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[ Echeveria (Echeveria gibbiflora 'Carunculata') | Posted on December 18, 2018 ]

Tall-stemmed selection of E. gibbiflora with striking warty (carunculated) leaves, used in breeding to create a great number of carunculated hybrids including the popular "Mauna Loa". The carunculated form of this plant was documented decades before a clone selected by Dick Wright was distributed by the ISI in 1966.

[ Hendrix’s Liveforever (Dudleya hendrixii) | Posted on December 16, 2018 ]

Low-growing Dudleya with whitish flowers. Recently (2016) described member of the Hasseanthus group from Colonet Mesa, Baja California. No above ground stem. Summer deciduous. With a cormlike caudex. Flowers in May-June (June-August in cultivation). Much shorter inflorescences than the locally growing D. attenuata.

[ Echeveria 'Cubic Frost' | Posted on November 19, 2018 ]

Echeveria hybrid by Renee O'Connell with folded blue leaves similar to "Topsy Turvy". Hybrid offspring of a cultivar called "Doppler" (aka "Swan Lake") by the same breeder. The parentage of this latter plant is "Topsy Turvy" x E. shaviana. Rose-pink flowers. Offsets freely.

[ Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla) | Posted on November 17, 2018 ]

High-altitude aloe from western Lesotho with a distinct spiraling form. Highly desired and usually short-lived in cultivation. Solitary. Flowers are salmon-pink to red, rarely yellow, on branched inflorescences.

This aloe is not a beginner succulent or a good indoor plant.

It requires much more regular water than most aloes; it does not like the soil to go bone dry on any kind of regular basis. (Rainfall in habitat, often shrouded in low clouds and mist, is nearly 40 inches a year, more than Portland, Oregon.) It requires excellent drainage and hours of daily direct sun. It does not thrive with any kind of heat and should not be considered where temperatures regularly reach the high 90s or more in summer. Ideal for cool, moderate climates like coastal northern California. The spiral aloe can be rather frost tolerant. Habitat (6500 feet or higher) may reach as low as zone 7, but a safer minimum in cultivation might be zone 9b. In-ground plants will better handle lots of sun in marginal climates, and require less frequent water.

These plants are produced in reasonable numbers by tissue culture (all clones) but grown in much more limited quantities from seed. You need at least one of the latter plants to have any chance at producing seed. Regardless, a small fraction of the plants in cultivation actually live long enough to flower.

This species is related to Aloe pratensis, a smaller and more widespread aloe (in habitat) which does not grow in a spiral formation and has an unbranched inflorescence with shorter flowers.

[ Aloe 'Sunset' | Posted on November 8, 2018 ]

Small bumpy hybrid aloe by Kelly Griffin with leaf texture (short raised lines) and bright colors with sun and stress. Not to be confused with the cultivar of Aloe dorotheae by the same name (a selection of the species) which grows much larger and does not have the leaf texture.

[ Gasteraloe (XGasteraloe 'Green Gold') | Posted on November 8, 2018 ]

Small intergeneric hybrid with leaf texture and spots. Not to be confused with Aloe "Green Gold", a much larger shrubby hybrid with yellow flowers tipped by green.

[ Aloe 'Green Gold' | Posted on November 8, 2018 ]

Aloe "Green Gold" is a low-growing shrub which produces multibranched inflorescences with dense racemes of yellow flowers tipped with green (thus the name). This plant flowers in winter. It was produced by Sunbird Aloes in South Africa.

Not to be confused with xGasteraloe "Green Gold" which is a much smaller plant with spots and leaf texture, sometimes listed as an aloe but showing some Gasteria in the mix.

[ Aloe 'Tiki Tahi' | Posted on October 24, 2018 ]

Aloe hybrid created in 1998 by van der Meer and van der Meer, crossing Gonialoe variegata (then known as Aloe variegata) with a second aloe said to be the same species, but having hybrid features that were passed on to the offspring "Tiki Tahi". The key differences between this named cultivar and the species Gonialoe variegata are the shape of its leaves, which are flatter and lack a pronounced V shape in cross section, and the presence of much more pronounced and numerous marginal teeth, described in the patent as serrate on the pollen parent with presumed hybrid character.

[ Giant Tree Aloe (Aloidendron barberae) | Posted on October 23, 2018 ]

This giant of the aloe tribe is a thick-trunked, dichotomously branching tree to 30-60 feet with advanced age. Flowers are usually pink. The species was formerly known as Aloe bainesii, but the name barberae was found to have priority in 1994. From southeastern Africa.

