Cactus and Succulents forum→Please don't call me Calandrinia, my real name is capricious

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(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Dec 30, 2018 2:23 AM CST
Really, I've never seen a plant as unpredictable as this one.

#1 is mine. It's been in the ground for just over a year. When I picked two up at the nursery they had lots of blooms. This season so far? Only one flower while the Calandrinias mass planted in medians are blooming like crazy. I water them when the ground feels dry. And not one leaf has changed color either. Blinking
Thumb of 2018-12-30/_Bleu_/ff228a

#2 lives in a bed by the road, it's been there for at least two years. It gets water every night from an irrigation system. Hasn't grown much at all and has more or less the same number of flowers as it did last season. Same exposure as mine. Leaves are changing color nicely.
Thumb of 2018-12-30/_Bleu_/ceb8c8

#3 they are in a succulent garden nearby that does not get irrigated daily. They are growing like mad (probably because of all the rain and heavy dew we've been getting). Same exposure as mine as well. They have lots of gorgeous deep orange leaves but no blooms.
Thumb of 2018-12-30/_Bleu_/abd351

Sighing!


Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Dec 30, 2018 12:34 PM CST
I have a Cistanthe grandiflora in the house, and in the greenhouse. The house one is growing well in a west window, but hasn't bloomed at all. The one in the greenhouse is 3 times as large, and blooms well. It gets more water and much higher humidity.
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(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Dec 30, 2018 2:26 PM CST
@plantmanager, have their leaves changed color?
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Dec 30, 2018 3:17 PM CST
No, the plants are at least 2 years old and have always been green. I'm not seeing any colored plants in our database. I guess it could be possible if I put it outside, but I don't think it's hardy here in 7B.

Is it possible that what you're seeing could be the crassula camp fire plant which does color up nicely in the cold?
Crassula (Crassula capitella 'Campfire')
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(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Dec 30, 2018 3:54 PM CST
Oh, no, I have a Crassula (actually, the top photo on that page shows my plant). All the photos I posted to this thread are Cistanthe Calandrinia grandiflora (a.k.a. Calandrinia grandiflora). The one in photo #2 has been in the ground the longest (2 - 3 years) most of the ones showing colored leaves in photo #3 are this season growth. Mine (photo #1) is the same cultivar as the others.

Up until now I believed that the lack of flowers and red pigment had to do with irrigation, age, and exposure. The new growth in photo #3 tells me that this plant is just moody.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Dec 30, 2018 4:04 PM CST
I'll have to plant some outdoors in the fall. Maybe it will change color before it dies from the cold. I have plenty to experiment with.
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cistanthe_at_gmail
Jan 2, 2019 11:30 AM CST
Feel free to repost.

The commonly cultivated plant referred to as Rock Purslane is Cistanthe laxiflora (Phil.) Peralta & D. I. Ford.

Cistanthe grandiflora (Lindl.) Schlect. is a very different species, weedy, less succulent, a bit "sloppy" looking, and not often cultivated. Though it is a good accent in a low-maintenance, low water "wildflower" planting.

Another species often called C. grandiflora is Cistanthe discolor (Schrad.) Spach. Some photos posted by "Mutisia" are this species, easily distinguished by its leaves, dark green with white veins above, usually purple below. This handsome plant has EXCELLENT potential for higher elevation rock gardens, as it is hardy.

As for C. laxiflora, it is endemic to rocky EXPOSED cliffs 0-50 meters from the tide, along a 400 km stretch of the Chilean coast, ca. 30-33 degrees S latitude. It does not grow further south or north or further inland.

And this information is useful for understanding its behavior in cultivation.

The climate is similar to the analogous stretch of North latitude, centered in Baja California, where Cistanthe maritima occurs.

But the ocean current in Chile is much colder.

Cool, wet winters, hot dry summers.

The "average" precipitation ranges from 100-400 mm annually from the northern to southern end of the range.

But this is misleading, because during El Niño years, the rain is double, and during the intervening drought years, MUCH less.

Also, the plants receive subterranean irrigation via seepage from the high Andes, not so far to the east. And I mean HIGH. 4000-5000 m high. Make the Sierra Nevada seem like mole hills.

Finally, although hot and bone dry in summer, the cliffs are bathed in cool humid air at night. Often fog.

Another consideration is that the plants are somewhat halophytic, since they receive ocean spray. This means they need minerals. And the natural substrate is decomposed granite, not lime.

And air circulation is excellent.

These data may help explain the performance in cultivation, both good performance in poor conditions and bad performance in seemingly better conditions.

The plants might not perform optimally indoors. To improve performance, consider converting your living room to an indoor beach. Put the plants among rocks on one side. Replace your carpeting with several inches of sand. This is advantageous, because it requires no vacuuming. Just raking. And who needs ashtrays? You also will need to install tanning lights, a saline, mineral-rich jacuzzi, and a powerful fan. Add some Hawaiian Tropic, invite Betty Davis and Joan Crawford, and you're done. Your Rock Purselane will thrive.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 2, 2019 11:49 AM CST
Hi _Bleu_, my Calandrinia usually blooms around Spring. During winter time since it is quite cold here, it is actively growing but just leafing nicely. When weather starts to warm up then it makes its bloom stalks.

