Friday, March 16, 2018

Ghost Plant and Penstemons

Cactus Spring Flowers
Pictures from this month three years ago, when spring came a couple weeks early.

Graptopetalum paraguayense
Ghost Plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense) with flowers.

Penstemon triflorus
Hill Country Penstemon (Penstemon triflorus)

Hill Country Penstemon
Hill Country Penstemon (Penstemon triflorus)

Fouquieria splendens
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Eagle Mountain Lake

One of my wife's sisters lives on a high hill over looking Eagle Mountain Lake North of Fort Worth at the edge of the rapidly expanding metroplex.  Across from her property are a few hills that appear to me to be relatively undisturbed and are full of all kinds of vanishing botanical treasures.
White Rosinweed
Silphium albiflorum (White Rosinweed) - These hand like leaves indicate the top of the plant that detaches and turns into a kind of tumbleweed during the winter.  Underneath the ground is a tough survivor that endures desert like conditions in the toughest limestone soils.  Scientist have shown that the roots of this perennial, in the sunflower family, has roots that go down 15 feet or more.  Unfortunately the plants are incredibly hard for people to grow, they grow incredibly slow and are the preferred food for rabbits and deer, several of the large plants I saw are possibly 50 years old or older.  For more on the Silphium see Last Silphium by Aldo Leopold

Friday, February 16, 2018

February Blooms

Dahlia cactus
Echinocereus poselgeri, this native cactus can be found growing in the thorn scrub of South Texas, actually it is very difficult to find unless it is in bloom, otherwise it looks like a greenish or gray stick among countless other grey sticks.

Echinocereus poselgeri
Echinocereus poselgeri

Titanopsis Calcarea
Titanopsis Calcerea - Another Aloinopsis relative which likes cool moist winters and warm dry summers.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

Winter Blooms

ALOINANTHUS - (Aizoaceae)  A newly created 'Genus' containing complex hybrids between the South African species of Aloinopsis and Nananthus.

Aloinanthus 'Opera Mauve' - Charming, but not reliably hardy in Austin, Texas, the cold is no problem but an extremely hot humid summer with rain will make them ill.

Stenocactus multicostatus 'Zacatecasensis'

Friday, January 19, 2018

Watch Your Step - Killdeer Crossing

Killdeer mom in a open field close to our house.

See the nest?

Killdeer eggs
Here it is closer.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ice on Cactus is Nice (mostly)

Ice on Cactus

Ice on Cactus

Ice on Cactus

Ice on Cactus

rotting cactus
This South American cactus, sold as a "Koko Cactus", most likely an Echinopsis of some kind froze solid rather quickly.  If you have a better guess on the ID please send to me.

Cactus Freeze Damage
In this picture, a week later, its clear to see the damaged tissue has begun to rot and has moved into a decline that will leave only a crispy cactus shell by spring.  Note to self:  never pay good money for a cactus that has unknown origins / heritage.