Search Results for 'bloom'

Questions22 Jul 2013 01:08 pm

Dear blog master. I enjoy the cactus jungle blog; a visit to your store is on my bucket list.

I have a question. I have a hedgehog cactus set (aka “the Crip”) and a silver torch cactus (aka “Queen Frostine”). Both have been in a constant environment for more than two years – a greenhouse which is the home of many successfully flowering succulents, many of which are cacti. After flowering well in 2012, neither flowered this year but they are both growing very well. Do you have any thoughts?

Sent from my iPad so please excuse brevity and lack of editing.

Memphis, TN

If they’re getting good sun and other plants nearby are blooming then it’s probably a matter of nutrients. I would recommend feeding with a good organic bloom food in late winter next year.

Plants&Science21 Jul 2013 12:17 pm

Here’s a couple of recently blooming Hoyas for you. Enjoy!

Hoya kerrii2

Hoya kerrii has the heart-shaped leaves so fondly remembered from Valentine’s Day.

Hoya Mathilde

Hoya “Mathilde” is new to us and we haven’t had any ready for sale yet, but here you get a preview of the flowers.


Hoya australis I featured a few months ago, but I thought I would add it to this entry anyway. I must be in Summer Repeats!

Let me tell you something more about the Hoyas. Hoyas are in the Milkweed Family, Asclepiadaceae is the former name of the former plant family now treated as a subfamily, Asclepiadoideae, of the Dogbane Family, Apocynaceae, which also includes such famous succulents as the Pachypodiums and Adeniums! (Science!)

Or let me quote a couple o’ the books in print..

“These tropical, vining plants have rigid, glossy leaves and bowl-shaped clusters of star-shaped flowers so stiff and shiny they seem to be made of wax. Provide rich soil, regular water, warm temperatures, and sun protection. Plants thrive in bright shade and humid hothouses, blooming best when pot-bound… Water minimally during winter dormancy.”
Debra Lee Baldwin, Designing with Succulents, p.196.

“Hoya and the closely related Dischidia comprise vining plants that barely fit the definition of a succulent…. Hoya and Dischidia species are native from India through New Guinea, northern Australia, and even Southern China. Most Hoyas grow more-or-less wholly as epiphytes. As a result, even though they are from tropical regions with heavy rainfall, they have to be able to withstand considerable dryness, and so have evolved thick, succulent leaves.”
Fred Dortort, The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World, also p.196!

California Native Plants&Oakland17 Jul 2013 11:53 am


Dudleya brittonii surrounded by a sea of Othonna capensis in bloom.

California Native Plants&Photography&Plants15 Jul 2013 04:07 pm

We seem to be selling a bunch of perennial daisies around here at the cactus store this year.

And I’m not even mentioning all the Cape Daisies. Here too. Even more Cape Daisies!

How did a cactus store come to sell so many daisies, you may ask? I tells you there’s a reason for it. It may have to do with the fact that they are often low water and easy to grow here in Berkeley and perennial so they come back every year and rebloom – no need to plant new flowers every spring. Or it may have to do with the fact that cactus flowers only last a few days and people like longer lasting flowers to fit between their occasional ly flowering cactuses too.

Or maybe they just like them.

Did I mention they’re all in the Asteraceae (Aster) Family? Also known as the Sunflower Family? And they all have disk flowers?

asteriscus maritimus

Asteriscus maritimus is a Canary Islands native known as the Gold Coin Daisy.

Aster frikartii Monch

Aster frikartii “Monch” is a hardy Aster hybrid. Lovely colors.


Erigeron glaucus is the classic favorite California Coastal Seaside Daisy.


Erigeron glaucus “W.R.” is a smaller more lavender cultivar. That disk has a lot of colors in it right now.

leucanthemum aglaia

Leucanthemum “Aglaia” is a frilled Shasta Daisy. Large flowers on tall stalks.

So now you know why a cactus nursery has daisy flowers.

Oakland10 Jul 2013 10:54 am


Grand Ave., Oakland
Saguaro cactus in bloom

Nice technique!

Berkeley Succulents08 Jul 2013 02:32 pm

10th street succulents berkeley

10th Street, Berkeley

Cotyledon in bloom, and an Aeonium

Photography04 Jul 2013 06:57 am


Epiphyllum in bloom just in time for the July Fourth holiday. It’s doing its own fireworks display!

Photography03 Jul 2013 06:06 am

We’ve had a lot of fun with all the very colorful South African daisies. They are so easy to care for, what with not doing much at all for them besides watering less than you might think, and deadheading too. Here are the latest blooming Osteospermum at the nursery.


