Fall 2020 Update Part 1: Cactus & Succulents Part 1

Bare plant table on the front porch.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you all well. The time of the year has come where I had to bring the potted plants (104) inside on October 15 because an “F” was in the forecast. As usual, we get a ZAP then the temps warm up again. Sometimes I put the plants back outside but that depends on the long-range forecast. It has been very windy for many days and it has been very dry. Monday we had a little shower and a little more yesterday. This morning it has rained quite a lot with thunder and lightning.

This post begins the cactus and succulent update where I photograph and measure the cactus and succulents. I have been measuring plants for probably 10 years, mainly the cactus and succulents. I like doing that because cactus grow so SSSSLLLLOOOOWWW and measuring them is a good way to tell how well they progress from one year to the next.

There will be several posts because I can’t possibly put them all on one… I think I will start the updates in alphabetical order… If you click on the highlighted name of the plant it will take you to its own page (except for a couple that I haven’t made a page for yet).

<<<<Acanthocereus tetragonus ‘Fairytale Castle’>>>>

Acanthocereus tetragonus ‘Fairytale Castle’ at 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-1.

First on the list is the Acanthocereus tetragonus ‘Fairytale Castle’. This particular “cultivar” could be a monstrous form of the species. The species can grow to around 23′ tall with stems as long as 10′. Monstrous forms mutate in several species of cactus either in nature or from human intervention and normally grow much slower and remain much smaller than the species. I brought this particular plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on 9-13-18 when it was only 3″ tall x 2″ wide. It now measures 4 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide.

Some have this plant confused with Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles) which I will discuss later…

<<<<Adromischus cristatus>>>>

Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie) on 10-15-20, #747-2.

Hmmm… That’s all I can say about the Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie). I brought this plant home from Lowe’s on April 23, 2017 and it has been weird. Of course, it looked much better when I brought it home, in fact, it was a very cute plant… It went downhill over the first winter and I thought surely it would die. It didn’t die but it didn’t do much of anything else either. It survived the summer AGAIN so I brought it back in the house for the winter. I guess as long as it wants to live I will support its cause… I have repotted it and provided what it supposedly needs but it doesn’t do anything but survive… Maybe I should talk to it more… 🙂

<<<<Agave univittata>>>>

Agave univittata (var. lophantha) at 13″ tall x 27 1:2 wide on 10-15-20, #747-3.

I kept the Agave univittata (Center Stripe Agave) in a sunnier spot on the front porch this summer instead of the back porch. I tried it on the back porch last year and its leaves seemed to burn a little and left them brown. When I brought this plant home from one of the local Amish greenhouses in 2016 I thought it was going to be a miniature. Well, it was unlabeled and the leaves were short and broad. I have had several HUGE Agave species in the past when I lived in Mississippi and I really liked them, but here my space is limited especially in the winter. As it turned out, this Agave is not a miniature but they don’t get huge. Information suggests this species grows to 12-18 tall x 12-24″ wide. Hmmm… This plant measured 13″ tall x 27 1/2″ wide when I brought it inside. I really do think these leaves should be broader in correct light but I can’t seem to find the sweet spot… It either gets too much sun or not enough…

It is highly possible this plant is NOT an Agave univittata after all. The species has 20 synonyms including Agave lophantha which has several well-known cultivars including ‘Quadracolor’. Several Agave species are variable and its leaves can be a solid color, bi-color, or even tri-color. In the beginning (sometime after creation) these different colors were given separate species names, which were later changed to varieties. This plant here was originally thought to be Agave lophantha, whose common name was the Center Stripe Agave. Later, it was decided it was a variety of Agave univittata. Now even the variety is supposedly a synonym and they just say leaf color is variable. GEEZ!!!

I still use the name Agave univittata var. lophantha because it has a center stripe. It is/was a legit scientific name that was applied to this variety in 1959 even though it is now supposedly a synonym… At one point it was even Agave lophantha var. univittata (1914). After all, this is my blog and I can call it whatever I choose. 🙂 Agave lophantha goes back to 1829 and Agave univittata only dates to 1831… I better stop there.

Agave univittata (var. lophantha) on 10-15-20, #747-4.

Most Agave species have a VERY sharp needle on the end of their leaves and spines along the margins. Did I mention they are very sharp?

<<<<Agave/x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’>>>> 

Agave/x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ at 9″ tall x 13″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-5.

