Monday, July 30, 2012

Turbinocarpus schmiedickeanus ssp. schwarzii crest

This compact little crested and monstrose plant is Tubinocarpus schmiedickeanus ssp schwarzii. That's a mouthful! Another of those plants grafted by Lazlo many years ago. (Update, December 19: As has been pointed out, first by Lynn-Marie and then by a reader, this is a Copiapoa crest, likely Copiapoa tennuissima. My apologies for the error.)
Tomorrow, back by popular demand, a lithops or two...

Echinopsis 'Rose'

This is the other large flowers that came into bloom yesterday, the Echinopsis 'Paramount Rose'.  I'm not an expert on the hybrids created by Harry Johnson in the 40s, 50s and 60s, but this was sold to us as a Paramount hybrid with the name indicated. Whether or not that's the case, it is certainly of the type of hybrids that Harry Johnson was creating, focusing on size and color. The also tend to be very easy to grow and are quite floriferous.
I was able to get out and take a number of photos Sunday, covering everything from various cacti to a few Lithops, and I'll be putting these up this week.
Enjoy your plants!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trichocereus hybrid flower

It's always so enjoyable when these plants begin to bloom. We don't know the cultivar name on this so to us it's just a Trichocereus hybrid. And at the same time as these opened the Echinopsis 'Paramount Rose' also. Ah, to be in an area where we could use these for landscaping!

Copiapoa esmeraldana flower

I didn't have time to do it right so I just took a quick snapshot of the flower of Copiapoa esmeraldana. Sitting as it is surrounded by the "Ruby Hedgehog", you'd almost think the flower was on one of those plants. But of course, we all know better!
I'll try to get a better picture as soon as possible.
I hope you had a chance to enjoy the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lepismium cruciforme

I almost overlooked this flower today. We have 2 or 3 hanging baskets of Lepismium cruciforme, and this one is hanging under a tree in fairly dense shade so it's easy to miss. It's always been one of my favorite rhipsalis type plants, especially with the extensive purple on the hanging stems. It's natural habitat is in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Gymnocalycium crest

This Gymnocalycium crest flowers dependably each year. I don't know the species, though an intelligent guess could be made. The graft was done by the late Lazlo of the former Desert Nursery in Deming, New Mexico.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lobivia 'Pink Ice'

We've had this plant for a long time and used to offer it for sale. But, honestly, we just have a problem growing it well. But as scruffy and ugly as the plant may be, the flower makes it worth keeping it around. It came to us as Lobivia 'Pink Ice'.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Euphorbia millotii

Described in 1955 by Eugène Ursch and Jacques Désiré Leandri, Euphorbia millotii is endemic to Northwest Madagascar and is threatened by habitat loss. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists this plant as critically endangered and notes the following: "The species grows only in the vicinity of the coastal Lac Bleu, near Vohemar. Its habitat, coastal tropical and sub-tropical shrubland is highly threatened by human activities. It is also a desirable species for cultivation, increasing the threat of extinction in the wild."
These plants are seed grown and do not contribute to the endangered status. Indeed, wide distribution of these plants may very well be the primary means whereby the species is preserved.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The show is over.

The show and sale is over - and I'm ready for a vacation! We had a nice setting with a large number of plants for sale, but now we're trying to figure out how we can afford to take a real vacation to some horse ranches in California. Well, we can dream.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Boxed PurrPurr

Just a few feet away she has a regular cat bed, but right now PurrPurr prefers this empty cardboard box. And it kind of reflects how I feel after two days at the show and sale. Shorter day tomorrow...just 9 hours or so. Back to blogging on Monday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Euphorbia flanaganii

Another plant that's flowering right now is Euphorbia flanaganii. It's an easy and classic  Euphorbia, native to Cape Province in South Africa, with all those "snakes" going out in all directions
We had a good turnout on a somewhat dreary and cool day. We're hoping for nicer weather tomorrow. (I corrected the name. I was just too tired on that day. July 25)

Mammillaria polythele inermis

Mammillaria is the largest cactus genus, so it shouldn't be surprising that it includes such a diversity of flowers and forms. This is Mammillaria polythele inermis and it just decided to show off for the show this weekend.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Melocactus matanzanus

The plants of the genus Melocactus can be a bit of a challenge to grow, especially in our climatic conditions. But this one actually works well on a windowsill. The cephalium alone is worth growing these plants.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rebutia narvaecensis

Rebutia is a wonderful and relatively easy to grow genus. They're mostly fairly small and stay that way, they flower readily and prolifically, and the variety of flower colors is fantastic. This one is Rebutia narvaecensis, the pink flowered Rebutia. From Bolivia, it's a beauty!

