Sunday, April 30, 2017

Eye candy

Another clumping cactus from the Bolivian Andes again today, Sulcorebutia candiae.

Sulcorebutia candiae

Such beautiful vibrant golden flowers.

Sulcorebutia candiae

The spines on this one look like a swarm of long-legged spiders, all tangled together.  It makes me smile.  And bonus- not too pokey!

Sulcorebutia candiae

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Three amaryllis

I had three amaryllis open yesterday.

First up is Red Lion 2008, the same bulb that kicked off the 2016/2017 flowering season for me in September so this is its second scape for the season.  This bulb has very orangish-leaning tendencies, especially when my eyes are used to looking at all the dark true reds I've had blooming recently.

Red Lion 2008

Next up is #25 for the year, my second Magical Touch to bloom.  One of the places I ordered from last fall only sells their bulbs in bundles of three, so that's why I have multiples of some varieties.  I may be selling and/or trading the extras in the future, since I don't really have room for so many. This Magical Touch bloomed out nicely.  Love that raspberry red with the white picotee edge.

Magical Touch #2

Last up is #26, which is unfortunately another mislabel.  It was supposed to be Flamenco Queen, but is Samba.  Sigh.

Samba #2 - Not Flamenco Queen!

This is from the same company that I got the mislabeled Hercules and Ambiance from as well.  I ordered six bulbs from them, and three of the five that have bloomed so far are wrong.  Will the last one bloom correctly and hold the mislabel rate to 50%?  Time will tell.  Either way, whether it's half or two thirds, I'm not impressed.

It's still a pretty flower, though.

Friday, April 28, 2017

I have no words

The crown jewel of my week is this gorgeous cactus.

Sulcorebutia canigueralii

Really, I don't even know what to say.  My words aren't big enough.  This is Sulcorebutia canigueralii, another small clumping species native to the eastern Andes Mountains of Bolivia.  It is simply amazing.

Sulcorebutia canigueralii

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rebutia hoffmannii

This is yet another pretty little clumping cactus, Rebutia hoffmannii, also native to Bolivia and northern Argentina.

I seem to really like the succulents of southern Africa and the cacti of the Bolivian Andes.

Rebutia hoffmannii

This one has beautiful pink and orange flowers.

Rebutia hoffmannii

Cacti are beautiful.

Rebutia hoffmannii

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Two pale pinks

Our world tour of cacti continues with two very pretty and understated species.

First up is Mammillaria perez-de-la-rosae, native to central Mexico.  I really like the strong contrast between the white spines and hooked brown spines on this one.  (I just noticed that I need to pot this one a bit higher so it's not so far below the rim.)

Mammillaria perez-de-la-rosae

The flowers are unobtrusive, but prettily streaked with pale pink.

Mammillaria perez-de-la-rosae

The second for today is Mammillaria lenta, native to northern Mexico.  This has slightly larger pink striped flowers.

Mammillaria lenta

The spines are relatively long and glassy white, criss-crossing each other close to the body of the plant.  Very pretty.

Mammillaria lenta

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Golden trumpets

Today's cactus is Sulcorebutia langeri, native to the high mountains of Bolivia.  This is a very pretty diminutive clumping cactus with bright, bright yellow flowers.

Sulcorebutia langeri

I really like the flat pectinate (comb-like) spines that so many of the Sulcorebutias have.

Sulcorebutia langeri

I can't wait to watch this one develop into a really big clump.

Sulcorebutia langeri

Monday, April 24, 2017

Christmas Gift

I am very happy with Amaryllis Number 24.  This is called Christmas Gift, and it is a lovely big open white flower.

Amaryllis 'Christmas Gift'

This is a new bulb this year, and is just what I was hoping for.  You may remember that I got a Christmas Gift bulb last year as well, but it bloomed out weirdly streaked with pink. I really want a pure white, so I got another to try again.

This one is great, just what I wanted.  Last year's bulb hasn't bloomed yet this year, so we'll see if it has the pink streaks again.  If it doesn't- oh well, I'll just have two nice white ones!  If it does- oh well, I'll have one with pink streaks!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

More frothy pink...

