Fall 2020 Update Part 6: Cactus & Succulents

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I finally finished the shelf for the front bedroom. I have put some plants on it already but I may make a few changes. I may put the cactus that are in front of the sliding door in the dining room on this shelf and put the Alocasia gageana in the dining room. The Alocasia gageana don’t really like the basement but they did OK in the dining room before. They didn’t seem to like the front window last year. The cactus will be fine either place because they aren’t that particular during the winter. The bigger Alocasia do fine in the basement and aren’t near as particular as A. gageana.  But they are all still in the dining room and on the island/bar (whatever you call it) between the kitchen and dining room. The two pots of Alocasia gageana are on the new shelf in my bedroom. They are already stretching because they were in the living room practically in the dark. I put them outside again for a few days when it was warm but had to bring them back in because temps dropped from 70° F to 28. This past week has been nice, though.

This is the final cactus and succulent update. BUT, I have a confession to make. I had to go to Sedalia, about 28 miles away, and stopped by Lowe’s for a few things. I had to go to the plant department to check out the discount rack. It was STILL outside when temps were dropping all day. The door going outside was open and the cold air was coming in on the plants that were inside. I went to the outside area and the cactus and succulents on the discount rack were in terrible condition. I looked at the plants inside and the cactus and succulents looked OK but I didn’t see any I wanted. The industry, namely Altman Plants, has a new thing with their labeling, which I also noticed at Wal-Mart. They aren’t even putting the name of the plant on a lot of the labels. Before, even though the name may haven’t been up to date, at least it was a name… Anyway, I did find two plants that caught my eye I decided to adopt… An Aloe arborescens and Polaskia chichipe… 🙂 I think they make 67 different cactus and succulent species/cultivars. 🙂

<<<<Opuntia monacantha (var. variegata)>>>>

Opuntia monacantha (var. variegata) (Joseph’s Coat) at 6 1/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-83.

This Opuntia monacantha (var. variegata)(Joseph’s Coat) is one of the newer cactus in my collection. I found it at Wagler’s Greenhouse on March 28, 2020, when I was there for a visit. It looked particularly strange and I didn’t recognize what it was at the time. Without really looking it over, I picked it up and brought it home. Mrs. Wagler has quite a collection of plants she takes cuttings from and other people must bring her plants as well. I don’t know how many I have taken to them and we aren’t keeping track. If I see plants I want that are from their stock she never charges me. I think sometimes that makes some of them harder to resist…

Once I got it home I looked it over while I was taking photos. This was one puzzling and weird creature but I noticed it looked kind of Prickly Pear-ish. Its main stem was wide and flat like a long, skinny pad. It also appeared variegated… Hmmm… I wasn’t about to get online and look through photos of the Opuntia species because there are 132. SO, I took photos and posted them on the Facebook group called Succulent Infatuation. Normally, it doesn’t take very long for someone to give me a suggestion. This time, a member said it was Opuntia monacantha var. variegata and they were correct.

Of course, as with most varieties and subspecies these days, Opuntia monacantha var. variegata is considered a synonym of Opuntia monacantha even though its name and description were validly published in 1874 in The Gardeners’ Chronicle… Well, the author’s name is “Anon.” which could be anonymous. Even so, it was in The Gardeners’ Chronicle!!! I can call it what I want anyway since this is my blog, right? 🙂

Opuntia monacantha (var. variegata) (Joseph’s Coat) on 10-15-20, #747-84.

When I brought this plant home it was 4 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide. On October 15 when I moved the plants inside, it was still 2 1/4″ wide, but it had grown to 6 1/4″ tall. The lower, um, branches or whatever is sticking out all over it, have gotten longer and flatter.

