Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Euphorbia lophogona

Another of my old plants in need of finding another clone. This plant was from Tarrington Exotics (Rudolf Schultz), Australia before his retirement. For some strange reason Euphorbia lophogona is rarely ever offered nowadays. In the early 1990s and 2000s, it was frequently offered in C&S catalogues. Like fashion, what is popular will soon be passe.  So remember to hang on to old fashion plants like blue chips and be ready to cash in one day. Last week when i was in Southern Taiwan, i managed to get a seedling of E. lophogona from a hobbyist poysean hybridizer.  Most of the large cyathophylls "poysean" has E. lophogona in its very mixed genes. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Caralluma moniliformis

This is one of the Somalian carallumas that Ernest Specks had stocked in his 2008 catalogue. I was pleasantly surprised that it flowered earlier in February during the dry and windy weather. Most of my carallumas (C. retrospeciens) give a terminal ball of flowers, and i was expecting the same for this species.  It gives a long thin stick of spaced terminal inflorescence similar to a well known Indian species C. stalagmifera.  The flowers are really very small, perhaps 1 cm across and extremely delicate.  Any insects that can work on its pollination is probably an order of magnitude smaller!  For size, i have a stray kalanchoe longiflora (right) for comparison below:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dorstenia horwoodii

Another one of the oldies in my collection. Had it probably almost close to 10 years.  I got it as Dorstenia horwoodii from AridLand East before Mike Massara went on to set up his own Out of Africa Plants nursery.  Many "summers" and "winters" pass with a new flush of silvery green leaves turning to autumnal golden before they shed.  The plant is monoecious; the stigma and stamens offset but a short period to avoid selfing.  Interestingly when the plant was younger, there numerous seed set were none viable.  For the last few years, they become viable with many true to parent-form seedlings despite having only 1 specimen or clone.

This species was collect by Frank Horwood in Somalia and hence the species name.  There are opinions now that it should be considered to one variation of the D. foetida species complex.  As a gardener and hobbyist, it is probably easier to remember a short name vs  D. foetida (syn D. horwoodii.. ).  Under tropical conditions subjected to similar cultivation treatment D. foetida grows as an annual or bi-annual while D. horwoodii remains strongly perennial.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Deutorocohnia brevifolia v brevifolia

Failure to notice your relatively "new" plants in flower is not a good sign. Possibly even symptomic of having too many plants and almost sign of negligence. A regular visitor to my collection spotted this xeric bromeliad in flower.  Lime green is an unusual flower colour.  I'm not completely sure if it is D. brevifolia v. brevifolia. I received it as that. It differs from its twin D. brevifolia v. chlorantha being bigger. Than again, what i also received a D. lorentziana. It is could be case of mixing up the labels.  D. lorentziana is a much bigger plant with close rosette 5-10 cm in diamater while D. brevifolia v. brevifolia is smaller with open rosette 5 cm across. Cultivation of this species is easy; grow in rocky open mix and full sun.