Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sedeveria hummelii?

We received this as X Sedeveria hummelii, but I believe the flowers should be yellow if that's the case. If anyone can give us a little guidance on the name we would certainly appreciate it.
But, whatever it is, we really like those flowers.

Tephrocactus alexanderi var. geometricus

We haven't put these up for sale yet since we don't have enough of a supply, but I love the symmetry of the plant. I'll be sure to post a picture when it flowers, plus give a little background information.

Lobivia (Echinopsis) 'Aracnacot'

We're not sure of the heritage of this hybrid. Perhaps it's a hybrid by Harry Johnson. It's of the form of what is traditionally called Lobivia and the flower isn't as large as the photo might indicate, but the flower is very impressive. Currently we only have a couple in our personal collection.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Aporocactus 'Beauty'

The epiphytic cacti continue with their abundant flowers, and today it's Aporocactus 'Beauty' putting on a show.
But now it's also "crunch" time, counting down to the June show and sale. Hours and hours of potting plants will be our lot for the next couple of weeks. Remember, "Fat Plants 2012", is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17 at the Division Street location of Portland Nursery. If you're in the Portland area and like succulent plants, we expect to see you there! (The June and July events will be different, so you'll want to plan for both.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pleiospilos simulans

Nice, big, fat flat leaves. That about says it all about this plant. Except for the flower. But it's not flowering now, so it's just the leaves.But what nice fat bumpy leaves!

Crassula 'Gollum' - Gnarly

Crassula 'Gollum' is definitely in the "mass production" trade, and I strongly suspect that there are lots of plants out there which are labeled a little differently which are just synonyms used in order to sell more plants. But there are differences. Many of the plants I've seen and have had over the years have trunks which are quite smooth.  Others such as this one, however, have very gnarly branches, making them much more interesting. This one we just call "Gnarly".
I've used this plant as the image used on our publicity for the July show and sale of the Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society (July 20-22). But there's one before that, June 16-17, so let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Weird 'Fred'

Fred's been here before. But I took this photo last week and I couldn't resist posting it. The variegation showed up a year or two ago, making it even more weird...if that's possible!

Cephalocereus senilis

Seedlings of the Old Man of Mexico used to be very common at the local nursery. The problem was always getting them past that "I'm going to turn to mush on you" stage. That's a stage that came rather regularly in our early years of getting to know succulent plants. Now they're not as commonly available - due, I understand, to a shortage of seed. So if you happen on a nice specimen, you might want to grab onto it...not literally, of course. After all, under all that hair there are some sharp little spines. Kind of like some people I know... And, please,  they don't need little plastic eyes or strawflowers glued onto them!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Echinocereus viridiflorus

This nice little Echinocereus grows hidden in the grasses or under the snow in fairly mountainous terrain in Colorado and Wyoming (and in various expressions, throughout other states, from Texas and north). It can take a lot of mistreatment and not only survive, but thrive. Just as yesterday's post was of a "hard keeper," this is one "easy keeper."
Enjoy your plants!

Pachypodium brevicaule

Because we have so many different succulent plants around our house and nursery, we've never really had room for a lot of very big plants. Some of the larger pachypodiums are a case in point. But this is another matter, as it's a dwarf, staying quite small. It can be difficult to grow on its own roots and is especially sensitive to cold and wet conditions. On the other hand, it doesn't really like to have its roots totally dry out. But the challenge is worth it for these unique little beauties.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Aloe deltoideodonta var. candicans

You'd think that after 40 some years of growing succulent plants I'd get a little tired of them. True, some of the "old timers" sometimes become boring, but I usually get over it and I get fascinated all over again by what first caught my attention: the amazing diversity of form. How can you not be enthralled with the almost unbelievable beauty of a plant like this? Wow!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Echeveria 'Glitter'

This one's called 'Glitter', and that's exactly what it does in every ray of sun. And the flower just adds an extra splash of color.
The weather has returned to typical Spring with clouds, sometimes heavy showers and a sun-break here and there. ("Sun-break" is a peculiarly Northwest weather term.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Random Succulent Images for May

I'm tired tonight so I'm just posting some random images that Lynn-Marie captured the other day in one of the greenhouses. I hope you enjoy them.