I always wanted an x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ but I didn’t see paying the price some online stores were charging for them. Fortunately, I was able to find this Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ at Muddy Creek Greenhouse in 2019. x Mangave ‘Pineapple Express’ was introduced by Walters Gardens in 2016 and was bred by Hans Hansen. It is a cross between x Mangave ‘Bloodspot’ and x Mangave ‘Jaguar’. It was 4 1/2″ tall x 9″ wide when I brought it home and now it is 9″ tall x 13″ wide. It has the potential to grow 18″tall x 24″ wide… Ummm… I don’t have a page for this one yet.

Agave/xMangave ‘Pineapple Express’ on 10-15-20, #747-6.

I just love the spotted leaves on this plant! It has done very well and is maintaining a nice habit.

The xMangave is, or was, an intergenetic cross between Manfreda and Agave. Unfortunately, those in charge have decided the genus Manfreda is now a synonym of Agave despite its several differences. I had been corresponding with a man from Walters Gardens about a few plants when I bought this one. I mentioned the xMangave was now a synonym of Agave and had no reply. I have now gotten acquainted with a more enthusiastic fellow from Proven Winners, which is a division of Walters Gardens. I wonder what he has to say about name changes. Well, maybe I should wait.

I have to admit I was very excited when I found this plant as an x Mangave but not so much as an Agave. I am not certain if I am ready to call it Agave ‘Pineapple Express. There is something about it being an intergenetic hybrid that makes one tingle. Besides, Agave doesn’t have spotted leaves!!! 🙂

<<<<Aloe juvenna>>>>

Aloe juvenna on 10-15-20, #747-7.

In 2009 I was plant shopping in a Wal-Mart store in Greenville, Mississippi and I saw a piece of a plant on the shelf. I looked around and found a similar potted plant labeled Aloe squarrosa. In 2012 I brought home another similar plant labeled Aloe zanzibarica (Zanzibar Aloe). When I was doing research for the blog I found out there was no scientific name for Aloe zanzibarica and my Aloe squarrosa was actually an Aloe juvenna. In fact, both plants were Aloe juvenna. I gave up those two plants but found the one I have now from Wagler’s Greenhouse in 2017. I think I may have given her this plant in the first place. Anyway, Aloe juvenna are easy to grow and pretty carefree. They are happiest when you leave the colony all together in a pot. You can propagate this one from offsets as well as stem cuttings although it may take them a while to root… Normally, this plant is nice and green if you don’t give it too much sun but for some reason, it started looking a bit off last winter…

<<<<Aloe maculata ‘Kyle’s Grandma’>>>>

Aloe maculata ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ on 10-15-20, #747-8.

I have the longest history with the Aloe maculata ‘Kyle’s Grandma’ than any other succulent here. When I was living in Mississippi, a friend of mine brought me a couple of offsets from his grandmother’s Aloe (spring 2009). I didn’t know what species it was at the time, so I called it Aloe ‘Kyle’s Grandma’. I had even met his grandmother yet but they all liked it that I named the plant after her. I named a lot of plants after the people who gave them to me. Anyway, at first, I found out this Aloe was Aloe saponaria, which it was at the time. When The Plant List first came online in 2010 I found out Aloe saponaria was a synonym of Aloe maculata. As usual, were a few differences between the two species, mainly having to do with their inflorescence (flower cluster). I was told, of course, the species is variable… Whatever you choose to call them, Aloe maculata is a great plant that freely offsets. I have literally potted HUNDREDS of these plants and gave them away to friends or anyone that wanted one. These plants will get HUGE and prefer their offsets to be removed from the pot. If you don’t do that you will have a big problem… The main plant in this pot grew to 19″ tall x 42″ wide by the time I moved the plants inside on October 11 last year. Unfortunately, it died in the spring before I moved the plants outside. I had screwed up and put the pot on the back porch one fine sunny day before spring arrived. I am not sure if it got too cold or if it was too much sun all at once. Whatever happened, it died leaving behind a bunch of orphans… I intended to put them in their own pots but got so busy I didn’t have time… So, here they are still in the pot on October 15… If you want to read more about this plant and my history with them, click on the name above.

<<<<Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’>>>>

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ on 10-15-20, #747-9.

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was the first Aloe I purchased when I was living at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi.  I brought it home from Lowe’s in 2009 and we have had our ups and downs… I gave an offset to Mrs. Wagler (Wagler’s Greenhouse) in 2013 and I was glad I did. After I gave up a lot of my plants in 2014, I had to start over again in 2015. Well, I brought home the offset I had gave to Mrs. Wagler the year before… 🙂

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ was hybridized by John Bleck using the offspring of Aloe descoingsii x Aloe calcairophila and crossing it with Aloe bellatula. It is a nice miniature Aloe that offsets like crazy which can pose some interesting issues… The pot gets so full it becomes hard to give it enough water… I gave the plants a good dose of water the day before I moved them inside, but this pot is very light and feels like it had no water at all. GEEZ!!! However, even though it looks sad, it is flowering so it is happy. 🙂

The cluster of plants is approximately the same size as it was in 2019 with nothing exciting to report. Right now it is flowering again which it does periodically throughout the year, inside or out.

Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ 10-15-20, #747-10.

Shriveling of its leaves is fairly common when it needs water or if it is getting too much sun. If it does this because it is cold and wet, you have an emergency on your hands. That was a problem I had with it a few times when I lived in Mississippi but I was a newbie at the time. During the summer, water once a week if it needs it, but no matter what, control yourself during the winter. One reason my succulents are in the back bedroom is so I won’t be looking at them every day and be tempted to water them too often. Once or twice during the winter is enough…

Not all Aloe species and hybrids are easy to grow. I have lost a few over the years because they were weird…

<<<<x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’>>>>

x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ at 5 3/4″ tall x 10″ wide on 10-15-20, #747-11.

The x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ is a great plant for sure. It is an intergeneric hybrid between Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. I brought this plant home from Wildwood Greenhouse on May 9, 2019 when it was 3 1/2″tall x 6 1/8″ wide. I put it in a larger pot on November 13, 2019 and it has done very well. Now it is 5 3/4″ tall x 10″ wide. I really like this plant and its dark green leaves.

I keep getting confused between intergeneric and intergenetic. When I think of “generic” it reminds me of generic brands of food and drugs. Intergeneric is the hybridization between two genera while intergenetic deals with genes. The “x” before the plant name indicates it is an intergeneric hybrid… I checked to make sure Haworthia cymbiformis is still a Haworthia species. 🙂

<<<<Aristaloe aristata #1>>>>

Aristaloe aristata #1 on 10-15-20, #747-12.

I brought this Aristaloe aristata home from Wal-Mart on March 19, 2018 and it always did well until I messed up. I put it in a larger pot in November 2019 which probably would have been fine. But, toward the end of the winter before I moved the plants outside in the spring, I gave several of the more root-bound Aloe a good soaking. Well, I did it with this one too which I shouldn’t have done since it was in a new and deeper pot. As a result, the lower roots rotted and it started going downhill. I put it in a shallower pot and removed its three offsets and it started slowly recovering. Not knowing if it would recover is the reason I had Nico from Succulent Market send the new one (which I wrote about a couple of posts ago). I didn’t measure this plant this time around because it had shrunk A LOT since so many of its lower leaves died. Right now, the plant from Nico is bigger than this one… OUCH! Live and learn…

<<<<Austrocylindropuntia subulata>>>>

Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s Needle) at 4 1/2″ tall on 10-15-20, #747-13.

Austrocylindropuntia subulata is definitely a mouth full and you can’t say it really fast three times. I brought this plant home from Wagler’s Greenhouse in November 2019 when I went out to see if she had more Christmas (Holiday) Cactus. The one I brought home from her earlier had a peach label and it turned out to have pink flowers… Anyway, she didn’t have any more peach but I did bring this delightful little Eve’s Needle home. It was very small at the time but it has grown to 4 1/2″ inches. I had a HUGE Austrocylindropuntia subulata f. cristata (Crested Eve’s Needle) but it died in over the 2013-2014 winter. It was AWESOME and I haven’t found a replacement so far.

I don’t have a page for this plant yet…

Well, I got through the “A’s”. There are no “B’s” so I will start with the “C’s” through part of the “E’s” on the next post.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive. Stay well and always be thankful…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Until next time, take care and be safe!

New Plants Update

Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’ on 5-16-19, #573-2.

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I haven’t posted since April 28, so I thought I better make an appearance so you know I am still alive and well. I have been busy doing this and that because there is always plenty to do. The grass is growing nonstop now.

I wanted to share my new plants with you. I haven’t brought home very many yet and I haven’t even started on the south side of the house. I am waiting for the re-seeding annuals to come up and so far there is no sign. The Jewels of Opar are coming up but the Denver Daisy has been a no show. The Celosia ‘Cramer’s Amazon and ‘Brocade Marigolds SHOULD be coming up.

