Wednesday
Dec162009

Favorite Plants from Former CSSA November/December Publications

Check this out!  Here's a short writing about the cover plates of a few back issues of the CSSA Journal.

  • 1967 - Cochemiea poselgeri - synonym Mammillaria poselgeri.  This is a clumping cactus composed of stems about 2 1/2 inches in diameter, but each can be lengthy.  The red flower occurs at the tip of the stems.  It grows in USDA zones 9b - 11.  It must be covered in the event of frost, and in Las Vegas should be placed in a warm corner with other plants that might help increase the humidity creating a litttle microclimate.  The yearly average minimum temperature should be around 55 degrees F.  (Sounds like it would thrive in San Diego!)  Check out this link.  Another link that's one of my favorites (desert tropicals) lists the plant with good info, too.
  • 1968 - Coryphantha vivipara  (Escobaria).  Many of us have this gem, or a close relative, in our collections.  The plant is very hardy here, but because it is small, I like to protect it from foot traffic.  As a result, it's usually in a pot under the edge of a shrub or near a small boulder.  This photo comes to us with permission from:  Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.
  • 1984 - Zygocactus (Schlumbergera) A "Christmas Cactus!"  And depending on the bloom time, it is also sometimes called a "Thanksgiving Cactus" or an "Easter Cactus."    This is not really a cactus, but rather an epiphyte. The care is quite different from that of cactus, and more like the care of an orchid.   Unless over watered or left to sun burn or freeze, these plants are long lived and often passed along from one household to another.  To encourage bloomng, the plant enjoys a bit cooler weather beginning in September or October.  It also needs to have reduced light during the same period of time and NO LIGHT at night.  Fight the temptation to water frequently during this period as well.  You will be rewarded with many lovely flowers.  The colors range from white, slightly orchid, salmon, pink, and red.  They can be obtained from almost any floral shop or garden nursery or even grocery store!  If you want winter blooms, pick them up and start a little collection.  Life is not always about cactus!
  • 2007 - Arrojadoa eriocaulis.  This is not one that I've seen around, but surely one of our vendor/members either has it or can get it!  There are two photos included to show the unique form of the plant.  Humminbirds pollinate the flowers which are formed from a cephalium.  With the number of hummingbirds that frequent my gasteria, haworthia, and aloes, I'm sure the natural relationship would form with this plant as well.  The plant is a native of Brazil and should be a fun addition to our protected "bench" collections.
  • 1989 - The final plant selection is a monumental favorite.  Alas, due to copyright issues, the actual cover cannot be printed here at this time.  It brings me joy every time I see it.  If you read the following paragraph, just imagine: a cute white puppy dog wearing a smile and bright red Santa hat, sitting in the desert next to a great big Saguaro decorated in holiday wreaths, you'll grin and understand.  I will quote exactly from the journal:  "COVER PLATE:  We are pleased and honored to be able to present as our cover this marvelous Christmas greeting to the "CSSA members and friends" from "Spike", the desert dwelling cousin of Charlie Brown's dog, Snoopy, and Charles Schulz, the artist and creator of Peanuts, one of the most popular comic strips of all times.  We had teasingly remarked that for all the fun he had poked at cactus & succulent societies with Spike attending cactus society meetings in the desert in companionship with the resident saguaros, Charles Schulz in pennance should contribute a cover to the Journal.  Our firend, David L. Eppele of Arizona Cactus & Succulent Research Inc., Bisbee, Arizona, said that the artist was a very kind and generous person with a real love for the desert and that he was sure that he would, indeed, be happy to contribute a cover to our magazine, and through the intercession of Mr. Eppele we are able to present this charming Christmas greeting to you all.  Dave tells us that "Sparky" Schulz moved from his native Minnesota to Needles, California when he was 7, hence his real feeing for the desert comes quite naturally and from firsthand experience.  We are proud and deeply grateful and in turn send our best wishes and those of the CSSA to Spike, his saguaro companions and to Mr. Schulz and the entire Peanuts gang!"  

So, if you can get your hands on the issue (maybe in your bookcase), have a look and enjoy, or call me!  I don't know if our CSSSN library houses old issues, perhaps it is there.  If you can remember how Snoopy dances around,  that's EXACTLY HOW I FEEL when I'm in the desert - - - I'm happy all over when I'm out there!

Susan Kent


Thursday
Nov192009

December Meeting: Thursday Dec. 3, 6PM - Garden Club Building Lorenzi Park

The last meeting of the year is a traditional "pot luck" holiday social.  Past President, Phil Lawton, is chairing the event.  He promises a slide show, maybe music, a quiz or contest ("Name That Plant" duel between Stephenie, Donnie, Joey, and Victor?  That could be a real contest, but this time, Phil will involve everyone.)  There is also a planned gift exchange with "swap options."  Participation in the gift swap is optional, but the more that play, the more fun that's had.   Nancy, the Treasurer, is assisting Phil with the effort.  If she has not already contacted you, she will shortly.  Members attend this meeting without charge, just bring whatever you and Nancy agree upon.  This is a plain old fashioned fun club meeting.