A Snowy Sunday Leading To A Rambling Post…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This morning I had the alarm set for 9 AM so I could eventually get up and get to church by 10:40. I am not an early riser and it usually seems I have to have a good reason to get up by 10. On occasion, I have to get up much earlier which I don’t mind. I can easily get up at 6 or 7 AM if I need to.

So, this morning the alarm goes off at 9 and I let it beep for a few minutes before turning it off. Well, I went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until a little after 10.

I sprang into action after naming three things to be thankful for. Normally I mainly say thank you for good night sleep and for the day ahead. I then went in to get a cup of coffee and to feed the cats on the back porch. Even though the forecast said there was a chance of snow, I was surprised to see what was waiting outside. There wasn’t much, but it was still there.

I looked out the side door and saw the vehicle’s windows covered with snow. At that point, I may have easily closed the door and decided not to go to church. Except there was a problem… The minister’s grandson from Nebraska was here to be baptized. SO, I decided maybe I should go.

I had cleaned out the baptismal tank on Friday and a few of us guys met at the church on Saturday to start filling it. For a long time, one of the men from church had been doing it but he decided to show me how to do it a couple of years ago. This year he decided a few others needed to learn the tricks as well. It’s a process of turning a few valves on or off depending where they lead to. Then, once the water gets so high, it is recirculated from baptismal through the hot water heater. It’s not complicated and there are written instructions. You can see the pipes hanging from the ceiling in a hallway by the hot water heater and explain where every pipe goes and comes from. Like the wiring in the church, it makes one wonder how it ever works. But, it does work…

Oh, yeah. Lynn turned down the temperature on the water heater because the last time it became too hot in the baptismal. LOL! Luckily he was at church early enough that time to turn it down so the temp was a bit cooler for the baptism. That would have been a shock to step into hot water. Stepping into freezing cold water would also have been a shock.

SO, I went to church and made it on time. Our minister is a retired mortician and I will never forget his first baptism. A week or so after the baptism he presented the certificate of baptism to the girl that was baptized. He said, “I am pleased to present you with your certificate of death.” He was so embarrassed and everyone got a good laugh.

We have fond memories that we carry with us that we like to share with others along the way. Sometimes we have to share not so fond memories to let others know that they are not alone in a particular situation. Then sometimes we find out sharing the situation wasn’t a good idea because they tell others or our experience instead of theirs. We are human and we all do through a lot of different circumstances as we grow up. It is part of our learning process. But it isn’t just our learning process. The divine realm(s) also learn from our experiences…

I deleted MANY paragraphs… I started rambling about my opinion about religion. GEEZ! And to think I am now an elder.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon as I was cleaning the church, one of the minister’s son’s brought a pan of food and put it in the refrigerator. As I left, I saw the minister heading toward the church in his van with some of his family. Later I went back to the church to check the water in the baptismal and there was A LOT of food in the refrigerator. Then after the service, he told me that they were having lunch and invited me to stay. He said there were BBQ ribs. We also had a board meeting…

Well, who can resist BBQ ribs? There was also a pan of coleslaw and potatoes of some kind that was all delicious. Some of the ribs were from Bandanas! One of the furnaces wasn’t working so the fellowship hall was very cold. Then, they had ice cream and homemade cookies. By the time I left, I was stuffed and freezing!

When I left, it was snowing AGAIN. It looked like little styrofoam balls flying around in the air. When I arrived home I noticed a lot of birds looking for food under the feeders. The Juncos and migrating sparrows had finally arrived this past week. I went inside to warm up a bit then went outside to fill the feeders and sprinkle a little on the ground. I checked on the chickens and filled their feeders and made sure they had plenty of water. Even if it is very cold, the water in the chicken house doesn’t freeze unless it gets down to 20° F for several hours. Eventually, I took a little nap.

In all, it was a good day despite the snow and cold temperatures. It is going to be cold all week…

I forgot to post Six on Saturday yesterday because I was busy. Today I thought about taking a snow photo for Silent Sunday but then it became too dark to take a photo. So, I decided to just write a post without photos.

I had been doing good about reading your posts every day in the Reader then got busy updating pages on the blog. So, I became somewhat tardy in reading your posts.

Then one day I received a message on the Goeppertia ornata page. A man from Florida asked me how to pronounce Goeppertia. Normally, I include the pronunciation of the genus and species if it is available on Dave’s Garden. In this case, Geoppertia ornata had no pronunciation. The reason is that Geoppertia ornata became a synonym of Calathea ornata in 1858. At some point, maybe then, the entire Geoppertia genus became invalid. Well, truthfully the same guy published the description in 1858 and 1860 and iPNI has both. PREVIOUSLY, the 1860 date was accepted now the 1858 description is accepted. Hmmm… The reason I know is because my first notes say 1860 with the publication but my page says 1858 with the publication title. I thought I screwed up so I wasted 30 minutes or so to figure that out. Anyway, the latest version of The Plant List (2013) says Calathea ornata was the accepted name but when the NEW Plants of the World Online came out in 2018, the name had changed back to Geoppertia ornata. Apparently in 2012, after 154 years of not being a genus, a lady decided it needed to be resurrected. So, 254 species were moved back into the Goeppertia genus making it the largest in the family. I found that out from Phytotaxa via ResearchGate. So, the guy and I exchanged a few emails. (I first confused him by guessing the pronunciation for Geoppertia instead of Goeppertia). Then I find out this guy’s family owns a large wholesale nursery in Florida and one of their specialties is Calathea species and cultivars (A LOT). So, apparently, he is trying to figure out how to pronounce Goeppertia… Well, I certainly applaud him for that. It would be bad to change the names of plants and not being able to pronunce them. My only guess is that it is pronounced go-PER-tia but that really doesn’t sound right either… There are two P’s”. Maybe gop-PER-tia… I have studdied Latin in reference to plant names but it still is somewhat confusing. So, if you have any ideas, I would love to hear it. I hate to tell someone “I don’t know”. I wound up sending an email to Rafael Goverts from Kew to quiz him about the pronunciation. Then I noticed he didn’t approve the name change. Well, I am sure he will get a good laugh and I will be thankful for brightening up his day. It has been a while since I sent him an email asking how the Celosia argentea ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ was doing. I sent him seeds at his request and his reply then was that they were starting to flower. Of course, I am trying to get his approval to use Celosia argentea var. spicata name instead of merely Celosia argentea on Plants of the World Online. Doubt that will happen though. 🙂 Well, Celosia argentea is supposed to be, in part, native to Africa and ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ were discovered in Peru… Now I have to recheck where Celosia argentea were/are native. Celosia spicata became a synonym of Deeringia spicata which is a shrub in Australia. I don’t get the connection or even how an herbaceous plant was confused with a shrub in the first place.

