Succulents Illustrated

Lemaireocereus

Lemaireocereus Pruinosus

Lemaireocereus are, on the whole, difficult plants for beginners and require rather more warmth in the winter than most other cacti and succulents. They appear to be extremely susceptible to rhizoctonia. the fungus which attacks the soft collar of a plant's stem where the main body of the plant meets the compost. Systemic fungicides such as benomyl can give some help here and it may be a good idea to drench the plant with a solution of water and benomyl in the proportions recommended by the...

The Cactanae

The Cactanae has always seemed to me to be a special group of cacti. It consists of a genus called Melocactus all of whose thirty or so members are somewhat rare in cultivation. In spite of this rarity the best-known for itself the epithet of Turk's head cactus. As a genus they are characterized by a red woolly cephalium which forms on the top of the plant just before flowering commences but the plants as a group are slow growing and this feature does not develop until the plant is several...

Cacti Succulents

Although the only cacti growing in the wild which most of us see are round the shores of the Mediterranean, the species is exclusively American in its origins. Other succulents come from all five continents of the world and although the cactus family has established itself over nearly as wide a geographic area it is entirely a product of the New World. In prehistoric times, however, some species of cactus travelled and Rhipsatis cassutha, for example, has been growing in Africa for a...

Rhombophyllum

Rhombophyllum rhomboitleum is one of a group of plants in which the growing period follows the flowering period. The species forms a mat of prostrate rosettes with eight to ten thick very succulent leaves varying between 1 and 2 in (2-5 to 5 cm) in length and just under an inch (2-5 cm) in thickness. As its name suggests the leaves are rhom-boidal in shape with the upper surface carrying a shallow groove down the centre and the lower surface having a pronounced keel near the tip. Most varieties...

Mammillaria

Of plants with the same specific name in the cactus family is nowhere more apparent than in the immense variety of forms of Mammillaria elongata. The plants are all distinguished by having long thin cylindrical stems which form clumps at the base when quite young. The commonest forms of this plant have cylindrical plant bodies about 6in 15cm in height at the centre although sideshoots may be almost prostrate along the surface of the compost. The tubercles are cylindrical and the amount of wool...

Austrocylindropuntia

We come now to a group of opuntias which are characterized by having rounded or oval stems as opposed to the flat-jointed ones discussed earlier. Here again considerable confusion exists between botanical and commercial names. Most growers, probably as a result of having long runs of printed labels in the past, sell the plants under the generic name Opuntia. Botanists seem to prefer to call them Cylaubvpunlia or, even worse, Austrocylindropuntia thus for example Optmlia subulata is, in fact,...

Echeveria continued

M sl Echeveria species will benefit from being grown outdoors during the summer as they are generally fast growers and can become straggly and somewhat etiolated if allowed to grow for too long indoors. The summer air and the generally rather lower temperatures help lo keep the plant compact and by ripening and hardening the surfaces of the plant they check growth and allow flowers to develop. During the winter they do nol need any great amount of warmth. 10'C (50 F) being quite warm enough for...

William Davidson and T C Rochford

Grevillea Robusta Flower

House Plants illustrated by Henry Barnett Cacti and Succulents illustrated by June Baker London New York Sydney Toronto Choosing House Plants 13 General Care of House Plants 13 Cleaning and General Hygiene 15 Pests and Diseases 15 Compost and Potting 16 Hydroculture - Growing Plants without Soil 17 Effective Display 18 Propagation 19 Easy House Plants An A to Z List 20 Moderately Easy House Plants An A to Z List 76 Difficult House Plants An A to Z List 84 Distribution of Succulents 93...

Machaerocereus

Monvillea Species

Lemaireocereus ihurberi, commonly known as the organ pipe cactus, belongs to a group of Lemaireocerei with dark brown or even black felt in the arcoles. as opposed to the previous ones which all had light-coloured felt. It is also distinguished by having many more ribs, between twelve and seventeen in number, giving it a very different appearance from the other. In its wild state in Southern Arizona. Sonora and lower California it forms a large clump branching from the base, and this unusual...

Dolichothele

Dolichothele longimamma is an excellent species for the small collection as it provides variety of shape in a group which is otherwise somewhat similar in general characteristics. It is a native of Mexico where it is found near such unpronounceable places as lxmiquilpan and Zimapan. It quickly forms a clump of plants and the most characteristic features are the grass-green very long cylindrical tubercles which completely swamp and conceal the plant bodies. On some wild specimens tubercles have...

