Saturday, August 14, 2010

Refreshing my succulents encounter

I do not have many succulents in my photo portfolio although I did start growing the miniature ones before everything else. The humid tropical climate here is not condusive for their growth and they tend to end up looking unnatural and dead. On top of that, to see them in their habitat would require me to break my piggy bank....and probably some other people's as well.

So while in Europe, I visited some succulent greenhouses in the botanical gardens to see how they would look if properly grown. I was immediately envious how nice and colourful even the more common Gasterias and Haworthias look over here - as I could barely recognise those same species being offerd for sale back home. There are many Aloes that are new to me, especially minatures like this A. descoingsii which I am itching to try....


....also very desirable is this relative of the pepper, Peperomia columella from Peruvian Andes - but its need need for a cool and dry environment probably means that it would not find Singapore very homely....



....and for the first time, I saw this man-size Cyphostemma juttae, a succulent from grape family which is relatively common amongst caudiciform collectors in the west but would be unlikely to do well in SE Asia.


....this is a xerophytic Madagascan version of the national flower of Malaysia, and as the label says, its called Hibiscus grandidieri.



....then, my heart missed a beat when I saw the Welwitschia mirabilis fruiting.


This plant grows in the dryest place on earth, bears just 2 creeping leaves throughout its life and has been known to live for more than a thousand years in the wild. I have seen it in documentaries and books but never in real life before....(click on pic to enlarge)

....and I learn too if you see moss covered rocks in the desert (especially in NW Argentina), you better look carefully before resting your butt on them .....


for these spiky moss wannabes from Bromeliad family, Abrometiella brevifolia to be precise, can be quite injurious to your behind.

7 comments:

rohrerbot said...

I love the spiky moss....I wonder if it would work here??? Hmmmm.....

Megan said...

Gorgeous pictures! I love the peperomia. Never seen it before.

Hermes said...

Not my favourites but these are very good photographs - where in Europe?

Hort Log said...

rohrerbot, in Tucson, its certainly worth a try.

and Megan, its one of those nice Andes succulent ppperomias...there are many of them, all minatures amd weird...but alas I cannot grow them.

Hort Log said...

Hi Mr Brown, they are in Prague, Dresden and Teplice.

RSA Course said...

That hanging hibiscus is absolutely beautiful, I love the bright coloring!

Titania said...

Hort Log, great pictures of unusual
succulents. I know exactly what I would grow if....so interesting and uplifting to see these wonderful plants who are able to grow in arid landscapes. I have always been captivated by their structures and beauty. The plant which grows only two leaves in its lifetime is awesome. I can imagine how pleased you have been to see its fruit.

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