I seemed to have gotten off subject while writing the above paragraph but decided not to delete it. I already deleted a half hour on pharagraphs earlier. What was the subject anyway? Oh yeah, my apology for not reading your posts this past week. Well, there was an attempt a couple of nights.

So, I guess I better stop writing this post and get to work. Either reading your posts or working on updates. Otherwise, by the time I am finished, it will be Monday already.

So, have a great week ahead! Be safe, well, and stay positive! Keep warm or cool depending on where you may be!

 

 

 

Six on Saturday

Hello everyone! I hope this Six on Saturday post finds you all doing very well. It has been a pretty good week with temps continuing to dance around. Today is sunny and it is supposed to get to 48° F. The forecast says 55° on Sunday, 48° on Monday, then 37 on Tuesday and Wednesday with a LOW of 19° by morning. Then back up to 48° on Thursday with a low of 30. ‘Tis the season…

#1 for this Six on Saturday is the cedar carving of a bear given to me on Thursday by friends who were going to throw it out. I could not let him be thrown in the dump sight to be burned so I brought him home. Someone else might have spotted it…

—-

Dryobates pubescens (Downey Woodpecker)

#2-I took a shot of this Downey Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) on the hanging feeder. It was pretty happy by itself on the feeder. It seems the migratory birds are slow to come this winter. I did see a few Juncos a few days ago and also a couple of Nuthatches. Even though I haven’t seen many birds, somehow the feeder was empty in a week. Maybe the wind blew the seed out…

 

Dryobates pubescens (Downey Woodpecker)

No doubt the Downey is hiding seed in the fork of the tree.

—-

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’

#3-The Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks (Creeping Jenny) is hanging in there in the north bed. When it gets really cold it will completely disappear.

—-

Achillea millefolium

#4-The Achillea millefolium is pretty tough in the heat of the summer right up until it gets severely cold. They are still growing new leaves!

—-

Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)

#5-The Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo) still has a few green leaves. I learned something this week from a post shared by Eliza Waters. The post says the berries are poison to birds! I never knew that so I suppose I better remove them.

Click HERE to read the post shared by Eliza about the berries. The post is actually from Cindy Dyer’s Blog.

The red berries of Nandina domestica contain cyanide and other alkaloids that produce hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which can be poisonous to all animals.

Tom Oder writing for Mother Nature Network has this to say: “Nandina berries actually have a low toxicity, but they can be lethal to cedar waxwings specifically because their feeding habits differ dramatically from that of other birds, said Rhiannon Crain, project leader for the Habitat Network with The Nature Conservancy and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Other birds don’t eat as much or as rapidly as cedar waxwings,” said Crain. “Cedar waxwings completely stuff every possible part of their body with berries. They will fill their stomach and their crop with berries right up into their mouth until they can’t fit another berry inside of them.”

—-

#6Hmmm… It seems like with nine cats there is always one following me around when I am in the yard. This one is the kitten that was given to me by a friend (Kevin). It showed up at his house and somehow he talked me into bringing it home. That was several months ago when she was very small…

 

She is a very odd-looking cat with long black hair with silvery streaks. The hair on her legs is shorter giving her an even stranger look (reminding me of a fox). She is very smart, almost human, which can sometimes be annoying. My son called her Little Bit but I have had a few other names for her. She is now an outside cat but teaching her not to dart in every time the door opened wasn’t easy. She is so fast!

Well, that is it for this post. If you wish to participate in Six on Saturday posts, be sure to read the Six On Saturday-a participants guide from The Propagator.

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful! Get dirty if you can. I know I will one way or another… 🙂

 

Cactus & Succulent Update #5

Group photo for Cactus & Succulent Update #5 on 11-24-19.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. This is the fifth and final cactus and succulent update which I started on November 23rd. The temperature got up into the mid 50’s on the 24th so I decided it would be OK to take the plants in this post outside for a photoshoot (Grammarly continues to argue with itself whether it is photo shoot or photoshoot). I didn’t list the plants in the caption because they are kind of mixed up and there a few that there are several of.

 

Plant shelf in the back bedroom in a south-facing window on 11-24-19.

I repotted several and whacked the Kalanchoe daigremontiana stem in half s you can see in this photo (bottom left). Although the Kalanchoe orgyalis is also very tall I just put in a larger pot. It was on the bottom shelf and was almost touching the one above it so it is now on the floor between the shelf and window. On the second shelf, on the right, you can see the Huernia schneideriana has some pretty long stems. The room stays fairly cool and the plants get plenty of light from this south-facing window. Hmmm… It seems I forgot to put the other four smaller Kalanchoe daigremontiana back on the top shelf…

Most of the photos on this post were taken on October 11 when I moved the plants inside for the winter (the first time), but I had to take a few more for this post.

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) after being whacked in half and repotted on 11-24-19.

Well, I didn’t take photos of the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) on October 11. I suppose that’s because they dive me nuts and didn’t need the added attention. I was going to take a photo of all of them together for this post but then decided against that as well. This evening I decided to whack the stem in half and stick most of it back in the pot. It was at least 20″ tall now it is 11″ again. I always remove the plantlets from the leaves when I move the plants inside. Actually, they aren’t leaves but only look like leaves…  To say I have five of these plants would be an understatement because several are growing in other pots as usual.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe daigremontiana page.

—-

Kalanchoe luciae on 10-11-19.

