Monday, April 30, 2018

Adromischus marianiae: Part 2 (17 pics)

Over the last weeks I was trying to put together a small collection of Adromischus marianiae plants, to be specific the bumpy warty types. Even though I, of course, can not afford those cool looking hybrids and cultivars, I think I still could get a nice selection of colors and shapes. What I'd really want to do now is practice growing them from own seeds. Creating own hybrids would not be meaningful with the plants I have. Online research shows that the prettiest ex. herrei hybrids are done with a variety called Clanwilliam (probably referring to the habitat location), which are of course also not affordable even in its pure form. So unless someone is willing to send me a leaf of the said Clanwilliam (please?) I'll be trying to get non-hybrid seeds from my plants. Luckily, some are already growing flowers.

The last post featured green types of Adromischus marianiae so I'll start with the last greenie in the bunch. It's difficult to get the names even approximately right so please bare with me. The label says it is an Adromischus marianae "alveolatus" (Kinderle) (the Adromischus book offers a bunch of synonyms). The leaf texture is more delicate - tiny bumps instead if furrows and dents of the more common herrei varieties. To me, it's like a 'Little Spheroid' cultivar but in light green.

I've seen similar plants with elongated leaves under the same name. And I even got one more from a different source and the shape of its leaves is already different from the one above. Who knows what those names really mean.

And here is Adromischus marianae 'Little Spheroid' for comparison. Except for the color the leaves look similar to the plant on the first photo. This cultivar seems to be a bit touchy and easy to overwater.

I'm currently propagating a whole bunch of little spheroids from leaves as backup copies.

Here are some other Adromischus marianae "alveolatus", the brownish types. Very pretty and rather small. I like them a lot and hope not to kill them.

This one I got with the label Adromischus marianae v. herrei 'Aubergine'. I don't see much difference compared to the alveolatus above, do you?

We're moving further into the bumpier territory. These are Adromischus marianae v. herrei 'Red Licorice' and the new leaves do look like it.

I was surprised to see the roots on this one. They say, sometimes Adro leaf cuttings grow roots but never any new leaves. Seeing this specimen, it kinda feels like you just need to wait long enough. This leaf cutting has developed all this thick root, which might have taken it months and months of work, and only then, from out of the root, a new branch with new leaves has grown. Amazing.

Here is an Adromischus marianae v. herrei 'Coffee Bean'. I can totally see it.

Also very interesting and beautifully colored - Adromischus marianae "antidorcatum".

Adromischus marianae v. herrei 'Red Coral' is a red type of the herrei from my previous post. The sunnier it is the redder it gets.

Here is another one. Very nice texture but we need to work on the color.

And here is the red type plant I've had since several years. I am fascinated every time it changes color. This plant has been enjoying lots of sunlight over the last 4 weeks and just look how it has changed! Here are the before and after pictures of the same plant.

This is all for now on Adromischus. I'm still checking Ebay but not as enthusiastically as before :D

Monday, April 2, 2018

Adromischus marianiae: Part 1 (12 pics)

These days I have been feeding my three (relatively) new succulent passions. The first one is Anacampseros that was reported on in the last post. The second is Avonia, of which I've recently bought many new plants and will report soon. 

The third passion is Adromischus. Although I have several larger species like A. maculatus, cooperi, or cristatus, they neither grow well under my conditions nor are very pretty in general. It's not a surprise that I belong to the majority of people who are into those cute small Adromischus with round heavily textured leaves known as A. marianiae, most of them of the "herrei" variety. Unfortunately those are still very expensive, even the more widespread varieties. It is rarely possible to buy one for less than 20 Euros while some cultivars go for thousands on Ebay. Nevertheless, I'm trying to build some sort of a collection with as many different shapes represented as possible. From what research I've done so far it seems you should not be relying on names much. There are so many hybrids out there! And so many of them look really similar. You just go by their looks and try to get whatever you do not have already represented among your plants. Although I also wouldn't mind getting the same type of plant from different sources in a hope to have genetically different plants and not just clones of the same one. Maybe it would be possible to have them produce seeds this way. Of course you can always try getting hybrid seeds by crossing different types but I'd like to have a possibility to produce seeds with predictable outcome in terms of looks of future seedlings.

FYI, it feels more comfortable to talk about "types". There are too many hybrids, varieties and cultivars these days with all those fancy names it's more confusing than helpful. Also, these plants change their appearance (leaf color and shape) a lot depending on the growing conditions, so that what you see on a picture is not necessarily what it will turn into in your home.

This is the first Adromischus I got back in 2013. It is actually bright green but the older leaves that were turned to the sun are now a bit yellow. Green types are less demanding and seem to grow well under my conditions.

