Plants18 Dec 2015 02:22 pm


Aeonium decorum

Bushy shrub to 16″; red-edged in sun; thick long leaves

Hardy to 28F 
Full Sun to Part Shade
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Berkeley Succulents15 Dec 2015 05:45 pm


Aloe arborescens on 7th Street in Berkeley! Blooms everywhere.

Plants09 Dec 2015 07:00 am

Stapelia variegata #orbea #stapelia #stapeliad #succulents #carrionflower #flower #cactusjungle

A photo posted by Cactus Jungle (@bobdavisart) on

Questions04 Dec 2015 12:09 pm

Hey there. I recently purchased this barrel cactus from a shop in Denver and then took it with me back to NYC. (As carry-on.) It looks basically healthy except for this discoloration, which seems to come in two parts. At the upper end of the plant there are these lighter (yellowish) spots. With an x-acto knife I can slice them off, tho it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Towards the bottom, the discoloration isn’t raised, and it’s pretty thorough at the bottom two inches, creeping up in some places.


Maybe the bottom is natural barking, and the top is related to frost in Denver? In which case, let it be?

Or maybe it’s a scale infestation? In which case, should I take that knife to everything I can?

Spent forever online looking for advice but have gotten nowhere. Any thoughts you have would be so appreciated!


It’s hard to tell from the photo. It’s either some previous damage that has healed over, in which case you don’t need to do anything. Or it’s scale, which is an insect, so please put away the exacto blades. If you think it’s scale then you should spray it with an organic insecticide. You can also dip a soft paintbrush into rubbing alcohol and that will break the shell down so that you can clean them off after they are dead.


Art21 Nov 2015 12:50 pm


No… It’s a cactus!

Plants19 Nov 2015 04:20 pm

News17 Nov 2015 06:09 pm

According to the New Republic, there’s never been a better time to decorate your home with so many succulents that you can’t even see the windows anymore.

I am not trendy

. In fact, I actively disdain something as soon as I sense it’s a trend… But that couldn’t stop me from falling prey to one of the latest trends: succulents.


I noticed other people’s obsession with succulents before I became obsessed myself….

But somewhere along the way, my stance on succulents started changing. I found myself thinking that maybe if I had a succulent….

First, I acquired a light green echeveria that grew a single yellow flower. Then I got another, darker echeveria. And a hen-and-chicks. And a big spiky aloe. And a fairy castle cactus. There was no turning back.

Phew! What a story! A journey to enlightenment.

Berkeley Gardens03 Nov 2015 09:37 am

It’s the Hairyballs Milkweed plant.

Gomphocarpus physocarpa 10th Street, Berkeley

Cactus30 Oct 2015 08:26 am


Stenocactus crispatus


4″ solitary barrel, undulating ribs, variable spines.

Hardy to 20F 
Full Sun
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Berkeley Gardens&Berkeley Succulents29 Oct 2015 01:15 pm


Agave attenuata on Dwight Ave., Berkeley

Cactus&How-to24 Oct 2015 07:49 am

Musicians have been playing with cactus ever since John Cage wrote a piece for cactus many years ago. Probably people were playing cactus even longer ago than that, but there you go – John Cage gets all the credit.

Farkas, 30, plays percussion

instruments such as marimba and snare drum, but nothing captures attention like playing the spines of a cactus in a pot….


As strange as it may sound to others, Farkas said, cactus playing is a thing in the percussion world — mostly thanks to avant-garde composer and music theorist John Cage. Cage’s “Child of Tree,” composed in 1975, uses instruments made of plant materials, including the cactus. 

Best if all this particular article comes with instructions! Now you can know how to play the cactus yourself!

How to Play the Cactus

1. Get a cactus with long, evenly spread spines.

2. Make a contact microphone using a piezoelectric transducer, plug it into an amplifier and attach it to one of the cactus spines.

3. Use your fingers or other objects to pluck or rub the spines to create sound. Bonus points for rhythm without injury.


Cactus&Travel23 Oct 2015 09:17 am


Another picture of a Parodia nivosa in bloom. So much pretty.

And a bonus photo! Of a perfect fall day in Central Park in New York. Nice!


Cactus&Plants20 Oct 2015 07:37 am


Melocactus violaceus

Large, globular, with white-haired cephalium when mature.

Cactus&Photography19 Oct 2015 09:09 am


Parodia nivosa

How-to15 Oct 2015 03:00 pm

The Washington Post is making a horrible nightmarish Halloween centerpiece out of a stitched together agglomeration of hideous opposites.

Though it is kind of cute.

Daigle, 31, who is one of the authors of the blog Needles & Leaves… told us a bit about succulents and shared a few photos of DIY holiday ideas from her book. There you can find detailed directions on how to create them.

Oh, so it’s in a book! Very timely.

Where is the best place to buy succulents?

Try and go directly to a local nursery. You will get a better plant from them, and you can pick it out yourself.

Nice! She likes us! She really likes us!

Photography13 Oct 2015 04:28 pm


Nice Bear Paw Succulent with cute little orange flowers.

Cotyledon tomentosa

Berkeley Succulents&Oakland05 Oct 2015 12:58 pm


Agave americana

Alcatraz Ave., near the Berkeley/Oakland border.

Looks like they left just enough space for this monster to grow full size before it impedes on the sidewalk and stabs a young bicyclist riding by.

Berkeley Gardens&Berkeley Succulents02 Oct 2015 11:27 am

2015-10-01 14.21.42

Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley

Whippets02 Oct 2015 10:23 am


Keith takes pictures of my dogs with costumes. Cool!

Plants30 Sep 2015 11:16 am


Pachypodium saundersii

South Africa

Shrub to 5ft. w/large varied caudex
Hardy to 40F.

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