Berkeley Succulents

I found a stash of old Berkeley Succulent photos. I don’t know how old they are, but they’re not posted on the blog, so maybe they were posted on my previous blog 5 years ago or more. So they’re new to you. I checked the archives, and they are from before 2005.



6th Street

Cereus hildmannianus, probably subsp. uruguayanus. Possibly C. repandus.

This particular plant I drive by every day on the way to the nursery, and I can tell you that this photo is a record of the plant at it’s prime. It’s no longer at it’s prime. In fact, it’s now dead. You can still drive by and see the wasted corpse of the plant if you want, but it’s not as pretty as this when it was thriving.

Bloomed-Out Agave


Russell St., Berkeley
Probably was an Agave americana.

That yard between the apartments has no other plantings. I wonder how long they’ll leave the dead agave there as a centerpiece? What will they eventually replace it with?

Berkeley Cactus


Sacramento Street

Opuntia subulata (Austrocylindropuntia subulata) is the big centerpiece of this Berkeley apartment building streetfront. But there’s lots of Crassula ovata and an Aloe nobilis and a nice big Aloe arborescens in the background too.

Berkeley Succulent – Umckaloabo


Carleton Street
Pelargonium sidoides

It’s a natural cough suppressent from South Africa, or so they say. I make no medical claims.

But it does make a nice mound for your front yard. And it does have an unpronounceable common name. And it blooms a lot too.

"Primrose Beauty"

It’s a stunning display of kniph’s in bloom in a sidewalk strip in Berkeley.


Carleton Street
Kniphofia uvaria “Primrose Beauty”

Big Berkeley Cactus

Oy, that’s big.

Hi Peter,

Nice talking with you today about cacti. Here is a photo of the one I mentioned in San Leandro. It really is quite spectacular. If you want to see it in person its right next door to the Starbucks as you come off highway 580 at Dutton Avenue. If you know where to look you can see it from the freeway. Enjoy. If you want a higher resolution image let me know.




Berkeley Summer Succulents


Cornell Ave.

These are some scrawny looking aeoniums from a picture I took last summer. they were dormant back then. Can you tell? I’ll bet if you went back now they would look different. The miracle of gardening.

Berkeley Aloe

Kains Ave.

It’s a barrel of aloe. What more could a monkey want? Nice blooms.

Berkeley Succulents

Kains Ave.
Agave attenuata

Everybody loves them some foxtail agave around here.

Berkeley Cactus

Talbot Ave.

Cereus uruguayanus and an Agave americana plus some aloes too.

Secret Berkeley Gardens

Cornell Ave.
Sedum “Autumn Joy” in bloom.

Some may ask how can I tell? And in this case, I did a genetic analysis. I compared my results with the results on file at the Smithsonian in Washington, and they confirmed my suspicians. They were even kind enough to overnight the results back to me at no extra charge.

Berkeley Spurges

Kains Ave.

Euphorbias, don’t know which varieties. But I love the way they’re poking outabove and below.

Agave Attenuata

Talbot Ave., Berkeley

Everybody loves Agave attenuata. At least until we get a freeze. Then it’s not so good. But they’ll come back. These have from the freeze we got the last 2 years.

Berkeley Succulents

Stannage Ave.
Aloe arborescens

Everybody loves an aloe. You know you do. Plus, we have the plus of a scenic rock. Everybody loves a scenic rock.

Agaves Agaves Agaves

Stannage Ave., Berkeley

Agave attenuata, always a popular choice. These soft-leafed agaves are also less hardy. Oh well, a little plus, a little minus, must be karma.

These are pretty big, having come through the last two cold winters apparantly just fine. The babies are at the top of the hill, none down low. Very interesting.

Yellow Pokers

Evelyn Ave., Berkeley

It’s the yellow version of the red hot poker. I don’t know the cultivar of Kniphofia since there are a few that will bloom yellow. The hummingbirds of course go wild for these.

Big Cactus News in Berkeley

Evelyn Ave.

Opuntia ficus-indica. A giant and edible prickly pear. Scrape the spines off the pads and saute and you have a delicious fried green vegetable. On the other hand, the fruit are sweet and tasty and make for a great desert topping or a jam.

But the big news today is in the financial sector where Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy while holding

$613 billion of debt

That is an amazing amount of debt. Outstanding. Holy crap.

Anyway, here’s another shot of the prickly pear. Read More…

Berkeley Cactus Fruit

Stannage Ave.

Opuntia ficus-indica, classic fruit producing prickly pear. You can see there are dozens of fruit on this plant, but they’re not ripe yet, so please don’t pick these spiny prickly pears, also known as tunas, yet.

Berkeley Succulents

Cornell Ave.

Here we have a Delosperma, an small iceplant, a low-growing groundcover, pretending to be a shrub. In fact, you may not even believe me that it’s a delosperma. Well, check it out.

Read More…

Berkeley Cactus and Agave, Together Again

Pardee Street

Agave attenuata of course and sprawling over the rock is an Opuntia littoralis, which is a coastal California native. I guess it’s a good thing this plant is near the California coast, then. And it appears to be well-protected, what with the ADT sign.

Berkeley Potted Succulents

Talbot ve.

Aeonium schwartzkopf and Graptoveria x. Plus, of course, a Crassula ovata in the background, but I generally won’t bother taking pictures of Jade since they’re everywhere and I just don’t care to photograph them anymore.

But the grouping of pots is very nice.

Berkeley Garden Sculpture

Kains Ave.

A nice mixed garden with Agave parryi, some aloe, cotyledon, euphorbia, opuntia and cereus. Oh, and did I mention the heads?

Mixed Cactus and Succulents Garden in Berkeley

Eveleyn Ave.

This is a classic xeric garden. No watering necessary. However, given the size of the Aeonium rosettes, since they’re winter growers, I’d say this garden has had a bit of water this summer.

I see a carnellated Echeveria in full bloom. Echinocactus grusonii, Dudleya, and more.

Berkeley Spurges

Cornell Ave.
Probably one of the Euphorbia characias varieties.

Spurges do well locally. There are some giant ones that we don’t like. Even some tree spurges around town. That’s just ridiculous. We like the low shrubby spurges that get 2 to 3 ft. like this one. Very nice. And deer-resistant too. Plus the butterflies love the blooms.

Aloes Along the Sidewalk

Stannage Ave.
Aloe spinosissima

These mounding aloes will be covered in orange bloom spikes in a few months. They seem to do pretty well right alongside a high traffice area, holding up well to 8 year-olds on bicycles falling into them.

Berkeley Cactus and Succulents

Stannage Ave.
Some lovely potted succulents on the stoop, including a well-growing (i.e. ready to be repotted) Euphorbia mammillaris.

Giant Pink Mound

Phyllis sends along her Oscularia deltoides in bloom. I think she’s in Berkeley, maybe Oakland.

It really dominates the garden, no? Lot’s of pretty things, and a giant mass of pink flowers in the center which won’t last long but is astounding nonetheless. I bet the butterflies and bees are going wild.


July 2020

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