Posts from the ‘Succulents’ Category

Icicle Echeveria pups and Splitting Lithops! Oh My!


Etiolation is the stretching of a plant which has been deprived of sufficient sunlight.

Both of these plants were purchased together and divided 6 months ago.  The first plant has been living in my patio and gets a lot of direct sunlight from dawn till sunset.  The second plant has been living in my boyfriend’s balcony which gets a few hours of sun light.  Notice the difference in color and style of growth.  The first echeveria is a bright green.  It has stayed short but popped out two babies on each side.  The etiolated echeveria has pale chalky leaves and has stretched out, growing upward.

Healthy Echivera growing horizontally with pups on each side


Echeveria Etiolation

Mystery Dudleya

So I purchased this Dudleya from a local San Jose nursery.  The customer service rep told me that it was the Dudleya Britonii after looking the plant up in their purchase records.  I chuckled because it looks nothing like that!  In the last picture below, you can see my mystery plant photographed with a Dudleya Pulverulenta which is commonly confused with the Dudleya Britonnii, so you can tell how vastly different the plants are.

Update: After doing research online, I think this plant looks very similar to Dudleya Ingens.  I’m still going to continue to research to make sure though! 🙂

Mystery Dudleya width of over 30 cm /12 in

Impressive Long Cauex of about 18.5 cm /5 in

Mystery Dudleya Profile

Dudleya Pulverulenta and Dudleya Ingens


Dudleya Brittonii and Dudleya Ingens


Euphorbia Obesa Flowers

Euphorbia Obesa 2

Euphorbia Obesa 2

Euphorbia Obesa 3

I was in heaven when I found this beautiful specimen plant at the last CSSSJ plant sale.  It’s common name is the baseball plant.  I think it looks more like a dead sea urchin.

Sproutopia – My homage to the SF Garden Show

Sproutopia - Propagation Central

Cactus and Succulent Society of San Jose Sale

The Plant Sale held by the CSSSJ was by far my favorite plant shopping trip!

I found out about the event through their website:

The variety, quality, and quantity blew my mind!  The pricing, I have to say, was very fair.  The sellers consisted of some nurseries and mostly individual hobbyists (who are members of the CSSSJ).  A majority of these folks are so knowledgeable that they grow the plants from seed.  It must take a lot of patience, because cactus and succulent seeds take a long time to germinate and grow!



Joseph Clarisonic (pottery artist) and Nick Wilkinson (owner of Grow Nursery)

Beautiful Pottery for sale

This beauty caught my eye and I had to find out where I could get one of my own!  They are like a mountain of tennis balls.

The gentleman who owns this gorgeous Geometricus is Ron Harris.  I approached him to ask about his gorgeous specimen plant!  I wanted to know where in the world this plant comes from, what is the rate of growth, how old this plant is, and most importantly where can I get one??!

Geometricus (Ron Harris)

Well, here is Ron Harris, so kindly telling me about his specimen plant!  He found me a baby Geometricus which I promptly purchased! Per Ron, the Geometricus is from Argentina and he keeps his in his green house.  In full sun it will turn red, but in his green house the plant will stay green (resembling tennis balls).  His plant grew 20 balls in one year, and in another 9, so the growth rate really does vary.  Ron wasn’t sure about the age of the plant, but at a rate of 9-20 balls a year…I would say, the plant doesn’t necessarily take that long to get large.  Although to reiterate, Ron seems to really baby his plant by keeping it in perfect growing conditions in the green house.  I can definitely say that this baby cactus is the most I’ve ever spent on a cactus/succulent.  It’s considered very rare.

Ron Harris with a baby Geometricus

Moving along, I had been obsessed with finding an Aeonium Cristata.  I ran into Loyd Monaco (president of CSSSJ) who was very helpful explaining to me what the crest looks like and what it means in terms of the plant growth.  Here is Loyd posing by one of the prize winning specimens.

Loyd Monaco (President of CSSSJ with a Calibanos Hookeri)

Here is Loyd’s Aeonium Cristata.  Following Loyd’s plant are other Cristatae species.

Cristate forms, or crests, occur when the cells of the growing point of a plant begin to multiply erratically, elongating the growing tip to form “fans”, rather than the usual single growing point. This can occur as a result of genetics, or from mechanical damage to the growing tip in the form of sudden cold, insect damage or other causes. When a plant is crested, it develops a form which often is far more attractive and interesting than the normal plant from which it has come.

Cristate (crested) plants require less light than the normal forms. Succulent crests should occasionally be trimmed of normal growth to perpetuate the cristate form. Cristate cacti should have “normals” removed carefully, and only during the active growing season.

Aeonium Cristata (Loyd Monaco)

Espotea nana cristata

Stenocereus Griseus Cristata (Don C)

Here are some other beauties!

