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Climbing Onion, Sea Onion Bowiea volubilis syn. Schizobasopsis volubilis
This is a strange little decorative plant I would not recommend trying to eat and it is not generally considered 'edible.' I have seen it in gardens as far north as Rhode Island in the US and as far south as Guatemala in Latin America. I think it is one of those oddities serious garden folks just can't resist.
Benefits: The climbing onion is still widely used in Africa for a substantial variety of medicinal ailments.
From: The Bowiea volubilis is native in and between Kenya and South Africa.
Planting and Care:
The climbing onion is a perennial that thrives in dry and desert regions of eastern and southern Africa. Plant it outdoors in well draining gritty, sandy soil in a place that receives full sun. As an alternative, plant this strange little plant in a pot that will reside in the sun or in a semi shady place. Don't give it too much water and you can sit back, watch it grow and wonder at nature's peculiarities.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
 

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2010.

 
Cow Tongue Gasteria armstrongii Schönland
Benefits:
From:
South Africa
Photographed:   In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013
Planting and Care: In its native habitat this little plant grows in rocky soil.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
ECHEVERIAS
**Echeveria Setosa Echeveria setosa sp.
This is a very sweet small plant that we now have growing in a turtle shaped clay pot. It does very well with a lot of sun or in a semi shady garden spot too.
From: South America
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Plant these interesting succulents in a sunny or semi shady place where they will generally do fine with infrequent, but routine rainfall. If you live in a place with a wet rainy season, keep this plant in a pot on the terrace where you only have to water it every few days.
Text & Photograph ©KO 2012  and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
 
Echeveria Echeveria nodulosa sp.
From: Mexico
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and care: This 8" plant prefers to be in a place in the garden where it receives either morning or afternoon sun. It is not frost hardy.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
 
Fire and Ice, Red Tide Echeveria subrigida
Benefits:
From:
Mexico
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care: This plant will grow to be about 1 foot high and 1 to 2 feet wide. It will grow in sun or shade and is tolerant of both drought and even some frost. This sounds to me like a plant made in heaven.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
**Hens & Chicks Echeveria elegans or Sempervivum Sp. or Sempervivum soboliferum or Graptopetalum or Aeonium arboreum
This is a lovely plant with circular rosettes of fleshy ice green leaves. This plant thrived in a pot on our Taxco, Mexico, apartment terrace and we had small one growing in a pot in Montserrat, but it never seemed healthy and it finally succumbed. We now have one growing in our new cactus garden in Panajachel, Guatemala.
From: The Mediterranean
Photographed: In a pot on our terrace in Taxco, Mexico, 2008.
Planting and Care:
It likes some shade from the hotter mid-day sun and a medium amount of water. It multiplies wonderfully as its name implies so there are large, medium, and tiny rose like sets of leaves at all times. It benefits greatly from a twice yearly cleaning of the old leaves and stems; it will look scraggly for a short while then be twice as beautiful as before.
Text & Photograph ©Krika.com 2008, 2010

Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat, 2008.

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 
Hens and Chicks Sempervivum
  Benefits:
From:
Europe and the northern part of Africa
Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: Plant these easy folks in rocky well drained soil in a sunny or partially shaded area and they should do just fine. They will make an excellent addition to any xeriscape garden.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 

Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy, 2012.

Houseleek Tree, Black Rose Aeonium arboreum syn. Sempervivum arboreum
This is a family of plants that closely resemble the rosette pattern of hens and chicks which has had me going in circles trying to figure out what they all were. Maybe you've had the same problem so here's the solution. These plants grow on stalks while hens and chicks remain on the ground. Sounds easy now, but I've spent a lot of time on this one.

From: The Canary Islands
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, 2012.

 

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 
The Rose Echeveria x hybrida
I found the icy green with tinges of pink on the edges especially appealing.
Benefits:
From:
This is a hybrid done I think by a German fellow
Photographed:
In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care:
Plant this in full sun and never in a place that will receive frost. Keep it relatively dry and it should do just fine.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013
 
EUPHORBIAS
 
Large Mediterranean Spurge Euphorbia-cespugliosa
  Benefits:
From:

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2015
 
Mediterranean Spurge Euphorbia characias
Benefits: Its toxic sap has been used to treat skin disorders for many centuries.
From: Southern Europe, the Balkans and Turkey
Photographed:
In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.