I think the other plant that you have there may be a Graptoveria. I once planted the Calandrinia and Graptoveria together, and both plants are just an entangled mass, trying to over run the other, so I had to separate them.

At least your plants are in ground so they have good area to grow. I like the Graptoveria when it gets chilled, gets those rosy colored leaves as it gets the sun in the cool weather.
This is my Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' gets rosy colored during cool weather and then goes solid green when it gets warm to hot.
Thumb of 2019-01-02/tarev/0b9eff
Thumb of 2019-01-02/tarev/5b7073 Thumb of 2019-01-02/tarev/0ef047

(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Jan 2, 2019 1:53 PM CST
tarev said:I think the other plant that you have there may be a Graptoveria.


Hi Tarev,

You mean the orange clump in the third photo? That's also Calandrinia, all you see in that photo is the same plant that's been spreading a lot since the weather started to cool down in late September.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 2, 2019 1:56 PM CST

Moderator

Thank you @cistanthe_at_gmail for all the information about these plants. And

Welcome!

Would you say the image on this page is properly labeled?

https://species.wikimedia.org/...

Would you say any of these images are properly labeled? Are Mutisia's pictures here really discolor?

Rock Purslane (Cistanthe grandiflora)

We live in Baja California in the area you mentioned (32°N) and I am fascinated by 2 places with similar climates harboring similar plants, separated by 60 degrees of latitude but both bathed in fog and dry in the summer.

The ocean in southern Chile is much colder, but the coastal upwelling around the latitude you mentioned (30-33°S) is entirely comparable with what happens here in northwestern BC. Chile has the Humboldt Current, we have the California Current. In fact the sea temperature here is colder on average than in Valparaiso.

https://www.seatemperature.org...
https://www.seatemperature.org...

Regarding rainfall here in El Niño years (a phenomenon we share on the Eastern Pacific)... a clarification. The rainfall tends to be higher in Niño years as a trend, but it can also be average, or less than average. By way of illustration, the last 3 "very strong" El Niño years (2015-16, 1997-98, 1982-3) included the strongest Niño event in 50 years (2015-16) measured by sea surface temperature. The rainfall in San Diego (33°N) during those 3 seasons was close to average (123%, 78%, 114%), but the effect on local fisheries and sea lion populations was pretty savage, especially this latest event.

https://ggweather.com/enso/oni...
https://www.sdcwa.org/annual-r...
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 2, 2019 3:12 PM (+)]
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(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Jan 2, 2019 2:37 PM CST
I really love this place, one can learn so much here! Looks like Mutisia is growing two kinds of Cistanthe. Smiling
I found a photo of Cistanthe discolor (Schrad.) Spach (http://floradechile.cl/dicotyl...):

Thumb of 2019-01-02/_Bleu_/c9ae6b

And this is one of Mutisia's photos:



My Cisthantes came labeled as Calandrinia grandiflora and have no white veins, they look identical to the ones I find around my neighborhood (photo #3 from my previous post):

Thumb of 2019-01-02/_Bleu_/344731



cistanthe_at_gmail
Jan 2, 2019 6:26 PM CST
1. The wikispecies plant is strange. It was taken at UC Berkeley Bot Gard. I wrote Holly Forbes about it, but she never replied.

It is NOT grandiflora, and NOT laxiflora (style short, corolla spreading).

But it it is weird. The same photog posted another view
Thumb of 2019-01-03/cistanthe_at_gmail/270368

Note that it has TEN petals. A freak.

Yes, the Mutisia photo is discolor. But I think posted also a mucronulata and maybe a true grandiflora. Have to go back and check.

I generalized regarding El Niño. When it sets in in fall/winter, a deluge. But sometimes it sets in in spring/summer, as THIS year in Chile. Makes for more summer humidity/cloudiness, maybe a shower, but no increase in annual rainfall at low elevations. However, odd summer hail and snow showers at heights.

I generalize also on water temp. Many factors. But I never go in water without the most sophisticated bio-thermosensor technology. Just below the belt. And in the 80s in August, I could swim for a long time at Black's and Pirate's cove. Cannot do that in Chile, even at 28S.

Then there is Fray Jorge, at 30S, harboring a patch of relictual Valdivian rainforest, mostly fog precip, some years with no rain at all. Nothing like it in Baja.

cistanthe_at_gmail
Jan 4, 2019 8:27 PM CST
This link shows a small discolor in nature. And Mutisia's images also are in nature, not cultivated.

The photo indicates copyright, so I respect it and do not upload here.

But garden_dot_org will not let me post a link directly. Spam.

So I post it figuratively

Www_dot_inaturalist_dot_org/observations/16245843

Hopefully correct. You can see it is very beautiful and imagine it in a rock garden.

