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Photos, musings, and flashes of brilliance from the staff at The Ruth Bancroft Garden
Echeveria lilacina, from northeastern Mexico, has always held appeal with its neat symmetrical rosettes of pallid leaves tinged with pink and lilac. I had not realized how cold-tolerant it is until I saw it planted last year in a garden in Austin, Texas, which can get much colder in winter than what we experience here in Walnut creek, California.
-Brian

Echeveria lilacina, from northeastern Mexico, has always held appeal with its neat symmetrical rosettes of pallid leaves tinged with pink and lilac. I had not realized how cold-tolerant it is until I saw it planted last year in a garden in Austin, Texas, which can get much colder in winter than what we experience here in Walnut creek, California.

-Brian

Aloe reynoldsii is related to the more commonly-grown A. striata, but it is a smaller plant which comes from farther east, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Unlike its relative, it has minutely serrated margins which are often wavy in the lower half. Its flowers may be yellow or orange, and they mostly come in spring, though the plant pictured is still in flower after the summer solstice.
-Brian

Aloe reynoldsii is related to the more commonly-grown A. striata, but it is a smaller plant which comes from farther east, in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Unlike its relative, it has minutely serrated margins which are often wavy in the lower half. Its flowers may be yellow or orange, and they mostly come in spring, though the plant pictured is still in flower after the summer solstice.

-Brian

This is a hybrid I did beween Aloe sinkatana and Aloe elegans, and I like its orangey-yellow flowers.
-Brian

This is a hybrid I did beween Aloe sinkatana and Aloe elegans, and I like its orangey-yellow flowers.

-Brian

Echeveria cante and E. subrigida are related species, and were once included together under E. subrigida. This hybrid between the two has the summer-flowering habit and the large fleshy flowers of its parents, with a bit of a powdery coating on the outside of the flowers and a deeper orange within.

-Brian

Myrtillocactus cochal is from Baja California, and it is quite similar to the more commonly-grown Myrtillocactus geometrizans from mainland Mexcio. Both species have small but tasty fruits, which are known by the name of “garambullo”. In this photo there is a green unripe fruit at upper left, a ripe fruit at upper right, and a shriveled older fruit at lower right. The shriveled fruits taste much like raisins.
-Brian

Myrtillocactus cochal is from Baja California, and it is quite similar to the more commonly-grown Myrtillocactus geometrizans from mainland Mexcio. Both species have small but tasty fruits, which are known by the name of “garambullo”. In this photo there is a green unripe fruit at upper left, a ripe fruit at upper right, and a shriveled older fruit at lower right. The shriveled fruits taste much like raisins.

-Brian

Parodia warasii (or Notocactus warasii) comes from southern Brasil, and is obviously closely related to Parodia magnifica, which is more commonly seen in cultivation. Both species have satiny-yellow flowers.
-Brian

Parodia warasii (or Notocactus warasii) comes from southern Brasil, and is obviously closely related to Parodia magnifica, which is more commonly seen in cultivation. Both species have satiny-yellow flowers.

-Brian

I love the way Agave horrida looks when it is a little water-stressed, since the leaves pull together and the wonderful teeth are on full display. This species comes from south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos.
-Brian

I love the way Agave horrida looks when it is a little water-stressed, since the leaves pull together and the wonderful teeth are on full display. This species comes from south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos.

-Brian

Melaleuca preissiana is one of the many species in the genus from Australia, and it comes from the state of Western Australia. It is a bush or a small tree with a weeping growth habit.
-Brian

Melaleuca preissiana is one of the many species in the genus from Australia, and it comes from the state of Western Australia. It is a bush or a small tree with a weeping growth habit.

-Brian

I have always been happy with this hybrid I made quite a few years ago: Aloe pearsonii x distans. It was offered by International Succulent Introductions some years ago under the cultivar name ‘Hellskloof Bells’, but the plant pictured is another seedling from the same batch, and not the one distributed by ISI. Usually the flower heads are rounder, but this year it seems to be in a conical state of mind.
-Brian

I have always been happy with this hybrid I made quite a few years ago: Aloe pearsonii x distans. It was offered by International Succulent Introductions some years ago under the cultivar name ‘Hellskloof Bells’, but the plant pictured is another seedling from the same batch, and not the one distributed by ISI. Usually the flower heads are rounder, but this year it seems to be in a conical state of mind.

-Brian

Echinopsis angelesiae (aka Trichocereus angelesiae) is one of the clumping cylindrical-stemmed types which start out growing erectly, but then sprawl to the side as the stems elongate. Like other Trichocereus-type  Echinopsis, they have large white flowers which open at night. What a nice thing to greet you in the morning! Native to Salta province in Argentina.
-Brian

Echinopsis angelesiae (aka Trichocereus angelesiae) is one of the clumping cylindrical-stemmed types which start out growing erectly, but then sprawl to the side as the stems elongate. Like other Trichocereus-type  Echinopsis, they have large white flowers which open at night. What a nice thing to greet you in the morning! Native to Salta province in Argentina.

-Brian