Planting and Care: I found this plant growing in both full sun and in the shade. It seemed to be doing fine either way. It does like it rather dry and it doesn't mind salt too much so it would be a good plant for properties near the ocean.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012/2018
 
Medusa's Head Euphorbia caput-medusae L.
Benefits:
From:
S. Africa
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care: Looking much like a cactus, it also has similar preferences. It likes to grow in full sun or bright partial shade, it likes it dry and warmer than 45 degrees F.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012
 
Resin Spurge, Moroccan Mound Euphorbia resinifera Berg.
Benefits:
From:
Morocco
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care: This cold hardy succulent grows naturally on mountain slopes. Given good conditions, including full sun and limited water, it will grow to be 1 to 2 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012
 
Please Contact Me If You Know What This Plant Is Called.
Succulent Mystery #1
This may be some type of Euphorbia.
 
 
 
Green Lady, Tree Houseleek, Irish Rose Aeonium arboreum
Benefits: Except for its appealing qualities, I didn't find any other benefits.
From:
The Canary Islands
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Palermo, Sicily, in Italy in 2012.
Planting and Care: The green lady will normally grow to be about 3 feet tall and will produce lots of yellow flowers on the tops of its stems. It likes pretty poor soil with sand and even rocks. A place in the garden with full sun most of the day will be just fine. It does appreciate some afternoon protection from hot sun. Watering these plants correctly really is the only tricky thing about them, but if you think 'sparingly' you'll do just fine. It is not frost free. If you live in a warm climate this may be a good plant for your garden.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012/2018

This green plant has a black fraternal twin called Houseleek Tree or Black Rose. See it on the "H" Page.
Haworthia Haworthia coarctata
Benefits:
From:
South Africa
Photographed: In the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Planting and Care: As with most succulents, Haworthia likes to settle into well drained slightly gritty soil. They commonly prefer shade from burning afternoon sun and a little more water than many other succulents. When you see the red color as on the right it is sunburn. Even though it is considered "attractive" by plant shoppers, I doubt the plant likes it very much.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014

 
 
HYLOCEREUS

**Hylocereus, Pitaya Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) BRITT. and ROSE or Selenicereus sp.
We found one of these growing in the forest on the way to Tenerillas a small village outside of Taxco, Mexico. We took a piece and brought it to plant at our former home in Montserrat where it was doing just fine when we sold the property. Here at the lake we walk early in the morning and discovered a very large pitaya plant growing by a wall in an abandoned property. As luck would have it, the next day there were workmen there and we asked for a small piece of the plant. He climbed the tree and cut a huge branch for us which was big enough that we had to put it on the roof of a tuk tuk to get it home. We quickly planted it and in short order had a flower bud and then our first fruit that you'll see in the photographs below.
From:
Mexico and Central America
Planting and Growth: Liking sun or semi shade and routine rainfall or watering, the hylocereus is easy to care for and appears to be resistant to most insects. It does appreciate fertilizer now and then. Its flowers and fruit are fabulous!

To see a magnificent wall of hylocereus click here Oaxaca Botanical Garden.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 

**Hylocereus, Pitaya, Red Pitaya, Dragonfruit, Night Blooming Cereus, Belle of the Night Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) BRITT. and ROSE or Selenicereus sp.
We found one of these growing in the forest on the way to Tenerillas a small village outside of Taxco, Mexico. We took a piece and brought it to plant at our former home in Montserrat where it was doing just fine when we sold the property. Here at the lake we walk early in the morning and discovered a very large pitaya plant growing by a wall in an abandoned property. As luck would have it, the next day there were workmen there and we asked for a small piece of the plant. He climbed the tree and cut a huge branch for us which was big enough that we had to put it on the roof of a tuk tuk to get it home. We quickly planted it and in short order had a flower bud and then our first fruit that you'll see in the photographs below.
From:
Mexico and Central America
Planting and Growth: Liking sun or semi shade and routine rainfall or watering, the hylocereus is easy to care for and appears to be resistant to most insects. It does appreciate fertilizer now and then. Its flowers and fruit are fabulous!

