Cactus Selection Guide

c actj and other succulents armed, almost tropical in appearance, they have recently found wide use in landscaping and in containers with other ornamental foliage plants. In striking contrast, the leaves of A. striata, the Hedgehog Agave, are scarcely a half inch wide, stiff, and sharpiv pointed to make a bristling rosette two feet across.

Of the small agaves A. victoriae-reginae is unquestionably the finest. Its narrow olive-green leaves, beautifully penciled and marked with white along the edges, form a compact globe of unbelievable symmetry. Somewhat similar, but with each leaf bearing loose curled threads along its margins, is the very popular and decorative A. filifera.

Although the agaves are perhaps the most familiar of all succulents other than cacti, they are not nearly so popular with collectors as they deserve to be. Perhaps long familiarity with the fierce, space-grabbing Century Plant has given a bad name to the whole clan, but there are many fine slow-growing species which no collection can afford to be without. The larger kinds make striking landscape specimens where sufficient room is available, and the smaller ones excellent pot* ted plants for the patio, porch, or greenhouse. And, best of all, the agaves are rugged plants. They have no cultural problems except protection from freezing in winter, and arc easily propagated by seed, offsets from the base of some species, or bulbils formed on the flower stalks of others.

The Crassuta Family—The Crassulaceae

No other succulent family, except perhaps the Cactus, has contributed so many beautiful and familiar plants to our homes and gardens as the Crassula (kras'-eu-Iah). or Orpine, family. With nearly a thousand species—all more or less leaf-succulent—it presents a bewildering ran^e of forms, from large treelike shrubs to tiny plants only a fraction of an inch high. While some members of the family have very striking

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