Inch by inch

… every week or two, the succulents grow. A report on the turquoise planter on my patio, from a week ago (9/19). A synoptic view (thanks to Kim Darnell):


Four conspicuous plants: the central Echeveria ‘Blue Curls’, with its tall flower stalk (up to the height of the doorknob last week, now 2 inches above it, with a base wider by an inch as well); the little silver rosette Echeveria, with its 2-foot+ flower stalk; the two sturdy Senecio (blue chalksticks) stems, with thin flower stems at their tips; and (in the upper right corner) a crassula stem still working up to budding (but now with several offsets, not visible in this photo, at its base).

Matters as they stood on 9/1 (in my posting “An explosion of succulents”):


Closeups. From last week. Of the silver Echeveria blossoms:


And of the ‘Blue Curls’ blossoms:


The Senecios. My original thought was that these plants with silver-grey fleshy-fingered leaves were the South African native S. serpens, widely used as a ground cover in desert gardens in Australia and the American West (locally, all over the cactus garden at Stanford), but they’ve gotten awfully big for that. So probably the closely related species S. mandraliscae.

From the Sunset Western Garden Book (2001)

S. mandraliscae: Succulent shrubby perennial … 1 – 1½ ft. high [other sources say to 3 ft.] … Cylindrical, slightly curved, striking blue-gray leaves to 3½ in. long.

S. serpens: This species resembles S. mandraliscae, but it is a smaller plant [under 1 ft.] with smaller leaves.

(Oh, what about mandraliscae?, you ask (serpens is just ‘creeping’). From the Etymological Dictionary of Succulent Plant Names, by Urs Eggli & Leonard E. Newton:

mandraliscae for Count Enrico Mandralisca (fl. 1878), Italian nobleman, benefactor, and art collector in Sicily.

More information about the Baron Enrico Mandralisca, whose castle houses the Museo Mandralesca in the port city of Cefalù, Sicily, on the site for the Fondazione Mandralisca / Museo Mandralisca.)

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