Fall 2019 Cactus & Succulent Update Part 1: A’s

Acanthocereus tetragonus (Triangle Cactus) at 4 1:2 T x 2 7:8 W, 10-11-19

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. I decided to break the cactus and succulent update into several posts instead of making one long post. They are all inside now except for the Cylindropuntia imbricata (Tree Cholla), a few Sedum, and the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ that always overwinter outside. Hmmm… I forgot to take their photos. In the midst of the updates, I will probably make a few posts to highlight specific plants.

On October 11 I moved all the potted plants inside as I mentioned earlier.  As always, once we get ZAPPED the temps warm back up. So, I moved the cactus and most of the succulents back outside for a few days again. I even put the Alocasia that was on the front porch back on the front porch. 🙂

Now, on with the post. In alphabetical order… Just click on the name of the plant if you want to view their pages. I may or may not have all their pages updated. If you do go to their pages and happen to click on the link to Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) at the bottom of the page, you may notice it isn’t working well… I sent an email to who I think maintains the site and at least now it does open but it is still not functioning properly. Hopefully, he will get the issue solved because it is an AWESOME website.

The above photo is the Acanthocereus tetragonus commonly known as Triangle Cactus, Fairy Castle, Barbed Wire Cactus, Sword Pear, Dildo Cactus, and Night Blooming Cereus. Some of those names are also associated with other cactus. The species is often confused with Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus. Very similar in several ways, but different in many. I had a cactus in 2015 that I gave up on identifying because it was similar but different… Now I think it was probably an Acanthocereus tetragonus, too. They grow very large in the wild, but smaller monstrous forms are what is generally found in the retail market. So, while the native plants are called Triangle Cactus and so on, someone gives the miniatures smaller names like Fairy Castles. That gets very confusing for people when they buy unlabeled plants or have generic tags that say “Cactus”. Then they get confused between Fairy Castles and Fairytale Castle which are two different species.

I brought this plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in September 2018. It measured 3″ tall x 2″ wide when I brought it inside last October 10 and now it is 4 1/2″ tall x 2 7/8″ wide. The offsets have grown quite a bit as well. It was in full sun on the back porch all summer so it has a nice tan. Hmmm…

 

Adromischus cristatus (Crinkle Leaf Plant, Key Lime Pie) on 10-11-19, #639-3.

Ummmmmmmmmmmm……… I know the Adromischus cristatus (Crinkle Plant, Key Lime Pie) doesn’t look all that hot, but it is better than it has been for a long time. It was very small and cute when I bought it from Lowe’s in April 2017 and grew to 4″ wide by October 17 when I moved the plants inside. Over the winter it became very weird and kind of went dormant. It got down to almost nothing and I expected it to die. When I repotted it in 2018 it didn’t seem to help much. I thought surely it would die again during winter. But, guess what? It didn’t die. So, I repotted it a few months ago and it perked up. Hopefully, it will survive the winter without losing most of its leaves and do even better in 2020. The only thing different was adding pumice (50/50) instead of additional perlite and I didn’t add any chicken grit. Using pumice takes the place of amending with additional perlite and grit.

 

Agave univittata (var. lophantha) (Center Stripe Agave) at 13″ T x 26″ wide on 10-11-19, #639-4.

WELL… This past summer the Agave univittata (var. lophantha) (Center Stripe Agave) has been in full sun on the back porch. I always had it in light shade during the summer pretty much since I brought it home in July of 2016. Back then it had much broader and shorter leaves and I thought perhaps they grew longer because it wasn’t getting enough sun. But, even in full sun, the new leaves this past summer grew long as well. So, maybe this is normal… Maybe that is a good thing because it would look weird with long leaves on the bottom and short, fat leaves on the top. Of course, there are a few Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands) growing in the pot. Oh, the Agave now measures 13″ tall x 26″ wide.

 

Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ at 4 1/2″ T x 9″ W on 10-11-19, #639-75.

For many years I wanted to try an x Mangave so I was happy to find a few ‘Pineapple Express‘ to chose from at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on June 13. “Pineapple Express” was a 2016 introduction from Walters Gardens and is a cross between x Mangave ‘Jaguar’ and ‘Bloodspot. The x Mangave are/were created by crossing Agave species with Manfreda species. Well, that is until someone had the audacity to decide the genus Manfreda is synonymous with Agave… That is weird because there were several differences between the two genera. Hmmm… In time, this plant will grow to 18″ tall x 24″ wide but for now it is just 4 1/4″ tall x 9″ wide. I can tell it has grown since I brought it home but somehow I forgot to measure it then. If you think that is strange, I haven’t got a page for it yet!