OCSS Succulent Expo and Sale Update

Please note that the show and sale will be located differently at the Stark Street Portland Nursery this year. We'll be inside the nursery grounds near the rose section. It'll still be under the big awning. And a note to vendors: You can drive to the site but will need an employee to lead the way.
And remember's this coming weekend, 9-7 Friday & Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday.

It's a Jungle out there!

It's a jungle in our back yard, that is! Or at least it seems so. At this time of the year it's a real struggle keeping the blackberries at bay, the weed trees cut down, the lawn cut so that it's at least respectable, and the various maintenance jobs done that need to be done. And we pretty much do everything ourselves, including preparing the succulent plants for shipment and for the upcoming show and sale.
A reminder to myself: Stop! Slow Down! Enjoy the plants!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mammillaria elongata

Many years ago, Lynn-Marie and I were driving around Southern California - with the list of the California Cactus Growers Association in hand [no longer in existence] - trying to find nurseries which had plants we wanted. There were a lot of small, independent succulent nurseries back then. We'll always remember the one we went to that just knew we needed hundreds, if not thousands, of small Mammillaria elongata plants. We were novices, but not that novice. We already had our share. Which leads to an observation: This is one plant which doesn't really get the attention it deserves. It's easy to grow, easy to propagate, and has a lot of design possibilities. It's just that, since they're so easy to propagate, no nursery is going to make its fortune growing them. (Actually, not many nurseries are going to make a fortune any way!)
As we were leaving that nursery, which had several commercial greenhouse filled with these little thimbles. the owner offered us another deal which we certainly wished we could have taken him up on. He offered us several very large, mature Golden Barrel cacti at an extremely enticing price. But imagine this: a young married couple (now that was a long time ago, wasn't it?), a couple of medium sized dogs, luggage, boxes of plants, in a VW bus. Now add two large Echinocactus to the top of the roof. That was a bit much, even for us in those days.
Enjoy your plants!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lophophora diffusa var. koehresii

I know, it looks like one. But no, this isn't Peyote, although it's sometimes called "False Peyote". In fact, it used to be called a type of L. williamsii, but we now know that it's quite different. It doesn't exhibit the same hallucinogenic properties and it's probably the smallest of the Lophophora genera. The variety is distinguished by a darker green color.
Since it's not a narcotic and isn't specifically mentioned in the federal law (according to my information), it's probably legal to own in most locations, depending on state and local laws. Some state statutes are more strict than federal restrictions.
Personally, I think it's time to re-think some of these laws. The "War on Drugs" is clearly a war that was lost some time ago.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Echeveria minima

When they gave this Echeveria the name minima, they meant it. The maximum diameter if the plant is 2" but most are smaller.

Echeveria subalpina

Looking closer into yesterday's image we come across Echeveria subalpina, showing off its hues in the afternoon sun. From central Mexico at medium elevation, it grows without a stalk and rarely offsets, and the color is quite variable depending on the environment. The leaves tend to have an upright growth.
If you can find them, they're well worth having in any collection. Unfortunately, we don't have enough in stock at this time to offer them, but we're propagating...or rather, Lynn-Marie is!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another random image

This is a shot taken a couple of days ago in the Aloe and Echeveria section. It can be quite colorful this time of year.
Enjoy your plants!

Summer Show & Sale July 20-22

Our second show and sale of the Oregon Cactus and Succulent Society is coming up fast. This one will be at least twice the size of the last one, with a huge selection of plants. Plus, there will be an interesting Expo table of weird, but wonderful, succulent plants. Come and let your imagination run wild. This is the summer event where weird is not only permitted, it's encouraged! I'm talking about plants of course, but if you want to include yourself in that category, go for it!