LLIFLE (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) list this plant as Opuntia monacantha f. monstruosa variegata which isn’t even listed as a synonym on Plants of the World Online. LLIFLE says this is a monstrous form of the species and is one of very few naturally occurring white variegated cacti. It says it is a dwarf, teratological variant of the larger Opuntia monacantha. This variegated variety can be variegated or marbled with white, creamy-white, yellow, green, and sometimes with pink in various patterns. Being a monstrous form, it looks nothing like the species. Apparently, this critter will grow to maybe at least 20″ tall, but it could grow to about 3′. The species, well, that is a different story. They are a bushy or tree-like species that can grow from 6 to 20′ tall. I don’t see how one can grow that tall without falling over… The Prickly Pear that grows here and when I was in Mississippi just kind of sprawled out over the ground and seldom are over 4-5 feet tall.

I really like monstrous forms of cacti because they are weird. They seem to be forms of their species that have decided to go their own way but most are “created” by humans. This one grows like this in the wild… It will be very interesting to watch this plant grow and do its thing… Thank you, Universe!

<<<<Parodia lenninghausii>>>>

Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus), both at 6″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-89.

Something strange happened over the summer with the two Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus). I always called them “Greater” and “Lesser” because one was always tall than the other. Yeah, I know, I named the two Echinocactus grusonii (now Kroenleinia grusonii) “Greater” and “Lessor” because of the same reasons. The same thing happened with these two that happened with the other two. They are both the same size now! “Greater” on the right was always taller and thinner but they are both 6″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide now. Last October 11, “Greater” was 5 3/4″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide, and “Lessor” was 5 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide. Weird! I brought these two home with me from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016, and I didn’t realize I had two until I got home (the same as with the Echinocactus/Kroenleinia grusonii…). I forgot to measure “Greater” at the time, but “Lesser” was only 1 7/8″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide. SO, they have grown A LOT!

Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus) with kids on 10-15-20, #747-90.

“Lessor”, on the left, had these two kids last year but now “Greater” also has one. I thought they were guys… Maybe they are like Penguins… One of “Lessor’s” kids has really grown over the summer. I hope the kid has better grooming skills…

Normally, these two joke around a lot with me, but I think parenting has made them more serious… They are great plants and I congratulate them on their offsets.

<<<<Parodia magnifica>>>>

Parodia magnifica (Balloon Cactus, ETC.) at 2 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-91.

The Parodia magnifica (Balloon Cactus, ETC.) is a great little cactus with no issues. I brought it home from Lowe’s on March 29, 2020, when it measured only 1 3/8″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide. The weird thing is that it measured 2 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on October 15. Hmmm… It was 2 5/8″ tall x 2 5/8″ wide last October 11. Well, that just seemed odd so I measured it again a few days later and it was the same. I checked AGAIN on November 13 and noticed the potting soil on one side of the pot is lower than the other. SO, I measured it again from the low side and it STILL says 2 1/2″ tall soI must have measured it from that side before. Then I measured its width for grins (in private) and it was 3″ wide!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to recheck three times! I mentioned before I watered the cactus the day before I moved them inside and I think they swell after they get water. Does that mean it takes a month for them to swell? HMMMM…

ANYWAY… I really like this cactus. It reminds me of the crown on the package of Imperial margarine. Remember the old commercials on TV? The man on the commercial takes a bite of something with Imperial margarine on it and the horn sounds and then a crown appears on his head. 🙂

Parodia magnifica (Balloon Cactus, ETC.) from the top on 10-15-20, #747-92.

Parodia magnifica has the same interesting hairdo as Parodia lenninghausii. But this one has fewer ribs and tufts of wool on the areoles than stream down the side a little. I have one photo on its page that shows it a lot woolier.

<<<<Dracaena hanningtonii ‘Samurai’>>>>

Dracaena hanningtonii (Syn. Sansevieria ehrenbergii) ’Samurai’/‘Samurai Dwarf’ at 3″ tall x 6″ wide when I brought it home on 10-15-20, #747-93.

I brought this neat Sanseveria ehrenbergii ‘Samurai’ home from Wal-Mart on January 8, 2020. It was 3″ tall x 6″ wide then and it was still the same size when I brought the plants inside on October 15. Oddly, it has grown 1/4″ since I bought it inside until now, which is November 14. I started this post on November 11 and no telling how much longer it will take. Anyway, this plant is very interesting with its short, wide, thick, rough, boat-shaped leaves with a very sharp needle at the tip. The actual species of this dwarf form get pretty large and it leaves are much different. The species is found in several countries in East Africa while this smaller version is supposedly only found in Somalia. Yes, it is naturally occurring and I highly doubt the name ‘Samurai’ or ‘Samurai Dwarf’ are registered cultivar names. LLIFLE has a page for a dwarf form called ‘Banana’ because someone thinks the leaves resemble a banana. That is also the one on Dave’s Garden… The name ‘Samurai’ probably comes from one of the common names of the species, Sword Sansevieria.

I would have probably been finished with this post on the 14th but I hit a snag… I hadn’t wrote a page for this plant, so I decided I would go ahead and do it while I was writing this post. I started out as usual writing the title, adding the photos, then going to the bottom of the page to add the websites to copy and paste links to for further information. All was well UNTIL I went to Plants of the World Online and did a search for Sansevieria ehrenbergii. Right before my eyes, it said Sanseveria ehrenbergii was a synonym of Dracaena hanningtonii. I WAS SHOCKED!!!

Trust me, I wrote many paragraphs and deleted them several times before I am making the short version… If you want more details, click on the plant’s name above.

In short, based mainly on testing, it was decided that species of Dracaena, Sansevieria, and I think the Pleomele should all be in the same genus. This controversy has been going on for many years, umm… Probably since the late 1800’s. In fact, most species of all three have synonyms that were once in the other generas. Before the testing was started, they based their arguments on flowers, fruit, leaves, how they spread, etc. Testing basically stopped all the arguments and genera with hierarchy won the prize. Dracaena was chosen over Sanseviera because it was named in 1767 while Savsevieria was named in 1794. Some species of Dracaena had the same species name as species of Sansevieria such (Dracaena trifasciata and Sansevieria trifasciata). Other species that were the same had different species names, such as the case between Dracaena hanningtonii and Sansevieria ehrenbergii. Same plant but it had two different species names. In fact, the species has seven synonyms from four genera.

Getting back to the plant… It was weird over the summer because it rejected the tag that came with it. It was this dangly tag that said Sansevieria ‘Samurai’ stuck on a stick in its pot. I put it back in the pot several times only to find it out of the pot again after a few days when I checked on the plants. The plant would have this odd grin like it had a dirty little secret…

OH, I went online to see if I could get more information about the name change and ran across this very good video by Summer Rayne Oakes. She not only talks about the name change, but she discusses the testing and even has an interview with a researcher and a member of the staff from the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew. It is very good…

 

Moving right along…

<<<<Schlumbergera truncata>>>>

Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus) flowering on 11-9-20, #759-1.

Many cactus and succulents have amazing flowers, some downright incredible that make you drool. Well, I am not drooling over pink flowers… The Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus) blooms at the time of the year when most plants are going into dormancy. They have several common names that apparently reflect when they flower such as Holiday Cactus, Thanksgiving Cactus, Christmas Cactus, and Easter Cactus. Other common names include Crab Cactus, Zygocactus, Lobster cactus, Claw Cactus, Linkleaf, Yoke Cactus, and Crab’s Claw Cactus. Decreasing day length and cool temperatures trigger their flowering period, so here in North America, they may start budding in mid to late October or a little later. They flower in May in their native habitat in the mountain forests and jungles in Southeastern Brazil. They are available in a variety of colors including red, pink, peach, purple, orange, white, or multicolored.

I always wanted at least one of these, but I didn’t want one with pink flowers. When I lived in Mississippi, one of my neighbors, who also collected plants and had an AWESOME yard, offered me one of these plants. I couldn’t refuse even though she said it would have pink flowers. I gave it to a friend of mine when I moved from Mississippi in 2013 and didn’t see any available until 2019. I had gone to Wagler’s Greenhouse to take plants in September and she had quite a few pots. The pots were labeled with the color they were supposed to be so I brought home one that said peach. It only had two flowers but they turned out to be pink. I went back to the greenhouse to see if she had more, but this guy from out of town kept buying all she had so there were none left. This past summer I found a few there and brought home one with a tag that said red…

Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus), the red one, on 11-15-20, #759-2.

The one that is supposed to be red hadn’t flowered and maybe won’t until next fall. I thought it had a few buds earlier, but they either fell off or turned out to be leaves (which aren’t actually leaves).

Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus) on 11-15-20, #759-4.

Schlumbergera species have leafless stems called cladodes that act as photosynthetic organs. The cladodes are made up of flat segments that have 2-3 teeth along their edges and ends. The species gets its scientific name, “truncata” from the word “truncated” meaning “cut off” or “abruptly cut off” because the tips look cut off rather than being round or pointed. The areola between the two teeth on the ends have brown wool and bristles and is where the flowers and new segments appear.

Schlumbergera truncata (Holiday Cactus) on 11-15-20, #759-5.

I never noticed the brown wool before, but the red one is quite wooly between the teeth at the tip. The red one also has darker segments and over the summer the whole plant was a shade of reddish-brown. Now it has these weird little aerial roots.

The Schlumbergera truncata are fairly easy to grow plants. I am not sure why they are in the Cactaceae Family because in their native habitat they grow on trees (epiphytic) or on rocks (epilithic) in high altitudes in a small area of the coastal mountains of southeast Brazil. They seem to grow in just about any type of potting soil but prefer a similar mixture as used for orchids, bromeliads, or other epiphytic plants. During the summer they like regular watering but likes their soil to slightly dry out between watering. They need a little more while they are flowering, but afterward not so much, maybe a little once a month over the winter.

I did sneak out to Wagler’s Greenhouse on Tuesday (Nov. 17) to see if she had any new Schlumbergera… You will see what I brought back in the next post. 🙂 🙂 🙂

<<<<Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’>>>>

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ on 10-15-20, #747-94.

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ did very well over the summer as expected. I was going to put the two Sedum adolphii on the back porch in full sun over the summer but I forgot about it. This cultivar of Sedum adolphii was introduced in 2014 from the Huntington Botanic Garden and I picked this one up from Lowe’s in July 2018. It was very small then… Sedum adolphii is the only Sedum species I have been able to grow inside with any luck. They have no issues inside or out whatsoever and make the transition with no ill effects.

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’ on 10-15-20, #747-95.

‘Firestorm’ surprised me last April with a lot of flowers so hopefully, it will do that again.

<<<<Sedum adolphii>>>

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) on 10-15-20, #747-96.

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) has been a great companion and has hung in there since I brought it home in 2016. I brought my first one home in 2012 when I was in Mississippi and brought it with me when I moved here in February 2013. I had it until I gave up most of my plants in 2015, but found another one in 2016. In 2017 this plant was completely neglected because I was busy doing this and that. Grass grew in its pot and it lost a lot of leaves. It survived the winter SO, I put it in a better pot, took several leaf cuttings in the summer of 2018 and it has done very well since. I told it I would never let that happen again.

Sedum adolphii (Golden Sedum) on 10-15-20, #747-97.

I have always had the Sedum adolphii in light to part shade either under trees or on the front porch. I think they would fine, if not better, on the back porch in full sun. I am just somewhat hesitant… Maybe I will take some cuttings or cut their stems off and regrow them. I think they would stay more compact and their leaves would be bigger…

<<<<Stapelia gigantea>>>

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) on 10-15-20, #747-98.