The Kalanchoe luciae (Paddle Plant) are really neat plants. You may have heard it called by other names because it has many including Flipping Flapjacks, Red Pancakes, Paddle Kalanchoe, Northern White Lady, Pancake Kalanchoe, White Lady, Flapjacks, Paddle Leaf, Desert Cabbage, Paddle Plant, Dog Tongue Plant, and Flap Jack. They don’t seem to grow that tall and like to lean a bit then they grow roots under the lower stems when they are ready to repot. I guess in the wild when they get a certain height and lean far enough they take root in the soil. The leaning stem on the plant to the left is the original plant and it is three years old. The roots on the stem are under the leaves right in the curve. All the other plants were offsets from it. 

 

Kalanchoe luciae from the back porch on 10-13-19.

I took this Kalanchoe luciae to the back porch for a shot on the 13th because it hadn’t been incuded in the above group photo. It had been growing on the back porch in full sun with the cactus during the summer to see how it would do. I knew the leaves would turn this color because the original plant was in brighter light in 2016. Pretty neat huh? I repotted all the smaller pots of Kalanchoe luciae this evening except the older one which had been done earlier. Another thing I like about these plants is their chalky white stems…

 

All the Kalanchoe luciae on 11-24-19.

I took a group photo of all the Kalanchoe luciae while the plants were outside for their photoshoot.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe luciae page.

—-

Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) on 10-11-19, #639-49.

Hmmm… The Kalanchoe marmorata (Penwiper Plant) and I have made an agreement. As long as it doesn’t die I will keep doing the best I can. I bought this plant from a member of a Facebook group in April 2018 and it went into shock and darn near died. It lost all but two of its upper leaves but started doing much better and growing more leaves within a couple of weeks. Then, the next thing I knew, it sent up an offset. I cut the top off the old plant after a while and then stuck it in the same pot because it looked so weird and the stem was growing roots under the surviving leaves. I put the offset in a different pot… Then, the stem I stuck in the pot started growing roots on its stem and the old stem started growing leaves under the cut… After the above photo was taken, I removed the stem cutting and put it in another pot. Then, when I took the plants outside for a photoshoot for the group photo, I noticed the original stem had died…

 

Kalanchoe marmorata on 11-24-19.

I decided to take a new photo of what they look like now. The plant in the smaller pot was almost completely out of the potting soil… So, we have had our ups and downs but I hope they survive the winter.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe marmorata page.

—-

Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) at 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-50.

The always AWESOME Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons) has done very well and was 18 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide when I brought it inside on October 11. It has grown a little since this photo was taken. I decided it needed a larger pot so I did that before putting it back in the bedroom. It had grown a little since I brought it inside and the larger pot added a little more height as well. It wouldn’t fit on the lower shelf anymore and I didn’t want to raise the second shelf again, so I put it on the floor between the shelf and window. The bottom of the window is only 10″ from the floor so I think it will be fine.

Kalanchoe does not seem to have an extensive root system, so most of the time you can just replace the soil and leave them in the same pot. If they are very tall, you have to consider pot size to keep them from falling over.

Click HERE to view the Kalanchoe orgyalis page.

—-

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) on 10-11-19.

Hmmm… OK, I am not going to vent about the scientific name for the Ledebouria socialis on this post. I need to rewrite their pages or maybe completely redo it and put them both on the same page. Whether you choose to call this one Ledebouria socialis, Ledebouria socialis ‘Paucifolia’, or Ledebouria socialis var. paucifolia is fine by me. 🙂 They were previously in the genus Scilla… Until 1970. Common names include Silver Squill, Violet Squill, Leopard Lily, South African Scillia, Bluebell, and Wood Hyacinth.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) leaves on 10-11-19, #639-52.

The leaves of this one are silvery green with darker green spots. But seriously, why am I calling this var. paucifolia?

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. paucifolia) bulbs on 10-11-19, #639-53.

They grow from bulbs and this one doesn’t spread as much as the other.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) on 10-11-19, #639-54.

The other one, which you can call Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’, Ledebouria socialis, or Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (as I call it)… Hmmm. I’m doing well not putting in my two cents but it is very difficult. In the spring I removed a bulb for the guy in Alabama that was supposed to do some plant swapping with me. The exchanges never happened and now that one bulb has turned into 6… It has produced most of them since I moved the plants inside for the winter. They have gone NUTS and they should be thinking about dormancy.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) leaves.

This “variety” or “variation” of Ledebouria socialis has the same silvery-green leaves with larger darker green spots. The undersides of the leaves are kind of a maroon color. It was formerly known as Scillia violacea, Ledebouria violacea, and the Pacific Bulb Society calls them Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’. I call them Ledebouria socialis var. violacea because they are NOT a cultivar… OOPS! The Pacific Bulb Company lists several, umm, varieties of Ledebouria socialis which used to be species.

 

Ledebouria socialis (var. violacea) bulbs. That is not mealybugs in the photo. I checked and it’s perlite. 🙂

This one has definitely spread a lot more and makes a nice full pot. Both flowered this past summer.

In all, if you haven’t tried Ledebouria socialis I recommend you do. They are cold hardy in USDA zones 10a-11 (30-40° F) but make great potted specimens where not hardy. You water them normally during the summer, but should not water them during the winter. I am trying to decide when to stop… Mine arrived from a seller on Facebook on October 13 (last year) and I don’t think I watered them until spring. If you continue to water them they will produce longer and narrower leaves during the winter and may not flower the following year. I think the trick is to get them not to grow over the winter so they will do it in the spring. They should also be in a cooler room. So, I suppose I need to stop watering them and put them in the cool bedroom since they are beginning to grow long and narrow leaves… If you give Ledebouria socialis a try, make sure you plant them with 2/3 of their bulbs exposed.

—-

Parodia lenninghausii at 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide (left) and 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide (left) on 10-11-19, #639-77.

The two Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) are looking and doing great as always. The smaller one in the green pot is now 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/8″ wide. It has grown a lot from 1 7/8″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide since I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. The taller one in the red pot is now 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide. It has always been about 1″ taller than the other.