 

Spotted leaves of the Agave (Syn. x Mangave) ‘Pineapple Express’ on 10-11-19, #639-76.

I really like the spotted leaves which may come from Manfreda maculata, I mean Agave maculata. 🙂

 

Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) on 10-11-19, #639-5.

I have had Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) since 2009 when I rescued a broken piece from Wal-Mart in Greenville, Mississippi. I was Aloe newbie at the time and I thought it was strange it took it almost a year to root. I brought home the above Aloe juvenna from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017 and the longest stem in the clump is now 14″ long. This is one plant you want to keep in the right amount of sun. To much shade and the leaves stretch. To much sun and the leaves burn… I think the front porch has been a good spot in the summer with a south-facing window in the winter.

 

Aloe maculata at 19″ T x 42″ W on 10-11-19, #639-6.

Hmmm… This is what happens when your Aloe maculata is happy! Give it a little attention by complimenting it once in a while and put it where it can be noticed and it will be very happy. It grew its first flower this summer. It’s grandmother, not sure how many greats to add, was given to me by a good friend when I was living in Leland, Mississippi in 2009. I didn’t know the name at the time, so I called it ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ because the offset came from Kyles’s grandmother. The plant in the above photo had growing issues for a while because it wasn’t getting much attention by the shed where the plants used to be. Once I had to move the plants to the front porch last summer because of the Japanese Beetle invasion, I started paying attention to it more. I gave it a new pot and new soil and put it by the steps and it took off. This past summer it has grown like crazy to a whopping 19″ tall x 42″ wide. I need to get the pups out of the pot soon! It is quite a show stopper!

 

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ at 6″ T x 12″ W on 10-11-19, #639-7.

OH, the Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’! My second Aloe in 2009 was a ‘Lizard Lips I bought from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi. I had it until I gave up most of my plants in 2014 but I found another when I started collecting again in 2016. Luckily, I had given an offset to Wagler’s Greenhouse so this clump could actually be that offset. It has been a great miniature Aloe, but we have had to learn a few things about each other over the years. My original plant almost died every winter but barely hung on somehow. Apparently, although it was in a beautiful glazed pot, it didn’t like it. Attention is not so much of a requirement (it doesn’t like hugs like Aloe maculata) just as long as you water it when it is thirsty and give it the right amount of sun. It particularly seems to like a bigger pot AT LEAST once a year although it didn’t get one yet in 2019. The potting soil has to be VERY well-draining because it absolutely does NOT like wet feet. That is no problem because there are so many leaves barely any water gets into the soil. It is also a prolific bloomer, sometimes up to 8 stems at the same time. Currently, the clump has filled the pot and measures 6″ tall x 12″ wide.

 

x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ at 4 1/2″ T x 8″ W on 10-11-19, #639-9.

The x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ has been a delightful little plant for sure. It is a hybrid of Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. It has grown A LOT and is currently 4 1/2″ tall x 8″ wide. I notice it definitely needs to be repotted. It was 3 1/2” tall x 6 1/8” when I brought it home from Wildwood Greenhouse in May. It appears this plant will be quite a clumper…

 

Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) at 4 1/2″ T x 8 1/4″ W on 10-11-19, #639-10.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) is always bright and beautiful! It has always been happy and carefree since I brought it home from Wal-Mart in March 2018. It was originally named Aloe aristata, but phylogenetic studies show the Aloe genus is polyphyletic and this unusual species IS NOT an Aloe. It is closely related to the Astrolabes and to the four Robustipedunculares species of Haworthia. Because its genetics are unique, this species was put a new genus of its own. It was 2 3/4” tall x 4 1/2” wide when I brought it home and now measures 4 1/2″ tall x 8 1/4″ wide. This plant grew quite a lot over last winter inside, so I think I need to give it a larger pot…

Well, that’s it for the A’s. I hope you enjoyed this page as much as I have enjoyed these plants as companions.

Until next time, take care and be safe!

Sunday Photos on Wednesday

Amorphophallus sp. on 6-16-19, #591-5.

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you well. The Robins are singing this morning, giving thanks for being the early bird who gets the worms. I remember walking to catch a ride for work at 4:30 AM and they were already hopping about singing. It was quite a chorus! I am just going to post a few highlights of the photos I took on Sunday.