HMMMMM…….. The Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) had done very well over the summer and has filled the pot. I am kind of at a loss for words when it comes to writing about this plant. I ordered cuttings of this plant from a seller on Ebay which arrived on 10-9-18 (but it seems like last year). His offering was for five cuttings, seven came, and I put them all in the same pot. I realize now I should have put them in separate pots, or at least maybe put 3-4 per pot. Although this plant is considered a succulent, it and the Huernia schneideriana are both carrion plants and members of the Apocynaceae (Milkweed) Family. This one has soft, fuzzy stems that grow upright while those of the Stapelia are not fuzzy and grow long and hang down. I guess they aren’t really fuzzy fuzzy. Feels like felt.

Stapelia gigantea (Zulu Giant) bud on 10-15-20, #747-99.

Of course, the main reason wanted this plant was for its HUGE flowers. It had several buds last year before I moved the pot inside which dried up and fell off once the plant was inside. I noticed ONE bud in September which also dried up. SO, I need to do some experimenting… How do I keep the buds from aborting? Hmmm… I think I will divide this pot and put them on the shelf in the back bedroom. They will be in front of a south-facing window and the bedroom stays cool… I will have to keep an eye on it because last fall it had a few mealybugs… We shall see…

I took Mrs. Wagler a cutting that had been hanging over the side in 2019, so when I went there on Tuesday I asked her if hers flowered. Her reply was, “OH, I didn’t know they flowered.” HMMMMM… She went back to her house to bring it to me to make sure we were talking about the same plant. She brought out a pot of what looked like 4-5 cuttings stuck in potting soil. Yeah, it was the right plant, but I was wondering what happened to “the plant”. She said she kept taking cuttings and potting them up and people kept buying them. HMMMMMM….. She is Amish so I couldn’t say “HOLY S—T!!!” I did explain the flowers to her AGAIN…

Then she asked about the bulbs of the plant that smelled bad. She said I had given her several plants but people kept buying them and she only had one bulb left. She reached in a pot and pulled out a small Amorphophallus bulb… DOUBLE GEEZ!!! MAYBE TRIPLE!!! To think I got my start from her in the first place and she only has one small bulb (rhizome or whatever you prefer to call it… I can’t even think right now).

NOW, WHERE WAS I? Oh yeah, Fall 2020 Update Part 6…

<<<<Stenocereus pruinosus>>>>

Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost) at 5 1/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-100.

The Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost, Oregon Pipe, ETC.) continues to do well and is now 5 1/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide. It was 2 7/8″ tall x 23/4″ wide when I brought it home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. Last October 11 it was 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide, so it grew taller but is still the same diameter. I checked and it hasn’t swelled anymore since I bought it inside. 🙂 This is a neat cactus anyway you look at it but I still wouldn’t want to give it a hug… It is a bit pokey. 🙂

Stenocereus pruinosus (Grey Ghost) from the top on 10-15-20, #747-101.

Cactus are very interesting from the top and this one is no exception. I like the way it gets a purplish glow when it has been in the sun.

One more, I think… 🙂

<<<<Tephrocactus articulates var. papyracanthus>>>>

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-15-20, #747-102.

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus)… I brought a small segment home from Wal-Mart on February 9, 2016 that had fallen off when I was looking at the cactus. I put the segment in my pocket because I figured it would just get thrown away. I didn’t steal it, I rescued it. 🙂 Anyway, I think it is pretty neat with the papery spines. This cactus is very fragile because the segments fall off very easily. I usually don’t measure it because it rarely gets very tall. I decided I would have a look at it while I was updating its page, and one plant has managed to branch out with two segments on one side and one on the other. So, I measured it and it is 3″ tall (the side with three segments) and the lowest segment is about 1 1/2″ in diameter. That is the biggest, so it is likely the original segment from 2016. Several plants in the pot have two segments. I think I need to put it in a larger pot since I haven’t done that in a few years. Then the segments can fall off and the colony will get bigger. GEEZ!!! Well, if I don’t they may fall into its neighbor’s pot or on the shelf. If I have it in a larger pot they won’t go very far. They spread in the wild when cattle or wildlife walk through a colony and the segments break off and get carried away in the fur.

