Author Archive: Peter Lipson

Star Cactus

Ariocarpus fissuratus vibrantly blooming in autumn. Common Name: Star Rock, Chaute Origin: Big Bend, Texas; Mexico Description: Slow-growing to 10″d; hairy center; summer blooms; keep dry in winter Hardy to 25F Full Sun Extra Chunky Cactus Soil Low Water

Umbrella Flower

Ceropegia sandersonii has giant umbrealla, or parachute-like flowers! Very unusual vining Stapeliad. Common Name: Parachute Plant, Umbrella Flower Origin: Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland Description: Vining Stapeliad with massive unusual parachute-like flowers. Characteristics: Hardy to 45F Part Sun Low Water

Blooming Cactus Flowers

Beautiful Ariocarpus retusus flowers! Ariocarpus retusus Common Name: Living Rock Cactus, Seven Stars, Chaute Origin: Mexico Description: Highly variable, possibly through hybridizing. Slow-growing to 10″d; hairy center; summer blooms. Keep dry in winter Temperature: Hardy to 15F

Crassula “Buddha’s Temple”

People ask if we have Crassula “Buddha’s Temple” available and for a number of years we’ve had to say “no”. Until now. We finally have a real crop ready, to size and on the floor and ready for sale. Nice! Hopefully we will be able to keep these growing on for years to come so… Read more »

Los Angeles Area Cactus Show 

Were you wondering what to do next weekend? Are you going to be in Encino next weekend? You are in luck! If your garden yearns for crazy, colorful, drought-hearty plants, the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society aims to satisfy at its first Fall Sale Sept. 16 in Encino. A variety of cacti and succulents are… Read more »

Dragonfruit Recipe

I found this delicious Dragonfruit Sherbet recipe from our local Berkeleyside! It’s been a very hot weekend (Record heat throughout Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland? Yes!) so it’s what you want. Right now. Incredibly addictive, this sherbet offers a celebration of refreshing and complementary flavor in every spoonful. The cool dragon fruit is faintly milky,… Read more »

Million Hearts

Tiny little pinkish-white flowers appear all along the vines of this epiphitic jungle succulent. Dischidia ruscifolia Common Name: Million Hearts Origin: Philippines Vining epiphyte; good for hanging baskets, or terrariums. Hardy to 40F Part Sun Jungle Cactus/Orchid Blend Low Water


Artemesia tridentata with a moth visitor.

Chickens and Succulents

Zebra striped Haworthia and Sedum burrito, plus chickens, in Idaho, near Twin Falls, but not in Twin Falls. Idaho.

Delicious Prickly Pear Fruit

That is some delicious looking large red cactus fruit, aka Tunas, Prickly Pears, Sabras, nōchtli and more names! This is on one of our larger Opuntia robusta plants. When they get in the ground they can produced a lot of fruit, just for you if that’s what you want, or for all your neighbors and friends… Read more »

Arizona Star 

Agave weberi “Arizona Star” Common Name: Weber’s Agave, Maguey Liso Origin: Mexico, Cultivar From Arizona Description: 6ft. rosette, striped leaves curve outward Temperature: Hardy to 15F

Cactus ID for Everyone!

Subject: cactus photo sent you a message asking for your help finding out what kind of cactus this is thanks for all your help Mr Leslie Paulson Your cactus is a Cereus c.v. Monstrose! Peter

It’s an Echeveria

this was a gift but i don’t know what it is….could you possibly id it? Greatly appreciated …mike Mike, Sure! It’s an Echeveria, possibly Echeveria “Gilva”. Peter

Echinopsis Flower

Echinopsis x grandiflora hybrid “Butterfly Mango” showing off.

Best of the East Bay

It’s a plaque! From the East Bay Express. It says something along the lines of We’re the Best. Yay.

Stapelia with Scale Infestation

I bought two plants but am not sure what they are . one look like it was sufering from rot so I removed the bad sections and repotted in new cactus type mix. Wound up with two pots from one because root system was large. Some of the plant is whiteish, Is this sunburn? Santi… Read more »

Oakland Succulents

Hello! I purchased a few succulents there about a month ago. They were doing great but when I went to check if they needed watering yesterday (they did) I noticed two had brown edges and the aloe was spotty. I think this just means the two just need more water but can’t remember if the… Read more »

Euphorbia squarrosa

Coming soon! Euphorbia squarrosa Origin: South Africa Description: Green spiny branches atop an irregular caudex which is underground in habitat. Green inflorescence with yellow and red centers. Temperature: Hardy to 32F Sun: Full Sun to Part Sun Soil: Extra Chunky Water: Low Water

Dudleyas for Everyone!

Hi Peter I was at Cactus Jungle this morning – here is a picture of my succulent that is unidentified. It has been in the ground three years in full sun has not grown much in that time. Looks like a chrysanthemum. Thank you Hortensia Hortensia, That’s a Dudleya. We do have those here at… Read more »

Cactus ID Question

Hi- Would you be so kind as to ID my cactus? Thanks, Jim That’s an Echinopsis, a very nice specimen Echinopsis thelegonoides! Nice. Peter

Agave Questions, Answered

Maryann with the Marin Independent Journal wants to know about all the agaves blooming all at once all over Marin. Interesting! I read that the American agaves really do die after blooming – but live on through their offspring. Is that so? Yes, if they’ve had the offspring by then. Also, the giant bloom stalks… Read more »

Summer Cactus Flower

It’s a cholla in full bloom! Well, it’s a single cholla flower. At least! Maybe I could zoom out and we’d see if there are more flowers. And it’s a California native cactus too. Cylindropuntia fulgida Chain-Fruit Cholla, Boxing glove Cholla Origin: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Baja California Medium height tree cholla, to 6ft tall…. Read more »

We Made Best of the East Bay! 

Finally!  Best Place for Learning How to Grow Designer Succulents Cactus Jungle Nursery and Garden  If your green thumb is nonexistent, but you still want to try your hand at growing beautiful plants, there is hope. In this lush nursery of both cacti and succulents, you’ll find low-maintenance plants of every color, height, and even… Read more »

The Universe is Big

How big? Let’s ask the good folks at the Onion. Did You Know? — The Onion (@TheOnion) July 17, 2017

They Get Venus Flytrap Questions

It takes a lot of patience to answer some questions, sometimes…, like this one that the Straight Dope got about… Venus Flytraps from Space!! So there’s that. Dear Straight Dope: I checked your archive and I couldn’t find anything about this, so I thought I’d ask you. Years ago I remember reading that scientists were… Read more »


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