Drought Tolerant Plants At The UCI Arboretum--And The Mystery I Bought

Zantedeschia aethiopica from southern Africa, seasonally drought-tolerant:

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In yesterday's post I looked at the Arboretum's Aloes.  Today's post is about other plants in the collection.

A large happy clump of Urginea maritima:
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The Arboretum has an area devoted to the bulbs of South Africa.  Besides the very common (Amaryllis belladonna) and the fairly common (Urginea maritima),  there are rarities.  Here's one I was completely unfamiliar with, Androcymbium pulchrum, all in bloom:

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This bulb area appears to be somewhat high-maintenance, because it needs to be kept weeded, and someone skilled needs to do the weeding, since the foliage of many of the bulbs is easily mistaken for grass weeds.  In addition the area was encircled by wire fencing to keep out rabbits and ground squirrels who would undoubtedly do a lot of damage.

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In addition to a  large patch of the common red-orange Chasmanthes (or Crocosmias?), there was also a large patch of yellow, possibly Chasmanthe floribunda var. duckittii
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 A Giant Bird Of Paradise, Strelitzia nicolai, with a mockingbird singing his heart out  and unfortunately moving his head, blurring the image:
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And the other Strelitzia, S. reginae called 'Bird Of Paradise':
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A Cholla, perhaps, looking like a child's drawing of a cactus, or like a Keith Haring drawing of a man:
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Freshly planted Agaves in what appears to be the start of a new area devoted to the plants of Baja California:
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Quite an Agave clump--shawii, perhaps?
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The remmenants of Agave guiengola.  Hopefully it provided many seeds before it died:
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Other old inflorescences against the blue winter sky:
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And a palm I did not quite recognize--a youngish Phoenix dactylifera?  Palms--I've grow up with them.  They are just too familiar to fascinate me.  I include it for any Palm fans that might be looking in.  Palm fans--yikes, terrible pun:
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A California native...Encelia californica?  I'm not sure.  It obviously enjoyed the December rain torrents it got.  It was in full bloom and looking water-fat:
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The Beaumontia grandiflora was obviously grown without much irrigation.  Not a plant I think of in terms of being "low water' but it was doing okay.  I've seen others that were grown "fatter" and looked better, but this one had a stubborn magnificence: 

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In the Baja area, a cactus marked Ferocactus viridescens, but doesn't appear to be so.  A very sharp looking plant.  Oh, sharp--another dreadful pun...but aren't they all?
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And there was a plant sale, yes.  I'm trying again with Crassula capitella 'Campfire'.  This plant has spectacular red foliage in winter, but it is more difficult than the average Crassula, at least for hapless me.  In this garden it has been highly prone to root mealies and aphid damage, unhappy in a pot (!) and picky about irrigation.  The intense red color, the health of the plant, and the price dared me to try again:

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Purchase 2: Crassula radicans.  A good-looking specimen at a good price.  Native to South Africa:
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And lastly this astounding Echeveria.  At first I was unsure if it was simply an E. 'Blue Curls' grown with peculiar cultural practices:
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The sign on the bin showed a cultivar name of 'Blue something...(not 'Blue Curls' or 'Blue Wave' either)...'Blue Giant'? and darn!  I didn't take note of it.  I was distracted, looking around, I saw a tag on the pot, and I thought, "Oh, I'll just read it later."  Of course I get home and the tag on the pot doesn't have the cultivar name at all.  So, no clue.  It's an amazing scrunchy cabbage of a thing.

Update 2/19. I saw it at Village in Huntington Beach labeled as "Echeveria shaviana 'Blue Dusk'

Had to have it.  No hesitation.  Have no clue what it is.  Just hope I don't kill it.  You know, the usual thoughts.   I would have bought several of them but I thought the culture was suspect--that maybe there was no root system because the potting media was soaked and looked as though it had been kept too moist for too long.  There was a commercial inventory tag indicating that the plants were not grown at the Arboretum.  Some of the sale plants are; some of them are not.

I repotted the Echeveria when I got home.  Thankfully there was some root system--not much but some, looking decent, and no rot at the base that I could see.  The soil was loaded--loaded--with Osmocote fertilizer.  I dropped that down:  no plant needs potting soil that is 50% Osmocote.

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I am agog, still, at the blue-violet mass of fleshy wiggles.

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Oh, please don't die on me!

Comments

  1. haha - "Oh, please don't die on me!" - the gardeners plea to every plant purchased! I hope it thrives for you, as it is a very interesting looking creature.

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  2. Love, love, love your blue name-is-lost Echeveria and I am usually not too excited about succulents. But the blue-gray color and the ruffled edges of the petals are just irresistible. Good luck with it!
    Christina

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  3. Thank you for the lovely 2-day tour, and congrats on your new purchases! I love the bright Crassulas...but the Echeveria kind of reminds me of a skin condition! Still...I hope it lives.

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  4. Sometimes I think I can't absorb another new name, and succulents in particular push me past the breaking point. And thanks to your post, I remembered a name I've been struggling to recover for two days -- chasmanthe, the crocosmia lookalikes. That just might be chasmanthe in your photo, since the flowers look different than crocosmia. Either way, thanks for helping me remember the name!

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  5. Could very well be Chasmante, thanks Denise. I'm not focused on bulbs--yet.

    Danger, it does indeed look something like an elephant's armpit, but an irresistible elephant's armpit.

    Thanks Christina! Thanks Holley!

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