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-15-20, #747-103.

This is not a very good photo, but you can see this plant’s tubercles and glochids. Glochids are those tiny little spines that get stuck in your fingers that are nearly impossible to get out. Some species of Opuntia (Prickly Pear) have those and I remember them well when I was a kid. I don’t remember who had one, maybe my grandma, but I got them in my fingers and I didn’t like it very well. It was one of those with the pads that didn’t really have long needles, but it had those darn fuzzy glochids. I have never brought any of those home…

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus (Paper Spine Cactus) on 10-15-20, #747-104.

Ahhh, here is a better photo of the top of one of the segments. You can see a little wool around the areoles and the glochids. The bigger spines are no problem. Other varieties of this species don’t have the papery spines. Of course, only the species is recognized as accepted, but the variety name was validly published in 1953 by Carl Backeberg when he also named the genus. It has been previously named Opuntia papyracantha in 1872. The species has 45 synonyms and has been in 3 genera. 21 are different species and varieties of Opuntia, 21 Tephrocactus species and varieties, and 3 Cereus species. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) describes six varieties of Tephrocactus articulatus including two of this variety. One of the Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus has more raised tubercles… Of course, all six varieties are synonyms of Tephrocactus articulatus under the APG III System.

OK, now I am finished with the Cactus and Succulents.

WAIT A MINUTE!!!

I almost forgot about the two new plants I brought home from Lowe’s ON NOVEMBER 10…

<<<<Aloe arborescens>>>>

Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe) at 6 3/4″ tall x 6 1/2″ wide on 11-11-20, #758-1.

After I had been outside in the garden center at Lowe’s on November 10, I came back inside and looked at the plants again. Their selection wasn’t that great, but after all, it is November, right? As I was leaving the area disappointed, I noticed more plants. I had already seen several Aloe vera, but I didn’t need any of those. If I wanted Aloe vera, I could get them from Mrs. Wagler. Then I spotted these odd-looking critters that looked like some kind of strange Aloe with teeth. The tag didn’t say what they were because there were no tags at all. They were in these gold-colored metal pots, supposed to be decorative. I took the pot it was in out of the metal pot to see if there was a tag… All the tag says is 11.00-OZ SUCCULENT METAL. Hmmm… By the time I got home, it was dark and I couldn’t take photos outside. I did take a couple but they will be on this plant’s page when it is finished. ANYWAY, I put the photo I took on the Facebook group called Succulent Infatuation. When I checked the next morning a member said it was an Aloe arborescens. AHHH! So that is what an Aloe arborescens looks like?

I had seen photos of these online but really never paid much attention to them until I brought one home. 🙂

Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe, Etc.) on 11-11-20.

SO, what is an Aloe arborescens? Well, apparently, they definitely aren’t miniatures… Information online says they are a tree-like species of Aloe that can grow to around 10 FEET TALL! Hmmm… The things you learn after the fact. 🙂 I am pretty sure they won’t get that tall in a pot. Aloe arborescens also has the third largest distribution among the genus…

Aloe arborescens (Torch Aloe, ETC.) from the top on 11-11-20., #758-3.

Besides having these teeth, Aloe arborescens is prized for its flowers that attract birds, bees, and butterflies. One of its common names is the Torch Aloe… Information says they flower in the winter which is something I have to see. I have a few miniature Aloe that are flowering now but to see a big one flower in the winter in the house? Hmmm…

<<<<Polaskia chichipe>>>>

Polaskia chichipe (Chichituna, ETC.) on 11-11-20. The largest plant is 2 1/2″ tall and the cluster is 3 1/4″ wide, #758-4.