Of all the plants budding and flowering, it is always AWESOME to see the Amorphophallus (Voodoo Lily) when it starts coming up. I stuck my finger down to where the corm was and noticed it was sending up a petiole, but it wasn’t until the 6th of June that it peeked through the soil. Then I noticed on Sunday the leaves were starting to emerge. It is pretty neat! Almost reminds me of a squid. Last year I was gradually rewarded with a lot of babies, so I am wondering how many there will be this year. Of course, it is has been three days since I took the above photo.

 

Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-2.

This Alocasia ‘Mayan Mask’ on the front porch is doing great now. It spent the winter in my bedroom but was very glad to get back outside.

 

Aloe juvenna on 6-16-19, #591-3.

The Aloe juvenna (Tiger Tooth Aloe) is quite an interesting Aloe. It needs bright light or the leaves will stretch. In full sun, the leaves will take on a reddish color and too much will burn their leaves. I don’t like my Aloe leaves to burn and at times it hasn’t had enough sun. So, the leaves on this cluster, some being short and some longer, reflect when it has had different periods of light.

 

xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ on 6-16-19, #591-4.

I don’t know much about the xAlworthia ‘Black Gem’ since I haven’t had it very long. I still need to check its roots to see if there is a plug wrapping around them… I am curious because I can see the plug wrapping around the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’…

 

Aristaloe aristata on 6-16-19, #591-6.

The Aristaloe aristata (Lace Aloe) and family are doing very well. I am wondering if it will flower? It is a very nice plant and I am thankful to have found it. You just never know what rarities you will find.

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 6-16-19, #591-7.

The Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ is STILL flowering. This is a very nice plant and if you haven’t tried one and have the chance to bring one home, I suggest you do.

 

The left side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-8.

OK, I have to admit the north bed is driving me crazy. That even made me laugh! First of all, the Achillea millefolium is NOT supposed to be there. I try to pretend they aren’t there but the taller they get the harder that becomes. There are actually two there, but one decided to lay down on the job. I suppose it thinks if it lays down it is hiding. I moved the mother clump to the barn last year then these came up this spring along with several others closer to the house. I “intended” to move them to the south bed, so hopefully, I can get that done this week when I “hopefully” have a chance to work there. They need to be moved because the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ is hidden behind them. So is the Echinacea ‘Cherry Pops’ that miraculously returned unexpectedly. Oh, yeah I almost forgot… The two Conoclinum coelestinum that decided so come up are under it. You never know if, when or where they will pop up. I also planted the Xanthosoma robustum to the right of the Astilbe but apparently, it rotted. A friend from Alabama is sending me a Xanthosoma sagittifolium so it will go somewhere between the Astilbe and the Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant.

 

Right side of the north bed on 6-16-19, #591-9.

The right side of the north bed… OK, a series of things… First off, I wanted to extend the north bed out farther. Since my son and his friend are here, and they “said they would help out”, I told them they could extend the bed. I showed Chris what I wanted him to do, in detail. When they said they were finished, they had just dug one strip from the end of the gutter to where it joined with the left curve. It was not even straight. 🙂 I had told him to turn over everywhere there wasn’t plants and to remove the grass. He said, “Oh, I thought you wanted a ditch.” Now, why would I want a ditch? Needless to say, I went ahead and planted the Colocasia esculenta rhizomes and Leucocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’.

Trust me, this bed is normally neat and tidy but this spring has been officially weird. It has rained off and on then the soil stays damp here. Then sometimes when I have time to work here the soil is damp or the grass and weeds are kind of wet. I do not like working in damp soil because it can make it hard. I don’t like working in damp grass and weeds because the chiggers seem to be worse. I rate chiggers at the top of the “do not like” list with poison ivy, thorns (Roses), flat tires, dead batteries, and mosquitos. Eventually, this bed will look great.

 

The northeast corner bed on 6-16-19, #591-10.

The northeast corner bed looks pretty good especially since Thor seems to be doing a pretty good job keeping the moles away. The only plant you can’t see is the small mound of Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGrow Goldie’. Ummm… It is now under the Salvia coerulea ‘Black and Blue’. So, I guess I need to move it. Maybe to the left of Thor in front of the Colocasia ‘Distant Memory’. There are a few Conoclinum coelestinum in this bed now, too. One next to Thor and a few that have recently came up under the Salvia. This is a small area but I have a tendency to pack plants in it anyway. It looked really good last year.

 

Begonias on the front porch on 6-16-19, #591-13.

