Friday, September 30, 2011

Stuck in the Booty

This one is dangerous!

Cylindropuntia bigelovii, "Teddy Bear cholla', 'Jumping cholla'

One of the major pitfalls of working with cactus and succulents is all the times you get poked by cactus spines.  I am sure that there are many of you out there who can relate.  So today I went out to play in the succulents and take some pictures.  The echeveria 'black prince' in my succulent BBQ starting blooming for the first time.  So I got out my new point and shoot and pulled the BBQ into the sun.  As I bent over to take some photos.....OUCH!  I had bent over right into my Teddy Bear cholla.  Can you say Holy pain in the butt Batman?    So I carefully limped into the house and yelled for my son Jordan.  I had to yell quite a few times because he was upstairs.  So he comes down and I tell him the situation.  He was laughing his head off.  NICE!  I gave him the tweezers but the spines were too big.  I bent over in the kitchen and he pulled them out of my pants and butt one by one with his fingers.  Now these spines have a barbed end.  So OUCHIE!  I think there must have been 15.  I think I will be moving that cactus.  LOL

Spiker gel alert!

Close up view.  You can't see but the spines have little hooks on the end.

Blooming Prince

Echeveria 'Black Prince'
This is the flower I was trying to photograph when I was attacked!  LOL  Check out the little white dangley things hanging from the flowers.  I have not a clue what they are.

Hanging shadows

Sedum morganianum also called Donkey Tail sedum
The shadows looked so interesting this evening I had to take this photo.  I have a few of these in different pots.  They seem to like me.  But don't give them too much sun.

Haworthia pot

Haworthia glauca
I am not exactly sure that this is the correct name for this Haworthia.  But in looking it was the closest.  If anyone has a better guess please let me know.

Baby Saguaro

Saguaro cactus
I bought this baby Saguaro cactus when I was visiting my sister in Phoenix, AZ last year.  Believe it or not it has grown quite a bit.  Just won't get it's first arm until it is 60 years old or so.  Hope it lives that long, I know that I won't.  LOL

Baby of mine

Kalanchoe daigremontiana also call Mother of Thousands
This succulents came from Southwest Madagascar.  It can get up to 3' tall.  I think I have a couple that tall already.  This plant can be quite invasive to some gardners as every part of this plant can grow roots and multiply.  Even the thick stalk.

Deer Antlers

Machairophyllum latifolium
This is one of the strangest succulents in my collection.  The leaves are all shaped very strange as you can see.  It get's little bushy yellow flowers on the end of some stems.  You can see the dried up ones remaining.

That's it my friends!  Tomorrow I will be going to the Succulent Extravaganza in Castroville, CA  Very excited but it will be a long drive.  I'm bringing my camera of course and will let you share what I saw with you!  So have a great weekend everyone!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Succulent Flowers

Echeveria blooms

We are still having some beautiful weather here in Roseville, CA.  This week has been in the 90's but the evenings are starting to get cool.  This is a great time of year.  I can't believe that Fall is officially Friday.  Waah!  I don't want it to get cold.  My succulents always have to be put in the garage.

The above shot is an echeveria flower.  Not exactly sure what kind.  


Opuntia flower being protected by prickly agave.

Pachyveria 'Blue Pearl' flower

Pachyveria 'Blue Pearl' flower


Flower of Opuntia 'Santa Rita'


Love the pink blooms on this cactus.  Don't know the name sooo if anyone can help that would be awesome!

Flower of Sedum Rubrotinctum

This is a flower ball from Sedum Rubrotinctum.

Itty Bitty

These gorgeous pinkish red flowers are from Kalanchoe manginii

Thimble cactus bloom

This is a flower from the thimble cactus.  Official name is  Mammillaria gracilis fragilis.  Very small pretty little cactus.  Very white spines and these flowers are about the size of a pencil eraser.

You can't touch this

I took this photo quite a while ago but I love it.  I was wearing my yellow gardening gloves and holding a small succulent flower.  Trying to get a macro shot of the inside.  

Pink Perfection

 These are flowers of the Sempervivum arachnoideum.

Give us a Kiss!

This beauty is the Opuntia Macbridei Red Button Cactus.  Red button is a perfect name.

From the sea?

This is the flower of a spinless opuntia that I have growing out back.  These flowers are so unusual!

Ok time for bed!  Hope everyone is having a super week!


It's Another Beautiful Day!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crazy names & Mislabeled Succulents (HELP)

When I was a kid my Mom always got my sister's and my name mixed up! Did that ever happen to you? I am Candy and my sister's name is Cindy. So you can see right off the bat where that would be a problem. So she would get all mad and this is how she would call for me, " Cindy, I mean Candy (getting madder and louder), or should I say Beulah and Queenie! You know who you are, get over here!" If she got that far we ran fast to get there. I was grateful I was Beulah and my sister was Queenie. Not sure why but it didn't sound as haughty. My sister is 8 1/2 years older than me so I thought she was surely the Queen. Hee hee! And my Mom....she was really a hoot!