 

Parodia lenninghausii from the top on 10-11-19, #639-78.

They still have the neatest hairdo.

 

Parodia lenninghausii with its baby on 10-11-19, #639-79.

I was happy to see the smaller plant had a baby when I took the above photo on October 11. I noticed today it has another one right next to it.

—-

Parodia magnifica at 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide on 10-11-19.

The Parodia magnifica (Ball Cactus, Baloon Cactus) is a nice little cactus that is doing well. It is now 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide. It has grown 1 1/4″ taller and 1/4″ wider since I brought it home from Lowe’s in March. That is 1 1/4″ in only seven months!

 

Parodia magnifica in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-21.

It was strange posting the photo from October 11 when I had already posted it in its new pot. In case you missed it, I am sharing it again. With more room, I wonder how much it will grow after another year.

—-

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) on 10-11-19, #639-85.

The Sedum adolphii has done very well since I repotted it in August 2018. Its common names include Golden Sedum, Coppertone Stonecrop, Stonecrop, Coppertone Sedum, and Nussbaumer’s Sedum. It is synonymous with Sedum nussbaumerianum so if you have one by that name is it correctly Sedum adolphii. The industry sells them by both names and one time, in 2012, I bought one of each not realizing at the time they were the same. After I gave up most of my plants in 2014, I found this Sedum adolphii in 2016. They are pretty easy to grow in pots and have to be brought inside for the winter where they continue to do well. Many Sedum species do well in pots but dislike being inside. I have grown MANY species over the years that have done well and others that didn’t survive…

 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ on 10-11-19.

The Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ is one of several cultivars of the species. It has done well despite not really wanting to be on the front porch. If I had it on the back porch in full sun its true colors would have come out better. Right now, being in a south-facing window inside, its leaf tips are taking on more of an orange color. So, next summer, I will put both pots on the back porch to see how they do.

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19, #639-86.

OK, I know the Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) looks a bit crowded. It looks crowded because it is crowded. I received six cuttings from a seller on Ebay last October and made the mistake of putting them all in the same 5 1/2″ diameter pot. Well, I had never grown a Stapeliabefore so I had no idea what would happen. I thought about taking a few to Mrs. Wagler (Wagler’s Greenhouse) but decided I would wait until I saw how they did. Remember, the post from November 22 I mentioned I took her cuttings. 🙂

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-11-19., #639-88.

I think there are more than six in the pot now. I removed the two branches hanging over the sides and made four cuttings from one and gave them to Mrs. Wagler. I wouldn’t have necessarily cut the branches off but I thought they might break off. When I was taking the cutting I learned there would have been no chance of that happening. They are VERY tough! It is strange how offsets in the center of the pot have no branches while the ones closer to the edge do. It is like they think if they branch out one may reach the ground…

 

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) buds on 10-11-19, #639-87.

Of course, the obvious reason I bought the Stapelia gigantea was for it’s AWESOME 10″ flowers. So, I was very excited when I saw buds! I wish I was posting photos of its flowers instead of just buds. BUT, unfortunately, after I moved the plants inside, the buds fell off. They started growing new ones but one day I noticed a few mealybugs on the buds and on the top of a few stems. Do you know how long it has been since I had bugs? Well, I mean on the plants inside the house. Of course, I have bugs outside during the summer. 🙂

Stapelia are Carrion Plants like the Huernia schneideriana I have had for several years. It also came from Mrs. Wagler. While my Huernia has very small maroon flowers, the other species have much larger and very colorful flowers. I went to the Llifle website to ID mine and became hooked. There are several genera of plants known as Carrion Plants that have similar flowers but their stems are somewhat different. As I have found out they are very easy to grow. While the Huernia doesn’t tell me when it needs water, the Stapelia does. Its soft, fuzzy stems get kind of spongy feeling and when it doesn’t need water they are more stiff.

—-

Stenocereus pruinosus at 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-89.

I have to whisper, but the Stenocereus pruinosus is one of my favorite cactus. It has several common names including Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe, Pitayo, and Pitaya of October (de Octubre). They are highly prized for their fruit and widely cultivated in Mexico in the states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Chiapas. It was only 2 7/8” tall x 2 3/4” wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016 and now it is 4 3/4″ tall 2 3/4″ wide. It has been a while since I repotted it so I will do it in the spring. I somehow ran out of pumice…

Llifle says Stenocereus pruinosus “is a large shrubby or tree-like columnar cactus to 4-5(-7) m tall, usually with one or more, definite trunk(s) from which little-branching stems arise from the base for a distinctive V-shape.” Well, we have a ways to go…

—-

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-11-19, #639-91.

Last but not least, Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) is still doing its thing. I started out with this Paper Spine Cactus as a rescue when I was cactus shopping in February 2016. I spotted a piece that had fallen off so I put it in my pocket and brought it home and we have been friends ever since. It doesn’t grow that tall because the top segments keep falling off and taking root. Sometimes they get lost so I think I will put it in a wider pot. Maybe they won’t wander off then. It is interesting to transplant…

That is finally it for the cactus and succulent update. I have other plants to post about so we shall see what happens next.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Don’t forget to be thankful and get dirty every chance you get. Thanks for reading!

 

 

Six on Saturday-Ending With A Surprise!

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. This is my second attempt to make a Six on Saturday post. Jade was looking out the window and I told her I was going to take a few photos for a Six on Saturday post. She said, “good luck with that.” When I came back inside and found there were photos of eight I decided to not include the photo of Jade in the six (although the photo is clearly here). Then I deleted the photo of the Equisetum so I wouldn’t accidentally include it.

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) flowers on 11-23-19.

#1) I wanted to make a post about the Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) since all the buds were fully opened. I decided including it in this post would be appropriate and was glad they were still looking good this morning. There are a couple of buds on the other side.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis buds on 11-23-19.

#2) I looked around a bit to see if there was anything else that was exciting then I noticed the little Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis (Thimble Cactus) had a couple of buds. That may not sound exciting, but I thought it was. For this plant to be so small and have two buds… Yeah, that is exciting!