The Rebutia narvaecensis I showed last week has even more flowers open now.  So gorgeous.

Rebutia narvaecensis

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Black Pearl

Amaryllis number 23 for the year is the long-awaited Black Pearl.

Black Pearl amaryllis

I must say, I'm a little disappointed in this one.  While it's pretty, it's not the dark, dark glorious red that I was expecting.

Here's a comparison of Grand Diva (left) and Black Pearl (right).

Amaryllis:  Grand Diva (left) and Black Pearl (right)

Grand Diva is slightly darker and Black Pearl is slightly bigger. 

Does that sound familiar?  I thought so.  Here's a picture I showed a couple weeks ago, of Grand Diva (left) and Queen of Night (right).

Amaryllis Grand Diva (left) and Queen of Night (right)

According to this, Black Pearl is pretty much identical to Queen of Night. Of course, there's always the possibility of mislabeled bulbs, so who knows.  I have three other Black Pearl bulbs, so we'll see if they look the same as well.

I still like Red Pearl best.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Various pretties

Another summary post.

First up is Haworthia cooperi pilifera, another one native to southern Africa.  This species is one of many haworthias that have "windows" at the tips of the leaves.  This clear tissue allows sunlight to penetrate down into the leaves, so that when the plant draws itself underground during dry periods in its native habitat it can continue photosynthesizing.

Haworthia cooperi pilifera

I should do a post on just my Haworthias, because they're very cool plants. The flowers look pretty much alike for all the species, small greenish brown and white striped flowers on long spikes. Not very eye-catching, but pretty if you look close. This particular plant is especially floriferous right now, with six spikes, and look at that one in the front! It's huge!

Haworthia cooperi pilifera flowers

Next up is Pachyveria 'Blue Haze', another Pachyphytum-Echeveria cross.

Pachyveria 'Blue Haze'

This one has big chubby leaves, and droopy flower spikes.

Pachyveria 'Blue Haze'

The flowers themselves are bright maroon, but almost hidden by the fleshy green corolla.  I actually didn't even realize the flowers on this one were open until I turned the plant around to water it.  Nice surprise!

Pachyveria 'Blue Haze'

Last up for today is what I think is a Sedeveria (I'm not sure).  If that's correct, it's a cross between a Sedum and an Echeveria.  I still have more research to do on this one. [Update: I'm pretty sure this is Sedeveria 'Sedona']

The flowers are pale, pale yellow, and open to a nice star shape.


The leaves are pretty, too.


While each individual flower is small, there are a lot of them on the inflorescence.


I got this plant as part of a mixed hanging basket at the end of last summer. The basket was 70% off because it was in such rough shape, but I figured, hey, there are a couple plants left alive and the wire basket is nice. The plants have been hanging on fine over the winter, under lights, and this one bloomed!


Once these flowers are done, I'll cut off the rosette at the end of that scraggly bare stem and re-root it, and I'll be re-planting the basket this summer to fill in the bare spots and make it all pretty again.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Frizzle Sizzle

I have an indoor bulb other than amaryllis blooming right now, surprise!

Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle'

This is Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle', a cultivar of a bulb native to southern Africa.  It's a winter-growing bulb, which loses its leaves and goes dormant during the heat of the summer.  There are so many fun plants in southern Africa.

I got this one recently, in bud, so I can't take credit for the bloom spike.  The flowers are pretty but somewhat nondescript.  They're greeny-yellow, pendant, and while the outer sepals open fully, the petals in the center stay closed even when the flower is mature.  They are scented, however, a sort of vanilla-clove-lemon-wintergreen fragrance.  That's not really the right description of the scent, but it's hard to describe.

However, the flowers aren't the main show on this plant.  Look at the leaves!  

Albuca spiralis 'Frizzle Sizzle'

Curly corkscrew spirals! Apparently the more light they get, the curlier they get.  So fun!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Evergreen repeat

This is a repeat of Amaryllis #5, Evergreen, first seen way back in January.

Amaryllis Evergreen, third scape

I was surprised to see a third scape developing on this, especially considering the silly bulb still hasn't grown any roots.  It just sat there for months, doing nothing, then started blooming again.  However, there is hope!  It has a couple leaves peeking out now, too, so maybe there are roots in the works.