Now how does this apply to succulents? It drives me crazy when I get home with a lovely batch of beautiful succulents and find that some have been mislabeled and now I have one that has the correct name and another that I have to search for. The guy (sorry don't know name) at Spiky obcession blogged about the same situation. Great blog by the way! We have to drag out our books, search the internet or ask our lovely succulent friends for help. So here I am asking for Help.


So I know the plant on the left is Pig's Ear but the plant on the right I don't have a name. Any ideas?

Cotyledon orbiculata 'Pigs Ear'

Here is a better view of the Pig's ear. Isn't it magnificent. I love the red edges!

What is the name of this strange succulent?

Here is the unnamed culprit. Very interesting succulent. Long fleshy leaves that come to a point. And each point has a reddish tip.
Since I wrote this post my buddy Gerhard at Bamboo and More came up with the name of this plant. It is called Cotyledon orbiculata var oblonga flanagani. Yeah for Gerhard. You should check out his wonderful Garden blog. He is really getting into succulents lately and besides that has a wonderful garden and great advice.

Give us a kiss!

Here is another succulent that looks to be mislabeled. It says it is Lemaireocereus pruinosus. But when I look that up on google it shows it to look a bit different and be gray. This cannot be correct. And cactus I find are the hardest for me to identify! So again I am asking for Help!

Now that we went down the unnamed/mislabeled mystery label lets see some succulents with outrageously long or weird names!

Rechsteineria leucotricha

This little beauty with the large leaves is call Rechsteineria leucotricha. How's that for a mouth full. It is a native plant from Brazil. Underneath the leaves is a bulb. It holds the water for this succulent plant. When it blooms the flowers are light red and tube shaped.

Crazy Octopus Succulent

So as I was looking through my strange named plants I found this goofy looking succulent. And wouldn't you know it was mislabeled! I can't believe I found another one. This kind of stuff drives me crazy. Maybe I should call it Beulah! Hahahaha!

Another wonderful friend this time from Flickr found out the name on the above succulent. It is called Avonia quinaria subsp. alstonii. It is from South Africa. I still think I am going to call it Beulah though!

Star Cactus

Now this succulent has a weird name and a bunch of other names. It's real name is Astrophytum asterias. Say that three times really fast. It is also called a Star Cactus, Sand dollar cactus and Star Peyote. It is originally from Texas and is very endangered. No one is allowed to dig these up from the native soil. Please make sure that if you purchase one of these that it was started by seed. This will discourage poaching.

Ok let me know if your Mom called you a goofy name. I bet everyone has a crazy name their Mom called them when she was mad! LOL

Have a great week!

It's Another Beautiful Day!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sometimes you have to Whack it Back!

Left back

Isn't it special when you first plant in your yard, flower bed or pot. You are so excited to watch the transition from little baby to beautiful blooming plant. It's like a new pair of shoes or car. You want to show them off so everyone will be as jazzed as you. But after time the shoes wear out, the car needs repairs and sometimes the plant dies or gets leggy and weird looking. But if you are lucky with your plant (especially succulents) you can simply whack it back! Then it's almost like new again.

When I planted the little Yucca in each corner of my back yard over 10 years ago I really didn't think they would grow. But little by little it did. Growing new branches that were taller and thicker than the rest. At that time the soil I planted them in was like cement, but I didn't know any better. Still they grew. Soon I had beautiful green tall stalks of yucca. But before long each stalk flowered. I basked in the wonder of these fantastic blooms. But being the new innocent succulent grower than I was, didn't realize that blooming was the beginning of the end for this kind of yucca. Soon each blooming stalk would bend start losing leaves and then break off.

The picture above was taken last year. It still had some branches and looked fairly good. But you can see the big branch in front is leaning forward and turning yellow. Soon after this picture it broke off. Leaving just the few in the back. The trunk on these things have gotten huge. Just like a tree. So this year my husband and I kept contemplating what to do with them. He wanted to dig them out. You have no idea what a nightmare that would have been. I told him that if we just cut it way back it would start growing more stalks. So that is what we did.


This is what it looks like now. Lots of little babies already popping up!

Whack it back

This yucca is in the right hand corner of my back yard. We did not have to drastically cut it back as we did with the one on the left.


This one is already shooting out little babies also.

Whacking back applies to many plant and succulents. How many times have you watched your burro's tail sedum (for example) get really long and a bunch of the leaves have fallen off and left the bare stem. You keep waiting for new ones to grow back but they won't. And it actually saps some strength from the rest of the plant. So cut them off and you will be surprised how the top of that plant will take off and produce more shoots. Lot's of trailing plants and others need this kind of treatment. So don't be afraid. Whack them back!

Pink fruit

Just wanted to show you the beautiful fruit being produced by my Opuntia. I opened a fruit and it was so yummy. Lots of seeds though. I will show you that later.

Have a great and safe Labor day weekend!

It's Another Beautiful Day!