Berkeley Gardens01 Oct 2014 04:30 pm


Cowper Street, Berkeley

It’s an elephant shrine!

Cactus01 Oct 2014 08:35 am

Yesterday I posted a YouTube video of an Electric Cactus and promised that it would be very exciting and amazing, and then I clicked the video and it was no such thing. It was kind of dull. Well today I revisit the concept of the electric cactus.

Jeff Kolega’s Desert Wind Sonata for Cactus and other Stuff.


National Parks&San Francisco30 Sep 2014 04:30 pm


Aeoniums in Golden Gate Park

Cactus30 Sep 2014 08:34 am

Did you ever wonder what an electronically amplified cactus sounded like? Now you can find out. All you have to do is click the play button on the YouTube video below and prepare to be amazed.

OK, so maybe that wasn’t so amazing.

Cactus28 Sep 2014 10:16 am

So apparently this is now a thing.


David Penela

Plants27 Sep 2014 03:07 pm

This time of year, off season for Aeoniums, the differences in the cultivars is very pronounced. Other times these two look much more similar.


Aeonium “Garnet”


Aeonium “Velour”

Whippets25 Sep 2014 05:44 pm


Photography25 Sep 2014 05:43 pm


Pachypodium namaquanum

Tiny little baby spiny succulent plants are the best.

Plants25 Sep 2014 10:24 am

Now that’s what I like to see. A vicious no-good succulent plant.


Agave macroacantha “Pablo’s Choice” – Black Spined Agave
1 to 2ft. blue-grey Agave, compact and low. Large black terminal spines, recurved marginal spines. Full sun at the coast. Will form dense clusters that can spread 3 to 5 feet wide. Cultivar originated near Santa Barbara. Plant in fast-draining soil, grows fast with summer water.
Works well in gardens or in containers.
Hardy to 25F 
Full Sun to Part Sun
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Plants24 Sep 2014 11:47 am


That’s a nice stonecrop. It’s not the same as Blue Spruce – not even the same parent species, though it looks so similar.

Sedum sediforme “Turquoise Tails” – Blue Stonecrop

An older variety that has gotten more popular in recent years. Long trailing stems with blue leaves. Pale yellow flowers.
Hardy to below 0F 
Full Sun to Part Shade
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Questions&Reader Photos23 Sep 2014 11:07 am


I’ve spent hours looking at pics online and can’t identify these cacti/succulents I recently acquired. Can you possibly identify them? Also, does the large brown swath on the prostrate plant indicate damage or a slow demise of some sort?

image image(2) image(3)

Thanks for any help you can give.

Newbie Leigh

The plants look like they need more sun, so it’s hard to ID them for sure. The one that is laying over is probably an Opuntia or less likely a Quiabentia. The brown is past damage and looks like it is fully healed.

The tall green one is maybe an Echeveria, like Echeveria setosa, but stretched vertically because of not enough sun.

The blue one is a Senecio, probably Senecio mandraliscae.


Reader Photos22 Sep 2014 02:55 pm


Dorena sends along this photo of a gorgeous desert cholla. I don’t know where she took the picture so I can’t be sure of the species, but I have my suspicions…

Reader Photos19 Sep 2014 11:15 am


I visited Cactus Jungle more than 2 years ago, and I picked up two plants: Orbea (Stapelia) variegata and Faucaria felina (I also picked up a bonus snail that has lived with O. variegata). The F. felina had a little accident a year ago (or rather, when I was in a 4-car collision on a highway while toting a few flats of plants to my new apartment, most of the plant’s growths were severed and it’s been languishing ever since), but the O. variegata is doing well. It isn’t as vibrantly colored as when I purchased it, but I also cannot give it the light it needs on a regular basis, so it makes do with what it can get. And that seems to be enough here in the swamp that is DC! These are the first blooms on this plant. Yeah, they stink, and I love them.

I just wanted to share this photo with you!

The Homestead Hobbyist

Click to embiggen!

Cactus&Photography&Plants19 Sep 2014 08:19 am

People like pictures. Pretty pictures of pink flowers are even better!

Cactus flowers on a cactus blog are just so the absolute best.

And what do we have here?


Gymnocalycium stenopleurum ssp. friedrichii

Small barrel cactus from Paraguay  gets only 4″ across.

Photography&Plants18 Sep 2014 03:04 pm


Pelargonium “Old Spice”

S. African, large mounds, white flowers, scented leaves
Hardy to 10F

Photography&Plants15 Sep 2014 11:06 am


Euphorbia obesa

Small, round and solitary; very low water in winter.

Hardy to 30F if protected from rain. But we just keep them indoors year round anyway. It’s easier that way.

Berkeley Succulents12 Sep 2014 01:51 pm


Hap has been very busy. Here’s his big Basket. He potted it up recently. So many succulents!


Whippets12 Sep 2014 11:11 am


The Whippet Benjamin


The Whippet Benjamin with more color.

Plants11 Sep 2014 09:09 am


Sweet jesus that’s a nice specimen in my private collection. Not for sale!

Boweia volubilis
Climbing Onion
Bulbs spherical to 10″, long twining vines, sm. greenish blooms

  Hardy to 30F 
  Part Shade
  Cactus Soil
  Low Water

Questions&Reader Photos10 Sep 2014 09:52 am

Hi Peter,

Are you able to offer advice on Haworthias? I have a Haworthia chocolate pictured below that is losing leaves one by one. Not sure if it is going to stop or not, and if this is normal for a healthy C. chocolate. The dying leaves will turn a bright red color while losing their firmness, then became a pale red, and even more soft before drying up completely. Any thoughts?

photo 1

Attached here is a picture of the specimen with leaves showing this activity.

I’ve searched the internet for information, but haven’t been able to find much about it.

Thank you for all of your help and time here.



Given the natural brown coloration it’s difficult to tell for sure, but I think that it is just losing bottom leaves, which is normal for succulents. Maybe it’s been a bit more water than it wants? Hard to say from the photo. In moderate direct sunlight you should water every 1 1/2 weeks through the summer and in lower light less than that.


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