Hello AGAIN! I hope all is well with everyone. This is part 2 of the cactus and succulent update. I did go to Wagler’s Greenhouse last week and I took them several small Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’, most of the smaller Amorphophallus, and a good sized Alocasia ‘Calidora’. Although there were a few plants I wouldn’t have minded to bring home, I resisted this time. One of their greenhouses had a lot of really nice HUGE hanging baskets, Begonias, and a few Coleus. I took her a few Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) a few years ago, and I saw a hanging basket in their greenhouse with a few of these in it. LOADED with flowers! I never thought they would make a good hanging basket plant and it was indeed unusual. You just never know what creative minds will come up with.
When I was getting ready to leave, she was talking about some of her plants in the flower beds and mentioned her Mexican Petunia. Well, I had brought Mexican Petunia with me from Mississippi that didn’t come back up in 2015. She asked me if I wanted some so I asked her if they were pink or blue (mine were pink). She said hers were blue so how could I refuse. She went inside and brought out a shovel. Well, she is Amish so she was bare-footed… She stuck the tip of the blade of the shovel in the ground and, with her bare foot, pushed it into the ground. The offsets were pretty deep but she managed to get 4-5. They don’t have many roots yet but maybe they will make it. It always amazed me how the Amish kids and women run around bare-footed. I have seen them running on gravel roads bare-footed. GEEZ!!!
She also gave me enough larger pots so I can now separate the Alocasia ‘Portora’.
The above photo is of the Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ cuttings I had taken. In part one of the cactus and succulent update, I had taken the cuttings and was waiting for them to scab over. I put them in individual pots on August 11 and gave them a good spraying of GardenSafe 3 in 1 to see if it will help with the scale. We shall see…
By the time the above photo was taken on August 26, the offsets have started rooting and the old plant is growing new leaves. Something tromped on the offset in the right rear pot and broke a few of its leaves off. Darn cats…
It has taken a long time to get this post ready because of other things to do or other distractions. In the evening when I normally work on the blog, I have been stuck watching episodes of Person of Interest on Netflix. It seems some programs leave you wondering what will happen next so you have to find out…
While many cactus and succulents just sit there, other plants are growing and changing constantly. Photos I took a few weeks ago are out of date so I have to take new ones. Then the post gets outdated and I have to update it before I can finish. 🙂 I started this post on August 16 and I have taken well over 100 photos since.
The Gasteria sp. (Ox Tongue, Cow Tongue, Lawyers Tongue) is happy living on the front porch. At least it seems to be happy because since it is still alive and firm in the pot. I still haven’t figured out the species name, though.
The Huernia schneideriana (Dragon Flower, Carrion Plant) is just as wild-looking as ever. I think I need to put it in a new pot because it seems to be getting a little crowded. It has several flowers but you have to look for them. There are several genera of Carrion Plant that look so much alike. I wondered why they aren’t in the same genus… Of all of them, I think the Huernia schneideriana has the smallest flowers. Sometimes one of the stems jump out of the pot and I have to stick it back in. Maybe it is trying to tell me it needs a bigger pot, huh?
Words cannot express how I feel about the Kalanchoe x laetivirens (Mother of Thousands). If you have one or have had one, you know exactly how I feel. You only have one once, and after that you have MANY. I will admit they are nice plants and easy to grow. In fact, a nice looking Kalanchoe x laetivirens can be a very dramatic plant. But, like a lot of other succulents, once they start getting taller and lose their bigger lower leaves they don’t look so good. Just cut it off several inches below where it looks good, remove a few of the leaves that don’t look good, let the stem scab over for about a week then stick it in potting soil. Your plant will look good once again. If you go to this plants page, you will see a lot of photos of a terrible looking plant… I take photos and post about the plants whether they look good or not because we all have similar experiences. Sometimes they look good and sometimes they don’t. Usually, as in this case, they don’t look good because of our neglect. But when we take care of our plants, they respond.
Unfortunately, this Kalanchoe responds a little too well, leaving us with a lot of grandchildren… I think the weirdest thing about this Kalanchoe is that botanists or scientists have decided the leaves of this plant aren’t leaves at all… Ummm… Which is why they grow plantlets along the edge of their leaves, I mean…
What appears to be leaves on several species of Kalanchoe are actually phylloclades which are flattened branches modified for photosynthesis. Ummm… Flattened stems are called cladodes. Interesting that phylloclades still have a petiole that attaches to the stem. I wonder if a plant with a cladode that produces a phylloclade is attached to a petiole?