Aporocactus

One of the most elusive of all cactus species is Deamia lesludo - named after the botanist Charles Deam who discovered it. Although a great rarity this cactus has always been a favourite and is worth striving for even though it may take years to find one. Like all the members of this group of cacti it is a sprawling plant clambering over rocks and encircling trees in its native habitat in Guatemala. The stems arc generally five angled although younger stems may have fewer joints at first and...

The Echinocactanae Acanthocalycium

The Echmocaclaiuie which are described in Ihe following pages are characterized by the way in which the flowers are produced from the new year's growth at Ihe lop of Ihe plant, rather than from the sides as in the preceding group. They include some of the strangest members of the cactus family, such as Lophophora williamsii, the peyote cactus, from which mescalin is prepared, and Ariocarpus species which appear to be completely dead. Water should be given early in April and no attempt should be...

Notocactus continued

Notocactus mammuiosus should not be confused with N. submammulosus or the latter's variety pampeanus with which it is frequently mixed up. The two plants are very dissimilar in appearance, the one illustrated above being much more like the group of Notocacti which includes N. apricus and N. tabularis. Notocactus mammuiosus has at first low. globular, somewhat depressed plant bodies which become cylindrical as they grow older. It is a native of Uruguay and one reason for the great diversity is...

Neoporteria

Neoporleria subgibbosa cannot be classified as a free-flowering cactus but its easy culture and attractive appearance make it a worthwhile addition to the collection. Although young plants are almost orbicular in shape they elongate with age. It is a native of Chile where it seems to grow in coastal areas. The bright green plant bodies are surrounded by about twenty ribs which are sharply notched and almost tubcrculalc in appearance. The areoles are borne close together on the sides of the ribs...

Neoporteria continued

Neoporteria villosa unlike the species described on the previous page is a fairly reliable flowerer once it has reached a height of 2 to 3 in (5 to 8 cm). Like other members of this genus it is a native of Chile and starts as a hemispherical plant body which later becomes elongated and eventually reaches a height of over 4in (10cm). The plant bodies are normally tinged with red but this tint may disappear during dull summers or if the plant is shaded from direct sunlight. It has fewer ribs than...

Rhipsalidopsis

Rhipsalidanae Cactus

The nexi two pages illustrate a second group of epiphytic cacti called the Rhipsalidanae. The type genus is Rliipsalis and the botanical name is derived from the Greek word for wickerwork and is an allusion to the generally interlocking appearance of the branches of the plants. The group was one of the earliest ones to spread out of America and many of the species which are grown require rather warmer, more humid conditions than other cacti if they are to thrive. For this reason some of the...

Echinofossulocactus continued

Like the species described on the previous page, Echinofossulocactus lancifer. commonly sold as Stenocactus lancifer, is characterized by the presence of deep wavy furrows between the prominent ribs which run up the sides of the stem. It is about the same height as E.hastalus but is a darker green in colour, with grey rather than yellowish spines on the distant areoles. The flowers, which are large and pink in colour, are produced fairly freely on plants between three and four years of age...

Ferocactus ccontinued

Ferocactus ingens is possibly more correctly known as Echinocactus ingens. Although only producing five ribs at first these will increase with age. extra rows appearing as the centre unfolds each spring. The ribs are broad but sharp near the base giving the younger plants a distinctly five-sided appearance. but nearer the top they become less broad and a more marked division between the ribs can be seen. The plant bodies arc bluish green and the areoles. which are borne on conspicuous...

Pachycereus

As mentioned earlier the Pachycereus species are noted for their particularly strong vigorous growth and for this reason they have been used extensively, where appropriate, as grafting stock for other cacti with weaker root systems which are unable to support themselves. The name is derived from the Greek for fat and alludes to the thickness of the stems of the plants. Pachycereus pringlei is a native of Northwestern Mexico and Southern California where it is one of the dominant features of the...

Chamaecereus

One of the most frequently grown cacti in this country is Chamaecereus silveslrii-, yet it is also one of those most frequently grown badly. This is a great pity since when grown well the plant flowers freely and is extremely tolerant of neglect, doing well on a bright south-facing windowsill. It is a native of Western Argentina and forms a dense matted clump of short stumpy peanut-shaped branches up to half an inch (I cm) thick and 3 or 4 in (8 or 10 cm) long. They detach extremely easily but...

