An afternoon well spent ...

roselee z8b S.W. TexasNovember 9, 2012

I spent a wonderful afternoon at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. The air had a dry crispness to it that said 'fall'. I couldn't find anybody to go with me so I went by myself, but I struck up conversations with several other 'strollees' and ran into Joey (Phoenix) who was also out strolling during a break so that was nice.

I was especially interested in succulents since I'm including more of them in my yard to take the place of the roses that are soon to depart. Incidentally, their rose garden was the best I've ever seen it. I also wanted to see if I could find specimens of the plants purchased their recent plant sale.

I really liked this succulent bowl. The pink edged small leaved green succulent on the left was purchased at the recent plant sale as 'hardy kalanchoe' where it was displayed as a hanging basket. I recently learned that Patty has it and purchased it as Kalanchoe 'Jingle bells' ...

I've never seen some of the succulents in this rock garden display ...

Especially interesting to me is how cactus and agaves are arranged in their gardens. Here they are seen with Mexican salvia as a backdrop. The green ground cover is Wedlia which I found too aggressive in my yard, but it apparently works well in dry conditions ...

I was bedazzled by the patterns on the spectacular Whale tongue agaves. Blooming in front of it is another of the plants I got at the sale; Baja red fairy duster ...

Another nicely patterned Agave was in the enclosed desert display. Who can tell us what it is?

Also can anyone ID this pretty plant growing in front of one of the little houses showcasing different landscaping designs? Firebush?

There were butterflies in abundance. This is a Queen I think ...

I swear to you these are the true colors of the begonia and bromiliad seen in the 'jungle/orchid' house ...

There were 11 full size replicas of dinosaurs and other ancient wildlife thoughout the gardens. They will be on display through December. Great for kids (like me) to see and wonder about ...

Here's a whole family galloping right at me ...

Also was impressed by several trees. I thought this was a Teneza tree, but the sign said differently ...

The bark is a little richer brown than my Teneza and picks up the color of the dinosaur lurking behind the stone wall making a beautiful scene ...

Another beautiful tree with beautiful peeling rich brown bark is growing near the entrance ...

It reminds me of a Texas madrone, but the bark is darker colored than most I've seen although the leaves and immature berries are very close. What do you think?

Visiting other gardens always inspires me to work around in as well as enjoy my own yard even more. Today was such a day and a day that was certainly well spent. May I encourage you to visit any botanical gardens in your city? And if you go photos would be nice :-)

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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Oh wow! Great that you got to go on such a beautiful day!

I checked and Hamelia is available in orange though I don't think I've ever seen one.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:55PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Shirley, your comment triggered a thought. Since the orange flowered one pictured above is a smaller plant than the usual Hamelia I'm wondering if it is the 'dwarf firebush' that I purchased at their plant sale. Hamelia would be the proper name, but their plants for sale tended to be labeled with popular names. It's not blooming yet so hard to tell for sure, but I have a hunch it is.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:51PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

A google seach came up with this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dwarf Mexican Fire Bush

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Roselee, your mystery plant looks like Leonotis leonurus, one of several plants called 'Lion's Tail'. Google images of Lion's tail plant to see if it is. The one I have is Leonotis menthifolia which is a little different.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:10PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Good to see you posting again, Jim, I have missed you.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:39PM
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Funny you posted this - Miriam and I were just saying yesterday that we needed to make a botanical gardens trip. I always forget how good things look once things start cooling down a bit.

The Baja red fairy duster looks very similar to something planted at the UT Health Science Center. I wanted to try to collect some seeds this fall because it seems like a very neat plant and pretty hardy. I don't know anything about seed planting unless it comes in a packet with directions printed on the back, but I thought I'd give it a shot with this one.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:46AM
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I've never seen the plant, but the orange one looks a little like pictures I've seen of Lions Tail plant.
I love the succulents, especially in the 2nd picture.
If you find out the names of the ones in the rock display, please post them. I'm trying to add a few also.
The long one might be burro's tail.
Thanks for sharing these.
It's the next best thing to going in person.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:37AM
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(The long one might be burro's tail.)
I should have said the bluish gray long one.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:42AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Jim and Ruth, thanks for suggesting "Lion's tail". I'll look into that possibility.

Lisa, if you and Miriam decide to go let me know. I might meet you there.

Ruth, I'll be checking out the succulents as they come into the garden centers in the spring and will let you know. Burro's tail sure sounds right for that long gray one.

Thanks for posting everybody! It seems like many of the regulars from years ago don't post anymore. We used to have more fun and games here.

I just posted some photos on the gallery if anyone wants to look.

Here is a link that might be useful: A few last looks before some changes ....

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:55PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Jim, I think you may be right about the mystery plant being Leonotis leonurus. The leaves on the mystery plant are textured and serrated where the leaves on my not yet blooming dwarf Hamelia are smooth on both counts. However, I didn't notice a succession of flowers on the stems of the plant at SABG, but perhaps that occurs more on a related Leonotis. From the description on the link below Leonotis leonurus sounds like a good plant to be on the watch for.

Close up of leaves on the mystery plant:

Here is a link that might be useful: Leonotis leonurus

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:42PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

. I just got one. Sorry , no babies on it.First the Agave you asked for an ID on is Agave Blue Glow.

Their are several leonotis plants . I gave a plant of Leonotis mentholatum to Shirley . It is taller with curled leaves. Hint ,... It grows from cuttings and you know where Shirley lives.. another of L. leonurus's common names is Wild Dagga. It is used as a narcotic in Africa.

Looks like a Madrone tree to me. The bark changes color according to how it peels and the time of the year. Maybe the growing conditions also cause a difference in colors.

The succulent dish has the round leafed edged in red plant called Kalanchoi luciae.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:42PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Mara, thanks for the ID's. I figured you'd know :-)

Do you have any information about the green small leafed
'Jingle bells' kalanchoe in the bowl on the left?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 11:23PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

No, it looks more like a sedum to me but really , I am talking off my cuff. I really do not know.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:38AM
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The bowl...deconstructed. Its getting cooler so they had to be switched out for something else however my coworker does awesome jobs.with arranging

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 4:07PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Roselee , check out this Agave hybrid made from the same parents as the Agave 'Blue Glow'. These are Kelly Griffen hybrids from Rancho Soledad in California. There are some pretty ones out there. Agave Blue Glow has some cold hardiness if protected from moisture.

Here is a link that might be useful: Agave 'Blue Emperor'

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Beautiful pics. I got a Lion's Tail a few years ago at Natural Gardener, but it didn't survive more than a year.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:24PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Joey, I agree your coworker does an awesome job arranging the succulent pots. Tell them their talents are noticed and much appreciated.

Mara, thank you for the ID and the tip on another good one to watch for. I'm very grateful for the new agaves I got at the plant swap. Gonna' baby those babies through the winter by giving them as much sun as possible and bringing them in on cold days in hopes of fast growth.

Tex thanks for telling us your experience. I grew a some sort of lion's tail years ago too and had the same thing happen. Never tried it again. Hopefully, others have had more success.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:40PM
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It's a lions ear. I'll root cuttings and bring them to the spring swap. I also have a miniature one so will root it too.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:13PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks Tally! Sounds like they are perennial for you. Bring info on the best way to grow them too.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:38PM
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