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Flowering Succulent Plants

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It rained so heavily last night and now it is still cloudy and cool 19 deg. C. We had planned to see Comet Ison on Sunday before dawn, but it seemed that this comet did not make it through its journey close to the sun. It is just gone out of sight.  Images from NASA spacecraft showed Comet ISON approaching for its slingshot around the sun, but nothing coming out on the other side. Very sad and disappointed, but at least I have seen the best one so far (Ikeya-Seki).

Note on Ison Nov.30,2013: The latest news…. apparently a tiny part of Ison nucleus has survived and it has been seen coming out from behind the sun. It looked like a tiny nucleus with very short and stumpy tail and still….it may not survive very long.

Now talking about some of our flowering succulents so far:

Donkey’s Tail, Burro’s Tail or Sedum morganianum is an odd plant from Mexico. The very brittle stems and leaves form long and neat strands. The small red bell-shaped flowers are also strange as they grow on the end of the strand hanging down. Very suitable to grow in hanging baskets/pots. Both stems and leaves are very easy to break off at the slightest touch or movement. The good thing is that most of the broken part (even a single leaf) will grow roots and start a new plant if they have dropped on soil.

Donkey's Tail

Donkey's Tail Flowers

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Aeonium haworthii or also known as Pinwheel Aeonium is commonly grown and the rosette leaves form nice clumping mounds if grown in full sun. This Canary island succulent has small creamy yellow flowers.

Aeonium haworthii - Pinwheel aeonium

Pin Wheel Aeonium

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Crassula tetragona has clumps of tiny white flowers. This southern African native is also known as Miniature Pine Tree (don’t make any sense to me). Just like all succulents, it is very easy to grow, best in full sun and well drain soil.

Crassula tetragona

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Dec. 03/2013: More succulent flowers:

Kalanchoe hildebrantii ‘ Silver Spoon’ is one of my favourite succulent plants. The small leaves are spoon-shaped and green-grey silver in colour. The flowers are clusters of red orange bell-shaped blooms that grow on tall stems. When the flowers are matured, they will produce some fruits/pods with seeds inside. Not the prettiest flowers, but the plant offers interesting and pretty leaves.

Flowers and Fruits - Kalanchoe hildebrantii  'Silver Spoon'

Kalanchoe hildebrantii 'Silver Spoon' 1

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Kalanchoe beharensis is also known as Elephant Ear. Another favourite succulent of mine. The green silver-grey velvety leaves are kind of triangular. how to explain the peculiar leaves? This is what I get from Wikipedia, by using the proper way to explain leaves. Do not ask me the meanings as I am not an expert. Ha, ha….

Leaves are olivaceous in colour, triangular-lanceolate shaped, decussately arranged with leaf margins that are doubly crenate….” (Wikipedia)

The not so beautiful small flowers are bell shaped, hairy and the colours are cream with green center. This is how I explain them… do not ask me to explain them by using botanic terms:(

Kalanchoe beharensis aka. Elephant Ear

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Next flowering succulent is the Stapelia grandiflora or also known as Starfish Cactus or Carrion plant. The flowers are hairy, red meat colour and smell like rotten dead animals. Flies will lay eggs/maggots inside the flowers in believing that there is food there for the maggots to eat. But within a day or so the maggots are starving and dead and the pretty star-like blooms will also wilted. The flies have helped the process of pollination. Mission accomplished!

Flower buds - Stapelia grandiflora - Carrion Plant - Starfish Cactus

Stapelia sp. (Carrion or Starfish Plant).

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Although not as fleshy, Yucca plants are also considered as succulent. The one that we have is Yucca filamentosa ‘Hairy’. The name hairy comes from the fact that the leaves grow hairs. The plant consist of trunkless rosettes of soft-textured but wide, blue tinted leaves that are adorned with particularly large numbers of curly white threads, giving the entire plant a hairy effect. The flowers are creamy white that grow very tall, well above the plant itself. Very showy blooms indeed!!

Close-up Yucca filementosa 'Hairy' flowers

Flowers of Yucca filementosa 'Hairy'

Yucca filementosa 'Hairy'

Fuzzy Kalanchoes

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Kalanchoe succulent plant belongs to the large family of crasulaceae. It has up to 200 different species. Many people grow kalanchoes for the bright and colourful flowers, but others appreciate the beautiful foliage. I like the fuzzy and hairy ones that have large leaves. It is a fact that most of the unusual and strange succulents are native to Madagascar Island. Many others are native to southern parts of Africa and Asia.

Kalanchoe beharensis is also known as Elephant Ear.  The leaves are triangular in shape with irregular lobes. The green leaves are fully covered with fine hair to make them look smooth and velvety. Kalanchoe beharensis will multiply quickly in well drain, warm and sunny spot of the garden. If grown in a pot, it has to be large enough as the plant can grow over 1 meter high (ours only grow up to 75cm high), and can be quite heavy.

Kalanchoe baharensis aka. Elephant Ear Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe hildebrandtii ‘Silver Spoon’ is another unusual succulent. The leaves grow as big as a dessert spoon. They are silver colour, fuzzy and fleshy. During the warm weather the plant will bear tall orange colour blooms. This plant with woody branches will quickly grow bushy to form a nice and compact shape. It needs well drain soil and is very hardy and can tolerate mild frost.

Kalanchoe hildebrandtii ‘Silver Spoon’

Kalanchoe orgyalis ‘Copper Spoon” has large brown copper colour leaves on the top side and greenish gray colour underneath, but the leaves tend to be slightly green if grown in the shade. I find that this plant is less tolerance to frost. It grows slower compared to silver spoon and can grow up to 1 meter high. The brown copper colour and the furry smooth leaves are very eye catching. It is best to be grown in well drain soil and away from frost.

Kalanchoe orgyalis “Copper Spoon’

A little fact about Cactuses/Cacti and Succulents: 

“All Cactus plants are Succulents….. but not all Succulents are Cacti…………..”