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Monday, 17 July 2017

In flower: Solanum pyracanthos

S.pyracanthos
A couple of years ago I obtained at Malvern Flower Show a plant of Solanum pyracanthos, the Porcupine Tomato. The reason for the name is pretty obvious – it is heavily armed on the stem and even the leaves with serious spikes.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

In flower: Pelargonium reniforme

P.reniforme flower
 Just come into flower in my conservatory is a new plant of Pelargonium reniforme, the kidney-leaved pelargonium. This species originates from the Eastern Cape province in South Africa, where it grows on dry flats which are subject to fairly regular fires. It is a small plant, growing as a shrub around 30cm tall, sometimes to 1m. The leaves are kidney-shaped (hence the name) and are covered with downy hairs which help reduce evaporation.

Friday, 9 June 2017

In Flower: Sinningia leucotricha

Sinningia leucotricha
This beautiful plant is known in known in its native Brazil as Queen of the Abyss, but it is sometimes sold as Brazilian Edelweiss as its leaves resemble in some ways those of the (totally unrelated) alpine Edelweiss.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

In Flower: Haworthia pygmaea

Haworthia pygmaea

Living across southern Africa is a large group (150+ species) of mostly small, rosette forming succulent plants in the genus Haworthia. Like their relatives the Aloes they are leaf succulents, storing water over the long dry season in fleshy leaves. Currently in flower in my conservatory is one of the smaller species, Haworthia pygmaea.

Friday, 12 May 2017

In flower: Rebutia fabrisii


Among the easiest cacti to grow and flower here in the UK are the various species of Rebutia. This group of small, mostly globular cacti originates from the Andes of Bolivia and Argentina along with many other species. The exact number of species in the genus is rather debateable as they are quite variable and there are numerous local forms.