Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aeoniums







I started growing aeoniums during my childhood. I didn't know its name at the time, but one of the first pot plants I nurtured was Aeonium haworthii one of the hardiest and most widespread of the genus. This is a wonderful genus of succulents found mainly in the Canary Islands. They form large cabbage looking rosettes and occasionally produce cone shaped spires of yellow flowers. They are very well suited to our climate where many species go dormant during the warmer months (a pretty wise thing to do I reckon!). I have quite a few different species now and have recently set up one bed featuring them. This way I can compare size and form fairly easily. I am constantly on the lookout for a species that produces really LARGE rosettes - the bigger the better. I saw some used in gardens in California when I visited last year and I thought they looked fabulous!
Today I weeded the bed and planted some cuttings generously sent to me by another aeoniumphile (aeonium lover?!?!) The photos above are three of the species in my collection. The first might be A. arboreum, the second is an unknown species but I think the third (in my cute turtle pot!) is A. aureum. When it goes dormant in summer its little rosettes close up and become tulip shaped. I love it and I think I couldn't have chosen a better pot in which to grow it! I also grow several black cultivars. 'Zwartkop' is known as the Black Rose but I also grow 'Short Black' (a small version of 'Zwartkop') and 'Velour' (a paler version of 'Zwartkop'). These cultivars do well in a pot but I cannot keep them alive in the ground whereas A. arboreum 'Atropurpureum' has purplish tinges to its green leaves and does well in the ground. I'd love to know why 'Zwartkop' won't survive - its not as if I have soggy soil....
I've just heard from my aeoniumphile friend - he thinks the one in the middle is a hybrid of A. cuneatum sometimes referred to as 'Emerald Carpet'. I do love it when I can put a name to a plant!

3 comments:

  1. This web site rocks!

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  2. Thankyou whoever you are!

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  3. A great tribe..my fav succs.

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