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Plant Highlights By Date

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Grevillea ‘Kings Fire’

November 2019

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.

Cereus hildmannianus

October 2019

Cereus is a genus of columnar cacti native to South America (east of the Andes) and islands in the southern Caribbean. In California, the most widely grown species is undoubtedly Cereus hildmannianus, though it is frequently labeled incorrectly as Cereus peruvianus.

Euphorbia obesa

September 2019

The genus Euphorbia is so diverse and widespread that nobody would suppose they all belonged together if the flowers did not demonstrate that they are related. They may be trees, inch-high weeds, or have a spiny cactus-like appearance. One of the true oddities in the genus is Euphorbia obesa, which bears the common name “baseball plant”.

Dasylirion longissimum

August 2019

Dasylirion is a genus of 20 or so species native to Mexico and the southwestern US. There are two species which differ from the others in having very narrow needle-like leaves, and these are frequently confused in nurseries and in gardens. These are Dasylirion longissimum and Dasylirion quadrangulatum, and it might be useful to point out their differences.

Agave bovicornuta

July 2019

Agave bovicornuta is native to the northern Sierra Madre Occidental in the Meican states of Sonora, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.

Opuntia ficus-indica

June 2019

Though many Opuntia fruit are tasty, one species in particular is widely cultivated for fruit production, and this is Opuntia ficus-indica.

Yucca carnerosana

May 2019

Yuccas always put on a wonderful display at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in spring, with their showy clusters of waxy white flowers.

Veltheimia bracteata

April 2019

Veltheimia bracteata is clump-forming, with new bulbs added year after year. It is native to coastal scrub vegetation in the Eastern Cape Province, which is located in the southeastern part of the country.

Crassula pubescens ssp. radicans

March 2019

The genus Crassula is the type-genus of the Stonecrop Family (Crassulaceae). The great majority of these are found in southern Africa.

Aloe branddraaiensis

February 2019

As with most aloe species, the flowers in each cluster open sequentially from lowest to topmost over a course of several weeks. Each flower has a rounded base, narrowing a little above this, and then increasing again in diameter toward the mouth.

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