Adenium Obesum (Nick Wilkinson)

desert rose?

Ferocactus Covelii (Richard Deming)

Gibbaeum Heathu

Aloe peglerae

Monilaria pisiformis

Mamillaria movensis (Munkasy)

My quest to find two succulents that look identical from completely different genera

Echeveria Compton Carousel VS Aeonium Sunburst

I’ve been on the hunt looking for these mysterious plant with cream and green variegated leaves with some leaves only cream colored (like an albino).  I saw them very infrequently and almost not at all at stores. Even if they were at stores the price would be too steep. I did manage to get a cutting in Monterey, which I am waiting to plant. I also purchased the Aeonium Sunburst at the SF Garden Show last weekend (for $5 – not bad). It’s pretty small.

I did do some research on the net and learned more about the plants I was seeking out.

Reading the descriptions below, there are two main ways to identify the plants from one other. The echeveria grows in small tight clumps and doesn’t get tall, whereas the aeonium will get 1-2 feet tall with branches of new rosettes extending out of the main stem. The echeveria will flower yellow and red blossoms and the aeonium will flower white blossoms.

Here are the two plants that are very confusing for me to identify:

Echeveria Secunda “Compton Carousel”

Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Mexico
Flower Color: Red & Yellow
Bloom Time: Summer
Synonyms: Lenore Dean
Height: < 1 Foot
Width: Clumping
Exposure: Sund or Shade
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation: Low water needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F

The Aeonium Sunburst or Copper Pinwheel

Aeonium Sunburst

Category: Succulent
Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrops)
Origin: Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)

The Canary Islands

Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower color: White
Boomtime: Summer
Synonyms: Decorum triculor, Luteoveriegatum
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Seaside: Yes
Drought Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation: Low water needs
Winter hardiness: 25-30 F

Aeonium Variegata, Aeonium 'Suncup', Aeonium castello-paivae f. variegata

Young Aeonium Sunburst Cristata

Aeonium Sunburst Cristata with Fanning Stem

Hiking and Identifying Native Plants in Point Lobos

I planned this wonderful trip with Henrik down in Monterey.  And my was it a fun filled activity packed weekend!  We  first met up with my friends Raul and Kelly on Friday night to have dinner at Passionfish which is a famous local seafood restaurant.  We had a fantastic time as I always do with Raul and Kelleeeh.  When the four of us get together, we make quite a ruckus where ever we go!  🙂  The next morning Henrik brewed us some fresh coffee and off we went, sans breakfast, down 1 South.  I was surprised how close our destination was to the Carmel Barnyard/Crossroads off 1.  Even though I have lived in Monterey during my high school years, I had never been to Point Lobos!  So we got in with no issue and were notified that our $9 admission would also get us in free to any of the other parks close by.  It was heavenly!  Point Lobos is sooo beautiful!  I took lots of photos as you can see!

I’m still learning about my native California plants.  I have signed up with which has helped immensely in identifying plants.  Trouble is, being so inexperienced at this, and with the plants not all having bloomed, the pictures are a little more difficult to identify.  So any help would be extremely appreciated!

I’ll tell you though, I’m hooked on Dudleyas!  I found that patch of beach plants at the Del Monte Blvd Exit in Seaside was a really interesting community of Sea Thrifts (Armeria Maritima) and lots of Dudleya Cymosas.  I later figured out that I had also seen Dudleya Edulis, which I mistook for being related to the ice plants that have taken over as a non native.  I have also been able to identify Dudleya Farinosa that I found in Point Lobos.

I also enjoy Salvias.  There is a large variety of native salvias and I only own one.  Again, I found large bushes of salvias in Point Lobos, but because they haven’t bloomed yet, it was impossible for me to identify them.

Uprootin on up! Great root development on succulent leaf pups in two weeks time!

So here we are!  My little Crassula Arborescens is preggers with pups!  I’m so excited that today I found three separate leaf pups with their own root systems developed!  The whole process took about two weeks.  I didn’t know what would unfold since, I’ve never heard of this type of succulent propagation.  Certainly, the most common propagation method is taking a fresh young leaf cutting and sticking it in soil and keeping it in a moist but shaded environment.  These pups, however, just started growing on the plant’s leaves while still attached to the stem.  I have done lots of online research about this particular plant’s propagation but never one saw anything similar to what I was able to observe and photograph.  I could probably detach the pups with roots and plant them in soil right now, but I think I will wait for one more week to be safe.

Off with their heads! Deadheading Succulents

My Topsy Turvy was flaililng so I decided to give it a quick shower under the sink to view what was going on under the hood.  I discovered multiple pups shooting out of the stem.  I have chopped the rosette off to allow the plant to redirect it’s energy into growing the pups.  We’ll see how it goes.

Topsy Turvy Offshoots

Heads will roll

Topsy Turvey Pups (3 months later)

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