I could have easily found all six items to post about inside, but I went outside to see what I could find. It was 37° F and it had rained during the night.

 

#3) I finally filled the feeder hanging in a maple tree in the front yard yesterday. Although there are very few birds here right now, I saw a group of sparrows in a bush that seemed to be hungry. They were no doubt waiting for me to fill the feeder in “the other yard”, which I did. This morning while taking the photos I saw the “other feeder” was empty already so probably the deer found it during the night. Maybe I am anxious, but it seems the birds are late arriving this Fall.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 11-23-19.

#4) The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ is still alive and well. I did make a note to cover it when nighttime temps dipped a few days ago even though it has proved it didn’t need it. I have a sticky note stuck to the computer that reminds me. 🙂

 

#5) The old Mulberry tree in an area along the boundary fence behind the chicken house is always worthy of attention. It would be great to know how old it really is.

 

It is very gnarly and was a very old tree when I was a kid. Sometimes I sit next to this tree, with my back against it and it seems I can feel its energy. A very good place to meditate.

 

It is by far not the biggest Mulberry tree here now because age has taken a toll on this tree. It has survived many lightning strikes, heavy winds, ice, snow, drought and so on for MANY years. I remember as a kid when I was in the barn with my grandpa as we watched lightning strike an old tree along the fence. I call this the elder tree and hope it has many more years to come.

 

#6) Hmmm… Could it be? If so, I am shocked I missed it before! This is definitely a species of Physalis (Ground Cherry, Japanese Lantern) and likely it is Physalis longifolia. When I was at Kevin’s farm this past summer I spotted a single Physalis longifolia in the pasture. The plant there was similar in size to the Solanum (Horsenettle) species because it had no doubt been nibbled on by the cows. So, when I looked for it here in the pastures I was looking for a smaller plant similar to the Horsenettle with yellow flowers.

 

Well, this dead plant is 31″ tall… I checked with the Missouri Plants website and read where Physalis longifolia can grow to 3 meters, which I must have ignored earlier. Missouri Plants lists six species of Physalis.

 

Common names for Physalis longifolia include Long-Leafed Ground Cherry, Longleaf Ground Cherry, Wild Tomato, and Common Groundcherry.

To think I had been looking for this plant during the summer only to find it NOW when it is all dried up. GEEZ!!! I found it not in the pasture, but on my way back from photographing the old Mulberry tree… Among other tall weeds. You can bet I will have my eye on this area next summer! Hopefully at least one will come up so I can make a proper ID. 🙂

Well, that’s it for my attempt for a Six on Saturday post. Remember, Jade doesn’t count…

If you wish to participate in Six on Saturday posts, be sure to read the Six On Saturday-a participants guide from The Propagator.

 

Holiday Cactus & Wagler’s Greenhouse Visit…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I know the flowers of the Schlumbergera tuncata are really neat, but I have mixed feelings about it.

 

Schlumbergera truncata on 9-13-18, #507-15.

I brought this plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in September last year and the tag clearly says “peach”. She had a lot that she buys from somewhere. Last winter it had a few buds, but because of neglect, they fell off. Hmmm… It was with other plants that don’t require attention during the winter. So, this year I put the plant in the kitchen windowsill where I would be sure to see it every day and water as needed.

Then it grew buds… Then it flowered, as you can tell, but the flowers are PINK not PEACH. So, since I had a little time this afternoon, I went to Wagler’s to see if Ruth had any that were actually peach, or white, or any color besides pink. I also had a few cuttings of Stapelia gigantea to give to her. We trade a lot of plants. 🙂

She wasn’t in the greenhouse so I knocked on her door. She came and I told her I had a present for her and her face lit up as I handed her the cuttings. She said she had some new plants to show me so we went to the greenhouse. OK, I haven’t been there for several months because I know what always happens…

 

I think when I was there last fall a lady brought her several Bromeliads from a grower in Florida. Well, some of them produced offsets and even flowered. She handed me one and said I could have it if I wanted. Hmmm… Of course, my hands just automatically responded. I looked at several of the others and the one that always caught my eye was solid green. Fortunately, it hadn’t flowered or produced any offsets. Then she handed me another pot of a different Bromeliad and said I could have it, too. Oddly, I declined. I told her I needed to see how the one she gave me already would do before I brought home more. I was quite proud of myself.

Then she showed me a new succulent she had and asked if I had these two particular cactus. Fortunately, the two cactus in question were the Acanthocereus tetragonus and Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis. I told her I had those already and they came from her.

 

The succulent was a different story… She asked what it was and I told her it appeared to be a species of Euphorbia. She asked her if I had one and I told her no. She said, “You can have one.” AGAIN, my hand just reached out and took one like it was an automatic reflex! It is 2 3/8″ tall without the leaves.

Then she said if I saw any other plants I wanted I could have them. GEEZ! There are a few but I have to wait until she has cuttings or plants of them…

She has A LOT succulents that are unnamed that would be a nightmare for me. They are Sedum, Echeveria, etc. hybrids like x Graptovera, x Graptosedum, and so on. Unnamed and many leaf colors, shapes and cultivars that look so much alike. They need bright light in the winter which I don’t have much of at the moment. I have one window that faces south and it is full with three shelves of plants. She still has offspring of plants I gave to her but she doesn’t write their names on the labels. LOL! When she asks me the name of plants and I tell her she says she doesn’t see how I remember all the names. Well, first you have to write their names down on the labels so when you look at the plant you see the label. It’s a way to help subconsciously remember. I have pretty well memorized what I have grown but when I bring home several different cactus it sometimes takes a while to memorize. I have a list handy and the photo folders to help me remember. I have to keep rewriting the labels because the permanent marker is not so permanent. Some genera of cactus and succulents, like any other plants, have certain characteristics that only they have.