Since then I could grow 3 clones from its leaves that already look like adults. They grow on a sunny spot on my windowsill and the leaves are tight to the stem and nicely round. However, I have noticed that the strong sun seems to bleach them out a bit. The green types get pale after a while.

This most recent leaf cutting was standing in half-shade and is much greener.

If you compare it with another clone, it looks like a different variety. One is bright green with pointy leaves (half-shade), another is pale with round leaves (full sun). They are genetically the same. Maybe I should move all of the green types to a less sunny spot. It might give them a greener color. But do I also want to relinquish the round shape of leaves?

There are two more clones grown from a single leaf but the leaf was not very healthy and dried up too soon. They are very small and look like seedlings.

About the fancy named cultivars, I have troubles telling the green ones apart. For example, the below plant is called "Green Monster" but to me it looks exactly like those above. It's nice to have a genetically different greenie though. In fact, I was not going to allow my old greenies to flower this year but if there is a chance of successful pollination I might reconsider.

Another one is called "Lime Drops" which I can accept as different. Lemony color and pink folded leaf tips. By the way, I got this beautifully grown plant along with several others from Kakteen Plapp nursery which I can really recommend. The plants have not lost any leaves during transport! Newspapers are the best packaging material.

However, "Lime Drops" cuttings I got from another seller look just like my old greenies. No complaints here. My collection is so small that I'm glad to get any kind of A. marianiae plants (or leaf cuttings).

This plant was offered on ebay under the name of "Little Spheroid" which was doubtful. I got it anyway because I didn't have this type of texture and color among mine yet. Where is the plant, you ask? Well, due to bad packaging it arrived completely disassembled.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Anacampseros tray (14 pics)

I can not believe it's been 2 years since I had my big sowing of Anacampseros. Around the same time I got the majority of the adult plants, even though I've been growing several Anacampseros and Avonias for years before that. But 2 years ago there was this spark of interest that resulted in a whole tray of plants. 

The seedlings grow very slowly but what a delight it was to watch them! From the generic blobs they have developed into all those different shapes. It's not very easy to take pictures of them because of all the white fluff. If I don't change the settings on my camera to darker shades all I get is white shapes with no definition. Once I do, the photos turn out too dark. But at least the hairs are sharp and visible this way. 

They seem to have made it through the dark winter fine even though An. vanthielii have been struggling. I have not watered them since months and they still stretch for sunlight. I hope they will look better in Summer. Another thing I have not figured out yet is why the "white column" types of Anacampseros tend to lose bottom leaves. That's why I'm glad that my younger "column" seedlings grow so slowly and are still at the "white ball" stage in their development. Hopefully by the time they grow up I'll have a better understanding of what they need. At the moment they are just adorable.

As usual click on the pictures to see full size and the full names, locality data and catalog numbers will be within the file name. 

An. baeseckei are just tiny fluff balls.

Another An. baeseckei, which are tiny fluff balls with curls.

These are fluff balls with even more curls (Anacampseros sp. (albidiflora)). These three species will probably have troubles retaining the bottom leaves later on.

These An. namaquensis look like they are covered in snow. So cute! They look a bit different from what I have in mind when I think of An. namaquensis but they are still small.

These An. namaquensis are more like it. I really like it when these plants grow rather flat instead of going up. These seedlings are like a soft carpet. 

The below An. filamentosa ssp. filamentosa seedlings are just as wonderfully flat and in no hurry to grow vertically. So snug against the pumice stones.

An. filamentosa ssp tomentosa have larger features but the long wavy hairs that wrap around the whole plants are wonderful.

An. arachnoides have perfected the cobweb look. I'm quite proud of these as they have this  distinguishing scruffy look. They'll do even better with more sunlight.

This pot of another An. arachnoides species is even scruffier. Nice.
There might be some cat hair mixed in. Mila walks on my plants a lot.

Not much hairs but a pretty color: Anacampseros rufescens 'Sunrise'.

I can only recommend you to grow these. I've had so much fun with them.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring is on its way, they feel it (9 pics)

Finally, after months of darkness, we've had 2 weeks of sun (and temperatures below freezing). It is amazing how only 2 sunny weeks can transform lithops and give other plants a boost. After all the losses this year, seeing lithops actually not affected by the dark environment encourages me to focus more on them in the future. Other mesembs seem to be very touchy and even without water they stretch and die if there is not enough light. Lithops however, just proceed with their regeneration, no problem. They do fine as long as they're not being watered.

The old leaves are getting very soft first.

Then they get lines and wrinkles at the edges.

Then become thin and transparent.

Until they slip around the edges of the new leaves and disappear.

These look like the old leaves are deflating.

I was particularly relieved to see the below plant regenerate. It skipped a year meaning it has not regenerated last year at all. This year it just grows normally.

Bonus pic: Nothing says spring is coming like Sinningia leucotricha waking up :)