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  • Aeonium
    • arboreum ‘Atropurpureum’   CAG02828
      Height1m
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun - L. Sh.
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      An old garden relic (no trendy cultivar name here) with large, green centred, burgundy rosettes of succulent, spoon shaped leaves, developing into a thick stemmed shrub in just a few years. Fat, fluffy cones of tiny sulphur flowers are borne in spring when mature, often exhausting the plant but any non-flowering rosettes are easily broken off and replanted so sit back and enjoy the show.

      Winter growing and summer drought loving, as expected from a Canary Island plant, and as with most of the genus too much moisture and shade leads to rapid and unsustainable growth, though some protection from midday summer sun may be needed. Give it a well drained limestone cliff, or even some well drained soil, sans irrigation, and you will have a gorgeous and long lived garden plant.

      Barely frost tolerant.

  • Agave
    • vivipara var. marginata   CAG02018
      Height1.2m
      Width1.2m
      Flowering SeasonSpring
      WaterL
      LightSun
      Agave vivipara var. marginata
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A quick growing variety, small enough for a large pot but large enough to make a statement, with a stiff almost harsh demeanour, useful for stark architectural style or high contrast with softer forms, especially so in groups.

      Sparse, slightly taller than spherical rosettes of very rigid, long, tapering, glaucous green leaves, generously edged with cream variegation, short, dark, marginal teeth and terminating in a short black spine.

      Spreads moderately by underground stolons and such colonies are particularly attractive but need appropriate space.

      Individual rosettes produce after many (10+) years a spectacular tree like inflorescence, the remains of which are often used in floral art, bearing thousands of erect, yellow green, tubular flowers, in tight clusters, which are much loved by nectar feeding birds and insects, and then rapidly decline and die to be succeeded by younger offsets or bulbils.

  • Crassula
    • ovata ‘Undulata’   CAG02831
      Height30cm
      Width40cm
      Flowering SeasonWinter
      WaterM - L
      LightLight Shade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A quite distinct form with wavy, glaucous leaves and more sedate growth than most, forming a squat, fat stemmed shrub that becomes increasingly attractive with age. A succulent bonsai perfect that funky pot. From the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

      Seems shy to flower, I don't ever recall seeing it, expect clusters of pale pink stars reminiscent of Daphne.

      Very easily grown in any well drained soil with some protection from midday summer sun, frost and with an occasional watering.

  • Nolina
    • longifolia   CAG02825

      (Mexican grass tree)
      Height3m
      Width2m
      Flowering SeasonWinter
      WaterM - L
      LightFull Sun
      for $7.00earn 100 points

      Essentially a blueish leaved more drought loving version of the familiar Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) with a less rotund trunk, fissured of bark and with much longer very pendant, almost linear leaves. A robust yet graceful feature specimen and probably a good subject for the largest of pots, surround with other succulents, chaparral type shrubs or tropicalesque foliage as desired.
      Large upright panicles of creamy white flowers add to the spectacle in maturity.
      br />From central Mexico but at least somewhat frost and drought tolerant. Expect it to be easily grown in any well drained sunny soil with occasional water through summer. Heat tolerance should be exceptional.

      Watching these become more silvery I suspect they may actually be N. nelsonii.

  • Portulacaria
    • afra ‘Aurea’   CAG03031

      (Jade, Porkbush)
      Height3m
      Width2m
      Flowering SeasonWi - Sp
      WaterL
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      The golden leaved form of the oft encountered Jade. A lax shrub with succulent red stems that become increasingly swollen with age, developing a peeling papery bark, and bearing fat, rounded, lime coloured leaves, acid yellow in full summer sun, with older specimens bearing attractive clusters of pale pink flowers in late winter.

      Maybe a little slower than the commonest green forms but still excels as a succulent, drought tolerant hedge and can make a stunning eternal groundcover given consistent force. With its foliage colour subtly changing with light exposure a billowing mass becomes a multi-toned sculpture suitable for even the largest plantings and thriving in concrete urban environs. Alternatively severely restrict resources for autonomous bonsai between 10cm and 2m depending on container size or just poke it in anywhere to create juicy colour combos.

      Indestructible in any reasonable drained soil, some summer irrigation is appreciated to replicate its summer rainfall home in south eastern Africa but it will survive without after a few years. Tolerant of light frost.

  • Yucca
    • filamentosa ‘Variegata’   CAG01605
      Height30cm
      Width50cm
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterM - L
      LightSun
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A succulent that is merely an attractive clumping perennial for the garden, not a precious for the collection, with rosettes of soft sword-like glaucous leaves heavily margined in cream that tints copper with age. Grandiose panicles of hanging cream bells are held aloft during summer.
      From south eastern North America, semi deciduous here and utterly cold tolerant. Equally at home in the perennial border or simulated desertscape.

      Easily grown in any sunny, well drained soil, I find it less tolerant of wet feet in winter than many of the arborescent species. Drought tolerant but summer water is highly beneficial.

  • Agave
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