Re: [IGS] Species questions and update


Glad to hear your P. crassipes has flowered after years of waiting.
Patience rewarded, I suppose. Let me try to answer your main query:

>To end a new question - my Sarcocaulon vanderietieae had only three
>flowers this year. Then it decided to do a metamorphosis. All the leaves
>started to wither away and dropped, then on all the places new buds of
>leaves appeared and most of them are the start of new branches it seems.
>Quite peculiar! My plant is around 7 years old and comes from seed
>originally (raised by one of the hortuses here) and is a very attractive
>type of miniature desert-bush with woody branches stretching out
>horizontally mostly being totally decorative by form and shape. Any
>clues why the plant acted so weird (and left me worrying for some time,
>thinking it had decided to leave this world <VBG>)?

In nature this one does generally drop its leaves after flowering. There,
or in most of its region of occurrence, it will flower in spring or early
summer and then go semi-dormant in the hot months until the cooler rains of
autumn come.  In Holland the cool, grey weather and humidity may have
convinced it that autumn was coming early. A hot spell in early summrer may
have triggered the loss of leaves. If so it was quite normal and not
something to worry about. Just a theory, you never know what is on the mind
of a Sarc! If you have the choice maybe a dry spell after flowering might
be a good idea.

By the way, you might try reading Hystrix by Charles Craib. Cindi got me a
copy recently and I've found it a mine of info. He goes through all the
species, gives descriptions of where they grow, rainfall and so forth and
then he gives cultivation notes on each one. We hAve heard about this
booklet before here and Alby has inserted some of it on the Internet. An
excellent source, the only problem is no photos. In flower large specimens
really are very photogenic. As you say, even out of flower it is an
'attractive type of miniature desert bush' with its horizontal arms. They
are natural bonsai plants without having to treat them as bonsai.

San Diego, California

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