Three of the Begonias are doing well but ‘Brazilian Lady’, which is normally looking great, is a pitiful sight. Normally, I keep them in the basement over the winter where they do fine but I kept them in the front bedroom this year. ‘Brazilian Lady’ didn’t approve…

 

Miniature Begonia on 6-16-19, #591-12.

The unnamed miniature Begonia did fine during the winter but half rotted when I moved the plants outside. Now I need to re-pot it.

Well, the deadline for naming this post “Sunday Photos on Tuesday” has past. I just looked at the time at it is 1:11 AM Wednesday… SO, I suppose that means I should go to bed and finish later. That screws up my next post and hoping to write a post a day. 🙂 I had to change the title of this post to “Sunday Photos on Wednesday”.

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OK, now I am back working on the post at 4:22 PM when I really want to take a nap. I have been digging thistles for about 3 hours.

Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) on 6-16-19, #591-15.

The Euphorbia mammillaris (Indian Corn Cob) is going GREAT although it looks pretty much like it did the last time I took photos. I think maybe the leaves have grown a little. 🙂

 

Gasteria obliqua (Ox Tongue) on 6-16-19, #591-18.

This Gasteria has remained unnamed for a while so I have resorted to making a decision to call it Gasteria obliqua. Most Gasteria species of this type have rough leaves and very few are smooth like this one. Since those species are all now synonyms of G. obliqua, I guess that narrows my choice down to one. Unless it is a cultivar or a hybrid… I posted photos on a few Facebook groups twice but only got a few “likes” and no suggestions. One lady said it could be ‘Little Warty’ but that would be impossible. I clearly said it has smooth leaves and ‘Little Warty’ has warts. So, for now, it is Gasteria obliqua.

Gasteria obliqua has 39 synonyms!

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard) on 6-16-19, #591-20.

The Haworthiopsis limifolia (Faries Washboard, File Leafed Haworthia) is a pretty neat plant. There is a strange issue, however, with the species. Well, maybe not an issue, just issues. Apparently, there are several “varieties” which can get a little confusing when you do a little research about Haworthiopsis limifolia. You have to dig a little deeper. There are many photos online of Haworthiopsis limifolia (Syn. Haworthia limifolia) that look nothing like this plant. That is because they are not using the “variety” name. Then there are MANY websites that have the spelling completely wrong by using the name Haworthiopsis limafolia… The many “varieties” made me wonder if the name “Faries Washboard” was a common name or cultivar name. Well, the straight species is known as Fairies Washboard or File Leafed Haworthia. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says, “It obtained its name “limifolia” (File Leafed) from the distinctive, dark brownish-green leaves, with transverse ridges of raised, horny, tubercles which resemble those of a coarse file and give it such a distinctive appearance.” Hmmm… Dave’s Garden says limifolia = From the Latin limes (file), referring to the acicular or linear leaves.

 

Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ on 6-16-19, #591-22.

The Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’ is STILL in the pot I brought it home in. I have not decided where I want to put it to spread and pop up here and there. It seems I already have enough plants that pop up unexpectedly, but maybe for this one it would be OK. It is just the re-seeders that take their sweet time coming up that throw me a curve. Most perennials can be moved here early enough in the spring. But, from my past experience with this one in Mississippi, no telling where it will show up. I am not going to talk about the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) in this post. I promise. 🙂

 

Ledebouria socialis var. violacea on 6-16-19, #591-30.

One of the most important discoveries of late was the bud on the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea (Silver Squill) on June 8. Then I noticed it had another one on the 16th.

 

Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora on 6-16-19, #591-28.

Then when I went to take a photo of the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora, it had one, too! NICE! I am beginning to really like these plants. My plant friend from Alabama is going to send two more and a Drimiopsis maculata, which is similar.

 

Stapelia gigantea on 6-16-19, #591-41.

The Stapelia gigantea is doing very well and growing. I can hardly wait until it flowers. It is in the same group of plants as the Huernia schneideriana. It is a Carrion Plant, too, whose common name is Zulu Giant or Toad Plant. 🙂 I bought this plant from a seller on Ebay last fall and he sent SIX rooted cuttings which I put in the same pot. Hmmm…

Well, I think I am going to close this post before I have to change the title again. I was distracted earlier by a nap, then I started re-arranging the potting table on the back porch. Then I had to re-pot a couple of cactus. I need to eat dinner, but I wanted to get this post finished first. Now it is already 9:07 PM!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive and always be thankful. If you have time, GET DIRTY!