Photography


Photography30 Sep 2008 11:35 am

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…
(more…)

Photography26 Sep 2008 03:06 pm

Ipomoea jaegeri

Now that’s a stunning plant. The flowers last only the one day, but they’re quite big for a morning glory, about 4 inches across. Succulent stems, to 2 or 3 ft. Shrubby things.

Nursery&Photography25 Sep 2008 02:00 pm

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.

Photography&Quotes23 Sep 2008 09:04 am

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.

Blogs&Photography21 Sep 2008 03:49 pm

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.

Photography06 Sep 2008 08:46 am

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.

Photography05 Sep 2008 03:05 pm

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.

Photography04 Sep 2008 12:23 pm

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.

Photography03 Sep 2008 11:18 am

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.

Photography14 Aug 2008 12:03 pm

What more could you want out of a plant, anyway?

Euphorbia leucodendron

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.

Photography13 Aug 2008 11:03 am

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?

Photography12 Aug 2008 10:24 am

Matucana madisoniorum

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.

Photography11 Aug 2008 10:20 am

Eriosyce Occulta

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.

Photography10 Aug 2008 11:20 am

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.

Photography08 Aug 2008 11:15 am

Echinocereus grandiflora

It sure seems ripe enough. Ian tasted it. It tasted bad.

Photography02 Aug 2008 11:34 am

Echinocereus grandiflora hybrid

These large hedgehog cacti that get dozens, even hundreds of blooms, also get pollinated by our bees. The bees love them. And so we get fruit. And seeds.

If you let a hybrid get hybridized with other hybrids and go to seed, well then you don’t know what you’re going to get, now do you? That’s how I like it. That’s why we don’t attach cultivar names to our grandifloras, or a lot of our other hybridized cacti – hybridizing is so simply a natural process that the results really are just individuals. They vary! what a shock. It’s all good.

Photography01 Aug 2008 11:29 am

Cleistocactus azerensis

You’d think from the name this plant was from Arizona, but no, it is from Bolivia, where the hummingbirds love the blooms and the small fruit then burst with seeds that I’m sure some other bird must feast on too.

Tall slender columns covered in golden spines. Vast quantities of red blooms. Fast growing, make great focal specimens in any garden, in case you were looking for a focal specimen for your garden, that is, because have we got a deal for you.

Photography31 Jul 2008 10:31 am

It’s the cactus from yesterday’s video in full bloom, up close.

Ferocactus hamatacanthus

Update: In comments below, Aiyana asked if I use black backdrops, which I do. However, for this photo, there was no backdrop since I cropped it pretty severely. However, the cactus underneath the blooms was in deep shadow. If you look closely, you can sort of see it. Here’s a closeup of the lower right corner where I’ve used photoshop to lighten the shadow area so you can see the cactus beneath:

Photography&Polls30 Jul 2008 10:43 am

Ferocactus hamatacanthus

These large barrels have thin hooked spines, yellow blooms and greenish fruit.

I can’t decide between the bud photo with bloom in the background or the bloom photo with the buds nearby:

Such choices will have to be made.

In the meantime, I’m posting a video later today that includes this very plant a couple days later in full bloom. Look for it!


Photography29 Jul 2008 02:17 pm

Echinopsis peruviana

Continuing my outsourced blogging from earlier today, from wikipedia:

Some uses for Echinopsis peruviana include:[1]

  • Antirheumatic: The stem is cut, soaked for a day and the next day used to wash the area of pain with this mucilage water.
  • Vetrinarial: For getting rid of pig parasites, the cactus stem is peeled, smashed and let to soak in water overnight. It is then mixed with food given to the animal.
  • Adherent in paints: The peeled stems are beaten and left to stand in water, filtrate is added to minerals such as lime or gypsum. The result is a kind of gum for paint.
  • Wood: The dried stalks are very resistant to moths. The dried stalks are used to make scales and in the construction of houses.

Good to know. And still there’s more, on the ethnobotanical qualities of the plant:

It contains a number of psychoactive alkaloids, in particular the well-studied chemical mescaline, which it sometimes contains at higher levels than those of Echinopsis pachanoi (San Pedro cactus), although not as high as Lophophora williamsii (Peyote).

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