Plant ID forum: Walmart succulents

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 7:33 AM CST
These two plants are Walmartians.

I'm not very adept at distinguishing the various species, hybrids, and varieties of aloe/hawthoria/gasteria so when I bought these I did not even look at the label but when I got home, I noticed that they were both labeled as "Aloe vera cactus." lol

Any idea for a more accurate label?


Thumb of 2018-02-26/Jai_Ganesha/2430de

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 9:37 AM CST
Yes, just about any succulent can be found labeled Aloe vera and/or cactus. Smiling The left plant is a Gasteria, the right plant is an aloe or an aloe hybrid. Take a look at Aloe variegata (recently renamed and now called Gonialoe variegata), which has similarly patterned leaves. But the leaves on variegata should be V-shaped in cross-section, which leads me to believe this is either just a young plant or perhaps a hybrid (since variegata hybrids do exist in cultivation).

Partridge Breast Aloe (Gonialoe variegata)
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 9:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 9:44 AM CST
Thank you. It is really helpful to have a second set of eyes looking at these!

I already grow two species of Gasteria so I figured this one was in the same genus, have you any idea as to the species or hybrid?
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 9:47 AM CST
I have mostly given up on Gasteria ID. There are lots of hybrids so be cautious about assigning a species name to an unknown plant, especially when it's really small.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 9:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 9:51 AM CST
My instinct tells me that there are fewer hybrids than people think, and that relatively small variances in growing conditions can cause really pronounced variations in phenotype. This would make sense considering all of the little microclimates in South Africa where Gasteria are found.

One thing is for sure. We know that it is not an "aloe vera cactus." lol
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 9:59 AM CST
There are plenty of Gasteria hybrids with names, and plenty more without names, in cultivation. More than actual species, from what I can tell. A random Gasteria grown from seed in a garden will most likely be a hybrid unless there is another individual of the same species around at flowering time. I tested this myself when I grew out a batch of Gasteria hybrids just to see the range of what they looked like. The hybrids in cultivation mostly come from cultivation, I am guessing (instead of being natural hybrids found in habitat).
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 10:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 10:03 AM CST
In addition to this new one the species that I have currently are Gasteria maculata (which I know is labeled correctly because I got it from a specialty hobby grower) and Gasteria liliputana which I am 99% sure is labeled correctly because it stays very small.

I suppose that if this new one ever blooms at the same time as my others I should quarantine it if I plan to save seeds.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 10:06 AM CST
I have tried to mark this thread as solved, but I'm on my phone and I'm not sure if I did it correctly.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 10:08 AM CST
You can sometimes get lucky when a plant is self fertile, otherwise they require another distinct flowering individual to make seed... so you may get no seeds at all if you keep them all separate from each other. On the other hand, if you allow your plants to flower in proximity and pollinate each other freely, you may be surprised about the interesting things which grow out. The shaking of the proverbial dice can give rise to some unexpected results. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 10:13 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 10:12 AM CST
Just curious, do clones from the mother plant count as another flowering individual? Genetically, I know it could go either way but I don't know the specific mechanisms for this group of plants.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 10:13 AM CST
No, the offsets should be genetically identical to the mother plant.

As a side note relating to fertility, Gasterias are promiscuous, like Aloes... and the two genera may pollinate each other quite freely in cultivation, which can complicate the question of paternity even further.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 10:17 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 10:29 AM CST
I had gathered that. I come from the world of small animal shows and promiscuity is looked at as the worst thing ever. You have to be able to track and test (with DNA) your bloodlines, hundreds of years in some cases.

Even though I have gardened my whole life, I still feel like a dirty commoner if I allow plants to cross pollinate. I am that person who puts a silk party favor bag over my favorite zinnia so that my neighbor's flowers don't accidentally pollute it.

lol
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Feb 26, 2018 10:49 AM CST
To each their own of course. Smiling I can see where bagging a flower can serve a useful purpose when your goal is genetic purity, but my own bias is the opposite when I grow aloes and the like from seed. I'd rather see all the variations and try to figure/sort them out, most of the time. I might go to great lengths to assure the genetic purity of the inputs, but I'd rather see as many different outputs as possible. That said, I have been careful to maintain breeding pairs of pure blood for a few specific plants. Smiling

Part of the sport of letting promiscuity follow its natural course is the guessing game relating to paternity afterwards. It's fun for me to look at the features of baby hybrid seedlings and imagine where the pollen might have come from. I learn things about mother and father plants that way, like a particular education in what makes them similar/different from each other. I also learn about pollination when I don't control it personally. Which of my plants make super-potent pollen, for example. (These I can nip in the bud in subsequent seasons.) Which of my plants are self fertile. How hummingbird behavior (and the shortest path they trace on their daily foraging runs) affects where the pollen ends up. I don't mind growing 15 plants in order to keep 2 or 3, most of the time.

In a sense my goal is exactly the opposite of yours: unpredictability, not predictability. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 26, 2018 10:56 AM (+)]
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 26, 2018 5:11 PM CST
Yeah, and with plants there is definitely room for all different approaches. With animals, there isn't because there's a huge ethical cloud hanging over everyone who breeds them (or at least, there should be).

My dwarf Gasteria is sending up a bloom stalk right now. I'm going to be sure to take a lot of pictures when the flowers open up.
Keep going!
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Container Gardener Region: West Virginia Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Jai_Ganesha
Feb 27, 2018 6:41 AM CST
Just FYI, I have a former coworker who I sent these pictures to. She agreed with you on the aloe and said it's a young specimen of Gonialoe variegata.

The other one, she said is probably Gasteria glomerata (which I'd never heard of) or at least a hybrid of it. She said to give it a year and re-assess.
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