Fast growing for a tree aloe, especially when given regular water. Not generally a good long-term container plant. Unusually sensitive to frost, as aloes go (zone 9b-10a). May be grown from seed (and may be self-fertile); also grown from cuttings. Susceptible to aloe mite (treat by pruning).

This aloe was recently moved along with a few other tree aloes to a separate genus (Aloidendron) because they were determined by molecular studies to be closely related to each other, and distinct from Aloe. It will be found in older publications as Aloe bainesii. It is one of the parents (with A. dichotomum) of "Hercules", an attractive, fast-growing hybrid which is relatively common in Southern California.

[ Aloe (Aloe eumassawana) | Posted on October 19, 2018 ]

Small to medium clumping aloe from the coast of Eritrea and Djibouti. Offsets to form large groups. Inflorescence has 1-2 branches and orange-red flowers. Leaves are often spotted, especially when young. This plant shares some history with Aloe massawana, and is often misidentified as such.

Aloe massawana was originally described by Reynolds in 1959 based on plants found in Tanzania, including plants found on old Arab graves near Dar es Salaam. He named it for the port city Massawa in Eritrea, where he thought these plants originated. Nearly 40 years later this description was found by Carter et al. to encompass two separate groups, one from Tanzania and another from Eritrea, with distinct features, especially on the inflorescences. The new species eumassawana was described at that time to refer to the northern group, and massawana (despite its name) now refers only to the southern group.

https://www.researchgate.net/p...

Aloe eumassawana is distinct from massawana in a few ways, but still frequently confused with it. A. eumassawana tends to clump much more, and the inflorescences on eumassawana have fewer branches (1-2 instead of 2-7). One key distinguishing feature is that A. eumassawana has fine hairs on the racemes, while massawana does not. They are also different in other ways: Aloe eumassawana racemes are more laxly flowered; its flowers are orange-red instead of dusty pink; its flowers are shorter; its leaves are wider.

There apparently are 2 different types of eumassawana, which can be distinguished based on how they reproduce. There are Eritrean plants which appear to reproduce only by offsets, but there is also a population in Djibouti which fruits and sets viable seed. The spread of the infertile plants reflects their shared history with humans, including cultivation presumably for medicinal use.

https://www.researchgate.net/p...

[ Aloe (Aloe massawana) | Posted on October 19, 2018 ]

Small to medium East African aloe from the coast of Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya. May be solitary or form small clumps. Inflorescence has a few to several branches and reddish/pinkish flowers. Leaves are spotted when young. Commonly misidentified.

This aloe was originally described by Reynolds in 1959 based on plants found in Tanzania, including plants found on old Arab graves near Dar es Salaam. He named it for the port city Massawa in Eritrea, where he thought these plants originated. Nearly 40 years later this description was found by Carter et al. to encompass two separate groups, one from Tanzania and another from Eritrea, with distinct features, especially the inflorescences. A new species was described at that time to refer to the northern group, and massawana (despite its name) now refers only to the southern group.

Aloe eumassawana is distinct from massawana in a few ways, but still frequently confused with it. A. eumassawana tends to clump much more, and the inflorescences on eumassawana have fewer branches (1-2 instead of 2-7). One key distinguishing feature is that A. eumassawana has fine hairs on the racemes, while massawana does not. They are also different in other ways: Aloe eumassawana racemes are more laxly flowered; its flowers are orange-red instead of dusty pink; its flowers are shorter; its leaves are wider.

[ Euphorbia (Euphorbia polygona var. horrida) | Posted on October 13, 2018 ]

This variety of Euphorbia (Euphorbia polygona) , which vaguely resembles a clumping columnar cactus, used to be a separate species until recently. It makes green cyathia, as opposed to the maroon reddish cyathia of the former Euphorbia anoplia (now also a variety of polygona) and other forms of polygona.

E. polygona var. horrida is sufficiently variable, like E. polygona in general, to make rapid identification of this variety (and former species) difficult without seeing the cyathia. These plants all enjoy the same care, which should include lots of light, excellent drainage, and discipline with the watering can to avoid overwatering. They are well behaved container plants (try an unglazed clay pot) and can be excellent, easy-care landscape plants in dry climates with mild winters. Forms in cultivation tend to offset freely and form fantastic clumps over time. They do not prosper as indoor plants without the absolute maximum amount of light (hours of sun daily through a sunny, unobstructed window).

[ Aloe 'Black Beauty' | Posted on October 10, 2018 ]

This small clumping aloe hybrid develops outstanding dark purplish brown colors with exposure to sun, thus the name. The intensity of the color is related to the amount of exposure. Individual rosettes may reach about 8 inches, usually forming a dense clump by that size. Leaves are stiff and have small bumps on the surface and the margins. Very shy to flower. This plant is said by some to be a hybrid of Aloe parvula x rauhii, by others to be an intergeneric hybrid between a Gasteria and an Aloe. This latter plant is also known as Gasteraloe "Midnight", among other names.

[ Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii subsp. goldmaniana) | Posted on September 30, 2018 ]

The larger, southern form of Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii) is from Baja California. It is found near El Rosario and points south along the Pacific coast and inland in north-central Baja California. Inflorescences are also taller than on the northern form. Both subspecies are quite variable, and they intergrade where they meet near El Rosario. The northern ssp. shawii extends along the coast from there to the border with California, where only a couple of populations remain.

[ Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii subsp. shawii) | Posted on September 29, 2018 ]

This smaller, northern form of Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii) is restricted to the Pacific coast of northwestern Baja California, with a couple of populations in far southern California. Inflorescences are shorter than on the southern form, to about 6 feet. Both subspecies are quite variable and they intergrade where they meet near El Rosario. The southern ssp. goldmanniana extends south and goes inland from there.

[ Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis fasciata) | Posted on September 29, 2018 ]

Attractive bumpy green succulent with small clumping rosettes and unimpressive white flowers. Only the bottom surface of the leaves is decorated with small white tubercles or ridges; the top leaf surface is smooth. Spineless.

Much less common than the similar-looking Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata) , which can be distinguished by the presence of bumps or ridges on the top surfaces of its leaves. The two species are frequently confused. Most of the pictures on this page right now are not H. fasciata but H. attenuata.

Provide strong light. Best form in part sun or filtered light (outdoors) or maximum sun (indoors). Provide excellent drainage. Avoid deep pots. Allow soil to dry before watering.

Haworthiopsis was recently separated from Haworthia based on genetic studies.

[ Haworthia (Haworthiopsis attenuata) | Posted on September 29, 2018 ]

Attractive bumpy green succulent with small clumping rosettes and unimpressive white flowers. Both top and bottom surfaces of the leaves are decorated with small white tubercles or ridges, though the bottoms have more of these features, which give the plant its zebra look. Spineless.

Much more common than the similar-looking Zebra Haworthia (Haworthiopsis fasciata) , which can be distinguished by the lack of bumps or ridges on the top surfaces of its leaves. The two species are frequently confused.

Provide strong light. Best form in part sun or filtered light (outdoors) or maximum sun (indoors). Provide excellent drainage. Avoid deep pots. Allow soil to dry before watering.

Haworthiopsis was recently separated from Haworthia based on genetic studies.

[ Aloe (Aloe vryheidensis) | Posted on August 25, 2018 ]

Solitary aloe with striking yellow-orange flowers full of dark nectar. This species may be stemless or grow a stem to 6 feet. The leaves are grayish green but often turn brown, orange or red under drought conditions.

Named after Vryheid, a town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa whose name means "freedom" in Afrikaans. Found in mountainous areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo Provinces. The dark, bitter nectar is rejected by sunbirds and honeybees but consumed by short-billed birds which are occasional nectarivores.

A close relative of Aloe spicata, tauri, castanea, and other plants with similar flowers (short, open, with copious nectar). This species can be resolved from spicata based on its shorter, less spreading leaves in a tighter rosette. It has absorbed the taller form previously known as A. dolomitica from the summit of the Wolkberg.

[ Aloe 'Cynthia Giddy' | Posted on August 16, 2018 ]

Attractive clumping spotted aloe hybrid which undergoes dramatic color changes in response to sun, drought or cold stress. In the shade this plant is green, and in the sun it's a dull reddish brown. Fresh cuttings turn reddish brown, then turn green again when they have rooted. Leaves have a few spots on top and lots of spots underneath.

This plant may flower at almost any time year round, often in the summer. So it is an excellent complement to the more common winter-flowering aloes in a succulent garden, if your goal is to attract hummingbirds year round. It stays low and clumps but not out of hand.

An excellent companion for a plant that the South African grower Cynthia Giddy hybridized: "Rooikappie", which shares a few things in common: it stays low, turns reddish brown colors in the sun, and may flower year round.

[ Tilt-Head Aloe (Aloe speciosa) | Posted on July 19, 2018 ]

Tree aloe from South Africa to 10-20 feet with outstanding bicolored flowers (red buds opening to greenish white blooms), to which the Latin name refers. The head usually points to the side (often north in habitat) rather than straight up like most tree aloes, thus the common name tilt-head aloe.

Leaves are long, thin, drooping, blue-green, and have fairly insubstantial reddish marginal teeth that are usually more like serrations. Inflorescences are relatively short, unbranched, and densely flowered, often appearing more than one at a time. Usually solitary in harsh habitats but capable of branching.

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