Friday, September 30, 2011

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora'

Sedum rubrotinctum 'Aurora'. You can't get much easier than this. It has beauty in simplicity and it's easy to grow to boot. What more do you want?
Oh, I know. When you've been around these plants as long as we have - growing them for over 40 years - you sometimes get a little jaded (an interesting use of words, and I'm sure confusing to the non-English speakers) with simple and "basic" succulent plants such as this. We want something more challenging!
I hope that doesn't represent my attitude, but I'm sure it does at times.
So, if for no more reason than to remind myself of a basic truth, let me state it again: Easy is good!
And speaking of being jaded, the wee Sedum is related to the Jade plant, both being members of the Crassulaceae family, but that's a very large family, with about 33 genera, of which Crassula and Sedum are just a couple.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor'

We didn't start out growing Agaves, but but we just couldn't help ourselves. Many were so striking we just had to add them to our greenhouses and this is one of them: Agave lophantha 'Quadricolor'. One of the nice things about this one is that it stays relatively small, a foot to two feet across and about a foot tall. Unfortunately, it's not reliably hardy for our area, tolerating - if dry - somewhere between 20 and 25 degrees F. Even if we have a mild winter and don't get into the low 20s, our cold is almost always wet. ... Oh well, it also makes a great potted specimen plant for the patio or deck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Late season flowers: Mammillaria hernandezii

Not exactly flamboyant, being that it's on a tiny little cactus: Mammillaria hernandezii. However, the Fall rains and cooler weather are creeping in upon us and any little flower is a blessing.
Earlier today, we took a ride out to Sauvie Island (the island at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers) to check on the stables, plus a brief stop at Cistus Nursery...always a fun place to visit. However, it's October and pretty soon the island will have weekend traffic jams of families with little children heading out to one of the many corn mazes and to pick their own pumpkin for Halloween. We made the mistake of being caught in one of those traffic jams a couple of years ago. Never again!
By the way, I grew up in this area and I'll never get used to calling it Sauvie Island. It was Sauvie's Island then and will always be for me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Echeveria 'Blue Jay'

There are so many 'Blue...' Echeverias out there that some of them are bound to be synonyms. This one goes by the moniker 'Blue Jay' and it's distinct from the other blues we have so it stands. According to one source, this is a hybrid developed by Denise Manley, a close friend of Dick Wright.

Late season flowers: Copiapoa tenuissima

As can be seen in this photo, with all the old dead flowers clearly visible, this is one plant that just doesn't know when to quit. Copiapoa tenuissima isn't one of the rarer of Copiapoas, usually seen in its monstrous form, but it's easy to grow and flowers without asking.

Late season flowers: Echinocereus rigidissimus subsp. rubispinus

We've posted this plant on many occasions, but that's partly because it's such a great plant. It flowers dependably from early Spring into the early Fall, and they are indeed spectacular; but the plants are themselves amazing, with their tightly appressed reddish spines. Right now they're adding a bit of brightness as the skies begin to darken and a small coastal storm begins to bring rain and wind. Fall is here.
Please, enjoy your plants!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Late season flowers: Epithelantha micromeris ssp. unguispina

When we first obtained this plant it was simply Epithelantha unguispina, but now it's just a subspecies...but a nice subspecies! The bloom is just beginning to emerge, getting larger, but not large.

Echeveria 'Decora'

Echeveria 'Decora' is of unknown origin but appears to have been a spontaneous mutation of E. gibbiflora 'Metallica'. Yesterday the afternoon sun made for this striking picture.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Succulents in the News

A nice article appeared today in the Southern Oregon Mail Tribune, including an interview with Master Gardener Daniel Killam, head gardener for the succulent and cactus garden on the Oregon State University Extension grounds (Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, in Central Point.)
Unfortunately they misidentified the photo included with the article, identifying it as
"a strawberry hedgehog".
Try Agave victoria-reginae