Oh yeah! I did ask Mrs. Wagler if she had any more of the Holiday Cactus. I told her the one I brought home that was supposed to be peach turned out pink. She laughed and said that happens if the tags get mixed up. Hmmm… Unfortunately, a man came several times and bought most of the Holiday Cactus so she didn’t have any more available. GEEZ!!! She said she would see if she could get more. Then she said the ones labeled orange look more peach. OK, I might take a few different colors as long as they aren’t pink…

So, now I have a bromeliad and Euphorbia to find the name for. At least I think it is a Euphorbia… 🙂

****UPDATE****

This plant is an Austrocylindropuntia subulata commonly known as Eve’s Needle. I had one before that was a monstrose form… 

 

Schlumbergera truncata on 12-9-12, #135-2.

The above photo is the Schlumbergera truncata that a friend gave me when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi. One of HUNDREDS of plants I gave up when I moved back to Missouri in February 2013.

That’s all for now, but I do need to post photos of the Mammillaria karwinskiana. It has more flowers and they have all been open for a few days. Still growing more buds, too.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Be thankful, open-minded, and allow the Universe to shower you with abundance. Get dirty if you can, something I have no trouble doing.

 

Cactus Repotting & Lessons Learned

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-17.

Hello everyone! I hope tis post finds you well. There were a few cactus and succulents that needed repotting because they needed larger pots. Then, there were a couple that I needed to investigate. I think repotting in the fall is a good time so the potting mix stays nice and loose over the winter. Since I use mainly Miracle Grow Potting soil with a lot of peat, sometimes it can become kind of hard during the winter when I am not watering my cactus and succulents. If this happens, I remove the plant from the pot, remove the old mix and add fresh. Since I switched from using 2 parts potting soil with 1 perlite and 1 part chicken grit to using about 50% potting soil and 50% pumice it seems the mix has remained looser. I know many cactus and succulent enthusiasts say peat is a no no, but it has worked fine for me.

In the above photo, the Parodia magnifica has a nice set of roots. It gets to be the first example

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-18.

Some cactus don’t grow a large root system but they still need repotting as the “stem” starts to fill the pot. There was still plenty of soil in the bottom of the pot with this Parodia magnifica but the stem had become almost as large as the pot.

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-19.

In years past I would just take the plant from one pot and put it in another without doing anything with the roots. Then later, when I repotted again, sometimes I found the roots still tightly packed in its original wad. So, I started loosening the roots before repotting and sometimes trimming off a few on the bottom. They grow new roots and a little trimming doesn’t bother them. Sometimes you may find rotten or dried roots that need to be trimmed as well.

 

Parodia magnifica on 11-13-19, #649-20.

Then I always make sure the plants are centered in the new pot.

 

Parodia magnifica in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-21.

Here the Parodia magnifica is happy in its new pot… Normally, I only increase the pot size by 1 inch but sometimes I can’t find the right size of pot. I have LOTS of smaller pots so there is always a good selection. You can find pots in quantity on Ebay and Amazon. Of course, you may want a nicer pot…

 

Mammillaria plumosa on 11-13-19, #649-16.

The Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus) asked for a new pot because she had no more room to grow…

 

Mammillaria decipiens in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-13.

I know this pot seems a little large for the Mammillaria decipiens, but I am expecting another growth spurt. After repotting, I read this species of Mammillaria should not be planted in a peaty mix because it grows naturally in canyons and hills generally in volcanic soils… Llifle says “It likes very porous mineral substratum and avoid the use of peat or other humus sources in the potting mixture.” Hmmm… I read that when I was updating its page last week. Llifle also says, “Outside filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Subject to sunburn if exposed to direct sun for too long. Does better than most species in lower levels of light, but still prefers bright light or morning sun.” Well, it was growing on the back porch in full sun and did awesomely well. I am wondering, though, if I should have added more pumice to its mix… Maybe some chicken grit as well.

 

Echinopsis mirabilis in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-8.

I finally decided to increase the pot size for the Echinipsos mirabilis since it was still in the tiny pot it came in. According to information, this species may be short-lived but only time will tell. It is also said, that although short-lived, it leaves behind many seeds that will come up. Well, I kind of screwed that possibility when I repotted, huh?

 

Agave (syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-2.

I figured since the Agave (x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ was an Agave it might have a lot of roots by now. I was right… It also has several pups. NICE!

 

x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-3.

The x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ grew a lot since I last repotted it, so I thought I would upgrade it again. But, I forgot something which I didn’t think about until after I repotted the Haworthioposis limifolia… It came from Wildwood Greenhouse and he buys a lot of plants in plugs. I forgot to check to see if there were remains of the netting from a plug.

 

Aristaloe aristata in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-4.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) was giving me the “look” so I wouldn’t forget about her. I told her I repotted her before but she said it was time again. Sooo… Now she has a larger pot.

 

Echinopsis ‘Rainbow Bursts’ on 11-13-19, #649-7.

What can I say? I may have gone a little overboard with this one but she said she needed to wean her kids. She said she was tired of them clinging to her. I said OK if she promised to give me a flower. I think she is crossing her fingers and toes.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ on 11-13-19, #649-5.

Hmmm… I hate to tell you, but I severely neglected the Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’. I knew from the previous and much larger plants I had for several years that they don’t have a very large root system and they grow VERY SSSSLLLLOOOOWWWWLLLLYYYY. So I didn’t repot since I brought it home in a tiny pot from Wal-Mart in, ummm… GEEZ! It has been since 2016! It is STILL the same width as when I bought it home at 3 1/2″ wide. It has grown 1/2″ taller to 3 1/2″.

 

Cereus forbesii f. monstrose ‘Ming Thing’ in its new pot on 11-13-19, #649-6.

Its soil was very hard and dry so I replaced it then put the cactus back in the same pot. Maybe it will grow now. 🙂

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-9.

I decided the Gasteria twins with no name should be in another larger pot. This is its second upgrade. I noticed something weird when I removed it from its pot that I have never seen before.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-10.

A few weeks ago I saw a post on Succulent Dreamers where a member had posted about the beneficial bacteria (of some sort) growing on the roots of his plant. I thought that was pretty neat and had not seen it before in pots. Actually, it is mycelium which is a “friendly” fungus. Come to think of it, this is the first year I haven’t had ants in at least one pot. I think that is because the pots were on the porches.