It is "IDd" as discolor by someone else, following my comment.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
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needrain
Jan 4, 2019 8:38 PM CST
I think I've been a member and posted long enough that I'm allowed to post the link:

https://www.inaturalist.org/ob...
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Jan 5, 2019 5:28 AM (+)]
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(Zone 10a)
_Bleu_
Jan 4, 2019 11:07 PM CST
@cistanthe_at_gmail, since you show a lot of interest and seem to know this plant rather well, can you tell us about its behavior? I looked at all the photos on the site you linked to and see the same inconsistency in terms of blooming.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 14, 2019 12:10 PM CST

Moderator

@cistanthe_at_gmail I feel like I'm in over my head here, and it sounds like you have the genus pretty well figured out. If you're still around, I think it would make a huge difference if you could post a comment for the relevant plant(s). For example on this page there is a link at the left saying "Post a comment" (that link appears toward the bottom if you are using a mobile device):

Rock Purslane (Cistanthe grandiflora)

and if you could briefly summarize how to tell this plant from the others in a few sentences, I think that would be helpful for those of us who don't know.

Ideally I would like to make sure all the images on that page in the database are of the species in question, but it appears they mostly are not, and I would not be confident enough in my knowledge to know which ones to move where. So a second best option might be for you to briefly say what the distinguishing features are in a comment, and then at least there would be some knowledge on that page for others to absorb in the future.

Can I talk you into posting a comment? I think everyone who has participated in this thread would be grateful for you sharing your knowledge in that way. To get an idea of what I like to post in that area, here are few examples from various succulents I've recently commented on.

https://garden.org/plants/brow...
Name: Karen
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plantmanager
Jan 14, 2019 12:27 PM CST
I agree with Baja. We want our database to be as accurate as possible. I have some photos in there, and would be happy to have them moved if they're in the wrong places.
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cistanthe_at_gmail
Jan 23, 2019 1:21 PM CST
We were at the beach
Everybody had matching trowels
Somebody went under a rock
And there they saw a dock
It wasn't a dock
It was a rock purselane
Rock purselane
Rock purselane
Rock purselane
Rock purselane

Down, down

Purselane rock
Purselane rock
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Jan 23, 2019 2:57 PM CST
Smiling
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cistanthe_at_gmail
Jan 23, 2019 8:02 PM CST

I am working on the taxonomy, ecology, and evolution (or Creation if you are so inclined) of Montiaceae.

MUCH of my work is heavily theoretical, but I am updating taxonomy.

Not sure if I will finish. Health issues, not helped by having to forage dumpsters for food. Especially in Chile, where toilet paper is thrown in the garbage and not flushed.

Since garden.org does not let me post links to my spam sites, look up the following:

Hershkovitz, M. [A.]. 2018. Synopsis of a new taxonomic synthesis of Montiaceae
(Portulacineae) based on rational metadata analysis, with critical new insights on
historically poorly understood taxa and a reevaluation of historical biogeography.
Preprints 2018: 2018080496.

CAUTION: In revision with MANY corrections/additions, so not definitive.

Also:

Hershkovitz, M. A. 2018. Cistanthe philhershkovitziana (Montiaceae): a remarkable annual
species of Cistanthe sect. Cistanthe from Chile. Phytologia 100: 208-221.

Hershkovitz, M. 2018. Additional notes on Cistanthe philhershkovitziana Hershk. (Montiaceae). Preprints 2018, 2018120343

Appreciate that there are MANY issues that affect taxonomy. Nomenclatural, biological, theoretical.....

Just remember: plants have no birth certificates, no legal names. What we call them is a philosophical issue. And nomenclatural codes are just protocols to keep track of philosophical differences.

But most of the interest here involves the plant referred to as Rock purselane, which became popular in cultivation within the past ten years.

There are many taxa, mostly Montiaceae, called Rock purselane. Including Montiopsis umbellata, which is a lovely garden plant.

MOST of the images on the internet are Cistanthe laxiflora (Phil.) Peralta & D. I. Ford.

Indeed this species has been considered in the past, even by me, as the same species as C. grandiflora.

But when you see the plants in the field, you can appreciate how different they are. You can tell the difference at 200 or more meters.

Laxiflora has a neat, geometric form, like crassulas or ice plants. Succulent stems and leaves below, the culms TERETE and leafless, the style length about 2x the stamens. The flowers 3-5 inches broad.

Grandiflora is a sloppy plant having a weedy aspect, very glaucous, the basal leaves rather large, up to 10 inches, gradually reducing in size, the branches decidedly ANGLED, becoming triquetrous in the culm, the culms rather leafy basally, the leaves gradually reducing in size apically and becoming mere bracts in the flowering portion. The style and stamen lengths are about equal. The flowers usually 2-3 inches broad.

Then there is discolor, which I have described previously, and has great potential in higher elevation gardens, Sierra-Cascade to Rockies.

And then there is C. philhershkovitziana, nominally winter annual, but I believe with cutting back can be coaxed into perenniality.

My photos of the beach form do not do it justice. I have tragically lost my photos of SPECTACULAR plants growing elsewhere. Great potential in gardens and as a potted plant.

If it rains here this winter, and if I am still around, maybe I can get seeds of these forms.

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