Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: succulent ID help needed

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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Aug 15, 2016 6:17 PM CST
Hello everyone. I have a problem succulent that I am unable to identify. I think it might be a type of haworthia but I'm not sure. Unfortunately my go to nursery does not label their plants. This one was in the haworthia shed and has many of the characteristics of that family. However, I've been to every haworthia site around and can't find any matches. Any help would be appreciated.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Aug 15, 2016 7:46 PM CST
That is a Dyckia (terrestrial bromeliad) not a succulent. The flowers are great hummingbird magnets.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Aug 16, 2016 7:12 AM CST
Agreed, another name is 'Earth Star'. 'Cryptanthus' which is in the Bromeliad family. I was lucky to find one at my local Wal-Marts for only $3.98.

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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Aug 16, 2016 7:29 AM CST
That's beautiful. Lovely eye candy.:hearts: Drooling I'd love to find that.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Aug 16, 2016 7:37 AM CST
Stush, I believe Baja is correct about it being a Dyckia and also that yours is not a Dyckia. Gene
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 16, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Yes, Cryptanthus & Dyckia are different genera.
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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Aug 17, 2016 5:36 PM CST
Thanks everyone. I live in Miami Florida and have an extensive bromeliad garden but never considered this specimen as one of that family. It's pupping like a bromo. No blooms yet.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Aug 18, 2016 9:30 AM CST
Yes you guys are correct. Thank you.
Name: Gene Staver
Portage WI 53901 (Zone 5a)
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gasrocks
Aug 18, 2016 11:25 AM CST
Warning: Dyckia can be addictive. Gene
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Aug 18, 2016 2:19 PM CST
Okay, so evidently there are a few Dyckia enthusiasts in the room. Smiling Here are a few pictures from my patio showing some of my favorites. The first four plants are seedlings grown from my plants. The second plant is offspring of the last plant, actually, and I suspect the difference in color is mostly due to exposure (the seedling is in 50% shade, the mother in all-day sun). They hybridize freely so there's some guessing involved.

You can tell with the bigger plants that I give them some harsh treatment (day-long sun and watering along with the succulents, when they go dry).

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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 18, 2016 2:34 PM CST
Are there any Dyckia cultivars that are hardy to around 10F? All I've been reading is they are hardy to 20F with some being more cold tolerant but can't find what "some" they are talking about.
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Name: 'CareBear'

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Stush2019
Aug 18, 2016 3:56 PM CST
Dan, You could try covering them on the cold nights. Use of some heat tape under the mulch? How often do you have below 20 degress nights? Or bring them in for the cold months to be on the safe side.
Baja, I purchased some Dyckia seeds on ebay and most sprouted for me and then took forever to grow. After one year, I was lucky to have any over 1 inch. I over watered one winter night and that's all it took, Next day all dead with rot. Trouble with growing seeds indoors during winter months. Too dry then too wet. My Aloes are much more hardy to water and dry spells.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Aug 18, 2016 5:11 PM CST
Thanks for the info CareBear but we experience a lot of days below 20 and the last thing I need is another plant I have to bring in or do anything special for.
๐ŸŒฟA weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered๐ŸŒฟ
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Aug 18, 2016 7:57 PM CST
I can't speak for cold hardiness but my advice for growing these plants from seed would be to use a mix of about half pumice or equivalent, provide strong light (hours of daily sun indoors, maybe some filtered light outdoors), water every 3-4 days (in say a shallow 4 inch pot), and employ a healthy dose of patience. It takes about 2 years to arrive at a full-sized rosette. Most of the lag is early on. Flowers generally only appear around the time the head starts dividing (for the ones which do this).

I start all my seedlings on sunny SW-facing windowsills and my Dyckias get the exact same treatment I give the aloes and other succulents. Hopefully that helps. The most important thing I would say is probably strong light. They also enjoy regular water and do not enjoy going quite as dry for quite as long compared to succulents. I was unable to water a bunch of these plants (including some year old seedlings) for 3 months this past winter. They didn't actually die but they never recovered either. The succulents which went through the same experience may have looked equally awful but they bounced back better afterward.
Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Aug 20, 2016 6:16 PM CST
After reading everyone's posts, I think I need more of these guys. Yeah, Dyckias are addictive. They also seem to be iguana resistant. A very big problem (4-5 foot) in my area. They eat everything. Though they do leave most of the bromeliads alone. A very invasive species. I keep all my succulents and cacti in the front yard where they keep out of. If you can't beat them, plant something indigestible.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Aug 20, 2016 6:38 PM CST
The succulent Euphorbias taste pretty horrible to the squirrels, bunnies, and mice that snack on succulents here... one try and they don't come back for more. I have been planting a bunch of them for that reason. Maybe the Euphorbias would be iguana-proof too. Dyckias tend to be pretty well armed (those marginal spines) but maybe when the animals are hungry enough, they don't care. I've never seen them try one here, when they have juicy Aeoniums and aloes to eat instead.
Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Aug 20, 2016 7:40 PM CST
Crown of Thorns grows pretty prolific down here. Any suggestions for zone 10 ?I really like some of the euphorbia lactea but I'm not sure I want to be feeding some kinda pricey plants to the lizards. Btw, they're cool in a Jurassic park sorta way. Just trying to coexist.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
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Baja_Costero
Aug 21, 2016 11:02 AM CST
Yeah, lizards are cool. We have lots of little ones around here, no iguanas. I don't think they are herbivores, which makes them my friends in the garden. Smiling

The Euphorbias I would recommend (in addition to the crown of thorns) include, in no particular order

trigona (highly branched shrub for years, eventually a tree)
tirucalli (orange version is a shrub, green version becomes a tree)
polygona (cactus-like clumper) & its kin horrida and anoplia
susannae (many bumpy stems in a mound)
bupleurifolia (small deciduous caudiciform)
flanaganii (most common medusa)
resinifera (mound-forming, very impressive with age)
makallensis (similar habit to previous)
grandicornis (big-horn spines, forms large well-armed shrub)

But I have no idea about their cold tolerance. You might want to check out this article on the subject.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2326

And it's probably a good idea to point out that the succulent Euphorbias which taste bad to bunnies can also be a bit hazardous to humans. Avoid touching the sap and especially getting it in your eyes. Of the above plants I would think the most hazardous in this respect would be tirucalli and resinifera.

The latter makes a compound called resiniferatoxin which acts like the active ingredient in hot peppers (causing the same sensation of heat), but several hundred times stronger... it is in fact the most potent agonist of the relevant receptor known to science. A little nerd fact for you there about the succulent Euphorbias. Hotter than the hottest chile! Anyway, interesting side note here, that class of chemicals apparently has no effect on birds (who presumably spread the seeds), which I would imagine does not bode well for them working on iguanas. Only one way to find out I suppose.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Aug 21, 2016 11:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Diane Mckee
Florida (Zone 10a)
RedSonja
Aug 30, 2016 6:32 PM CST
Thanks. I've researched all the plants you suggested and they look like excellent choices. I'm gonna start slowly and see if they make it. Thanks again. I really like this forum. Great help everyone!

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