s Cap” but not the same. After all, they are different species.
Astrophytum ornatum. Or Astro, as I call it.
Usually they’re dark green. And they like shade in the hotter climates. But we can grow them in full sun, carefully, and they’ll turn red. Slow growing, but they can get tall – over 3 ft. tall if you’re lucky!
The book says their aureoles “often become glabrous.” I wonder what that means?
These tiny barrels are often flattened in shape, usually solitary, from high in the Andes of Peru, like all the cool cactus kids these days. They get orange/red funnel-shaped flowers, so I’m told, but I haven’t seen them yet, so I cannot verify this. But they do bloom young, and only get to around 4 to 6 inches across. Very rare in the wild because of over-collection, so get your specimen from a seed-grown source.
I love these tiny black barrels, usually spineless, but when they do have spines, like this one, then they come in black too! Plus, the blooms are red and orange striped. Goohah!
Please note that I don’t think this is one should try to grow. Not because you don’t deserve it, because you do, but because I would be jealous when it blooms and we don’t want any of that.
Opuntia subulata (Austrocylidropuntia subulata) – a tree cholla from the Andes, also known as Eve’s Needles, grows over 25 ft. tall in the Bay Area, although I hear it tops out at 12 ft. in the Andes.
This here is a piece of fruit rooted into the soil and newly branched. They generally don’t go to seed and instead the sterile fruit drop and roll and root. A new tree ensues.
Never water. We get enough rain here that they are the fastest growing cactus we carry. If you also water they’ll grow too fast, won’t form a strong woody core, and will flop over. What with those very long spines (hence the common name) a falling branch doesn’t seem like a good thing.