Plant Highlights By Date
Though many Opuntia fruit are tasty, one species in particular is widely cultivated for fruit production, and this is Opuntia ficus-indica.
Yuccas always put on a wonderful display at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in spring, with their showy clusters of waxy white flowers.
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.
The genus Crassula is the type-genus of the Stonecrop Family (Crassulaceae). The great majority of these are found in southern Africa.
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.
At the Ruth Bancroft Garden, we have found this plant easy to grow if given excellent drainage and a sunny spot. Its bright yellow and orange blossoms are a welcome addition to the garden in winter, and lows in the upper 20’s F (to -3°C) have not harmed it.
The flowers of Hakea species are held in clusters along the stems, and they resemble those of the relatives in the genus Grevillea. Hakea is a large genus of shrubs and small trees in the Protea Family (Proteaceae), with 150 species listed in Wikipedia.
Senecio is a large genus of about 1500 species in the Asteraceae, or Daisy Family, and it includes both succulent and non-succulent plants. The flowering time for Senecio decaryi is generally during the summer and fall months, and plants may go through more than one bout of flowering in a year.
Though it is native to a summer-rainfall area, Plectranthus argentatus grows quite well in The Ruth Bancroft Garden’s Mediterranean climate, needing only an occasional watering during the summer months to keep it happy.
Stapeliads are succulent relatives of the milkweeds with striking 5-pointed flowers. Their flowers are beautiful, but in most cases they emit foul odors to attract pollinators.