Agave ‘Grey Gator’ flower spike peaking @ JLBG

Here's a current photo of our spiking Agave 'Grey Gator'.  The spike began four weeks ago today, and was measured yesterday at 22' in height.  The bracts that surround the flower spikes are just beginning to unfurl, so we're probably a couple of weeks from seeing flowers open. This is the largest of the winter hardy agaves we've grown, and we still have some of our crop of seed grown plants from its sister seedling that flowered a couple of years ago...sold as Agave salmiana var. ferox x Agave asperrima. Each seedling will be slightly different in mature size...some a bit smaller and some even larger.  Don't miss your opportunity to try these for yourself.  Hardiness Zone 7b-9b. Read more [...]

Genista in full flower today

Genista sagitalis in flower2

 

 

The amazing Balkan native Genista saxitalis is in full flower today.  This amazing groundcover has been brightening our rock garden for a couple of weeks.  Genista is easy to grow with plenty of sun…hardiness is Zone 4a-8b.

Hardy Cactus in bloom at Juniper Level Botanic Garden

  For those who didn't get to our Open Nursery and Garden last week, here are some of the hardy cactus you missed in the new Souto Garden section.  We're passionate about hardy cactus, and have been so since we were hooked by a jumping cholla about 45 years ago.  I hope you enjoy the photos of this amazing group of plants. Echinocereus nivosus Echinocereus reichenbachii var. caespitosus Echinocereus triglochiditis v. mojavensis Gymnocalycium 'Bridal Showers' - a Mike Papay hybrid Gymnocalycium doppianum Gymnocalycium 'Panama Pink' - a Mike Papay hybrid Notocactus paucidentatus Notocactus submamulosus Opuntia basilaris v. aurea 'Golden Carpet' Opuntia 'Claude Arno' Opuntia polycantha 'Crystal Tide' Opuntia polycantha var. hystracina Opuntia 'Little Monk' Opuntia sp. nov. pink flowers Trichocereus 'Big Time' (a Mike Papay hybrid of T. bruchii) Trichocereus 'Irridescent Watermelon' - a Mike Papay hybridTrichocereus Read more [...]

Giant agave flowering spike starting

From high above our Southwest patio garden, you can get a good perspective of our latest agave to flower.  This cross of Agave salmiana and Agave asperrima (scabra) is our largest agave to ever flower (7' tall x 12' wide).  We're expecting the spike to reach at least 25' before it begins to open in late June or early July. Here is a ground level photo from 2 weeks ago, when the flower bud first emerged. Here, the flower spike is 10 days old and nearing 12' tall.  The flowering of large agaves evokes both excitement and sadness....excitement that it will flower and hopefully set seed, but sadness that the parent plant will die soon after flowering.  Although it would take 100 years to reach flowering size in the wild, our plant is only 16 years old, growing faster because of our higher rainfall.  While they last, we are pleased to offer seed-grown plants from its sister that flowered a couple of years earlier.     Read more [...]

Sempervivum ‘Oh My’

Sempervivum Oh MyWhile gardeners in colder zones take growing hens and chicks for granted, those of us in hot, humid climates are thrilled when we find a variety that lives for us.  Here is a photo from the garden today of one of the best in our climate….Sempervivum ‘Oh My‘.

 

 

New Agaves in the 2015 catalog

  For those who love century plants, here are few that you'll find in the 2015 catalog that is now only 8 days from going live.  The first is our hybrid of Agave striata x Agave bracteosa that we named Agave 'Straight and Narrow'.  It's a small agave, with virtually no offsets.  We've had this in the ground through single digits F with no problem. Agave titanota 'Solar Eclipse' has been circulating among collectors for several years without a valid name, so we added one and finally have enough to include it in the catalog...not hardy outdoors, except in the mildest climates. Agave potatorum 'Eye Scream' is another century plant that has circulated in the collector market without a valid name.  This is truly a stunning century plant, we think you'll enjoy, although it's also only hardy outdoors in frost free climates. Read more [...]

Two favorite agaves – Agave bracteosa and Agave ovatifolia

The Agaves are looking great in the garden today as we start our Fall Open Nursery and Garden.  Here are two of my favorites as they look today...the spineless Agave bracteosa (top) that looks like a stiff green squid, and the magnificent Agave ovatifolia. (botttom) Both of these were brought into the US from Mexico by the late plant explorer, Lynn Lowrey of Texas.  You'll see them both on display when you visit during the next two weekends. Be sure to say hello while you're here. Read more [...]

Agave ovatifolia mutant

Agave ovatifolia Killer partial mutant

Here’s a teaser for the morning.  We’ve assembled a rather fun collection of variegated agaves (century plants), and here is a one-of-a-kind mutation we found on Agave ovatifolia, where the chimeral pattern is stable on one side of the plant and unstable on the other side.  The next chance to see this in person is when we host the Southeast Palm Society Meeting on August 9.  Visitors and guests are welcome to attend.

Agave albopilosa

Agave albopilosa PDN001

I took this photo of our oldest plant of Agave albopilosa yesterday.  We sold out of our first crop quickly this spring, but our next batch is almost ready.  It’s one of the coolest century plants we grow…very slow growing, and on the small side even when mature, but what a conversation piece!

Agave ocahui in flower

Agave ocahui v. ochaui flowers closeup

The fourth of our eight century plants with flower spikes is now open.  This is a 10-year old specimen of Agave ocahui…one of the agaves with unbranched flower spikes.  We’re enjoying the amazing flowers, while also trying to make crosses with other species to create interesting new hybrids…wish us luck!  Since Agave ocahui doesn’t offset, the plant will die after flowering, so we’ll need to plant a replacement.