Plant Highlights By Date
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.
Calibanus hookeri is summer-flowering. The branched inflorescences are shorter than the leaves, and they arch to one side. The tiny off-white flowers, sometimes with a reddish or purplish tinge, are borne in small clusters along the main stalk and the side branches.
Cyrtanthus obliquus has teardrop-shaped bulbs to 4 inches in diameter (10 cm), and it typically produces a few offsets to form a small clump, though plants may sometimes be solitary. The top third of the bulb is normally visible above ground level.
The floral branches and buds of Agave montana are a dark purplish-red color, but when the flowers open they show off their yellow interiors and stamens and pistils.