I have a tendency to wake up way too early when the days start getting longer in late spring, but I still stay up into the wee hours. I'll eventually adjust to the season but, in the meantime, it makes for long days. At least today was filled with good company at the meeting of the Oregon Cactus & Succulent Society, meeting jointly with the Cascade Society from Washington State. It was a fun gathering and we owe them a debt of gratitude for making the trip down here. Next up is the "Fat Plants" sale in June. More later.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Epicactus 'Sparkling Burgundy'

This is 'Sparkling Burgundy', another one of the Epicactus plants which is flowering now. We're usually away on our annual trip when they're blooming but we took our trip early this year and we won't miss their flowers. And there are plenty of them. We don't specialize in these plants but we've gathered a bit of a collection - often neglected - over the years.
This evening I met with several members of the Cascade Cactus & Succulent Society over dinner and tomorrow they'll be meeting with the Oregon society for lunch. They're a wonderful group and I really enjoyed meeting them. I look forward to visiting again tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Epicactus 'Madelyn'

Day two of Epicactus, this time it's large-flowering 'Madeline', one of our old time favorites. I understand it's a French hybrid, and it produces truly magnificent flowers. The color of the yellow will vary depending on the light but it's always very impressive.
These photos were taken by Lynn-Marie.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Epicactus 'Clown'

It took quite a few years after we purchased this plant before it bloomed, but now it blooms reliably every year. And what a beaut!
Our epicacti are really blooming like mad right now, so guess what I'll be posting for the next few nights. And, during the day, I hope to get the garden area tilled. Anyone want to help?!?

Echeveria 'Christmas'

It's a new one for us: Echeveria 'Christmas'. Aptly named, if a little out of season. What can I say except that it's being propagated. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Frailea mammifera

We have always liked Fraileas, even if they aren't much of a commercial success. We seldom keep enough to sell, since they don't sell very well...which really is a shame. Fraileas are cleistogamous, which means the flowers can produce seed without opening. And they don't open unless the temperature is high in bright sun, which is something we don't get very much at this time of year. Usually. But this year, with temperatures running in the high 80s F, and no rain in sight, was an exception.
Check out the Fraileas. They're neat little plants.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Euphorbia millotii

A plant from the weird side of things tonight, weird but strikingly beautiful nonetheless: Euphorbia millotii from Madagascar. Critically endangered in its habitat, it's not that difficult to grow, and when it flowers, it's quite impressive.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Echeveria x

Sometimes incorrectly sold as Echeveria grusonii, this is not a species but a hybrid of unknown origin. But it's a beautiful little plant with amazingly brilliant red flowers.
We had a very wet March and April and now it looks like we'll set a record for the number of days in a row with no rain. Today was day number 7 and there's no rain in the long-term forecasts. And hot! Understand, this is Portland in Oregon. We don't expect 90F at this time of year...

Echeveria 'Tippy'

We've offered Echeveria 'Tippy' for quite a while now, but it's one of those plants which goes out of stock fairly often, as we just can't keep up.
I should say that Lynn-Marie can't keep up, as she's the one who does almost all of the propagation. We try to obtain additional stock periodically but we also do a lot of our own propagation. At Kara Nursery it's Lynn-Marie and me. That's it. No one else to blame it on. And we're both getting older and a little slower and there are a few more creaks in them there bones. After all, we're in our 70s now.

All of this is to say to our customers that, if we're a little slower getting things out, be assured it's speed, not quality, that's being compromised.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Echeveria 'Golden Glow'

A lovely Echeveria cultivar, this plant really glows in the summer sun. Easy to grow and hardy down to the mid 20s, forming clumps up to a foot tall and 10" across. Makes a wonderful potted specimen for your deck or patio.
The weather gods decided to bring summer on in one swell foop: mid eighties today, possible 90F tomorrow. Whatever happened to gradual change???

