I can’t wait for snow

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Cleistocactus flowers at Winterbourne Botanic Garden

September Meeting – Show Bench

The plants on the show bench for our September meeting.

 

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

and a sale plant that was in flower:

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker - stapelia in bloom

Birmingham Branch September Meeting – Interesting Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

This month Stirling Baker “The Prince of Haworthias” braved the rain and traffic to come and show us some of his interesting collection and talk a bit about growing and showing.

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Stirling grows his Haworthia on the top bench of his greenhouse which is SE facing and gets very little winter light. 40% light shading. Haworthia need a lot of air movement. Waters around the edges or bottom waters. Potting mixture – 1/2 Akadama bonsai soild (baked clay) and 1/2 mix of 1 part heavy pumice, 1 part hard pumice and 1 part soft. Accu? grit for top dressing. No soil at all. Inert mix. Plants are fed with every watering – Chempack for cacti and succulents 4 or 8. Pots were matte rough textured black pots imported from asia.

Haworthias root systems will sometimes push themselves off center. Stirling also removes offsets to maintain attractive single rosettes. Root loss just happens sometimes. Tweeze out dead roots when you repot. Do not simply pot on. Haworthia will respond very quickly to sunlight – changing colour in just 24 hours.

Stirling doesn’t like the notion of ‘true species’ and points out that even tissue culture plants have variation among supposedly identical clones and that many different cultivars are just geographically distant versions of the same species that just don’t have natural opportunities for cross pollination.

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Most of Stirling’s plants are slow growing. Flowers are removed because of the risk of nectar drops gunging up plants. If a plant looks shriveled – repot it. Floppy leaves mean no water is getting into the plant. It is either getting too much or not enough water and the roots are not taking up moisture. Reroot damaged plants. Stirling uses peat and grit for rooting but not for growing. Summer is the best time for rerooting. Otherwise provide bottom heat.

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Leaf shine can be used to buff pots for showing. Pay attention to presentation issues when showing on the bench. Deeper the pot the better the drainage. Plants have to have air. Don’t press compost down into the pot. Just tap the side of the pot to settle it in.

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Pumila/Minima and other hard leaf haworthia can throw offsets on flower stalks if they are bent down.

Lower than 5C in the winter the plants need to be kept very dry. 8C or more you can water in the winter.

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Tuncata and Maughanii can be propagated from root cuttings. Just pot with the cut end of the root above the top of the soil

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

September Meeting - Haworthias with Stirling Baker

Lithops timelapse after watering

1 day per frame, 5 frames per second, 53 days total.

Winterbourne Botanic Garden Arid House Video Tour

Winterbourne Botanic Garden Arid House Tour
(listen for the falling nuts!)

Winterbourne Botanic Garden Arid House Tour – Outdoor Bed Part 1.
(yes, it was very windy when this was filmed!)

Winterbourne Botanic Garden Arid House Tour – Outdoor Bed Part 2.
(yes, it was still windy!)

How to reuse your plant labels

Tools needed: Steel wool

Haworthia Revision

This month’s talk on Interesting Haworthias by Stirling Baker on Sept 20th is fast approaching so here are some pictures of Haworthias in the Winterbourne collection and informative Haworthia links to whet your appetite.

Winterbourne Haworthia tesselata

Winterbourne - Haworthia Semiviva

Winterbourne - Haworthia reinwardtii

Winterbourne - Haworthia Cymbiformis

BCSS forum post on Haworthia Propagation.

Winterbourne -  Haworthia radula?

Facebook photo gallery of Haworthia’s in nature

Winterbourne - Haworthia schuldtiana

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia

 

Winterbourne - Haworthia viscosa

Winterbourne - Haworthia attenuata

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne in Bloom

Crassula Perforata Varigata in flower

Conophytum Ornatum in Flower

Glottiphyllum linguiform in flower

Conophytum in flower

Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark

The Brown team and colleagues from Oberlin College and the University of Zurich, Switzerland, were interested primarily in dating the origins of the cacti (scientific name Cactaceae). The team sequenced the chloroplast genomes (the organelles inside plant leaves that engineer photosynthesis) for a dozen cacti and their relatives and combined their new genomic data with existing genomes to build a phylogeny, or evolutionary tree, for angiosperms, the genealogical line of flowering plants that represents roughly 90 percent of all plants worldwide. From there, the scientists deduced that Cactaceae first diverged from its angiosperm relatives roughly 35 million years ago but didn’t engage in rapid speciation for at least another 25 million years.

Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark