April 24 Update

A few of the plants on the front porch on 4-22-19, #561-9.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all doing well. I took most of the photos for this post on April 20 then more on April 22. I did manage to get the plants on the front porch but the cactus are still in the house. Many of the perennials are growing very fast now but some are still slow because of lingering cool temperatures. The Hosta have been slow except for a few such as the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ and H. Potomac Pride’. I will have to take new photos of the Hosta and make a separate update for the Heuchera and Hosta. I am planning a garden this year but the wind and then more rain has delayed that plan. I am also planning on extending the bed on the north side of the house… I want to add another Xanthosoma and find another Leococasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’. Of course, the larger Colocasia esculenta will also go in the north bed. Well, maybe I need to make the bed even larger than planned. I also moved the Alocasia outside but they aren’t exactly photo ready yet. 🙂

I met a new friend and fellow plant collector and we will be trading a few plants. No telling what I might wind up with but it will be very good!

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-20-19, #560-1.

The Achillea ‘Moondust’ is well on its way to having a great summer. This is only the second cultivar of Achillea I have bought. The other was a selection of Achillea millefolium called ‘Strawberry Seduction’ which I purchased from Lowe’s in Greenville, Mississippi in 2012. I brought it to Missouri with me in 2013 but it fizzled out in 2014.

 

Achillea ‘Moondust’ on 4-22-19, #561-2.

Two days after the previous photo was taken, the Achillea ‘Moondust’ it has two buds…

 

Achillea millefolium on 4-20-19, #560-2.

The Achillea millefolium have been amusing plants (plural because I have SEVERAL clumps now). I have been calling this a Fern-Leaf Yarrow, but that common name belongs to the Achillea filipendulina (which has yellow flowers). The common names for the Achillea millefolium include Milfoil, Yarrow or Common Yarrow, Allheal, Thousand-Leaf, Bloodwort, Carpenter’s Grass, Cammock, Green Arrow, Sneezeweed, Nosebleed, Green Adder’s Mouth, Soldier’s Woundwort, Dog Daisy, Old-Man’s-Pepper and probably more. What is amusing to me is the way it travels by underground roots to where it would rather be. I initially brought two clumps with me when I moved back here from Mississippi in 2013. A friend of mine gave me quite a few plants from her yard that she had for MANY years. She said another gardening friend had given a start to her and she didn’t know the cultivar name. She just started yanking up plants because they had spread way out into her yard. Since I had several to experiment with, I put them here and there in both full sun and shady areas. The plants in too much shade just kind of fizzled out but the two mostly sun thrived. I brought two clumps with me when I came back here and put them in the bed on the south side of the house. In 2014 I moved one to the front of the chicken house and one on the north side of the house. I also put a few along the basement steps (in full sun). The one in front of the chicken house has just done so-so and that is where I thought it would spread the most. But, not so. It only did well there for a couple of years then the clump became smaller and has even tried moving around the corner. The plants along the basement steps, in full sun, only lasted a couple of years then they didn’t return one spring. On the north side of the house, where they received the least amount of sun, they have done much better and multiplied. I took one of the larger clumps and put them in front of the barn last spring in full sun. One clump on the north side of the house is only a couple of feet from the foundation and seems to like it there even though it is in the shade. The clump I moved to the barn was the traveler… It moved about 3 feet from where I initially planted it in three years to get to more sun. It has also left behind 4-5 offspring, two of which popped up this spring next to the steps. The other 2 or 3 are still in the shadier part of the bed. Supposedly, according to some, the Achillea millefolium will spread like wildfire but I haven’t had that problem. The native Achillea millefolium on one part of the Katy Trail nearby has flourished beyond comprehension. Here on the farm, I guess the cows have kept in check because there aren’t that many. You can see Achillea millefolium on a lot of back roads as well, sometimes in very large colonies. There are several nice cultivars available in several colors and sizes that do not spread.

 

Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ on 4-20-19, #560-3.

A few patches of the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ are beginning to flower while some are still in bud. I really like this cultivar even though they spread like their life depends on it. Well, I guess their life does depend on it, huh? I originally brought the Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ home from Lowe’s in 2010 when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. They multiply to form a thick mat so some of the plants need to be removed every year or so to avoid crown rot. They root easily so you can put them here and there. They have fairly shallow roots so they make a nice living mulch.

 

Astilbe cv. ‘?’ on 4-20-19, #560-4.