So, here are the new plants since the last post, in alphabetical order…

The top photo is the Achillea tomentosa (Wooly Yarrow). The tag says the cultivar is ‘LoGro™ Goldie’. I don’t know where the “LoGro™” is trademarked from at the moment but the cultivar ‘Goldie’ has been around for a few years. When I checked to see if the species name was still “accepted”, I ran into a little difficulty. Ummm…

If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, there “were” five Achillea tomentosa with different authors abbreviations. All are synonyms of other species now. Achillea tomentosa Friv. ex Nyman=Achillea coarctata Poir., Achillea tomentosa Fraas ex Nyman=Achillea holosericea Sm., Achillea tomentosa L.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pursh=Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis DC.=Achillea millefolium L., Achillea tomentosa Pall. ex Ledeb.=Achillea leptophylla M.Bieb. (Actually, there are two different Achillea leptophylla. Achillea leptophylla K.Koch. ex Nyman=Achillea crithmifolia Waldst. & Kit.). All the authors who named and wrote the descriptions we all describing different plants with the same name. 

So, what is the species of this plant anyway? I did image searches online of the possibilities and many of the photos look the same with the same type of leaves and flowers. Yes, some were different, but nothing really conclusive. No database or website other than Plants of the World Online mentions anything about the name Achillea tomentosa now being a synonym. It must have been a recent change. Looks like another email to Rafael Goverts from Kew is in order… Watch him tell me the change isn’t definite yet. I agree if there are more than one scientific names of the same plant the mystery should be solved. After all, Achillea millefolium has 133 synonyms and that number will probably grow.

ANYWAY! This plant I brought home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on May 1. The plant labeled Achillea tomentosa ‘LoGro™ Goldie’, is supposed to grow to ONLY 6-8″ tall. That is smaller than “Goldie’, ‘King Edward’ or ‘Aurea’ which are also popular cultivars of Achillea tomentosa.

Moving right along…

 

Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ after I brought it home on 5-9-19, #570-1.

I had been working on planters for a friend so I “had to” go to the four local greenhouses on more than one occasion. Wagler’s has a few succulents but Mast’s and Wildwood have more. Sometimes I find something new at Mast’s but Wildwood normally has the best selection. Wildwood Greenhouse is smaller than the other three but their plants are AWESOME. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t rate one higher than the rest because all their plants are of high quality. Business was booming the first couple of times I went to the greenhouses, but I did get to visit with Mr. Yoder at Wildwood at length on the 8th and 9th. We talked plants in general. Anyway, one of the succulents I picked up was this nice x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ which was unlabeled. I posted the photo on a Facebook group and was told it looked like x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’. I looked it up on Llifle and Google and decided the member was right or close enough to give it a name. x Alworthia ‘Black Gem’ is an intergeneric cross between Aloe speciosa and Haworthia cymbiformis. Interestingly, one website used the term bigeneric which was a new one for me but bigeneric and intergeneric mean the same thing. Maybe they couldn’t think of the word intergeneric. I like the thick dark green leaves.

 

Mesembryanthemum cordifolium f. variegata after I brought it home on 5-1-19, #564-2.

Walking through back greenhouse at Wagler’s I noticed this neat plant with a flower that looked similar to an Ice plant. There were A LOT of them but they were all unlabeled. I asked Mrs. Wagler what it was and she said it was an Ice Plant. Hmmm… When I think of an Ice plant I think of Delosperma cooperi which I have grown several times. “This is no Ice Plant”, I thought to myself. So, I brought it home mainly to figure it out.

 

By the time I arrived home to take photos the flower was closed up. It was pretty neat how the flower just kind of sticks out of the end of the plant.

Anyway, I went to my computer later and typed in “variegated Ice Plant” and came up with the name Aptenia cordifolia “Variegata”. Which would be written correctly as Aptenia cordifolia f. variegata. Unfortunately, Plants of the World Online says Aptenia cordifolia ONCE AGAIN is a synonym of Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Ummm… Botanists agreed this species was Aptenia cordifolia when the name was changed by Martin Heinrich Gustav Schwantes in Gartenflora in 1928. The genus Aptenia was named in 1925 but the species were returned to the Mesembryanthemum genus in 2007. Then in 2009, several authors proposed this move be reversed. So far, no luck.

 

On May 6 I was finally able to get a photo of the flower. Like members of other Mesembryanthemum and Delosperma genera, the flowers of “Aptenia cordifolia” are only open during the day and close up in the late afternoon. The common name “Ice Plant” belongs to Delosperma cooperi. Aptenia cordifolia is the Heart-Leaved Ice Plant and Dew Plant *among others). The common name for Mesembryanthemum cordifolium is Baby Sun Rose. To make it a little more confusing, there is a hybrid cultivar floating around by Proven Winners called ‘Mezoo Trailing Red’ and they call it a Livingstone Daisy. It is likely a hybrid between Aptenia cordata x Aptenia haeckeliana, I mean Mesembryanthemum cordifolium x M. haeckelianum. The hybrids are found in the wild and produce red flowers while the true, whatever you call it, produce bright magenta-rose (pinkish) flowers.