House Plants

House plants are acquired in a number of ways many as the result of making a definite purchase, others are bought on the spur of the moment, some are grown from cuttings offered by a friend or arrive as gifts. When choosing a plant for yourself it is possible to take into account the all-important aspect of home conditions, but with gifts all that can be hoped for is that the donor has made some allowance for the sort of conditions that the plant is likely to meet in its new home, as there is...

Philodendron

Eichlerii, which goes by the appendage of king of tree philodendrons. And it is a truly magnificent plant when fully developed with arrow-shaped leaves several feet in length radiating from a stout central stem. However, it is only suited to very large rooms, and even then must have its roots confined to pots of 10 in (2Scm) in diameter. Fully mature plants are best when seen in the botanic garden where proper conditions and space can be provided for Vastly different is P. melanochrysum, which...

Dizygotheca

Grown for ils attractive foliage Dioscorea discolor, variegated yam. is a quick growing deciduous climber that requires moist, shaded and warm conditions in order to succeed. It is best suited to the greenhouse or garden room, but will give much pleasure to the keen indoor plantsman who is seeking something a little more challenging on which to test his skill. Plants are grown from potato-like tubers that are started into growth in early spring, and it is most essential that they should enjoy...

Nyctocereus

Nyctocereus serpentinus is best trained up a slick in cultivation, although in its natural slate in Mexico it sprawls everywhere over houses and walls. The upright stems of cultivated specimens are produced from a clump and can grow up to 9 ft (3 m) or more in length. They are an inch (2-5 cm) or so in diameter and light green in colour, surrounded by ten to thirteen low ribs densely covered by the areoles which bear about twelve spines, dark brown at the tips and becoming whiter towards the...

Gymnocalycium

The Gymnocalycium group which is illustrated above and on the following two pages is one of the most rewarding genera for the amateur, as most species flower reliably and continuously over a long period. They will benefit from being placed out on the rock garden during the summer if space in the greenhouse is at a premium and. at any event, should be given an airy position on a shelf or near the door of the greenhouse as this' will help to ripen the areoles. The presence of flowers can be...

Gymnocalycium continued

Flowery Cactus Illustrated

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii has already been referred lo under G.damsii. Il forms small clumps by producing offsets at the sides of the plant from the areoles, and it is a low-growing variety normally only attaining a height of 3 in (8 cm). The stems are olive green in colour and the true species is characterized by paler bands running between the areoles. The ribs, which are normally eight in number, are broad and deeply notched with areoles about half an inch (Icm) apart and live or six radial...

The Aizoaceae

The plants on the following four pages are all members of the mesembryanthemum family which is one of the largest families of succulents in cultivation and whose Latin name is Aizoaceae. They vary enormously from the well known living stones or lithops to succulent shrubs such as Apienia cordi-folia which is best known in its variegated form. A detailed treatment of the group is well beyond the scope of the present volume. This section is restricted to the former type of stone plant amongst...

Pleiospilos

In conlrast to the preceding members of the Aizoaceae described in this section the plants on this page are generally quite large and are unsuitable for mixed plantings on account of their fairly prolific growth. They are sufficiently stone like, however, to be included in this section, having the vaguely chunky-shaped leaves which one expects of this group of plants. Pleiospilos bolusii is named in honour of Dr H. M. Louisa Bolus who did a great deal of work on the whole family at the...

Malacocarpus

There are several species of Malacocarpus in cultivation but Malacocarpus erinaceus is one of the more common ones. The plant bodies are at first hemispherical bul later they become more erect and start to form woody stems. This phenomenon in no way detracts from the growing ability of the plant and is formed in the wild state as a protective skin. Generally they are extremely slow growing, although once ihey have reached a size of 2 to 3 in (5 to 8 cm) in diameter they will flower freely,...

Plectranthus

Belonging to the same family of plants as the humble coleus, Labiatae. the plectranthus are equally easy to care for. There are four in cultivation, but only two that one is likely to come across in the normal course of events these are Plectranthus australis and P.oertendalilii. The first has rounded glossy green leaves that arc deeply crenaled along their margins and is of natural creeping habit. P. oertendhatii has leaf margins that are only slightly crenated and the leaves are less waxy in...

Echinofossulocactus

The Latin name for the species illustrated above is Echinofossulocactus. although rather sadly many now think it should be called Slenocactus. The former name is far more descriptive and refers to the appearance of the plant which is reminiscent of a cross between a hedgehog and a ploughed field. The ribs are very numerous and are deeply waved forming an irregular pattern round the sides of the stem. Echinofossulocactus hastatus has up to thirty of these low lacy ribs surrounding the low....

