Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Old Obsession Revisited... Succulents!

Back when I lived in California, I discovered a love of succulent plants. They are amazing to me... the variety and colors and surprising ways that they flower. Here are a few photos of my old succulents, as well as a few photos that I took from the succulent gardens at the Huntington Botanical Gardens mixed in.

All of these were in my garden
These plants, when they bloom, have beautiful symmetry to them. Very mathematical in their radiating designs. Others are more bizarre... like "baby toes" (above center right.)

Bottom right was from Huntington
The coolest part of succulent planting is that you can propagate them so easily... The pot on the top right was created from a stem that my aunt gave me from her succulent plant. She just picked a piece off and handed it to me, and when I got home, I stuck it into the dirt. It grew more from that one piece!

Top left is from Huntington
You never know what the blooms will look like, either. When I first got the baby toes, it had no blooms... the split rock to the left of it didn't have a bloom, either. But after a season in my backyard, they finally bloomed... and the baby toes came out with a lovely, delicate flower on a long stalk. So pretty! Check out the split rock flower! A bright orange anemone!

Right center is a split rock blossom. blooms at left from Huntington
Check out all these Huntington specimens of the split rock/baby toe succulents. I nearly died of cuteness overload when I saw these in their indoor succulent greenhouse. I mean, come on! These are so cool! They look like plants that were mated with rocks, and then drawn by a cute faerie!

Huntington succulent greenhouse

Succulents require very little water and care. They are determined, hardy plants that can survive in deserts very easily. I think that's why in California, Arizona and New Mexico, they're so popular!

Taken at Huntington
They attract birds and butterflies, too... especially the hummingbirds, whose specialized bills are just the right shape for many of their flowers. I took the photo above of the hummingbird feeding from the flowers of a grove of succulent plants. There were actually two different types of hummingbirds there at the time. The photo here is of a male Allen's, I believe. It could be a Rufus, too. I'm not positive. The other hummingbird was an Anna's, which are common throughout California. The Allen's are usually only found along the coast in Northern California or in Southern California. (I have an extreme fondness for these tiny birds!)

I believe that there are varieties of succulents that will grow nearly anywhere. Some can withstand a lot of cold, some can withstand a lot of water, most can withstand drought conditions.... and in fact will bloom after a single rain, after they've been denied water for a long time. Those are special desert plants. 

So the reason I'm revisiting these lovely plants is because I've started a couple new succulent pots here in PA. I'll share those with you in another post! I hope you enjoyed seeing these amazing and beautiful plants!


Anonymous said...

Succulents rock!! And I love it when they have little babies, they are so easy to propagate aren't they. Looking forward to seeing your pots :-)

Brandi said...

I love succulents because they are so hardy! If any plants came to live with me, they would need to be. One day, one day...

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

I have yet get myself some succulents and that needs to change! They're so sweet :) xo

shari said...

Succulents are amazing plants, right? I love how easy they are!

You can forget about them half the time, and they do just as well as if you didn't forget about them! Very forgiving plants!

Terriaw said...

Beautiful succulent selection! I love them too. We have some hens and chicks in a couple places in our yard. They are such low maintenance plants, and so darn cool looking. Love these varieties you're sharing.

Fenny Setiawan said...

I really love succulent, and I envy you that you have soooo much variation over there...

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