The Astilbe are getting with it now. They aren’t among the first perennials to emerge in the spring, but they are close behind them. Once they start they grow nonstop until they reach their size. The one in the above photo, Astilbe cv. ‘?’, is the one I brought home with the wrong label. I checked over the plant quality in many pots and didn’t notice it was mislabeled until I brought it home. GEEZ! It is a smaller plant so it is likely Astilbe ‘Visions’ or ‘Rheinland’. I guess I should take measurements of the mature height with and without the flowers so I can give ita proper name besides ‘?’…

 

Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ on 4-20-19, #460-5.

No mistaking this is an Astilbe x arendsii ‘Fanal’ because it has the correct label. 🙂 This cultivar is somewhat taller than the other one and has dark leaves and red flowers. Astilbe are great in a shady area and prefer somewhat moist soil and they both like it on the north side of the house. Some cultivars grow to around 30″ or taller.

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ ? on 4-20-19, #560-6.

The Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ wannabe has grown A LOT since I took the last photos on April 7.  I had to make a decision to move this plant to the southeast corner bed because it shades the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ too much. At least I think so although the Phlomis wasn’t complaining. ANYWAY, Saturday afternoon I took the shovel and stuck it in all the way around the clump to loosen the soil… Ummm… Baptisia has deep taproots and doesn’t like to be disturbed so I was going to be very careful to get as much soil and as deep as I could. It would not budge! I thought I was going to break the shovel handle. So, I decided I would move the Phlomis to the southeast corner bed instead. It was not happy about that decision… I will write about that down farther… So, for now, I guess the Baptisia stays put.

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’ on 4-22-19, #561-4.

On April 22, only two days after the previous photo was taken, the Baptisia wannabe ‘Lunar Eclipse’ has MANY buds… Now I have to watch it closely!

 

Cydonia sp. on 4-20-19, #560-7.

The Quince has more flowers on it this year than I have ever seen before. Maybe it will bear fruit. 🙂 This probably the most annoying shrub, besides the Crap Myrtle, on the farm. Well, I suppose that depends on how you look at it. I don’t trim it very often and it has spread into the patch of Iris next to it which I am not happy about. Other trees like to hide in it and there is also some Poison Ivy in it. My grandparents planted it here so it has been around for a long time. I have noticed other Quince’s around town that are also LOADED!

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-27.

Like I mentioned earlier, I had to make a decision about moving the Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ since I couldn’t budge the Baptisia…

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ roots on 4-20-19, #560-28.

I looked it over pretty good and thought, “Hmmm… I can make two out of it.” It actually had two tap roots, which were growing crooked because the soil was so hard.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-20-19, #560-31.

After I replanted them and gave them a good soaking I continued taking more photos. Then I thought how I didn’t like the same plants in more than one location, even though they are within a few feet of each other. After all, I had just put the Hosta ‘Guacamole’ back together again for the same reason. I have to keep comparing the two plants and take two photos instead of one.

 

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ on 4-22-19, #561-13.

So, on the 22nd, I put them back together again. It wasn’t very happy I had dug it up and moved it in the first place let alone completely disturbing its roots. It will be in more sun where it is now, which is supposed to be OK. I will just have to keep an eye on it. GEEZ! It probably thinks I have flipped!

*On April 24 it has forgiven me and looks MUCH better.

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ on 4-20-19, #560-32.

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ continues to do well. These are a great Salvia is you need a plant that stays pretty compact. This is our third season together and it has always done well. It will start budding shortly.

 

Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ on 4-20-19, #560-33.

I was very glad to see the Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ survived the winter. This will be our second season and it is already getting off to a good start. One plant is larger than the other, but the smaller one flowered first. 🙂 At one point last summer the smaller one almost fizzled out but it came back to life and survived the winter. This Salvia has the neatest flowers which you can see if you go to its page. Salvia pratensis ‘Midnight Model’ is part of the FASHIONISTA™ Collection introduced by Walters Gardens. Maybe I can find another one so there will be three. I used to only buy one of each plant, but last year I started buying at least three to make a bigger group. That’s OK as long as I plant them all together. 🙂

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ on 4-22-19, #561-15.

The Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’ (or ‘May Night’) has really taken off this spring! Last year, if you remember, it took a vacation and barely did anything. It stayed small and barely flowered. I am glad its vacation is over! This will be our seventh season and is one of the first perennials I panted here in 2013. It has been in this same spot.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-36.

The Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ is growing really well now and

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ buds on 4-20-19 #560-37.

It appears to have a few buds already!

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ on 4-20-19, #560-38.

Even the stem with more yellow variegation has returned. Maybe I can take a cutting this year.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum on 4-20-19, #560-39.

The Sedam kamtschaticum is also doing very good. Last year it sprawled out and the stems touching the soil rooted. That’s good so now the clump will be bigger. 🙂

 

Tradescantia fluminensis flower on 4-20-19, #560-40.

When I took the plants to the front porch on April 20, I noticed the Tradescantia fluminensis had a flower. NICE. It did pretty well over the winter. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for this plant yet.

 

Zantedeschia aethiopica on 4-22-19, #561-16.

The Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla) bulbs had started sprouting but the bulbs had sunk deeper into the soil. So, I gave the pot some fresh potting soil and re-planted the bulbs. They are a bit more crowded than recommended if you plant them in the ground but this is a pot… The top 1/4 of the bulbs need to be above the soil but that didn’t out so well. There is a big cluster in the center and when I watered most became covered with potting soil. Hmmm… They didn’t flower last year, so I am hoping for blooms. Hmmm… I don’t have a page for the Calla either and I have had them since 2017! How could that be? 🙂

I had to do some repotting and take a few cuttings when I moved the plants outside which can be expected when they have been inside.

I took photos of the Hosta on April 20, but some are growing so fast the photos are out of date. So, I will take photos again and do a separate Heuchera and Hosta update. Of course, there will be a cactus update once I move them back outside.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive and GET DIRTY!

 

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!!!

 

New Plants & Update

Hello folks! I hope this post finds you all well, safe, warm, and prosperous! I just wanted to take a few moments and share with you what has been happening since the last update. I took photos April 8 but didn’t finish the post. After a week of warmer weather, most of the perennials had grown so had to start over.

First, I wanted to share a photo of one of the baby grasshoppers that have been in my bedroom windowsill for about a month. I have never seen baby grasshoppers before let along having them hatch out in the house. I tried to take photos before, but they were too tiny for me to get a good photo. Sunday, the 8th, I finally got a photo that wasn’t blurry.

The first three photos are from April 8 and I didn’t take new photos of them on the 13th.

 

Achillea millefolium-Fern Leaf Yarrow

Sunday afternoon I as I took my camera outside, I started on the west side of the north bed next to the porch. First, the Achillea millefolium is continuing to grow… Not only are they among the last to be affected by colder temperatures, they are also among the first to return in the spring. In fact, they peek out off and on during the winter everytime we have a few days of warmer weather.

 

Lysimachia nummularia ‘Goldilocks’

If you need a spreading ground cover that you don’t mind crawling among your other plants, then you should try Lysimachia nummularia. Here in mid-Missouri, the Creeping Jenny all but disappears during the winter. They, too, are among the first to return in the spring. I bought this Creeping Jenny cultivar in the spring of 2014 and they have spread nicely in the north bed. I think this year I am going to move them around in other beds to see how they do in different areas.

More of these have come back up in the past week, even in places I didn’t have them as much last year. What a traveler!

 

Geranium sanguineum-Bloody Cranesbill

The patch of Geranium sanguineum or Geranium sanguineum var. striatum has been struggling for the past couple of years. I think maybe they had an episode of crown rot a couple of years ago so maybe I need to dig the area up and replant them. They are normally pretty hardy but when they get really thick they can have a few issues. Many plants do this, including the Ajuga (Bugleweed). These are the descendants of the Geranium sanguineum I bought from Bluestone Perennials in the early 1980’s when I first moved to the farm when grandpa passed away in 1891. Dad moved them to this spot after my parents bought a manufactured home and moved to the farm in 1996. This species could be Geranium sanguineum var. striatum which has larger flowers than the species so this year I will measure the blooms…

 

NEW PLANTS!

I am a member of several plant groups on Facebook, including one called Cheap Succulents and Cacti. I had never bought plants from anyone on the Facebook groups before but when I saw this particular Sedum from Elizabeth Li I couldn’t help myself. I contacted her and she said she had other plants, too. I checked her offering and they were mostly Echeveria. But she also had a Kalanchoe that also looked tempting… So, bought two plants. She shipped them on Monday and they arrived on Friday (April 13).

 

They were shipped bareroot and she had them all nicely packed in shredded paper.