The other plant I brought home from Lowe’s on November 10 might be a Polaskia chichipe. At least that is what a member of Succulent Infatuation suggested. I am not 100% sure because the plants in this pot have 7 ribs while information on LLIFLE and other sites say they are supposed to have 9-12. HOWEVER, when checking images online, many had as few as 6 ribs. HMMMM… Some sites say the species has 9-12 ribs while they show photos of plants with 6. 🙂 I think they buy plants to sell and think it is one species and might be another. Who know since so many look so much alike. I sent photos to Daiv Freeman of the CactiGuide and SucculentGuide to see what he thinks…

Polaskia chichipe (Chichituna, ETC.) from the top on 11-11-20, #758-5.

The pot’s label just says 11.00-OZ CACTUS W/DECO FLOWER. The second line says Cactus w/ Decorative Flower / Cactus ssp…… GEEZ! Altman Plants grow A LOT of plants for the industry and it seems like they have completely given up on properly labeling them. Maybe they got tired of enthusiasts complaining about them using old names. Perhaps they realized the scientific names of some are changing and they can’t keep up. Even an old name pointed in the right direction but no name is even more confusing. Even just a common name would be great! If they should stop anything, it would be to stop using hot glue to stick those darn strawflowers on their cactus. The tallest plant in the pot had one on it but it was already about to come off. I removed it without difficulty but there is still a little damage. It will be OK, though. As the plant gets taller you might not even notice the scars.

Polaskia chichipe (Chichituna, ETC.) on 11-20-10, #758-7.

If these guys are definitely Polaskia chichipe, they are native to central and southwest Mexico where they grow up to 15′ tall, are short-stemmed, and have multiple branches. They produce pinkish-white or yellowish-green flowers and are highly prized for their fruit.

OK, NOW I am finished with this post and will start working on the next post about what I brought back from Wagler’s on Tuesday. :

Until next time, stay well, be safe, and stay positive.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

 

 

Bed & Plant Update Part 5: Cactus & Succulents Part 2

Cotyledon orbiculata ‘Silver Storm’ on 8-28-18, #499-17.

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.

 

Gasteria sp. on…

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.

 

Huernia schneideriana

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?

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana, the big one…

Words cannot express how I feel about the Kalanchoe daigremontiana (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 daigremontiana 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.

 

Kalanchoe daigremontiana plantlets…

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?

 

Four Kalanchoe daigremontiana teenagers…

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 daigremontiana. It was named Kalanchoe daigremontiana in 1914 then the name changed to Bryophyllum daigremontiana in 1930. 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 daigremontiana 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. (?)

 

Kalanchoe marmorata

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.

 

Kalanchoe orgyalis (Copper Spoons)…

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.

 

Mammillaria elongata…

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.

 

Mammillaria elongata on 8-18-18, #498-3.

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. 🙂

 

Mammillaria decipiens

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.

 

Mammillaria hahniana…

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…

 

Mammillaria pringlei

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.

 

Mammillaria rhodantha

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…

 

Mammillaria rhodantha on 8-26-18, #499-27.

In an updated photo taken on August 26, you can see a couple of the buds on the Mammillaria rhodantha are getting larger…

 

Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis now on the back porch on August 26.

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…

 

Oscularia deltoides…

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.

 

Parodia lenninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus)…

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…

 

Sedum adolphii

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…

 

Sedum adolphii ‘Firestorm’…

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! 🙂

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’…

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.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum

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…

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’…

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.

 

Sedum spurium ‘?’…

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’.

 

Sempervivum ‘Oddity’…

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.

 

Sempervivum ‘Killer’ on 8-26-18, #499-38.

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.

 

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ flowers on August 11…

The above photo of the Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ flowers was taken on August 11.  Pretty neat, huh?

 

Stenocereus pruinosus on 7-29-18, #487-97.

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…”

 

Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus on 8-18-18, #498-7.

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.

 

Walley’s Unknown Succulent #1 on 8-29-18.

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…

 

Walley’s Unknown Succulent #2 on 8-29-18.

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).

 

Cactus on the back porch on 8-26-18.

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.

 

Plants on the front porch on 8-26-18.

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…

GET DIRTY!!!