The hours are 9-7 Friday and Saturday, and 9-4 on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Random shots

For a little change-up tonight, this is a picture of some of our planting in the curbing strip (the street is on the left and the sidewalk on the right). In the lower right corner is one of the Opuntia humifusa plantings.
This area doesn't get a lot of sun because of the surrounding trees, so any cactus planting is a challenge. But we even have a Lobivia 'Glorious'  planted along here and it's survived 5 years through cold, wet and clay.

Cintia knizei

Talk about a flower appearing out of nowhere! We didn't notice any indication that a flower was about to bloom, and then we walked down the aisle and there it was. This is Cintia knizei, a fairly rare, miniature plant in collections. It's considered quite difficult on its own roots and is therefore often grafted. In habitat (Bolivian Andes at 2800-4000 meters) it remains solitary, but when grafted it becomes a bit columnar and clumps. It is very sensitive to over watering and should be grown in an extremely porous, gritty potting mix and should remain cool and dry during the winter months. Corkiness at the base of the plant is normal as the plant matures.
This is a plant for those who like a challenge...or, who wants to try their hand at grafting. It has also been published as a Rebutia, which doesn't make any sense to me, and its flower shows a relationship to Copiapoa, where it has also been proposed to be placed. But to me, it's unique enough to remain as a monotypic genus.

Some of us have been around long enough to remember buying seed from Karl Knizi who discovered this plant and in honor of whom it is named. The genus gains its name from the location where it was first found, at Cinti, near Otavi, Potosa department in Bolivia.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Echinocereus flower

It warmed up today and that brought out the flowers. This particular Echinocereus came to us unlabeled but it appears to be aff. scheeri. It flowers dependably every year.
Thanks to those who showed up at the workshop/class at Portland Nursery today. There was a good turnout and it was a lot of fun.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Echeveria 'Aquarius'

Now back to the echeverias: Echeveria 'Aquarius'. Scuba diving without the ocean! Seriously, this is one of those plants readily used to create a succulent "underwater" scene, like the one Jeff of Solana Succulents did for the DelMar Fair.
While the rest of the country has been sweltering under unbearable heat, we've been having temperatures in the 60s. Until now. We're about 82F today and may reach 90 by the weekend. Whew!
As always, enjoy your plants!

Oreocereus doelzianus

We always knew this plant as Morawetzia doelziana, but it's now changed to Oreocereus doelzianus. It's also one of the several plants known by the common name "Old Man of the Andes." The flowers come - and do they ever - from the cephalium. These plants are of easy culture, provided they have adequate light.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Growing Weird Plants: Cactus and Succulents

That's the name of the workshop I'll be leading at Portland Nursery this Saturday. We'll begin at 1 pm at the Stark Street location, 5050 SE Stark. They do have a sign up thingy on their website (and it looks better if you do sign up), but it's not required. I'd love to see some of you there.

Echinopsis subdenudatum 'Fuzzy Navel'

Good old 'Fuzzy Navel' is flowering again: Echinopsis subdenudatum 'Fuzzy Navel' to be precise. This is one of those fun plants which suddenly surprise your with this fantastic flower.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Echeveria 'Pappy's Rose'

This is Echeveria 'Pappy's Rose', one of our all-time favorite Dick Wright cultivars. For us, it can be difficult at times. Right now, however, we've got some beauties which are really looking nice.
We don't grow huge quantities of anything. It's just the two of us and a couple of greenhouses. And we don't have time or space to grow plants we don't personally like. Growing succulent plants is more of a passion than a business.
Which is why we'll be changing our format as an internet nursery sometime this Fall. If you've done business with us before, we'll keep you informed. And we'll also use this forum and our ad at the cactus and succulent plant mall to get the information out.

Tephrocactus geometricus

The flower opened today. Tephrocactus geometricus. (Syn.: Tephrocactus alexanderi var. geometricus)
Always worth the wait.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Euphorbia hybrid

I don't know the name on this Euphorbia cultivar but we've had it around for a while and it's getting fairly large, inspite of our neglect. I took this picture fairly late in the day today - probably 7 pm - so the light wasn't the best, but even then it's pretty impressive. I'm sure it's one of the giant Thai hybrids.
Enjoy your plants!

Introduction to PurrPurr

Since I posted about our two tervs, I thought it only fair that PurrPurr get equal time. Warning. She has her own personality and loves to tease two bigger family members. I'm speaking of the dogs, not the humans.
I'm not sure this will work. The following picture will certainly work: