Grand Ave., Oakland
Saguaro cactus in bloom
daily news and photography about cacti and succulents
and some california natives too
"Drolly entertaining and informative at the same time." CSM
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.
“3D Double Purple”
And a fancy photo of the rose-like bloom against a b/w background of cholla stems. (edited in Aviary).
Echeverias in bloom at the Embarcadero Center.
Photos filtered through Instagram.
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!
The lovely blooming cactus is a Parodia ottonis. It’s probably time to repot into a larger pot.
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!
Oh. You looked. OK then.
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”
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.
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.
And finally what we have here is what we have identified as Notocactus roseiflorus, which my copy of Anderson insists is also Parodia rutilans.
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!
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,
the other might be a Coryphantha georgii,
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.
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.
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.
We have a lot of native, and native-hybrids out in full bloom this weekend. Pictures ensue.
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 – we have only a few more still in bloom. Like this very deeply colored blue hybrid.
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’s Grey” is one of our favorite blue-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Solanum “Spring Frost” is one of our favorite white-flowered native perennials in the deadly nightshade family (Solanaceae).
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.
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!
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:
More after the break! See the Tower in full bloom! (more…)
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!
North America; Cultivated variety
Sun: Full Sun
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.
Cultivated variety, including a California Native species
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.