The Echinocereanae Aylostera

The Echinocereanae are a group of clump-forming cacti which generally have short stumpy bodies. They are distinguished for practical purposes as a group by the presence of ribs on the stems, although these may be arranged spirally as in the rebutias. and especially by the way they produce their flowers from areoles on the sides of the stems, normally on the previous year's growth. This differentiates them from the Echinocaclanae which produce their flowers at the top of the stem on the new...

Echinocactus

Rather unkindly referred to by many as mother-in-law's armchair, but more charitably known as the golden barrel cactus. Echinocactus grusonii is one of the best known of all cacti. Young plants raised from seed normally lack the appearance of the mature plant having much more coarsely spaced, somewhat tuberculatc areoles and less distinct ribs, the latter developing with age. This is partly because the areoles are quite distant from one another and this prevents the true shape of the ribs...

Tetrastigma

The young growth of this plant has a slightly menacing look as it projects from the parent plant almost at right angles and the leading tendrils stand out like antennae in search of prey. Behind these the older tendrils hang down and resemble thin spidery legs that give this section of the plant a somewhat awesome appearance. Belonging to the vine family Tetrastigma voinierianum, when it decides that it likes you and is prepared to grow, is one of the most rampant of the larger house plants and...

Dieffenbachia

Velopment. and the potting medium should be clean peat with a little sand added. The sap of the croton should be kept away from clothing as it will make an indelible stain that no amount of cleaning will remove. Loss of lower leaves is a common problem with crotons that are grown indoors, and this can often be traced to the plants becoming too dry at some time or other. Although it is important that the compost should not become soggy and waterlogged, it is equally important that it should at...

Rosetteforming Succulents

I have grouped together on this and the following four pages a miscellaneous group of succulents other than cacti which have little or no obvious stem and form rosettes at ground level. In this there is little botanical difference between these and the preceding group of mesembryanthemums but these plants are less singular in appearance and widely differing in their requirements. Related plants are described in the section on succulents with stems other than euphorbias. for example aloes and...

Bougainvillea

One of the most brilliant of tropical shrubs, the paper-like bracts of bougainvillea will offer an exotic and colourful touch to any greenhouse or garden room display. Indoors. where available light is often inadequate, these can be difficult plants unless placed in the lightest window position. In ideal conditions they will grow rapidly and soon find their way into the upper reaches of the room, so some form of support will have to be provided for growth to be tied to as it develops. The...

Difficult Indoor

In the pasl many of the subjects in this section would have been referred to as 'stove plants', which meant that they required very hot greenhouse conditions in order to succeed - with recommended temperatures of 30 C (85 F) often being quoted as essential if plants were to prosper. Fortunately, the need to economize with heating in recent years has proved that many of the stove subjects will tolerate temperatures that are much lower than those recommended in older books on the subject....

Pachystachys

An apt common name can often give a reasonably ordinary sort of plant much ing a very good example. At a Chelsea Flower Show one of the most famous visitors looked at Pachystachys lulea for the first time and said it resembled a child's lollipop, so the common name of lollipop plant was a natural step. However, it would seem that the pachystachys needs some- it to make the grade as a popular flowering plant. The plant is, in fact. fine, but it takes unkindly lo being packed in paper and boxes...

Dieifenbachia

Li would be foolish and incorrect to class all the dieflenbachias as middle-of-the-road in respect of care and attention, but Dieffen-bachia exotica slips easily into this range. It is compact, colourfully variegated and not too difficult to care for provided the required cultural conditions are not neglected. In a nutshell these mean a temperature that does not drop below 16 C (60 F), a moist atmosphere and fairly heavy shading. However, this plant will withstand some fluctuating temperatures...

Moderately Easy Indoor Plants

Plants in this section may well be considered as a natural step up for the plantsman who has achieved reasonable success with the easier subjects. And it may well be found that some of the plants listed here are not as difficult to manage as some of those in the easier section. However, personal experience of growing these plants and of seeing them growing in other people's homes suggests that they do, in fact, present that extra bit of difficulty in average home surroundings. Indoor conditions...

Platycerium

Plants for indoor decoration can be acquired in all sorts of different ways and they need not all be terribly expensive nursery-raised ones. Much of the florists' foliage material commonly used to enhance the appearance of cut flowers can be used as cuttings. An example I have in mind here is the wavy edged, glossy leaved Pittosporum tenuifolium that is much used by florists and is hardy in more sheltered parts of Britain. Cuttings about 3 in (8 cm) in length should be taken from firm shoots...