Amaryllis Evergreen, third scape

When this bloomed last time, I hadn't noticed that there was a distinct darker stripe down the center of each petal. I like these flowers, they're very calm and graceful.

Amaryllis Evergreen, third scape

This scape has six flowers, bringing the total flower count to 20, on three scapes!

Amaryllis Evergreen, third scape

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Amaryllis number 22 is Barbados, a rich red with a white star in the center.

Amaryllis Barbados

Another new one this year, and very pretty.

Amaryllis Barbados

This is a definite keeper.  It looks so stately.

Amaryllis Barbados

I like the little ruffly "ears" at the base of the petals.

Amaryllis Barbados

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Frothy pink

I wasn't going to post this until most of the flowers were fully open, but I couldn't wait.

Rebutia narvaecensis

This is Rebutia narvaecensis, native to the eastern Andes mountains in Bolivia.  It's just getting going with its flowers, but isn't it gorgeous!

Rebutia narvaecensis

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The second slipper

This pretty lady is now fully shod.

Paph. Hsingying Alien

This is Paphiopedilum Hsingying Alien, the tropical lady's slipper that I showed in January.

January!  The lower flower opened in late January, and the upper flower opened last Friday.  That first flower has been open for almost three months!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reds, compared

Amaryllis Number 21 is open, named Grand Diva.

Amaryllis Grand Diva

As I mentioned a couple days ago, this is another step in my informal quest to find The Best Red One.  Here is Grand Diva (left) compared to Queen of Night (right).  How convenient that both are blooming at the same time!

Amaryllis Grand Diva (left) and Queen of Night (right)

Grand Diva is slightly darker red, and Queen of Night is slightly bigger.  I really like the color on Grand Diva, but neither one wins the title of The Best Red One.  I think that still goes to Red Pearl.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Busting out all over

Cacti and succulents... I've got to say, they are very rewarding.  Somehow I had it in my head that it was hard to get a cactus to bloom.

I have too many blooming or almost blooming right now to give each its own post- I would never catch up.  So here's an anthology version of what caught my eye yesterday.

Mammillaria elegans, native to Mexico, is...dare I say it... elegant.  Tidy white spines, a compact globe form, and pretty pink flowers.  The scarred ring is where the horrible strawflower was hot glued in the center growth point when I got it last year.  I guess the damage makes it easy to see how much the plant has grown in a year.  There is a complete ring of buds, a crown.

Mammillaria elegans

Mammillaria elegans

Mammillaria elegans

Next is Pachyveria 'Little Jewel'.  This is an intergeneric hybrid between Pachyphytum and Echeveria like the Pachyveria Claire I showed a while ago.  I really like the way the leaves on this one look faceted, and the flowers are lovely.

Pachyveria 'Little Jewel'

Pachyveria 'Little Jewel'

Pachyveria 'Little Jewel'

Next is a repeat show for the blog.  I first posted about this Mammillaria backebergiana at the end of March, when only two flowers were open.  Now there are six more and the original two have faded.  This show will last a good long time.

Mammillaria backebergiana

Next is Lewisia longipetala 'Little Raspberry'.  This is a commercial cultivar of a native Northwest plant.  It's glorious.  I have it growing inside in a pot for now, but may plant it outside after it's done blooming.  Maybe not, though.  It requires excellent drainage, so it might be better off staying in the pot even when it goes outside.

Lewisia longipetala 'Little Raspberry'

Then there's this little beauty.  This is Schwantesia borcherdsii, a mesemb native to southern Africa like the Lithops and Pleiospilos and all those other cool little plants.  This is a very beautiful flower, with its silky yellow petals, and much bigger than I expected it to be!

Schwantesia borcherdsii

Schwantesia borcherdsii

Last but not least, another repeat.  The Echeveria Ramillette is in full bloom now, and so pretty.  Some of the older flowers have faded, but the tips of the inflorescences are still going strong.

Echeveria Ramillette

Whew.  So there you go for today.

(P.S.  See that blurry round cactus in the top right corner of that last picture?  Yes, those pink things are all buds!  Stay tuned!)