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!