“Sunny Xena”


“3D Double Purple”


“Soprano White”


“Spider Purple”

Berkeley Gardens&California Native Plants29 Jun 2013 07:53 am


Cylindropuntia prolifera in bud.


And a fancy photo of the rose-like bloom against a b/w background of cholla stems. (edited in Aviary).

San Francisco27 Jun 2013 07:59 am


Echeverias in bloom at the Embarcadero Center.


Photos filtered through Instagram.

Questions&Reader Photos16 Jun 2013 12:24 pm

Hi Peter – any help identifying this cactus would be much appreciated; we’ve had it for so long and it is finally blooming after a good cold rest last winter. Thanks!

parodia ottonis


The lovely blooming cactus is a Parodia ottonis. It’s probably time to repot into a larger pot.



How-to&Plants12 Jun 2013 09:01 am

Cotyledon orbiculata v spuria

Cotyledon orbiculata v. spuria has gorgeous flowers this time of year. Wow!

And then there’s the pest problem. Aphids. Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to see the gruesome little buggies in closeup. But just so you know, these are on a different plant than the one above.

As it is, aphids love succulent blooms, especially those in the Crassula Family (Crassulaceae) like Cotyledons and Echeverias. Often when the blooms get aphids I will just cut the bloom stalk off and be done with it. In the case of the flowers below, though, they are too pretty for that and too early in the bloom cycle, so we dipped a soft paintbrush in rubbing alcohol and very carefully wiped them off the flowers. Then we sprayed the stalk and area below the flowers with neem oil to try to prevent them from coming back. Good luck!

So now we get to the aphid picture. Turn away!

succulent aphids

Oh. You looked. OK then.

Plants07 Jun 2013 07:32 am

We have a couple more Osteospermums out at the nursery. These many Cape Daisies are both pretty and easy to grow and hardy. And colorful. And both bloomful for many months on end and in the Aster Family (Asteraceae) and prolific too.

That’s enough descriptions, lets see the flowers!


Osteospermum “Soprano White”


Osteospermum “Zion Red”

Questions&Reader Photos03 Jun 2013 10:32 am

Hi Peter,
I just potted a large piece from a gi-normous Peruvian apple cactus that my brother has growing in his yard in Long Beach. He cut the piece and gave it to me for Christmas and it has been drying out in in my garage since then. I thought I had left it too long, but the top sections seem fleshy and fine, with only the bottom cut part being nice a dried out. So, I potted it this morning, mixing in some of the soil I bought from you. My question is, should I water it now, or should I wait for several more weeks? Should I fertilize it soon? I have some of the kelp product.


My sister took a smaller piece last year and has it growing inside in her apartment in NYC! It’s doing fine (though no fruit yet…ever?). When she started, she waited 4-6 weeks for the cut to dry out, then potted it. She waited another month before watering it — based on internet research.

The fruit is really good!


ps, I love receiving the newsletter and seeing all the names and photos of the plants.

It looks like the Cereus is doing well. If you potted it in our soil you don’t need to fertilize for a year. In general after planting a cactus cutting you want to wait at least a week before watering. Since you have Aeoniums planted in there with it you will need to water sometime in the next 2 weeks, and that’s OK.

Your sister’s plant in NY should grow fine if its in a sunny window, but it is unlikely to bloom. The flowers are pollinated by bats, so even if it does flower she would need to hand pollinate to get fruit (assuming she doesn’t have any bats in her apartment. I know it’s New York, but still…)

We don’t get fruit on ours here in the flats of Berkeley since we also don’t have bats, however up in the hills they do have bats and they do get fruit. Delicious fruit.


Photography02 Jun 2013 09:16 am

Here are pictures of 5 different individuals, all the same species, in full bloom. So much variation! They are all Parodia rutilans. Here I blogged another Parodia that had significant variation as well.

Parodia rutilans 1

Parodia rutilans 2

Parodia rutilans 3

Parodia rutilans 4

Parodia rutilans 5

And finally what we have here is what we have identified as Notocactus roseiflorus, which my copy of Anderson insists is also Parodia rutilans.

Notocactus roseiflorus

That sure is a lot of natural variation for today! And to be clear, those really were all in bloom and fully open yesterday all at the same time. Nice!

Questions27 May 2013 03:08 pm

Dear Cactus Jungle,

I was recently examining my cacti and noticed two very strange (maybe) fungus/viruses on two of the four.

(one is a ‘Fairy Castle’/Cereus tetragonus,

Cactus #2

the other might be a Coryphantha georgii,

Cactus #1

though I’m not sure about that).

