Plant Highlights By Date

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Aloe ferox

January 2022

South Africa has several tall-growing single-stemmed species of Aloe that make spectacular flower displays in winter. One of these is Aloe ferox, with an extensive distribution in the southern and southeastern part of the country.

Lachenalia punctata (Lachenalia rubida)

December 2021

All Lachenalia species have non-branching spires of flowers, and often the flowers are relatively short. However, a few species have longer tubular flowers adapted for pollination by sunbirds. One such species is Lachenalia punctata, with a large area of occurrence in the southwestern part of South Africa.

Banksia integrifolia

November 2021

The Protea Family, Proteaceae, has many representatives in Australia, including about 170 species in the large genus Banksia. The great majority of the plants come from the winter-rainfall region in the southwestern part of Australia, but there are some notable eastern species as well, and one of these is Banksia integrifolia.

Mariosousa heterophylla (Acacia willardiana)

October 2021

The genus Acacia, as it has been traditionally defined, is a large group from around the world, with the greatest concentration found in Australia. In 2006, when the genus Mariosousa was created, Acacia willardiana was renamed as Mariosousa willardiana.

Russelia equisetiformis

September 2021

Russelia equisetiformis is a shrub native to Mexico and Guatemala, with stems that grow upward, then arch over and cascade downward at the tips.

Opuntia sulphurea

August 2021

Opuntia is one of the largest groups in the entire Cactus Family, and it has the largest geographical range as well: from Canada in the north to Argentina in the south. A good example is Opuntia sulphurea, which is a common species in its native South America, but not often seen in U.S. gardens.

Aloe lavranosii

July 2021

Some groups of plants, such as the kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos species), commonly have hairy or fuzzy flowers, but there are a few Aloe species with this trait, and these are found in northeastern Africa and across the Red Sea on the Arabian Peninsula. One such species is Aloe lavranosii, from Yemen.

Puya spathacea

June 2021

The genus Puya is a large group of South American bromeliads, with 168 species listed in a 1974 monograph. Many species of Puya have showy inflorescences and unusual flower colors, and Puya spathacea, from north-central Argentina, is an excellent example.

Graptopetalum mendozae

May 2021

The name Graptopetalum means “marked petals”, referring to the red lines or splotches found on the petals of most of the species. However, an exception to this rule is Graptopetalum mendozae, with pure white petals. This delightful little species is found only on 3 old volcanic plugs* in the state of Veracruz, not far inland from Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Euphorbia polygona var. nivea

April 2021

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.

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