 

They have a good root system…

 

Kalanchoe marmorata-Penwiper Plant

The Kalanchoe marmorata has very thick leaves, kind of rubbery, with brownish-purple blotches. The leaves have a weird sticky feeling that is hard to explain. Common names include Penwiper Plant, Pen Wiper Plant, Spotted Kalanchoe, Penwiper, and Baby Penwiper. They are native to West and Central Africa where they grow up to 48″ tall but in pots, they normally grow to about 16″. The species was first described by John Gilbert Baker in Gardener’s Chronicle & Agricultural Gazette in 1892.

 

Sedum spathulifolium subsp. pruinosum ‘Cape Blanco’-
Spoon-Leaved Stonecrop 

This species of Sedum is native from British Columbia all the way down into California and the Sierra in Nevada. They have very small leaves silvery-gray-green leaves. Who could resist! They are supposed to be cold hardy here so I can probably plant it in the ground. I will probably put some cuttings in a pot to overwinter inside just in case. Sedum spathulifolium Hook. (spath-yoo-lif-FOH-lee-um) was named and described by William Jackson Hooker in Flora Boreali-Americana in 1832. The subspecies, Sedum spathulifolium subsp. pruinosum (Britton) R.T.Clausen & Uhl, was named and described by Robert Theodore Clausen and Charles Harrison Uhl in Madroño in 1944. It had previously been named Sedum pruinosum Britton by Nathaniel Lord Britton in North American Flora in 1905.

STARTING OVER ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON…

Now, let’s start over in the south bed…

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’-Jerusalem Sage

Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ continues to do well despite it normally doesn’t come back up until May. Every time the forecast says the temp is going to be below 35 during the night, I run out and put the pot back over it before I go to bed. 🙂

 

Baptisia ‘Lunar Eclipse’-False Indigo

The Baptisia x ‘Lunar Eclipse’ has really taken off this past week. Hopefully, it will flower and we can really see what it can do. This is the first Baptisia I have had since I have been back on the farm and only the second I have ever tried. I tried ‘Carolina Moonlight’ in 2012 while I was in Mississippi but then I forgot about and left it behind when I moved here in February 2013. Well, it was dormant and I may not have even been able to find it. I am really looking forward to this plant flowering!

 

Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ was new last spring. I also bought a ‘New Dimension Rose’ but it didn’t do well during the invasion of the Marigold ‘Brocade’ last summer and did not return this spring.

 

Salvia x sylvestris ‘Mainacht’

The Salvia x sylvestris Mainacht is doing well as usual. Always one of the first to come up in the spring and will flower continually throughout the summer. That is, as long as I keep it deadheaded.

 

Stachys byzantina-Lamb’s Ears

All I can say it was a good thing I divided the big clump of Lamb’s Ears last spring because the bigger clump all but died out over the winter. The photo above is from the division I made and put in the southeast corner bed in the somewhat amended crappy fill dirt. The other division is in the southwest side and it is only doing fair. I have heard the Stachys byzantina can be somewhat invasive but I have never had that problem. I think location plays an important part, especially during the winter months. Even though plants may be very cold tolerant, they still need protection with a layer of mulch. The larger clump is on the edge of the bed and the wind keeps any type of cover blown off. Normally I don’t remove the dead leaves and stems until spring when new growth starts to emerge. I think that was a big problem because I pretty much cleared off the south bed last fall.

I haven’t gotten the page for the Stachys byzantina added on the right yet. I am on the “S’s”, but STILL working on the Sedum pages. I got stumped on one species for several days just trying to figure out who actually named the plant. Finally, I just had to admit it was actually unknown so I could move forward.

 

Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’-Lousiana Iris

The Iris x violipurpurea ‘Black Gamecock’ is still alive and seemingly OK. I am debating moving this clump, too, because I think it would do much better elsewhere. It is in the area between the basement steps and the back porch. I had certain plans for this spot when I moved here in 2013, but those plans did not materialize. When I started working in this area there were about 20 cats here. I amended the fill dirt but the cats thought it was a good spot to dig… Then dad bought a few roses and wanted them planted along the basement steps… So, I did. I also have Zinnias along the steps every year, but someday…

 

Prunus calleryana-Bradford Pear

Dad planted this Bradford Pear shortly after they moved their manufactured home here in 1996. It is usually LOADED with flowers every spring and the bees and pollinating flies just love it. Outside of a few wildflowers that are already blooming, there isn’t much for the honey bees and other pollinators to feed on.

 

The tree has had a lot of issues in the past and does need some pruning to get it back in shape. The wind took the top out of it several years ago, before I returned, and there are several dead limbs that need to be removed.

 

Progne subis-Purple Martin

The Martins have officially returned for 2018. I have an issue… Even though I pretty much do everything on the farm and have certain ways I do things or think they should be done, sometimes dad will have a different opinion. Normally, I just do what needs to be done and tell him what I did after the fact. Last summer, after the Martins left, I was getting ready to clean out the Martin house and put the covers on the holes. Dad said to just cover the holes and clean it out next year. GEEZ! So, I did. Last week, when three Martins showed up, I need to go clean it out and open the holes. Dad said to just open the top two rows or the sparrows would try and take it over. GEEZ AGAIN! So, I went out, cleaned out all the nests and only left the top two rows open. Within a couple of days, there were A LOT more Martins so I had to lower the house AGAIN and remove the rest of the covers. You know, they are fighting over the nests in the top two rows… Can’t they see they are all open now? If you have never seen male Martins fight over nesting rights, I will tell you they are very determined and vicious! You would think they were going to kill one another.

 

Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’-Catmint

The Catmint in the corner on the right side of the back porch is doing really well despite it being in the crappy fill dirt. I keep calling it crappy dirt, but there must be some value in it. It sure can grow weeds! Soon, the Catmint will be LOADED with flowers!

 

Cydonia oblonga-Flowering Quince

The Flowering Quince is now LOADED with flowers.

 

Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’

The Sedum spurium ‘John Creech’ is doing much better now. It seems to do weird things over the winter but at least it survived… I really like this Sedum with it smaller leaves. It also spreads very well. I do not have its page ready yet, hopefully within the next few days. It is next on the list and there doesn’t appear to be anything whacky with its name.

 

Sedum kamtschaticum-Orange or Russian Stonecrop

This is also one of my favorite Sedums. It has fairly good sized bright green leaves and will produce an abundance of yellow flowers later. This plant could also be Sedum kamtschaticum var. ellacombeanum but I am not sure. That variety is somewhat larger so I will be taking measurements this summer. This species, along with many other Sedums, were moved to various other genera to reclassify them into groups according to various traits. Sedum kamtschaticum became Phedimus kamtschaticus. Apparently, the name change didn’t win much favor because the Phedimus genus is now a synonym of Sedum, at least on most plant name databases. I wonder what the results of a polygenetic test would say?

 

Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’

Well, the Sedum kamtschaticum ‘Variegatum’ survived the winter and hopefully, it will spread a little more this summer.

 

Sedum ‘Unknown’

HA! I am still uncertain what the species of this Sedum is. I have a few ideas and I will have to make my decision soon. I found a tag that says Sedum ‘Cherry Tart’ which I bought in 2016 but this plant is older. I believe I bought it unlabeled from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2015. It could be Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’…

 

Sempervivum x ‘Killer’

The Sempervivum x ‘Killer’ is still looking very good despite the frigid temperatures in January. I just bought it last spring and since it survived the winter, I know it will be around for a very long time.

 

Physostegia virginiana-Obedient Plant

Well, GEEZ! I bought this plant last spring from a local garden club’s plant sale. I knew the Obedient Plant could be invasive which is why I bought it especially for this spot (a corner along the foundation which used to be my grandparent’s old house). The leaves always pile up in this spot over the winter and when I pulled them back to check on this plant… Well, as you can see, one plant turned into many. 🙂

 

Cylindropuntia imbricata-Tree Cholla

Alive or dead? I don’t know yet. When Mrs. Wagler gave me this cactus in the spring of 2016, she said it was hardy outside. It survived last winter with no problem but this winter was much colder. So, I am patiently waiting. A photo taken of this plant last April 20 showed it was growing those new limbs. It still feels solid in the ground, so maybe after more warmer temperatures, it will show signs of life.

 

Tephrocactus articulatis var. papyracanthus-Paper Spine Cactus

You know, I have had some oddballs, and this cactus is certainly no exception. If this plant were in a larger pot, or outside, its odd balls would be falling off and growing new plants. It usually just sits there, not making any sign of life, making me wonder if it alive or dead. Then, I noticed it had new growth. When did it do that? When I was buying plants from Wal-Mart in February 2016, a piece fell off of one of the other cactus so I put it in my pocket and brought it home. 🙂  I don’t consider that stealing when you think of what could have happened to it otherwise. Maybe swept up off the floor and thrown in the trash. So, I have had this plant for two years and it has been in this same small pot the whole time.

I think I will close this post for now and save the Heuchera and Hosta update for the next post. Maybe tomorrow. 🙂

SO, until then, stay well, positive, safe and GET DIRTY!