I scoured the internet in search of identification for these possible fungi or viruses, but was unsuccessful. I noticed this blog when looking for answers, and would be so grateful if you could help me. I love these little buggers and would hate to see them go. I’ve attached two photos to this e-mail.
Thank you very much for your time and help!


I’m not seeing any fungus on the Cereus. Maybe there’s some rot on the inner branch, but it doesn’t look like a fungus. If it’s soft it may be a problem of overwatering, or if the plant has been in the pot for a long time it may not have enough soil left. It looks like it’s ready to be potted into a larger pot – the brown things coming out of the branches are aerial roots looking for more soil.

The other cactus (possibly a Coryphantha, although I would guess a Mammillaria, but I would need to see the blooms to know for sure) looks like a fungus, possibly Rust. You can spray fungus with standard organic fungicides. We like to use Neem Oil.


Reader Photos22 May 2013 08:41 am

echinocereus hybrid flowers

I received this picture from someone’s cell phone, texted to my email. Because cell phone emails aren’t real email addresses I don’t know who this comes from.

Is it from you????

Anyway, someone was very excited to share their Echinocereus grandiflora hybrid from us in full bloom.


Photography&Plants&Science21 May 2013 08:54 am

Below is a tricky one to identify.

First we have what is unquestionably Parodia rutilans:


Here’s a picture of the cactus under that giant yellow flower:


Every source I have indicates that P. rutilans and all of its subspecies all have brown spines. Now they can have a more purplish flower too. But the edges are purple, while the center still remains at least yellowish.

Then there’s this plant:


The cactus is superficially similar to the one above. But this one has very clear black spines that fade to gray. You can really see that in the picture. Other aspects of the spination are also very clear and clearly not Parodia rutilans or related subspecies. And while P. rutilans can have a purplish flower, it still has a yellow throat while this one has a whitish throat (the photo shows some reflection of the yellow stamens on the petals).

Also, this flower has had a lot of trouble opening without heat. It’s a spring bloomer and we usually do not have enough heat this time of year for this flower to fully open. So I have lots of pictures from the last few years of this plant with buds, but this is my first one with a fully open flower. Previously, from the spination and the buds I thought this might be an Echinocereus, and with the heat issue that makes a lot of sense too. But now that this flower is finally open I can say very clearly that this is not an Echinocereus.

What is the one factor that makes me certain? The purple stigma.

So what is it?

I have a book that very clearly indicates that this is Notocactus roseiflorus. Case Closed? No! All Notocactuses have been moved into Parodia for a couple decades now, so then the question is what Parodia would this species name have been moved to. And unfortunately the answer is Parodia rutilans. Which clearly this is not. No way. Not even close. Not a subspecies. So I went back and did some more research on Parodia rutilans and the plant at the top and really, it’s quite certain. To quote my copy of Anderson, “Aureoles densely white wooly… Central spines light reddish brown, straight or pointed slightly downward…”

Now I had been using a made up name, Parodia rutilans ssp. roseiflorus to indicate the P. rutilans that had the purplish flowers as mentioned above, but that’s not a real name. I just made it up. So that’s gone by the wayside. So now I have to live with the fact that Parodia rutilans’ flowers can vary and rename all the ones with the brown spines to just simply Parodia rutilans.

And since I can’t come up with any other name ever attached to this black-spined purple-flowered cactus I will have to suffice with Notocactus roseiflorus for now. Unless someone can help me come up with another name that is current.


California Native Plants18 May 2013 10:25 am

We have a lot of native, and native-hybrids out in full bloom this weekend. Pictures ensue.

Gaura Passionate Rainbow


Gaura lindheimeri “Passionate Rainbow” is a compact version of this ever-scrabbly wildflower. It also has very good color not just in the flowers but in the foliage too. I love colorful foliage!

Iris PCH

Iris PCH – we have only a few more still in bloom. Like this very deeply colored blue hybrid.

Eriophyllum Siskiyou

Wooly Sunflower

Eriophyllum “Siskiyou” works well in your garden. They are in full bloom right now and will rebloom throughout the year anyway, just not quite as full as this.

Solanum Indian Grey

Blue Witch

Solanum “Indian’s Grey” is one of our favorite blue-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Solanum Spring Frost

White Witch

Solanum “Spring Frost” is one of our favorite white-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Achillea kelleri

Achillea x kelleri is a stunning white addition to all your very colorful yarrows. These are really stunning. You should come see them in person, along with the yellow and red yarrows currently in bloom too. I highly recommend this hybrid for planting in your mom’s garden when you help her out next weekend. She will thank you.

Berkeley Succulents15 May 2013 11:40 am


Oscularia deltoides coming into bloom, with a Senecio too. Nice massing.