Sunday, October 30, 2011

Huntington Botanical Gardens, The Greenhouse part 1

Inside the Greenhouse

Inside the Succulent greenhouse at Huntington Botanical Gardens was like walking into another world.  There were succulents from all over the globe inside.  At this point my hubby and I were still at the beginning of the desert section and were still following a tour guide.  But inside this greenhouse is where we fell way behind.  I just kept looking and taking photos.  Some of the succulents in this greenhouse I will probably never see anywhere else.  And I will show them to you!  I took tons of pics in this greenhouse because the plants were so great so I may do the greenhouse in two posts.

Dioscorea Macrostachya

Dioscorea Macrostachya
Curious plant with tuber is above ground level covered with layers of corky bark, resembling a caudex. Slow-growing. It is a very unusual succulent. Its main feature is a large, corky caudex that grows up to one meter in habitat, resembling an elephant foot (hence the popular name). The caudex looks as if it is segmented into geometric patterns (smaller plants look like tortoises) and looks dead but is actually a living tuber. A plant with a 18" caudex can be 75 years or older. The plant grows into a vine with attractive heart-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers.

Dioscorea Macrostachya

Tuber of Dioscorea Macrostachya
Looks like a turtle shell to me!

Glottiphyllum oligocarpum

Glottiphyllum oligocarpum
Isn't this a beauty.  This is from South Africa.

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae
Now this is an interesting plant from Mexico.  It likes to grow upside down.  Now the tour guide said that in the wild these cactus like to grow upside down like this so they cut a hole in the bottom of a pot and planted this cactus and it has grown like crazy.

Mammillaria Spinosissima ssp. polyacanthae from Mexico

Here is a shot of the bottom of the pot this crazy cactus is growing in.  You would think it's weight would pull it out.  But it does not.

Stenocactus crispatus

Stenocactus crispatus
This interesting succulent is from Mexico and can only be propagated from seed.

Mammillaria Fraileana from Mexico

Mammillaria Fraileana from Mexico

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

An adult welwitschia consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots. That is all! Its two permanent leaves are unique in the plant kingdom. They are the original leaves from when the plant was a seedling, and they just continue to grow and are never shed. They are leathery, broad, strap-shaped and they lie on the ground becoming torn to ribbons and tattered with age.  These plants are truly one of a kind. The estimated lifespan of these plants is 400 to 1500 years old.  This has been proved through carbon dating.  I do not know what the age of these are.   The sexes are seperate in these plants.  I believe that this is a male.  For more information in regards to this plant check out this web site.

These plants are so awesome and unusual that I took quite a few photos.  The greenhouse had about 5 of them.  Since they are so different I will show some of the others.  They don't want to be left out!

Welwitschia Mirabilis

I think this is a male and female.  The male is on the left.

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

Welwitschia Mirabilis

These two plants are surrounded by Stapelia grandiflora.  I will show them in the next post.  They were really beautiful and blooming all over.  You can probably see a couple in this photo.

That is it for now.  I hope you enjoyed.  These are some very interesting and incredibly unusual plants.  The last one I don't think I will ever see again.  Unless I go back for another visit.  Yes!!!

Have a great week and I will try to visit everyone soon.

It's Another Beautiful Day!


Rohrerbot said...

Wow! I have never seen the Tuber of Dioscorea Macrostachya before. It doesn't even look like a plant. Crazy and interesting shots of these plants. How could a person not be fascinated by this group of plants? Have a good rest of your weekend.

Becc said...

Thanks so much for this post, love that upside down cactus & when I looked at the first pic I just thought "oh joy!" hahaha, my hubby just shakes his head in disbelief.
Cant wait for your next instalment.

Debra Lee Baldwin said...

I think I'd like to have that upside-down cactus. I'd put it in a prettier hanging pot, though (ha). Glad you got to go into the greenhouse. I found it unforgettable, too.

Anonymous said...

just one word...WOW! unusual and the torte shell...and the upside down plant...again, just one word...WOW!
Great job with the pics!
~Cindy Davison

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

I know isn't that tuber crazy looking? It was on the floor because it was so tall.

Thanks Becc, I thought the upside down one was cool too. And don't worry the hubby will come around. Mine did once he realized how happy this hobby made me.

Thank you Debra. I was thinking the same thing. Should have a better looking plant up above. LOL

And thanks Cindy! Wow is one of my favorite words!

Gerhard Bock said...

Double, triple, quadruple wow. I *have* to make it down there soon. What a phenomenal place. That Dioscorea is stunning. I've never seen one in real life. I can't wait for your next post.

Joyful said...

Wow! Some really interesting succulents and photos here. They would really add a lot of visual interest to the garden.

Evelyn said...

Lots of cool unusual plants. Very interesting post, Candy.

Mandy said...

Incredible!! My friend and I were at a nursery we found last weekend and he had one of those elephant looking ones. When we walked into that greenhouse, he said, "Watch out for my turtle." We looked down and realized it was a plant...very fun! Can't wait to see more.

Julie said...

These are the plants you dream of owning!!! They are really glad you got to go!!! The upside-down cactus really needs a beautiful pot!!!

Matt and Bobbie said...

very nice! i love your garden tours. i didn't know the up-side down cacti grow that way naturally. interesting! definitely unusual and very neat!

Diane AZ said...

Hi Candy, I've been to the Huntington botanical gardens, but didn't see inside the green house. Thanks for the tour! I love the elephant foot plant that looks more like a tortoise to me too. :)

carolina said...

Hi Candy,
I am Catherine's mom and she has shared your blog page with me. I must say you have captured some beautiful and rare shots at that garden. Your garden is just as lovely, and I love your hubby's idea of tipping a "holeless" pot in your garden to add depth and dimension to the succulent garden. Great idea..I shall try it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos with us.

Sueli said...

I enjoy it very much. Very beautiful and rare plants! Sueli

donna said...

I suddenly feel so inadequate in the succulent department:)

Awesome, awesome photos!


Nat said...

Wow Wow Wow! What a great set of photos. That must have been a great walk about, so many interesting specimens. Those welwitschia mirabilis are so strange. I've read about them before, it was great to see some pictures of potted specimens. Such a great post!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

You all are so awesome! Thank you so much. I am working on part two of the greenhouse. It's next up!