When my sister and her husband and I were out plant shopping, she came back home with one of these plants. I asked her why she bought one of those because I had plenty. I guess I should have paid more attention. Not only did I miss the chance to adopt one out, she will have a lot of them, too.
A few months ago when I updated this plants page, Plants of the World Online said the name had changed “back” to Bryophyllum x laetivirens. It was named Kalanchoe x laetivirens in 1997 then the name changed to Bryophyllum x laetivirens in 2008. Somewhere along the line, the name changed back because it was a Kalanchoe when I started blogging (according to The Plant List and every other plant database). Well, actually, for a long time, both names were used. Then, POWO said it changed again. Now, when I checked, the name is back to Kalanchoe x laetivirens AGAIN! So, I had to change the name and all the captions AGAIN! That makes the third time! 🙂
Maybe the reason they made a completely different genus in the first place was for the species that have phylloclades instead of leaves and produce the offsets in a weird place. (?)
The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant, ETC.) is doing very good now. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group and it arrived on April 13. It was AWESOME and in very, very good condition and its leaves were very thick and rubbery. This was the first time I had bought any plants from anyone from the Facebook group. Normally I just drool… I also bought a Sedum spathufolium ‘Cape Blanco’ from the same lady. Both plants arrived bare root, well wrapped, and in great condition. Within a month, only the top four leaves remained. But, interestingly, it produced an offset. The main plant now has 3 sets of leaves (12 leaves in all) and is doing remarkably well. I will possibly need to cut the stem off a few inches below the leaves so it will re-root and look much better. Maybe I will wait until next spring and also remove the offset. As long as it is happy, maybe I should leave it alone for now.
The Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) is continuing to do well and is currently 9 1/2″ tall and has 13 leaves. I really like this plant! I like the velvety leaves and the way they change color.
Ummm… The Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus, etc.)… Every time I look at her she seems to be giving me the birdie. We did get off to a bad start in March when I brought her but we have moved past that. I accidentally knocked her pot off the table and onto the floor. Most of the offsets fell off so I just kind of put them back around her in the overly stuffed pot although it was a tight fit. I told her I would give her a bigger pot later. She seemed patient, though, and never complained. I gave her and her family a larger pot on May 25 and all is well.
Now, she is having more kids all the way around her! Since I took the first photo on July 29, she has decided to start leaning over. So, I took the above photo on August 18. Well, that’s what this species does. You can put them in hanging baskets and allow them to trail over the sides but that may take some time…
The LLIFLE (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) website says, “Mammillaria elongata is a succulent ground cover, forming with time tight clumps of erect, ascending, prostrate or recumbent stems. This may be the most common Mammillaria to be found and occurs in more variations than any other Mammillaria species. It commonly comes in many color and spine variations.” Information also says they need the highest light level possible (without burning) to encourage heavy spine formation… Well, it is definitely getting plenty of sun on the back porch. 🙂
The Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) is still blooming and doing well. It enjoys being on the back porch is says it is glad there are no more leaves from the elm tree getting stuck on its spines. I am glad of that, too. I am also glad its flowers aren’t pink… 🙂 Information online says this species tolerates lower light levels than most species but it has certainly done well in full sun. It is not a complainer, either… It definitely has my five gold star rating. 🙂 Well, I suppose all my cactus have a five gold star rating.
The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus, Old Lady Pincushion) is just as fuzzy as ever. It looks like she has been rolling around in cotton. She will start to flower in a few months and of course, its flowers are pink…
The Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus) is also still flowering. This cactus is either budding or flowering most of the time it seems. It has grown quite a bit since I brought it home in April of 2017 and it also likes to lean. I straightened it up before then it wound up leaning again. I like things straight and level so this cactus and I have had a few words. Now, it is pointing at Mammillaria elongata and smiling… 🙂
Plants of the World Online by Kew and Tropicos is standing firm that Mammillaria pringlei is the correct and accepted name for this cactus. There are other databases that have changed the name to Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei. Maybe they aren’t updated. Maybe they didn’t get the memo. 🙂
There are many similarities between the species, but if that were any reason to change the name… Well, out of 162 current accepted species of Mammillaria listed on Plants of the World Online, how many look nearly identical? Version 1.1 (in 2013) of The Plant List named 185 accepted species of Mammillaria plus another 93 infraspecific names, a total of 519 synonyms, and another 448 names that were still unresolved… Most species of cacti are quite variable and that’s one reason getting their true names sorted out is very difficult. Until POWO and Tropicos say different, I am sticking with Mammillaria pringlei.
The Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) is always ablaze. It is doing very well on the back porch and I noticed it has a few buds forming. It wasn’t much of a bloomer last year but maybe it will have more this time. It takes a very long time from the time the buds appear until the flowers open…
In an updated photo taken on August 26, you can see a couple of the buds on the Mammillaria rhodantha are getting larger…
I bought this Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap (Thimble Cactus) from Lowe’s on July 8 when I went to Lowe’s to buy potting soil. The label said it was a Mammillaria gracilis fragilis monstrose. Hmmm… Mammillaria gracilis is a synonym of Mammillaria vetula now. Before when I had one of these, the name was Mammillaria gracilis subsp. fragilis (or var. fragilis). Anyway, when I was at Lowe’s they had one like I had before and this one. This one was different with a multitude of very small white spines where the other had fewer and longer spines. When I checked on the LLIFLE website, it gave a description (with photos) of Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’. Looks like a match to me! 🙂 The individual plants are also a little larger than the one I had before. I had a long debate about whether to buy both of the plants and now I wish I had. 😦 Llilfle also says they do their best and look their best in full sun but are rarely grown that way in cultivation. Since it is now on the back porch maybe it will become more white. We shall see…
You can read about my previous Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis by clicking on the name…
The Oscularia deltoides (Deltoid Leaved Dew Plant) has done very well, but lately, its leaves seem to have shrunk somewhat. Maybe it is in a dormacy period… Anyway, I decided to move it to the front porch for a while because information online does say they need light to part shade during the heat of the summer.
The pair of Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) are still all aglow with their golden hair. I have named them “Greater” and “Lesser” because one is a little taller than the other. They sometimes try to confuse me and tell me one had a growth spurt and one shrunk… So, when I call them by name they point to each other. Then their neighbors all start laughing so I know what is going on. Parodia lenninghausii can be pranksters because they were brought up not really knowing the correct spelling of their name or even which HAAGE actually named them. They seem to like making others laugh, even with their strange hairdo. Not only that, they will eventually have yellow flowers but tell me I have to wait for several years… I remind them at their rate of growth they will still be short. I asked them how old they were already, and they told me it was a secret. GEEZ!!! Then, of course, the other cactus kid them about me accidentally buying two of them. Well, this isn’t the only pair I accidentally bought two of…
The Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) has been very happy since I put him in a new pot. I decided to name him Adolf… And Adolph is really glowing…
The Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’™ is doing very well in its larger pot on the front porch. I have heard of this plant for several years and found this one at Lowe’s on July 10 this year. Its leaves are a nice greenish-gold color like the species with much more prominent bronze-orange edges (depends a lot on the light, too) than the species. Its leaves appear a little more slender and more pointed that the species as well. The color comes out much better in both the species and ‘Firestorm’ in brighter light. There is very little online about this plant specifically except for online merchants, and even on their sites, there is very little about it. Usually, when Dave’s Garden has a listing about a plant there is some growing information, but not with this one. Nothing was filled in but there are a couple of photos. So, I added my photos and filled in the information. The information I added is visible, but it will take a while for the photos to show up.
Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ is a 2014 introduction from the Huntington Botanic Garden. To see their introductions, click on Gardens, then click on Botanical Resources, then click on International Succulent Introductions. I spent a few hours clicking on each year from 2018 down to 2002. NICE! 🙂
The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegata’ is doing amazing this year. To think it was down to a few tiny stems and now it looks like this. It’s a good thing I moved it to the cast iron planter, huh? I had intended to take the stem whos leaves were more yellow and see if I could get its own clump growing but… I only seem to remember when I am taking photos. 🙂 I think it is to late to do it now because cooler temps and decreasing day length could be a problem. I will just have to wait until next spring to see if it returns like this. I am also glad it flowered this year for the first time since 2012 when we were in Mississippi. There are a lot of photos on this plants page.
Although the Sedum kamtschaticum (Orange or Russian Stonecrop) has done well this summer, it has also been weird. Normally it is growing more upright, but this year it has sprawled leaving a hole in the center. The taller growing Sedum species, like ‘Autumn Joy’, that produce LARGE clusters of flowers do this but this is the first summer this plant has done this. It is growing on the second level in the raised bed behind the old foundation in “the other yard”. Usually, there is A LOT of Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s’ Amazon’ growing around it and Marigold ‘Brocade’ in the first level but this year I didn’t let that happen. So, this plant has been in full sun without the shade of the other plants and it has had room to spread out somewhat.
Sedum kamtschaticum is one of the species continually in debate the past several years. Since the Sedum genus is a very large and diverse group of plants, many believe it should be divided into many other genera according to plant type (etc.). This species was named Phedimus kamtschaticus, and although many databases used that name for a while, most have gone back to Sedum. In a recent reply from Raphael Goverts (Senior Content Editor at Kew) concerning the Sedum genus, he said: “As to Sedum, POWO (Plants of the World Online) still takes a wide view of the genus because there is not yet an agreed system to deal with it. Most of the research has been done in Europe on European species for which a number of genera have been made but it is unclear how they relate to the Asian and American species. So until this is settled we will retain a large Sedum.”
Missouri Botanical Garden (and Tropicos) is still going with the genus Phedimus. The USDA Plants Database has changed the plant names that were moved other genera back to Sedum. It will be very interesting to see how this all pans out in the future…
The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ is still doing awesomely well stuck in its little corner. It wants to spread out more so it can strut its stuff and is trying desperately to move into other territories. Friedrich August Marschall von Bieberstein named and described this species in Flora Taurico-Caucasica in 1808 but it is also one of the species in the debate. Henk ’t Hart described it as Phedimus spurius in Evolution and Systematics of the Crassulaceae in 1995.
This Sedum spurium ‘?’ has done very well this summer and FINALLY had a few flowers. I brought the start home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2015 and there was no label. I decided it was a Sedum spurium but the cultivar name is still up for debate. I believe it is probably a Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’. I waited for 3 years before it flowered and hoped they would help me give it a positive ID. At some point, I am going to have to decide because it really doesn’t like being called “unknown” or “?”. I probably have more photos of this clump than any other plant here. As far as I can tell, there are no other Sedum spurium cultivars that have this coloration on the leaves and stems over a 12 month period. The stems are a reddish color, the leaves are maroon over the winter, then during the summer, the green leaves have a reddish margin. The flowers, of course, are bright reddish-pink. That all says Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’.
The Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ is doing awesomely well. I need a new photo already because the stems and offsets are now touching the side of the pot. The Sempervivum ‘Oddity’ I had before did not grow such long stems. Information says the leaves are folded lengthwise, upsidedown and backward… When the leaves get a little larger on the main plant I will be able to take some good close-ups showing the seam along the leaf.
The clump of Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ is one of the succulents that has been continually changing this summer. This is the first year it has flowered which has brought both joy and sadness. Joy because this is the first Sempervivum I have grown that has flowered. It brings a little sadness because, after the larger rosettes flower, they will die… Of course, there are plenty of offsets. A few of the larger rosettes died last summer but it wasn’t because they flowered. At first, I thought maybe they flowered and I just hadn’t noticed, but now I know that wasn’t the case. As long as these have lasted I definitely would have noticed. It has been flowering since the end of July… It is like the cycle of life unfolding right before my eyes.
The above photo of the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ flowers was taken on August 11. Pretty neat, huh?
The Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe) has been spending its summer soaking in the sun on the back porch. Every time I ask him how he is doing he just smiles and says, “Life is good…”
What would life be like without the Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus)? Well, I am sure life would be fine without it, but not as interesting. Sharing our life with interesting plants is a great reward and this cactus is definitely interesting… It has done very well since I put it in a larger pot on May 25 and it also likes it on the front porch. This is one cactus you have to be able to communicate with. While it likes bright light, It seems to prefer a little shade and burns pretty easily in too much sun. It will definitely let you know when it is too much. If they aren’t in enough light their segments will be smaller.
My very good friend and fellow plant collector, Walley Morse, from Mississippi sent me a couple of very interesting succulents. I was hoping he still had the Lenophyllum acutifolium that was in the pot with the Lemon Eucalyptus I left with him when I moved from Mississippi. Well, you know, time has passed and maybe he didn’t even take it. I don’t remember… Anyway, he also sent me several stem cuttings of his Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida) which I was very glad to receive.
I was very glad he sent me the two succulents as well but so far haven’t been able to properly identify them yet. They are going good in pots on the front porch. I should have cut their main stems off closer to the lower set of leaves, but since they already had roots attached, I thought I better just get them in some soil right away. #1 had buds but they seem to have disappeared…
Several leaves had fallen off #2 during shipping which didn’t take root. The top of the stem had also broken off, so I put them both in their own pots. I am not sure, but this could possibly be a species of Echeveria (or a similar genus)… One of 184 species and HUNDREDS of cultivars… I posted photos of both these succulents on a Facebook to see if a member could identify. Usually, that works pretty well, but not this time. I guess I will have to post their photos on a few more… There are several other places I can also post their photos. I am almost 100% sure they are both members of the Crassulaceae family (especially #2).
This is the most recent photo of the cactus on the back porch. I had switched places with the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis and the Oscularia deltoides.
I checked, and triple checked, to make sure I didn’t leave any of the Cactus and succulents out. I took several new photos and updated this post several times in the, umm, two weeks it took me to publish it. So, I thought I better get finished before I decide to take more photos.
Now that the cactus and succulent update is finished… I have more posts to add. But first, I need to catch up on YOUR posts to see what YOU have been up to! 🙂
Until next time, stay well, positive, amazing, safe, and…
You have an amazing collection of these amazing plants Mr R.. and I so enjoyed reading more about them.. Glad you are well.. Wishing you a peaceful weekend
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Hello, Sue! The only thing wrong with my collection is that I need more. I am glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you are well and enjoy your weekend as well. Thanks for the comment!
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Its impressive.. and you too Mr R..
Very nice specimens. I’ve always liked Kalanchoe. It has mastered the ability to reproduce in large numbers.
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Hello there, Jim! Kalanchoe are great plants for sure. The Kalanchoe daigremontiana is the only species of Kalanchoe I have grown that reproduce like that. There is another one I want to try but so far I haven’t. Luckily the other species of Kalanchoe I have only produce by offsets or cuttings. We have been getting some nice rain the past few days. How’s the weather in Iowa? Thanks for the comment!
More rain than normal for August. Plus, a nasty storm blew through. Limbs down and power outages in places. Not here, tho. More rain on the way for the next few days. I have to mow every 5-7 days. Makes me tired.
It has been dry here until Wednesday. I hadn’t mowed the yard for several weeks except for a few spots. I did mow this week because of a few sprinkles last week. It seems even though it barely sprinkles for 15 minutes certain types of grass will grow and then the yard looks weird. 🙂 Part of my yard is so bumpy because of the moles I feel like I have been riding in a rodeo when I am finished. I don’t mind mowing, it is all the bumps I don’t like… On, well. Life goes on and life is good… 🙂
Hi Rooster – a lovely post to read slowly in between gardening shifts and take in – Thankyou for all the hard work – I especially like the rainbow pincushion. Your sempervivum flowers look just like mine did – I didn’t know till you said that they automatically die after flowering so it was a shock to me!! I’m over it now tho 🙂Yesterday I saw a small table full of succulent babies in the lane where I had been at work. I pulled over and there were about 10 & every one was different, I wanted them all (I thought you would have scooped up the lot at a £1 each) but I chose 1 special one. Struggling to describe it tbh .. um it’s like a series of parrot beaks coming off a central stalk facing outward but alternately from each side – need to try and work out what it is – a mystery!
Hello Pixydeb! The Rainbow Pincushion has been very interesting with the red spines. I take a lot of photos but they don’t really show the neatness of some of the plants. I don’t know how you chose just one plant out of 10 different plants. 🙂 Email me a photo I would like to see it. Thanks for the comment as always!