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By Baja_Costero on Apr 19, 2024 2:27 PM, concerning plant: Parodia x erubescens

Spiny South American ball cactus with yellow flowers.

This plant, formerly known as Parodia (Notocactus) schlosseri (after the guy who collected it in Uruguay, Hugo Schlosser), was apparently described as Echinocactus erubescens a few decades before that point, so the older name takes priority. According to Hunt it is apparently not a species but a hybrid of P. (N.) mammulosa with another Parodia. It belongs with a few plants that are closely related to P. (N.) scopa.

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By ScotTi on Apr 18, 2024 12:43 PM, concerning plant: Bromeliad (Neoregelia 'Tossed Salad')

Neoregelia 'Tossed Salad'
Harvey Bullis hybrid
Seed parent - 'Dexter's Pride'
Pollen parent - 'Fantastic Gardens'
Good coloration achieved with good morning and late afternoon sun conditions. Midday and early afternoon Summer sun should be avoided as leaves will burn.

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By ScotTi on Apr 13, 2024 4:52 PM, concerning plant: Bromeliad (Neoregelia 'Palmares')

C. Skotak hybrid
Seed parent - carolinae Variegated x Hannibal Lecter
Pollen parent - Tiger Cub
Rosette 8" - 10" producing pups on 2"-3" stolons.
Leaf coloration - Broad white central vertical stripe barred with dark reddish purple horizontal banding on both sides.
Needs strong sun conditions to bring out the great horizontal banding coloration.

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By adknative on Apr 13, 2024 6:17 AM, concerning plant: Potato (Solanum tuberosum 'Magic Molly')

Each year, we plant seed potatoes ... a range of varieties, from fingerlings to early, mid or late season. Being in a cold climate / short summer, late season potato choices are rare. But despite having grown many different varieties, each year we always try several 'new' (to us) to see what happens.

Fingerling 'Magic Molly' was a 'new to us' variety for the summer of 2023, and we planted the minimum seed potato quantity we could order (either .5 or 1 lb.). This potato was one of our (2) best producers in 2023 (which turned out to be a very poor year for many others).

Magic Molly increased tenfold over what we had started with (I do keep record each year of pounds planted / pounds harvested). It also tastes great, cooks superbly, and holds its deep purple flesh even after cooking (which the kids love - who knew kids would think purple potatoes are super cool?).

And being a fingerling, the size is perfect for many recipes - from soups and stews to home fries or potato salad, this is an excellent potato. So for 2024, we have upped the order on Magic Molly and we'll be planting quite a bit larger quantity this year.

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By sallyg on Apr 12, 2024 3:19 PM, concerning plant: Burford Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii')

I've had a Burford for decades. It gets berries all over, was really loaded this winter, but no birds have eaten them even now in April. I'm disappointed - passively feeding birds is something I value in the garden.
Insects do love holly flowers though.

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By PlantingOaks on Apr 12, 2024 7:35 AM, concerning plant: Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird')

I am of two minds about this plant. On one hand, the scent is absolutely amazing, wafting through the garden sweet, plus it blooms later in the summer, which is rare for a bush. That, plus the small height suggests it be used near walkways or entrances where the scent can be appreciated.
HOWEVER, it attracts more yellowjackets, paper wasps, and other stinging insects than any other plant I have grown, even compared to other 'pollinator magnets'. Perhaps this is due to the later bloom time? In any case, it is a hum of activity, but somewhat threatening activity that suggests it should not be near a walkway or patio.
Additionally, it leafs out very late in spring, leaving an unsightly dead-looking clump of twigs in an otherwise booming spring garden.
Otherwise, it does well in our difficult alkaline clay soil, and humid midwest climate, thriving without particular care.
I have not grown other cultivars or the species, but am tempted to try to find a taller one, which could be planted a distance where the positive aspects could be appreciated without so much attention on the downsides.

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By Baja_Costero on Apr 10, 2024 7:36 PM, concerning plant: Echeveria 'Blue Bird'

Chunky bluish white Echeveria with dense rosettes and understated reddish flowers. A really nice, full-looking plant with strong color. Apparent final size is about 10 inches if offsets are removed. Best color and form in strong light (like essentially all glaucous Echeverias).

A Frank Reinelt hybrid. Parentage often mistakenly given as E. cante (subrigida) x E. desmetiana 'Subsessilis'. Most likely it is colorata x desmetiana, judging by the shape of the flowers and the thickness of the leaves. Not uncommon in cultivation. Propagated from leaves or offsets.

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By Baja_Costero on Apr 8, 2024 1:32 PM, concerning plant: Stenocereus beneckei

Gray-green to bluish gray cactus with markedly tuberculate stems, whitish flowers, red fruit (at maturity). Shrubby habit to a few feet tall, stems to 2-2.5 inches wide. 1 central spine, 2-5 grayish radial spines. Nocturnal flowers near stem tips persist into daytime.

Strong colors and unusually tuberculate stems make this an attractive plant in cultivation. New spines are intense red, glaucous stems are bright in strong light.

From the Mexican states of Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla and México.

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By Baja_Costero on Apr 7, 2024 9:31 PM, concerning plant: Euphorbia (Euphorbia unispina)

One of a handful of deciduous spiny stem succulents from West Africa that become large, chunky-stemmed, multi-branched shrubs after many years. The species name is misleading (there may be one main stipular spine, but usually also two more smaller ones).

Very seasonal (summer-fall) growth pattern. The leafy phase is associated with stem extension, while the leafless phase is typically when flowers (tiny yellowish cyathia) appear. Water more frequently from late spring through fall, especially when the plant is in leaf. In our mild winter rainfall climate, these plants enjoy regular winter water (in moderation) and mostly tolerate the rain (given good drainage).

This species (like its toxic West African relatives) is tropical in origin and seems to be marginal where heat is lacking. Here where high temperatures are in the upper 60s and 70s for most of the summer, these plants rarely have much foliage and tend to grow very slowly.

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By Baja_Costero on Apr 7, 2024 8:32 PM, concerning plant: Huernia (Ceropegia 'Sepalachi')

Stem succulent from Suculentas Dzityá in Yucatán with very strange red flowers in summer and fall bearing pointy raised texture. An apparent hybrid of Ceropegia (Huernia) hystrix. Stems are green but turn purple when stressed. The name of this hybrid is a play on words in Spanish connoting its unknown origin.

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