Search Results for 'bloom'

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.

Plants14 May 2013 07:28 am


Cyphostemma juttae with bright red leaves and a cluster of small blooms getting ready to open.

Will form a giant caudex to 6ft w/thick branches at top and peeling bark. Hardy to 28F when older. Can be grown in full sun for the full bright red leaf effect, or in light shade and you will get much larger and very greener leaves.

The fruit, or berries, are bright orange, and grape-like. Did I mention that this is in the grape family (Vitaceae). But don’t eat those attractive berries since they are quite poisonous.


Closeup of the blooms. They’re tiny!

Reader Photos13 May 2013 11:31 am

Hi Hap,

We visited your nursery last Saturday. We had a great time and I’ve planted my new plants. I was happy for your directions on what to do with my Tower of Jewels, Echium wildpretii when it’s “done”. I am enjoying it so much and everyone from the Garden Club wants to stop by and see it as well. I wanted to share some pictures from the beginning to the present.
Eden Garden Club

Here are the pictures:

Echium wildpretii

Echium wildpretii 2

Echium wildpretii 3

Echium wildpretii 4

More after the break! See the Tower in full bloom! (more…)

Reader Photos10 May 2013 07:08 am

Muk sends along a picture of her Echinocereus grandiflora in full bloom.


Our cactus has bloomed. Thanks to you guys for a beautiful and healthy cactus year after year :)

That’s a lot of flowers open all at once. Nice! Thanks for the update!

Berkeley Gardens&California Native Plants26 Apr 2013 08:52 am


Achillea “Red Velvet”

North America; Cultivated variety
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: Low, blooms to 3 feet

Green gray foliage. Flowers summer thru fall. Often used for cut or dried flowers. Attracts butterflies and birds. Hardy to below 0F.


Achillea “Moonshine”

Cultivated variety, including a California Native species
Herbaceous Perennial

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low to Moderate
Size: Fern-like foliage to 36″

Yellow bloom sprays in Spring through Summer that fade as they age. Often used for cut or dried flowers. Attracts butterflies and birds. Hardy to below 0F.

California Native Plants25 Apr 2013 08:52 am


Mimulus “Jelly Bean Pink”

Pink Monkeyflower

California Hybrid
Evergreen Perennial

Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Low
Size: Shrub to 2ft.

Pink flowers will bloom year round. Deer resistant. Hardy to about 20°F.

Photography22 Apr 2013 08:17 am

Echinopsis (2)

This is a color we’ve never had before. Here we see this Echinopsis Hybrid with two blooms about to open in the early morning.


Here we see this same cactus in the afternoon after it has fully opened. (Moments later the plant was purchased and taken away!)

We don’t have an official name for this particular hybrid. What would you call it? “Ice Cream”? “Mill Valley”? “Fork and Spoon”?

California Native Plants10 Apr 2013 07:34 am

Only a week ago, and we had three different lovely Iris PCH in bloom. Now we have 3 more!

Iris PCH5




Iris PCH4


Questions08 Apr 2013 09:45 am

My Echevierias are blooming, which is nice, but most of the flowers are covered with aphids. What’s your recommendation on controlling that?

As always, enjoy your blog posts a lot (even the dog ones) :)

There are 3 answers to the aphids on succulent blooms issue:

1. Cut the blooms off. This is a very reliable solution.

2. Spray – We prefer either Neem Oil or Natural Pyrethrins. You can also clean them off with a paint brush dipped in alcohol.

3. Ant control. It turns out most aphids on succulent blooms, including echeverias, are being farmed there by ants. Check for ants in the area and do what you need to control the ants. We do have a couple organic products for this as well.


Plants08 Apr 2013 08:45 am

A couple caudiciform succulents in the Dogbane (Apocynaceae) family.

pachypodium_saundersii8 - Copy

From the East Coast of Africa we have Pachypodium saundersii, also known as the Kudu Lily (I wonder if that’s because there are Kudus nearby? Probably.) Shrubby, 3 to 5 feet tall max., and very spiny. But those pretty pretty flowers….


And here we have a gorgeous Desert Rose, Adenium obesum. Ohhhhh….. sooo pretty…… nearly brings me to tears….

adenium_obesum_thai_hybrid3 - Copy

Finally, we have a grafted Thai Hybrid of the Adenium obesums. They really do have a lot of crazy colors in Thailand. I wonder how they get them to do that? Anyway, while interesting, I don’t find these to be as beautiful as the ones above.

Nursery&Photography&Science06 Apr 2013 10:57 am

The Echinocereus grandifloras are in full bloom this weekend, so you know it’s spring out here at the Cactus Jungle.


We call this one “Amber Peach”


Rikki insists this one is “Tropical Pink”


I named this one “White Lightning”

In case you were wondering, these are all hybrids. They are intergenic hybrids between Echinopsis and Echinocereus. You may see these on various websites and at certain nurseries under various and sundry names. Some call them Trichocereus Hybrids or Lobivia Hybrids or Tricho-Lobivia Hybrids, however current taxonomy puts all Trichocereus and Lobivias into Echinopsis.

You may also see in certain quarters where they insist on particular cultivar names. However we have gotten our original parent plants for these hybrids from the original hybridizer and he does not name them himself. So we are free to call them by our own cultivar names. If you have better names for them than we’ve come up with, we’re happy to take suggestions!

Photography&Plants02 Apr 2013 06:51 am


Euphorbia characias “Portuguese Velvet

European hybrid
Evergreen spurge

Sun: Moderate
Water: Drought tolerant
Size: 12″ to 18″ tall w/24″ tall bloom stalks

Thick velvety grey green leaves on full stems. Large bloom sprays of green bracts and mixed brightly-colored blooms. Grow from seed and offsets. Deer-resistant.