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rauhia peruviana

The name pretty much gives it away: this is a bulb from Peru! A member of the Amaryllidaceae family, it should be grown in well-drained soil, watering when the leaves are growing and providing bright light. Mature bulbs can get up to six inches in diameter. The flowers are green.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Red Cactus Flowers

This photo's a little dark, but it has two, very contrasting cactus flowers in one pic: Aporocactus 'Oakleigh Conquest' and Cleistocactus tupizensis.
At this time of year it's hard to keep up with all the plants which are flowering. Our plants here in Oregon flower a little later than they do in California, but as the sunny days become more common, so also the flowers. And it is getting warmer, with another weekend in the high 80s F predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

Mammillaria spinosissima

What a beauty. This is Mammillaria spinosissima, also known as "Uno Pico". It also is liking our bout of warm weather (though there's frost warning out for tonight).
Enjoy your plants!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gymnocalycium doppianum and Rebutia albipilosa

It got warm today. And though it's supposed to cool off for a few days, the forecast is for hot this weekend, maybe even reaching 90F. This is not normal here in May, but all I can tell you is that the cacti are loving it...
and so am I. I've had enough of cold and wet. Here we have two plants which are celebrating the warm weather in fine fashion: Gymnocalycium andreae v. doppianum (Syn: Gymnocalycium doppianum) at the top and Rebutia albipilosa at the bottom.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sinningia leucotricha and cardinalis

I was able to get out to the greenhouses today to take a few photos. I'll start off with two nice succulent tubers. First, Sinningia leucotricha with its felted, silvery leaves and pinkish-red flowers.
And secondly, Sinningia cardinalis with larger, green leaves and bright red flowers.
These both come out of dormancy with a tremendous show of flowers and then the leaves continue to grow larger throughout the summer. Outstanding plants.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oregon Cactus and Succulent Society May Meeting

No photos tonight. Just a note to members and friends of the OCSS: Our May meeting has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 20. We will begin gathering at around 10:30 and eat lunch at around noon. This is a joint meeting with the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society (Seattle area and Washington Sate). Locals are asked to bring a salad and the OCSS will provide the sandwich makings. Cascade will bring drinks and deserts. We will be meeting at the home of our president, 20126 SW Tenino Ct., Tualatin. See you there!
I couldn't resist. Here's another photo from Mexican Hat Nursery.

More Random Succulent Images

A few random images tonight, this time from Grigsby Cactus Gardens in Vista. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Trip Photos VI

After leaving Riverside and Mexican Hat, we usually make a stop at California Cactus Center in Pasadena. This nursery tends to cater to a more upscale crowd and prices generally reflect this reality.  However it's a great place to see what the current designers are doing with succulents.
The next leg took us to Ojai and Santa Barbara and then on up to San Francisco, where we took a trip down memory lane and revisited Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, which was one of our stops on our honeymoon (today is our 44th anniversary). 
We then stopped at Lone Pine Nursery (didn't take any photos) and back over to the Sacramento Valley, through the hills (Mt. Shasta below)...
and - finally - to everyone's delight - back home. Very tired. But satisfied.
(Oh! and there are two very patient and tired dogs in that photo, packed in there like sardines! And they know when we're getting close to home when we're several blocks from home.)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trip Photos V

Before we head out from Carlsbad (and every morning), we come here for our morning latte. There's a nice outside seating area where dogs are allowed and our dogs can be at our feet while we sip on our drinks and enjoy the surroundings.
Then it was up the road to Mexican Hat Nursery in Riverside. It's a fun nursery to visit and well worth the effort to call ahead.
Harvey Welton is the owner, pictured here with yours truly on the right.
We also visited some other nurseries along the way (California Cactus Center, Grigsby, Silhouettes of the Desert, Bachs, B&B, Tanque Verde, Lone Pine, and C&J, to name a few), but we won't bore you with them all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Random Succulent Images

As a break from travels I decided to just share a few random nursery plant images. No names; just...enjoy!