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PLANT OF THE MONTH: February 2017 Plant Display

By Sherrill Leist and Lisa Marun.

What is the Plant Display? Each month, members bring in plants, cuttings, or flowers and put them in blue bottles on our display tables at the monthly meeting. This is a great way to see which plants grow well in our area. EVERYONE is invited to participate and all plants are welcome. Write descriptions similar to those below and place them beside your plant(s). Join the fun and bring something to the next meeting. We thank those people who brought in plants to show to other members.

Available FREE on our website: All 22 years worth of plant descriptions! Go to

Aloe ‘Erik the Red’ (Aloeaceae) Horticultural Hybrid South Africa

This clump-forming hybrid aloe gets to about six to eight feet tall and two to three feet wide. My plants were planted in 2014 from tiny starts I received in 2013, and they bloomed for the first time in 2016. Right now, the clumps are about two or three feet tall and equally wide. This information is copied from the website for San Marcos Growers ( “A large tall-growing aloe to 6 feet tall or more with its stem topped by a rosette to about 2 feet wide with dark to mid-green leaves that have a prominent, but not dangerous whitish-green teeth along the leaf margin. The main stem often has new shoots early on to create a full shrubby plant but older stems are more solitary. The tall branching inflorescences of blood-red flowers appear in early winter and continue up to early spring with red buds as attractively colored as the flower and yellow stamens that add to the show. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Can get by with occasional to infrequent irrigation but tolerant of more regular gardening watering. Noted as hardy to a medium frost so likely cold tolerant to temperatures down to the mid to high 20’s F. Removing side shoots on the main stems can neaten up the plant and promote earlier flowering. This sensational large aloe with dark red flowers that contrast well against the long dark green leaves comes from the breeding program of Leo Thamm of Sunbird Aloes in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a complex hybrid involving Aloe mawii, which contributed its dark red color combined with A. petricola,

A. marlothii (red form) and A. arborescens.” (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 2/17) – S.T-B.

Crossosoma californicum CALIFORNIA ROCKFLOWER (Crossosomataceae) Channel Islands, Palos Verdes, Mexico A native shrub with many thorn-tipped branches and pale green oval leaves, this very rare plant cannot tolerate frost. Each branch produces a single flower with white round petals blooming January through June and is semi-dormant in summer. Maximum height is sixteen feet. (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 2/17) – S.L. Best in Show at the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society Show 2017

Haworthia retusa STAR CACTUS (Asphodelaceae) South Africa The small, tight rosettes of this succulent perennial from the Western Cape of South Africa have unusual leaves resembling triangular puffs. Each retuse (rounded apex with a notch), transparent, and often lined leaf acts as a shiny window for sunlight. Less than four inches tall, it is often grown in a small or shallow container with good drainage. It blooms from the center with a thin spike of small, white, and tubular flowers that are less impressive than the airy leaf forms. (Julia Chimento, San Diego, 2/17) – S.L.

In addition to the plants described above, the plants listed below were displayed. All have been previously described. Plants marked ‘3’ are fully described in the SDHS Plant Forum Compilation, available online for FREE at

3 Albuca spiralis FIZZLE SIZZLE (Julia Chimento, San Diego 2/17)

3 Hakea scoparia BROOM HAKEA (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 2/17)

3 Ixia rapunculoides CORN LILY (Sheldon Lisker, Sun City, 2/17)

Pyrus Kawakamii FLOWERING PEAR, EVERGREEN PEAR (Pat Pawlowski, Vista, 2/17)

3 Ruscus aculeatus BUTCHER’S BROOM (Susi Torre-Bueno, Vista, 2/17)

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