All of the local greenhouses had many combination hanging baskets with these plants in them. I used them when I did the planters for a friend as well.

 

Callisia repens (Bolivian Jew) on 5-19-19, #575-1.

I also had to have this neat little plant. I look at the label and it was a Bolivian Jew and the species name was Callisia navicularis. I was pretty happy when Plants of the World Online said that was a legit and accepted name! BUT, when I was talking to a friend and sent him a photo, he promptly said it was a Callisia repens. I said, “WHAT!?!?!” I hadn’t looked online myself yet to make sure of that but he immediately knew that a Bolivian Jew was a Callisia repens and not what the label said. I checked for myself and sure enough, he was right. I met this guy through a Facebook group and he knows a lot about plants!

 

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-1.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ has been on my wishlist for a long time, so when I saw several at Muddy Creek Greenhouse on May 8 I didn’t hesitate to bring one home. I have grown both Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ and Bikini Tini’ when I lived at the mansion in Mississippi but haven’t since I have been back in Missouri. Many believe Colocasia ‘Tea Cup’ is the same as ‘Coffee Cups’. Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ was discovered in the wild by Indonesian botanist Gregory Hambali and brought to the US by aroid specialist Alan Galloway.

 

I put it in the ground on the right side of the steps on the north side of the house. Two Achillea millefolium came up in this spot but I haven’t moved them yet. I just put the Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ behind them. Hmmm… Two different species with completely different moisture requirements in the same spot. How’s that for garden planning? The Achillea are MUCH taller now but C. ‘Coffee Cups’ can grow 5-6′ tall.

Colocasia ‘Coffee Cups’ and ‘Tea Cup’ are commonly advertised as a cultivar of Colocasia esculenta. In my opinion, and other growers of the ears, that is nearly impossible. It has many characteristics of Colocasia fontanesii including the dark petioles and smaller olive-green leaves. Colocasia ‘Black Stem’, which I have also grown in the past, is a Colocasia fontanesii.

 

Wagler’s also had a lot of very nice Gazinia so I had to bring one home for the northeast corner bed. I haven’t grown any of these for a few years but I always liked them. Their flowers start folding up in the late afternoon and open in the morning. GEEZ! I take most of my photos in the late afternoon!

 

Gasteria ‘Little Warty’ after I brought it home on 5-8-19, #569-2.

When I was out at Wildwood Greenhouse for the second time, I picked up one of the Gasteria ‘Little Warty’. It was unlabeled but I knew what it was from previous research about the Gasteria species. It is a cross between Gasteria batesiana x Gasteria ‘Old Man Silver’ from the Australian hybridizer David Cumming. Gasteria species seem to be easy to grow and are worth giving a try if you haven’t. They prefer light shade to shade over full sun so they also do well inside.

 

Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) on 5-9-19, #570-3.

Wildwood Greenhouse had several of these Haworthiopsis limifolia (Fairy Washboard) which were also unlabeled. This species was first named Haworthia limifolia by Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth in 1910 then changed to Haworthiopsis limifolia by Gordon Douglas Rowley in 2013. A distinguishing feature of Haworthia species is their “two-lipped” flowers. After further research, three separate genera were discovered within the Haworthia genus. Now we have Haworthia, Haworthiopsis, and Tulista all with “two-lipped” flowers. Hmmm…

 

Malva sylvestris (French Hollyhock) on 5-19-19, #575-2.

Wagler’s had several unlabeled pots of these plants with nice HUGE dark green leaves that were unlabeled. Again, I had to ask what they were. Mrs. Wagler said they were Miniature Hollyhocks and thats all she knew. It is likely Malva sylvestris. Common names include French Hollyhock, and Tall or High Mallow.

I am not necessarily a Hollyhock fan because I had a friend, now deceased, who had them growing all along his garage. They spread A LOT over the years so I have been hesitant. I thought since these were miniatures they might do well between the basement steps and back porch so I brought one home. I planted it but I keep forgetting about it when I am taking photos. Hopefully, it won’t have pink flowers…

I think that’s it for the new plants this year so far. I didn’t find any new Hosta to bring home for myself but I did find three for a friend (the one I did the planters for). They are all different than mine so I can take photos of his. 🙂

Now I have to work on an update. I have to show you what the Echinopsis mirabilis is doing and photos of the Baptisia that was labeled ‘Lunar Eclipse’. It is LOADED with flowers this year but it is definitely NOT a ‘Lunar Eclipse’. Of course, the Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ is always photo worthy and hasn’t even slowed down.

Until next time, be safe and stay positive!