Michael Charters, www.calflora.net
This South American genus contains just six species of columnar cacti. They are mountain cacti native to the high Andes where they thrive in extremes of temperature and drought. They are specific to parts of this range in southern Peru, northern Chile, southern Bolivia, and northern Argentina.
The species are characterized as low shrubs with cylindrical stems covered in dense, white hairs. These provide protection from high UV light at altitude and insulation from cold. Branching is minimal...
Keith Weller, USDA/ARS
Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) is among the 19 annual and perennial grasses that make up this genus. All are native to tropical and subtropical latitudes of Asia and Africa.
These grasses form spreading clumps of upright to lax stems furnished with long, blade-shaped, erect to arching leaves. Branching panicles of greenish flower "spikelets" appear at the stem tips, typically in summer. Each spikelet consists of a single, inconspicuous, wind-pollinated flower encased in a tough, ovoid...
An ornamental variety of the world's most important crop, 'Nigrescens' is grown not for its grain but for its handsome deep-hued leaves.
This rhizomatous grass forms spreading clumps of upright stems lined with long, slender, deep-bronze leaves. Conspicuous, arching panicles of greenish flower "spikelets" appear at the stem tips in summer. Each spikelet consists of a single, inconspicuous, wind-pollinated flower enclosed in a tough, ovoid, flat-sided husk. The spikelets ripen to pale brown....
An imposing, buttressed trunk, hand-like green leaves, and trumpet-shaped, fragrant, white and red brush-like flowers make the Guiana-chestnut one of the tropic's most wondrous trees. A large, round-canopied, semi-evergreen tree native from Mexico to northern South America, it can remain evergreen and flower year-round in regions with constant warmth and moisture. The elephant-like, smooth, gray-light brown bark has a flared, buttressing base that grows with age and is more pronounced when growing...
(Baron's Clubfoot, Red Pachypodium)
A branched, spiny-skinned succulent shrub, Baron's clubfoot is the only pachypodium species to produce red flowers. This semi-evergreen tropical plant is native to northern Madagascar, where it is increasingly endangered. The trunk of this succulent is bottle shaped, although a caudex is known to form on variety windsori.
Increasing drought in the tropical winter causes more foliage to drop away on the Baron's clubfoot. The tan-gray trunk is covered in pairs of conical spines. Once heat...
A succulent small tree, looking like a combination of a cactus and a palm, this species of Madagascar-palm looks very similar to Pachypodium lamerei and P. rutenbergianum. Native to southern Madagascar, the misleadingly named Madagascar-palm is more closely related to oleanders (Nerium spp.) and desert roses (Adenium spp.) than true palms. This semi-evergreen succulent grows tall and slender with a plump, even obese trunk. Cool, dry winters cause the tufts of lustrous...