Plant Highlights By Date
Euphorbia is a very large genus, including many succulents as well as many non-succulent plants, from tiny annuals to large trees. Among the succulent species, there are spineless ones and also many spiny ones that look a great deal like cactus plants, including the Euphorbia polygona var. nivea.
Plants in the Bromeliaceae, or Bromeliad Family, are found in North America, the islands of the Caribbean, and South America, but the greatest number of them are from South America, like Deuterocohnia brevifolia.
Though Salvia (sage) plants occur around the world, the majority are from the Americas, including 18 species native to California. One of the latter is Salvia spathacea, commonly known as hummingbird sage.
The genus Odontophorus is a small one, with 4 or 5 species (plus an additional subspecies) native to the northwestern corner of South Africa. These plants belong to the family Aizoaceae, also known as the Ice Plant Family, one of the most species-rich groups of succulents in the world.
Agave dasylirioides is single-headed, and when a plant flowers one must start over again from seed, since this is the end of its life-span. 2020 marks the first year we have ever had A. dasylirioides come into bloom, so this makes it a special occasion for us.
South Africa is home to many plants in the Ice Plant Family (Aizoaceae), and they are well-represented in the winter-rainfall area in the west of the country. A few of these are widely grown, but others are seldom seen in cultivation, as is the case with Wooleya farinosa.
At the Ruth Bancroft Garden we grow Trithrinax campestris, a palm native to northern Argentina and Uruguay. This species is known as the caranday palm, or alternatively as the blue needle palm, with the latter name referring to its sharp-tipped leaves.
Coryphantha is a genus of relatively small globular or short-columnar cacti native to the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. While some Coryphantha species are found over a large area, others are quite localized. One such localized species is Coryphantha tripugionacantha, which is found only in a remote area of far western Zacatecas in west-central Mexico.
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.