Monday, June 30, 2008

Kalanchoe garambiensis

Acquired this species from a Taiwanese plant collector in 2006. He told me this is an taiwanese endemic, restricted to the southern coastal rocks and cliffs. One would assume that it is relatively easy to keep this plant coming from a subtropical coastal habitat that experiences deluge of monsoon rain. It proves to be ephemeral in the sense that it can grow rapidly and then loose its roots and cling on to life in the form of small bits of shoots or stems. I suppose it may be the same in the wild.

This is the write-up from

Kalanchoe garambiensis Kudo 台南伽蓝菜
Description from
Flora of China
Herbs 5-8 cm tall, glabrous. Root stout, sometimes branched. Leaves petiolate; leaf blade spatulate, 1-1.8 × 0.3-0.7 cm, base tapered, margin entire, apex obtuse to shortly acute. Inflorescences laxly
corymbiform, cymose, 3-10-flowered. Sepals ovate-oblong, ca. 5 mm, glandular, apex acute. Corolla yellow; tube slender, ca. 2 cm, base urceolate; lobes broadly ovate, apex obtuse, subconcave, or acute. Fl. Apr, fr. Aug.
This species could be regarded as a very depauperate form of Kalanchoe integra. See J. Jap. Bot. 78: 252. 2003: Kalanchoe spathulata var. garambiensis (Kudo) H. Ohba.
* Among rocks. S Taiwan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Echeveria carnicolor

A local succulent enthusiast purchased this plant from San Francisco. This is America's equivalent of 3 pots for S$10 sale offer at a small nursery. It proves to be a very adaptable and vigorous Echeveria. It offsets readily (above photo)and the bracts on the offset drops most readily. These bracts will take root almost immediately to give new plants (photo below: note another mini plantlet is already growing from a leaf bract bottom right).

The color varies a lot. If grown in shade, the purplish tint is less intense. Under the same condition of light and soil, young plants are also less intensely colored. Unlike other Echeverias, this species can tolerate shade and does not etiolate or become "leggy". I decided this is probably E. carnicolor or a hybrid of possibly Echeveria `Lavender Hill` which is E. carnicolor x E. atropurperea. Both species come from lowland coastal state of Veracruz, Mexico. No wonder it can survive in Singapore!

Take a look at a very extensive photo album of Cok & Ine Grootscholten. I should n't have gave this nursery a miss when i was in Netherlands. A great regret till this day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tropical Echeveria?

If you see an Echeveria as white as this one on sale chances are it is a cool growing species which will collapse under Singapore hot and humid climate. E. lauii is arguably one of whitest and prettiest of echeverias. We have to thank nature for this anomaly. It is found just at a low altitude of 500 m a.s.l in a hot and dry ravine of Rio Salado - Quiotepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. This is a relatively slow growing species and it rarely offsets. Fortunately, it can be propagated from leaves and bracts.

Having found a rosette forming member of the crassulaceae family triggers in me a desire to get other Echeverias that may have a good chance of surviving. My shortlist of potential low growing species: E. atropurpurea, E. carnicolor, , E. diffractens, E. nuda, E. racemosa. And if you have any of these species, please contact me!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Impatiens sp Kanchanaburi Province

Thailand is rich in Impatiens species and there are now more being found and properly described. Since Thailand is home to I. mirabilis - a "giant" stem caudiciform from the karst in south, one would expect more pachycaul Impatiens to be found in the Indo China region with rich in karst habitats. Yes, that's indeed the case. Some new pachycaul species like I. pachycaulon from Laos & I. angulata from Southern Western China. Am not able to put a name to this species from Kanchanaburi province, Thailand, except that it is probably in the same section as I. kerriae. It differs from I. mirabilis in that the inflorescence is non-terminal. The stem is also exceptionally woody amongst known pachycaul Impatiens. From a hobbyist point of view, i would group it with I. verrucifer, I. angulata sharing the same habit, general form and flowering characteristics.