Echinocereus baileyi is a smallish cactus, with stems to about 8 inches tall, and to about 3½ inches in diameter. The plants are initially solitary, but under favorable conditions, will eventually branch from the base, ultimately producing large clustering plants with up to about 30 stems. Its native habitat is restricted to the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma: I suspect that it grows at higher elevations and under somewhat wetter, cooler conditions than its relatives in Texas and eastern New Mexico. In my experience, it has proven to be one of the most adaptable and forgiving of all of the Echinocereus species, being the most cold hardy and moisture tolerant of the Texas Lace cacti, and faster growing, and a more reliable bloomer than Echinocereus coccineus (another desirable, and very hardy species of the Hedgehog Cacti); it is also more moisture tolerant and disease resistant than Echinocereus viridiflorus.....
Echinopsis chamaecereus is another one of those old timers which has been a popular houseplant for many decades -
The Flowers of Echinopsis 'Vera Norman' are attractively colored, with light fuchsia petals with watermelon centers (my camera tends to artificially intensify colors and contrast: while I have tried to correct for this , these images may not quite match the colors of the flowers perfectly). The first flower on my plant, measured almost 3 inches across , and as this plant matures, I suspect that subsequent flowers may be somewhat larger. Sadly, the individual flowers are short lived -
Euphorbia cylindrifolia v tuberifera is one of the most distinctive and bizarre of the miniature Euphorbias from Madagascar; it produces a partially buried irregular caudex which may grow to about the size of a fist, with many nearly horizontal branches radiating from it. The stems are textured with leaf scars and minute stipular prickles, and are tipped in clusters of small succulent leaves which are grooved on their upper surfaces. These leaves are small, about 1/2 inch or so in length. These leaves are tough and often persist over several seasons. Leaf color can vary from dark green to purplish brown depending upon light intensity, and whether or not the plant is stressed due to drought or other factors (plants which are maintained at moister levels tend to have greener leaves which tend to persist on the plant: plants which are subjected to extended drought or which are grown under very bright light will tend to have browner leaves, and may only maintain a few leaves at the stem tips).....
Euphorbia decaryi var spirosticha comes from the Didierea-
Euphorbia eyassiana is one of a number of Euphorbia species from the Great Rift Valley which produces a mounds of thin, clustered, four angled, branching stems. This species distinguishes itself from a number of similar species by spreading from a rhizomateous rootstock, producing thickets which may spread to several feet or more in habitat. The branching stems are 4-
Euphorbia knuthii is one of those plants which earns its reputation of being an easy plant (it is practically indestructible), with seasonally rapid growth, and for producing remarkable, tuberous roots, which in many plants in cultivation are raised above the soil line so that these can be seen and more readily appreciated. Its thin stems are square in cross section, with two-
It has been asserted that if a person grows only a single plant of the succulent Euphorbias, more than likely, they grow Euphorbia obesa: such is the popularity of this species. It is the epitome of geometric simplicity: the stems of this species comes the closest to a perfectly spherical ball of all of the succulents which I have grown, earning its common name, the "Baseball Plant". In spite of its simple appearance, closer examination reveals some complexity: the stems are comprised of 8 very shallow ribs. These ribs bear minute tubercles at their centers, from which the flower buds emerge, and its nearly microscopic leaves are produced. The leaves are very short lived, appearing briefly at the growing apex of the plant. The stems are also marked with thin purplish striations -
I have been a long time grower of the succulent euphorbias; I am especially drawn to those species with exceptional forms, highly patterned stem markings, and unusually colorful or interesting spines. Over the years, space considerations, and the growing requirements of many of my euphorbias (some do not fare well through a cool winter dormancy), I have been forced to pare down my collection to a relatively few plants. Euphorbia persistens is one of those few euphorbias which remain in my collection. This species has hit all of my "points"; first of all, it is long lived, and easy to grow, tolerating a wide range of growing conditions; it is a relatively compact plant, producing densely branched mounds of succulent, and curiously twisting stems from a thick taproot (some growers may even opt to raise the root to expose it). While the root is a good size, I am not certain that I would regard this plant as a caudiciform. Young plants have carrot-
One of my favorite forms of the euphorbia family are the so-
Ficus palmeri, (the "Rock Fig") is a remarkable plant, native to the Baja peninsula, Mexico: it is one of a few species of figs which are adapted to arid conditions. Young plants will produce a large caudex fairly quickly, providing the growing plant a moisture reserve. Later in its life, when the plant has produced a sufficiently large root system to provide adequate moisture for the plant, the plant invests less energy in growing the caudex, and the plant takes on a more normal appearance, with the base of the trunk only a slightly enlarged. The caudex of young plants can grow quite large, giving them a form reminiscent of the "Desert Rose" (Adenium obesum); the bark is of a grey coloration and smooth, and the leaves are heart shaped, and are fairly large. In some plants, the leaf petioles and midribs are an attractive pink to reddish color, adding additional visual appeal (in my plant, the petioles and leaf midribs are uniformly green). Habitat photographs of this plant reveal another interesting trait of this species -
Fockea edulis is one of the more unusual and distinctive species of the Asclepidaceae, or the milkweed family, noted for its huge underground caudexes which can ultimately grow in excess of 21 inches in diameter, and tip the scales at over 100 lbs. The plants produce a branching tangle of vining stems, which in habitat, can exceed several meters in length. The growth of vines in some plants is said to become so rampant that it will eventually choke out the plants upon which they grow. Under cultivation, the growth rate of most plants is more modest, at least in my plants – with the vines adding about a foot or so of growth each year. The leaves are an attractive, dark glossy green coloration, and are oval to lance shaped, and are rather small, to about 1 to 2 inches in length and about 1 inch wide, although on my plants, these are smaller -
Frerea indica is an unusual succulent plant from Western India, with succulent stems growing to about 1.5 inches in diameter, eventually producing mounded to scrambling plants with stems to about 20 inches in length. In habitat, plants will produce large (up to 3 inches in length) non-
According to Botanica, this genus closely allied to Agave consists of about 12 species of perennial succulents with terminal or basal rosettes of sword-