Plant Highlights By Date
Collectors have long been drawn to the many fascinating dwarf succulents in the genus Haworthia, native to southern Africa. One of the new genera is Tulista, with only four species, all of them found in the southwestern part of South Africa.
Among South Africa’s many species of Aloe are Aloe pearsonii and Aloe distans, two related species from the winter-rainfall region in the western part of the country. Read about what happened when the two species were hybridized.
Plants in the Amaryllis Family (Amaryllidaceae) are found around the world. Among the African species are several featured prominently in the plantings at the Ruth Bancroft Garden, and one of these is Boophone disticha.
Most of the cacti commonly referred to as “barrel cacti” belong to the genus Ferocactus, and these are found in the southwestern United States and through much of Mexico. One of the large species is Ferocactus pilosus, found in north-central to northeastern Mexico.
The plant named Banksia formosa was originally published as a Dryandra, and its common name of “showy dryandra” reflects this.
The genus Yucca is widespread in the southern part of the U.S. and southward to southern Mexico. Among the tree-like species, one of the better known is Yucca brevifolia, often referred to as the Joshua Tree.
The Proteaceae, or Protea Family, has two important centers of diversity, in South Africa and in Australia. An example that has attracted much attention in recent years is Leucadendron ‘Ebony’.
With approximately 1,800 species, the Ice Plant Family (Aizoaceae) is a large and diverse assemblage of plants. One of the many mesembs found in South Africa is Fenestraria rhopalophylla, known by the delightful common name of “baby toes”.
South Africa has quite a few species of Aloe native to the winter-rainfall region, which is located in the western part of the country. One of these is Aloe framesii, which occurs in a coastal strip along Saldanha Bay (north of Cape Town).
The family Proteaceae includes many widely-grown ornamental plants, mostly native to South Africa and Australia. Each of these two places has many species, but the genera found in South Africa are not the same as those found in Australia. One especially large Australian genus is Grevillea, with about 360 species.