Gerald L. Klingaman
(Calico Flower, Elegant Dutchman's Pipe)
Heart-shaped leaves add beauty year round, but the striped and mottled cream and burgundy-purple blossoms of calico flower are the talk of the town, shaped like a curving pipe with flared horn and smelly fragrance! An evergreen tropical vine native to Brazil, these infamously scented blossoms occur in summertime.
The light to medium green leaves are kidney- or heart-shaped, and are rather small when compared to others; the soft woody stems coil around things for support. In the heat of summer,...
Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
(Orchid, Rust-red Ascocentrum)
A miniature orchid with an attractive fan of leaves, Ascocentrum miniatum is no less than stunning when its cluster of brilliant orange flowers appears in spring. And the spectacular flowers can last for months! An evergreen frost-tender orchid from Thailand, rust-red ascocentrum is an epiphyte that thrives in tropical climates. It is very similar in habit and flower to Ascocentrum garayi.
The small plant looks like a fan with fleshy, leathery roots that clasp to tree trunks...
Carol Cloud Bailey
(Asparagus Fern, Myers' Asparagus Fern)
Myers' asparagus fern is a tuberous perennial native to South Africa. The upright to arching, lime-green stems with fern-like foliage give the appearance of foxtails. Small, white flowers along the main stems occur in summer, but rarely ever yield bright red berries. Thus, this cultivar does not pose the same invasive potential in subtropical climates as the parent species.
In colder climates, Myers' asparagus fern is grown as a houseplant in bright filtered sun or in containers outdoors. In frost-free...
Gerald L. Klingaman
(Asparagus Fern, Compact Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's Asparagus Fern)
Asparagus fern is a tender evergreen perennial native to South Africa. The cultivars in the Sprengeri Group have arching stems bearing whorls of awl-shaped, leaf-like cladophylls. This cultivar is denser and shorter than most Sprenger's asparagus ferns. Small, waxy white flowers along the stems produce bright red berries in summer. These berries and seeds are fertile and readily germinate nearby the mother plants, soon to create a thicket of plants.
The compact asparagus fern likes partial sun...
(Asparagus Fern, Sprenger's Asparagus Fern)
Sprenger's asparagus fern is a tuberous perennial native to South Africa with arching, fern-like, green leaves that are small, short and narrow. Small, waxy white flowers along the green stems produce bright red berries in summer. The long stems have prickly thorns on them.
Plant Sprenger's asparagus fern in partial sun to partial shade exposures in fertile, moist, well drained garden soil. With protection from frost, it may be planted in borders or as a billowy groundcover. The pendulous habit...
(Sand Dollar Cactus, Sea Urchin Cactus, Star Cactus, Star Peyote)
These tiny round hemispheres make exceptional windowsill cactus due to their unique markings and spinelessness. The species is native to thorn shrub vegetation of southern Texas and northern Mexico. It is often found in the filtered shade beneath shrubs, which act as nurse plants for protection from the brutally hot sun. This proves a tolerance for indoor conditions. Sadly, unscrupulous collectors have gathered so many old wild specimens that it is now listed as endangered in the U.S. Endangered...
James H. Schutte
(Bishop's Cap, Star Cactus)
Bishop’s cap is an ideal windowsill cactus because it is thankfully spineless or nearly so. This tiny, rock hard gem of a plant does not demand high intensity light and will thrive in any south facing exposure as a house plant. It is native to the Chihuahuan Desert of central Mexico, but has been in cultivation so long there are numerous horticultural varieties. What makes it so unique is that each plant is a perfect five pointed star divided into as many identical segments. Bishop’s cap protects...
James H. Schutte
(Monk's Hood, Star Cactus)
Monk’s hood is a beautiful windowsill cactus with unique coloring and strong geometric form. This cactus does not demand high intensity light and will thrive in any south facing exposure as a house plant. It is native to the deserts of central Mexico in gravelly dry washes or nooks and crannies in cliff faces. Each plant is technically a stem divided into an average of 8 segments that may twist somewhat as plants age. Widely spaced tubercles line the segment ridges, each one producing several short,...