Carol Cloud Bailey
(Areca Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Bamboo Palm, Yellow Butterfly Palm)
Areca palm is a popular tropical plant that is native to Madagascar. It has glossy, graceful, feathery compound leaves that have long, narrow, bright green leaflets along a yellow frond stem. In summer it produces small yellow flowers followed by yellow to purple fruits.
This pleasing palm forms multiple trunks and large clumps. It is used extensively as a landscape palm in frost-free locations and an interior specimen where not hardy. Outside, it prefers full sun to partial shade and very...
A recently introduced hybrid that departs from most other echeverias in color and form, this tender succulent forms large rosettes of thick fleshy gray-green leaves with frilly pink fringes. As with most echeverias, the broadly triangular, fleshy leaves are evergreen. They cluster in symmetrical, waxen, many-leaved rosettes that grow as wide as dinner plates. A tall spike topped with showy orange flowers rises from each rosette's center in late summer, attracting hummingbirds. Plants spread by offsets,...
(Echeveria, Mexican Gem, Mexican Snowball)
Mexican Gem is native to Mexico and has succulent leaves that form a stemless rosette. This species produces a silver-blue rosette that puts forth disproportionately long spikes of pink and yellow flowers in spring or summer. This plant is a wonderful clumping colonizer and develops off-shoot babies that spread and root where they touch soil, often giving them the name of tropical hens and chicks.
This succulent thrives in full sun and prefers dry sandy soil that is moist in summer. Occasional...
(Golden Ball, Golden Barrel Cactus)
A widely cultivated cactus from central Mexico, golden barrel cactus is valued for its striking bold, spherical habit and showy spines. It forms a broad, flattened, round barrel whose 20 or more vertical ribs are densely lined with golden yellow spines. Older plants are more cylindrical and younger more elongated.
The barrel has a round, spineless, woolly spot at its top, which in summer gives rise to yellow flowers with numerous narrow, brown-tipped petals. The flowers are often produced in rings....
James H. Schutte
(Blue Barrel, Devil's Head Cactus, Melon Cactus)
Small in stature but large in flower, this cactus is often the brightest spot in an impossibly dry landscape. It is native to deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The species also ranges well into Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert where they are most often found on steep rocky hillsides, often clinging to nearly vertical inclines where drainage is assured. This is a solitary cactus but may produce clumps with great age. The single stem is a small barrel with about 8 ribs bearing very dense rounded...
James H. Schutte
(Biznaga de Dulce , Giant Barrel)
In the wild this cactus can grow as tall as a man and twice as wide in diameter. Such proportions make it the largest of all barrel cactus on Earth, giving credence to a common name of "giant barrel." Very old specimens in habitat are a destination of every dedicated cactus enthusiast and admirer. The species is native to a huge range of northern and central Mexico on moderately sloping sandy or gravelly soils. In youth this is a globe-shaped, bright green barrel. Eventually it will bear from five...
Famous for its large, outstanding flowers, this sizable genus of South American cacti includes about 128 species. It is spread over a very large range to include Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. There are some American botanists who have retired the genus Trichocereus and lumped all of its species into Echinopsis, significantly enlarging its size. However, the Europeans have resisted such a move and references from the Old World have retained the original...