Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

south africa succulents

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time you’d probably agree with me when I say I shouldn’t collect anymore plants this season. As it stands I have over 130+ potted plants indoors, 50+ large tropical specimens at the  greenhouse, and a garden that is so over filled it’s bordering on insane. Still when I was invited to view a local cacti collector’s private stash I couldn’t resist myself. Her collection was impressive and a real treat for a sun starved plant geek in November. With the potential of moving leering overhead she wanted to thin out her collection a bit and was willing to pass along some obscurities.  We ended up chatting for a couple hours, touring her various growing areas, and I left with some really great specimens.


Left to right: Sinningia leucotricha, Gasteria NOID ,Hemanthus albiflos, Echinops NOID, Rubutia muscula,
Astrophytum NOID and a Monadenium ritchiei


Sinningia leucotricha is an interesting velvet leafed plant from Brazil that forms a caudex-like woody tuber.  After this photo I replanted it in a nice new terracotta pot and exposed the tuber. It looks great, and I look forward to watching it do it thing further. More info to follow


Quite an interesting Gasteria specimen, it’s leaves textures remind me of snowflake obsidan.  Anyone know it’s species name?


A large flowering sized Haemanthus albiflos.


A small Echinops (white / pink flowers)


Rubutia muscula. What awesome little fuzzy orbs.


Monadenium ritchiei Another euphorbia oddity to the collection.


While I already have a small specimen of this, I couldn’t resist. This is one of largest Disocactus flagelliformis I’ve ever seen. Hoping to take some cuttings and do a small run of these next spring. Simply amazing!


Selenicereus grandiflorus otherwise known as a Queen of the Night Cactus.

What fun! I’ve jigsawed them into the collection and they look great. I’m looking forward to seeing them thrive come spring and summer.

Thank You Linda !

I recently bought this Tiger Jaw Plant (Faucaria tigrina) at Brentwood Bay Nurseries on impulse. I’m a real sucker for succulents and cacti and this winter the window sills will be packed. While haphazardly perusing the succulent area I stumbled upon this freshly budded specimen and had to have it. Within a week it’s flower opened and I snapped these photos today. Interesting!


Apparently the flowers only last a couple days so I was happy to have noticed when I did.


Another amazing succulent from South Africa. This is quickly becoming a place I must visit. The plant’s strange hooked barbs sometimes look like the snarly face of a jungle cat, thus it’s common name Tiger Jaw.

Another oddity added to the collection…

So it’s been raining all week in Victoria and it’s a mere 10 days before Christmas. Here’s another blog on Plant Hoarding where I discuss my latest horitcultural find.

Anacampseros Rufescens

Information on Anacampsero is few and far between online, I’ve spent the great part of an hour seeking out the origins of this plant with very little concrete data. From what I can find the word Anacampsero is from the Greek word Anakampto, to recover and eros: love. The genus yeilds from South Africa and more notably Namibia. It flowers in mid spring with a showy little pink/purple flower that is mildly fragrant.

Although this specimen was a little more pricey then I would have hoped for (2″ pot at GW for 7.50! gasp) It’s quite a unique plant. Similar to an echeveria or other succulent it has a form unique to itself. I enjoy it’s miniature leaf rossettes and it’s small white hairs that give it an even stranger look. The nurseryman who grew mine must have seeded heavily because there are a ton of little seedlings growing next to the main specimen.  The other day I separated them all into other miniature 1″ thimble pots in hopes of creating a few more.  I’ll update you on their success later.


Anacampseros Rufescens Seedlings are easily propagated from fresh seed.

Quick Fact

Hardy in zones 9-11 this plant
Sun to partial shade
no frost!

Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
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