To see a magnificent wall of hylocereus click here Oaxaca Botanical Garden.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

 
These photographs were taken on the night of the bloom. We took our chairs out to the garden and enjoyed the show. Not too long afterwards we also enjoyed the fruit.

 

 

 

 
 
 
Ice Plants -- Please see the I Page
Jade Plants -- Please see the J Page
Jatrophas -- Please see the J Page -- Jatropha
Jelly Bean Cactus -- Please see the J Page
Kalanchoes -- Please see the K Page
Madagascar Palm -- Please see the M page
A Flowering Sego PalmMexican Grass Tree Dasylirion longissimum
This could be the perfect dramatic centerpiece in a xeriscape garden.
Benefits: I didn't find anything except that it is deer resistant.
From:
Chihuahuan Desert and other xeric habitats in Northeastern Mexico.
Photographed: On the right and at the bottom in the Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013. Below on the left in the Botanical Garden in Palermo, Sicily, in 2012, and on the right at the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care: This is an amazing succulent plant with long grass like leaves growing from a stiff trunk that will reach as much as 15 feet in length as you can see in the photographs below. The Mexican grass tree is a slow grower that prefers a sunny location in a warm dry climate. They will grow faster with regular watering, but take care as these plants are true lovers of the desert.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

 

** Night Blooming Cereus Cereus epiphyllum oxypetalum
We had one of these growing in a large pot on our terrace in Taxco, Mexico, and have now got a couple of plants growing in Montserrat. I have read they can spread their branches to sixty feet and that doesn't seem extraordinary when you see how fast they'll grow in a 12" pot. The cereus looks much like a plant that should be growing in the sea with its long flat succulent leaves. It blooms once a year usually in late spring, at night, with a dizzying scent. The flowers fade by morning, but it is well worth the wait. In Mexico, we always brought the plant in to the living room on the night it was blooming and we enjoyed the flowering while sitting comfortably on the couch. Now that they are outside in the garden here in Montserrat, we'll have to venture out there around midnight to see the show. Venturing out there is not so appealing when we think of the many 3" tarantulas that roam the gardens after dark.
Photographed: In our terrace garden at our apartment in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is a tropical rainforest plant that thrives in semi-shade with regular rainfall or watering. In strong sunlight it will burn and look very sad though it will probably still produce a few blooms.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010

 
 

As you can easily see, these are two different varieties, but they all seem to grow the same and give the same or very similar exquisite flowers.
 
**Pencil Tree Cactus, Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Aveloz, Milk bush, Petroleum Plant Euphorbia tirucalli
This cactus has relatively hidden spines, tiny leaves and looks very much like it should be growing under water.
Benefits:
Its sap is said to be poisonous enough to be used on both rats and insects.
From: Africa
Photographed: In our front border gardens at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care:
The pencil tree cactus really is a tree and it likes to get to that size very quickly. It is easily propagated; just stick a stem in the ground and soon it will be off and running. Plant it in the sun and give it routine rainfall or watering until it has taken. Then you can let it be pretty much on its own and it will do just fine. It is tropical and would not take well to a winter of any kind.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2008/2010/2013

Pencil Tree (2), Firesticks, Aveloz, Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Sticks on Fire Euphorbia tirucalli rosea
It was interesting to see this pencil tree growing in Rhode Island, a small state in the northeastern US, when my experience with one was in the Caribbean at our former home in Montserrat. This one seemed sunburned which compared to sunburns plants can get in the Caribbean seemed greatly overdone. As it turns out this is a pencil tree of a different color so to speak.
Benefits:
From:
Africa
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Note: "E. tirucalli is a hydrocarbon plant that produces a poisonous latex which can, with little effort, be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of E. tirucalli for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of E. tirucalli to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

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