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-11.

Now we’ll see how much larger they get in their new pot…

 

Gasteria sp./Hybrid ? on 11-13-19, #649-12.

With their new child. 🙂

 

Plants repotted on 11-13-19, #649-1.

This is a group photo of the plants I repotted on November 13. But, I wasn’t quite finished…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-2.

On the 16th I decided it was high time I worked on the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-3.

I posted before how several of the plants in the colony had died… The ones that were nearly all white.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-4.

After removing the clump from the pot I had to remove the dead…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ repotted on 11-16-19, #651-5.

Then I kind of centered the live plants around the larger cluster.

 

Dead Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 11-16-19, #651-6.

This is part of the dead plants. I had discarded a few earlier in the summer.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia on 11-17-19, #652-1.

Then I checked the Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard, ETC.) to check to see if it had been in a plug like the Haworthia ‘Little Warty’. Sure enough there it was… While a few roots did poke through, you can see how many roots were tightly packed inside the plug wrapping. Most of this plants roots had grown out the bottom and up the side.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia on 11-17-19, #652-2.

I gently peeled away the netting and from around the roots that grown through it. That’s when I remembered the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ could also have this same issue since all three plants came from Wildwood… I have to quiz Mr. Yoder abut removing the netting from the plug when they repot.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia repotted on 11-17-19, #652-3.

Now, it is happy…

 

Hmmm… The island in the kitchen made a great potting table but now I have to clean up the mess… You may be wondering what the drill is for? If I use pots from Dollar General, like with the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’, I have to drill holes in the bottom.

I think that’s it for repotting for a while until I check the x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ for the plug. I hope all is well with you. Until next time, take care, be safe, and stay warm or cool depending on where you live.

Cactus & Succulent Update Part 4: The Mammillaria Collection

Mammillaria Group Photo on 11-16-19. Back row from left to right: Mammillaria pringlei, Mammillaria elongata, Mammillaria decipiens (in a new pot), and Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’. Middle row from left to right: Mammillaria rhodantha, Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii, Mammillaria hahniana, and Mammillaria karwinskiana. Front Row from left to right: Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis, Mammillaria mystax, and Mammillaria plumosa (in a new pot).

Hello Everyone! I hope this post finds you well! Part four of the cactus and succulent update is about the Mammillaria species in my small collection. Mammillarias are among the widest genus of cactus collected for many reasons. Most are very easy to grow and there are a lot of species to choose from. Plants of the World Online currently lists 162 species. As with the previous three updates, these photos were taken on October 11 when I moved the potted plants inside for the winter.

HERE WE GO…

 

Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) at 1 1/2″ tall x 4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-56.

The Mammillaria decipiens (Bird’s Nest Pincushion) always amazes me. It seems like every time I put it in a wider pot it wastes no time filling it up. It was 1 1/2″ tall x 4″ wide on October 11. It was squished in its pot when I brought it home from Wal-Mart at 3″ wide in March 2018. But, the weird thing is that is shrunk 1/2″ in height. 🙂 I think the subspecies for this plant should be Mammillaria decipiens subsp. camptotricha although it is not “currently’ validly recognized. Hmmm… I have been saying that for a while now. I really like this plant because of its long tubercles, the spines that seem to form a web across the entire clump, and the fact that it produces a lot of flowers. There weren’t many flowers when I took this photo on 10-11-19 but there were later. It isn’t uncommon for it to have a few during the summer as well.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus) on 10-11-19, #639-58).

The Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus, Golden Stars) is one of the weirdest cactus in my collection. Sometimes the main stem is leaning over (one way or the other) and sometimes it is straight up. I mentioned before we had a rough start when I accidentally knocked it off the plant table only a few days after I brought it home. Most of the offsets fell off so I just stuck them back in the pot, which was barely big enough at the time. I spaced them out better when I repotted then the main stem got even with so many more offsets. The other weird thing is the measurement… I didn’t take a measurement when I took the photo on 10-11, but I did a few days later when I took photos of its flowers. There were only a few buds when I took the above photo, but on October 19 through early November there were A LOT! Anyway, the measurement I typed in said 6 5/6″ tall… What in the heck did that mean? SO, I decided to take another measurement when I was writing this post. The main stem was standing straight up and the measurement was 7 3/8″. GEEZ! I stood the stem up before to take the measurement so I would be close to accurate. It isn’t uncommon for cactus to shrink and swell when they have ample moisture so it isn’t uncommon for their measurements to be a lot different in just a short period of time. The central stem measured only 4″ tall when I brought it home in March 2018 and the cluster was 3 3/4″ wide. I didn’t measure the width this time because the stems move around so much. I thought maybe they lean toward the sun but sometimes they seem to be leaning toward the shade… Like I said, this plant is weird…

To view this plants page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) at 3 1/4″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-59.

The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) is a very neat plant to grow with all its wool. It produces quite a few flowers off and on and right now has a few more buds. It measured 3 1/4″ tall x 3 3/8″ wide on 10-11-19 and I am not about to remeasure it again until next year. It was only 1 7/8″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016.

Click HERE to view the Mammillaria hahniana page.

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) at 3 1/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-61.

The Mammillaria karwinskiana (Silver Arrows) is another fairly wooly cactus companion. It seems a little strange posting this photo since I posted a later photo of it with flowers already. Right now it has 11 buds and flowers. OK, I will go take a photo right now and show you…

 

Mammillaria karwinskiana flowers on 11-14-19, #660-1.

You can’t see all the flowers and buds, but there are 11. Pretty neat how they are facing the inside of the house instead of being toward the sun.

Anyway, on October 11, the Mammillaria karwinskiana measured 3 1/4″ tall by 2 3/4″ wide. Hmmm… I just double-checked. 🙂 At least it said “about” what it did before. This plant has grown AAAALLLOOOTTT taller! It was only 1 7/8″ tall when I brought it home from Lowe’s in September 2018 and 2 3/16″ wide.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion) at 3 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-64.

This is a BEAUTIFUL plant! The Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion) has this two-tone glow going on. A silvery-white-greenish glow overlaid with a golden glow. It almost looks like it has a halo. It is a bit of a leaner and I kept taking it out of the pot and straightening it up. I realized it is normal and many cactus lean toward the south so I just turn the pot once in a while. You can’t do that in the wild and some large cactus eventually fall over.

Currently, or at least on October 11, this cactus measured 3 3/4″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. I found this plant out of its pot and laying on its side on the discount rack at Lowe’s in September 2018. I picked it up and thought its club shape looked pretty neat so I brought it home. It has only grown 1/2″ taller and 3/4″ wider since I brought it home even though it seems like it has grown a lot. Hmmm…

The other thing about this plant that you can’t see (because I hide it) is the clump of hot glue STILL stuck to its side. Normally the strawflowers are stuck to the top. If you look close, you can see like a ridge in the center of the plant that goes all the way around it. That is where the clump of glue is stuck to its “skin” on the other side… Just another reason companies should stop using hot glue to stick the dumb strawflowers on cactus. It’s completely ridiculous! Maybe we should all send emails to Altman Plants (thecactuscollection.com). They are the largest producer of cactus and succulents in the United States.

Click HERE to visit this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria mystax at 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-67.

The Mammillaria mystax is indeed a humble little plant. It is very quiet and polite, doesn’t get excited, and it never causes any problems. As long as you give it what it needs to live and grow it will be happy and do just that. Nothing else. 🙂 So, what makes this plant special? Well, it is one of several species that divide dichotomically. It also has these strange trichomes (hairs) that grow between the tubercles that the others in my collection don’t have.  It measured 1 3/4″ tall by 2 1/4″ wide when I brought it home from Lowe’s in September 2018. By October 11 it had grown to 2 1/4″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide.

Click HERE to view this plant’s own page.

 

Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus) at 1 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-69.

My feathered friend, the Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus), that I bought from a seller on Ebay in September 2018 has done quite well. The cluster of plants was 3/4′ tall x 2 1/4″ wide when it arrived and now has filled its pot at 1 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide. It produced several good-sized flowers since the above photo was taken that are sort of similar to Mammillaria karwinskiana without the reddish color. It needs a new pot now… OH, it is one of only a few cactus to receive the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Click HERE to view this plants own page.

 

Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus) at 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19 #639-71.

What can I say about the Mammillaria pringlei (Lemon Ball Cactus)? For one, it is a leaner that I keep turning around. It is a very nice looking plant that I brought home from Lowe’s in October 2017. It flowers freely and abundantly and always looks great. I think it was my first cactus that flowered in 2017. It is now 5 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide which is around an inch taller and wider than when I brought it home. It is very similar in many ways to the Mammillaria rhodantha and was once named Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) at 4 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-73.

There is no mistaking the Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) with its rusty red central spines and white radial spines. It has always been an attention getter. It is a very stately plant, in my opinion, along with Mammillaria pringlei. This one does lean a little but not as much as M. pringlei. It doesn’t produce that many flowers but the spine color make up for it. Maybe because it realizes its pink flowers don’t look that good with the color of its spines. What color would look good, anyway? It is now 4 1/2″ tall x 2 1/2″ wide. Apparently, I didn’t measure this plant when I first brought it home from Wal-Mart in February 2016 then I screwed up and measured the cactus “with” the spines in 2017. It is one of my oldest cactus since I started recollecting in 2016.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis at 1 1/2″ tall on 10-13-19, #641-4.

Hmmm… Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis (Thimble Cactus). OK… I brought home my first “colony” of Thimble Cactus from Lowe’s in April 2013. It grew by leaps and bounds but, unfortunately, I gave up most of my plants in the summer of 2014. Then, when I took plants to Wagler’s Greenhouse last year I found this very small plant. I didn’t even recognize it as a Thimble Cactus at first. The main plant was very small and had several kids growing from it which have all fallen off but one. I now remember how the colony of the first pot grew so fast… Now, at only 1 1/2″ tall, it is building a successful family.

If you have a pot labeled, or find one labeled, Mammillaria gracilis fragilis or something of the sort, it is this plant…

If you click o this plant’s own page HERE, you will see photos of the previous colony I had as a companion and what this one will become like.

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ on 10-11-19, #639-74.

I look at the photo of the Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ and find myself at a loss for words. I know what I want to say, but there are no words for the definition. Have you ever had that problem? A definition with no words? I think the photo is the definition of GEE WHIZ! OK, I had been to Lowe’s to buy potting soil in July 2018 and ran across a pot with this “cluster” plus a pot of the, umm, M. vetula subsp. gracilis (like the one in the previous photo. I am whispering because I don’t want it to hear me). I left the other pot behind and brought home the one labeled Mammillaria gracilis v. fragilis monstrose… That is what Altman Plants calls it for some reason. Yes, ‘Arizona Snowcap’ is a monstrose form of Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis. It has an ABUNDANCE of shorter white spines than the “regular” subspecies. Now, when I brought my pot home, it was bulging and overflowing. I saw photos online of plants that were nearly solid white, like snowballs and I wondered why the pot of plants I brought home was not that solid white. After I repotted it/them and they begin to spread out a bit and do really well over the summer. They looked great and very happy but still, they didn’t look like the photos online. Then, in October (2018) I noticed a completely white plant. I thought, “WOW!” Then afterward, a few others started becoming more white. The weird thing is that the whiter offsets died after I moved the plants outside for the summer… Hmmm… I am going to do some work on this pot so it will look better…

Oh yeah, the tallest plant in the colony is 2″ tall. As with the regular Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis, they don’t grow that tall but they freely offset from the bottom and sides. Offsets fall off and form a larger colony.

To view this plant’s own page, click HERE.

That is it for part 4 and there will still be one more plus the repotting post. Then what? 🙂 What would you like for me to post about? I will be working on updating the pages for the cactus on this page, so if you click on the link you may not see current photos. It takes a lot of time to update as I go and may take several days to finish.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Go outside and take a deep refreshing breath and say “THANK YOU!” Do it twice more. 🙂 If you can get dirty, do it…