Sticky Fingers

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Euphorbia stenoclada

I had a hard time this week trying to choose something to post. Nothing in bloom, and my garden needs to be cut and weeded, so many of my plants are not in photo-ready condition. I didn't want to resort to tiny plants grown from seed, but I may just have to feature one of those next week if this continues.

I have a relatively large Euphorbia stenoclada that is about three feet tall, but this is a smaller one that has rooted into the ground - only about a foot tall now. I expect it to grow more quickly now, and already the change in the type of growth is evident. The original weaker growth can be seen in the lower right corner of the photo, and the difference is clear.

Euphorbia stenoclada

Monday, May 19, 2008

Gymnocalycium damsii

Gymnocalycium damsii was one of my earliest cacti acquisitions. I bought one that was bursting out of a 4 1/2" pot with babies all around, and the first thing I did was to strip the plant of all the babies and repot it. Turns out that it didn't mind the treatment, and kept growing to a grand size of about 7" or 8" diameter, which is far bigger than is typical for a G. damsii. Every so often I would have to strip off a whole lot of babies as well to make room for the mother plant to continue growing. As a result, I always have these to give away if anyone asks.

It also turned out to be quite a reliable bloomer, producing its white flowers each summer without any fuss - and it was probably the first cactus bloom produced in my collection that I was able to get really excited about. That was about 4 years ago, and unfortunately, the mother plant succumbed to rot after a heavy rainy period last year, but her legacy lives on.

This plant shown is one of the first batch of offsets that I stripped off in December 2002, now about the size of the one I originally got. It is recovering from a bad scale infestation, but seems to be showing me that it is now okay and ready to produce flowers and get on with its life.

The only earlier Gymnocalycium bloom this year was about two weeks ago - Gymnocalycium damsii rotundulum, so I'll just include it here for good measure. I guess I should note that both plants have been lumped into Gymnocalycium anisitsii, but I tend to keep the old names to distinguish the different plants.

I have posted this plant before, as it is one that I "rescued" from a plant store in Cambridge in early 2006, as it had fake flowers glued to it and the real blooms were deformed as a result. I paid more for it than I would normally, but I think it was worth it, as the shade of pink is marvellous and it just keeps on blooming through the summer. While it does not pup very readily, I have been able to share a few plants with others.

I also now have some seedlings produced from seed I got off the second plant, but I don't know if it was cross-pollinated or self-pollinated but I will see when they grow up in another five years or so.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Edithcolea grandis

This was the other contender for last week's post, but the flower didn't open until about Wednesday so I saved it for this week. Rightly, I should have been posting one of my Gymnos that has started to bloom, but it will have to wait. Maybe next week.

Otherwise known as the Persian Carpet flower, Edithcolea grandis is sometimes said to be a difficult plant to keep alive. That hasn't been my experience, as it is quite tolerant and easy to grow, and it blooms without any problem.

Edithcolea grandis

Quite a nice flower, I think, and not as stinky as some of its fellow Asclepiads. It fades fairly quickly, though. I caught this picture early in the morning before the sun took its toll,and for a change my camera didn't blur the photo when I got close up to the mesmerising whorls.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mammillaria beneckei

I had two prospects for the plant of the week, and both of them held out on me by NOT blooming on the weekend. However, the Mammillaria beneckei finally opened up two flowers on Monday morning and has opened one more each day since. Seems as though the bloom lasts only ONE day - opens at the crack of dawn and closes before the afternoon ends.

Mammillaria beneckei

There are more buds coming, so I think I will need to water more with Bloom Booster to get the greatest effect. Mine has never done it, but I know it can, even in this climate.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

My new acquisitions

So they are just about a week old now (as MY plants), but the photo is from last week when I brought them home from the Jamaica Horticultural Society Flower Show. No cacti, but I got quite a few succulents that I either needed to replace or wanted to add to my collection.

I hope they all do well.

I have some individual photos but will have to post those at another time. Other pressing and urgent matters require my time right now.