Author Archives: Sarah L

New Additions–Desert Creations

I took a trip on Friday up to Desert Creations in Northridge, and of course came back with a few additions…


Othonna herrei

Othonna herrei is a weird little plant that was an impulse buy…that knobby stem caught my eye. It is a winter grower, so just starting to leaf out, it should have yellow flowers.


Operculicarya pachypus

I picked up Operculicarya pachypus as a bonsai project…I’m not sure O. pachypus is the one I wanted, online pics show a stem that’s fatter than what I had in mind, but we’ll see how it goes.


Ipomoea crassipes


Ipomoea holubii

I couldn’t decide between Ipomoea crassipes and Ipomoea holubii, so I got them both. The flowers are fairly similar I think, but those caudices! I dumped holubii over in my basket and it came out of the pot with just a few trailing roots, so I’ll be repotting that one pretty quick. Crassipes is blooming now, with tons of buds on the way.


Brachystelma barberae

The one I am most excited about is Brachystelma barberae–Desert Creations has a photo of it in bloom, which is probably why I decided to drive all the way up there. They had just two, I got the smaller (cheaper) one.  I’m a bit nervous about killing it, given how expensive it was. There isn’t much care information online, one site says it’s easy, another says it’s difficult. The caudex is a little softer than other plants, so I will have to be very careful watering it. It is supposed to be a summer grower, but it flowered recently so I’m not entirely sure what it’s up to. Hopefully it’s planning some leaves soon so I know where I am. Otherwise I will be doing some very very very careful minimal watering until spring.
According to plantzafrica, “It is a real challenge to grow and maintain good specimens as the plants are prone to rot…If kept wet during their rest period, they will rot at a remarkable speed and even turn into a mass of watery slime within a day or two.”

So this should be fun.



October Plant Census


Dioscorea Elephantipes

I sometimes think my plant collection is getting out of hand, but then I read about people who spend an hour a day watering their plants, and so clearly I’m ok here. Today’s population:


Adiantum sp., Maidenhair Fern

Dichorisandra pendula, Weeping Blue Ginger
Bowiea volubilis, Climbing Onion
Strongylodon macrobotrys, Jade Vine
Tacca integrifolia, White Bat Flower
Begonia dregei, semi-tuberous hybrid ‘Tweedle Dee’
Thunbergia grandiflora, Blue Skyflower
Mimosa pudica, Sensitive Plant
Adiantum sp., Maidenhair Fern
Strobilanthes dyerianus, Persian Shield
Beaucarnea recurvate, Ponytail Palm
Dieffenbachia compacta, Dumb Cane Plant [this guy has been around forever, and always looks great no matter how neglected. I think it might live on dust bunnies.]
Spathiphyllum sp., Peace Lily
Caladium sp. [I don’t know why I buy these, the soft plants never make it around here. It’s been hanging on since about May, which is a miracle. A colocasia hybrid and a begonia rex hybrid both bit it in that time, although they were smaller.]
Lamprocapnos Spectabilis, Bleeding Heart
Juncus Effusus ‘Spiralis’ Corkscrew Rush
Amaryllis sp.    

Paphiopedilum Hsinying Majakun [labeled (Makuli-Curtisii)-Maudiae X Paph. Maudiae ‘Napa Valley’ HCC_AOS X Sib]
Phalaenopsis sp (2)
Mystery orchids (6) [really just 2 that were divided…if they ever bloom again, I may be able to figure out what they are]


Huernia zebrina, Life Saver Plant

Stephania perrieri, Climbing Rock Plant (2) [Plants that go dormant stress me out. It showed up in February, looking yellowed and possibly overwatered. It died off almost immediately, so I tossed it outside and ordered a new one in May. I went on vacation in July, and when I got back there was a tiny little sprout.]
Albuca spiralis, ‘Frizzle Sizzle’
Adenium obesum hybrid, Desert Rose ‘Golden Carrot’
Euphorbia milii hybrid, Crown of Thorns ‘Paradise
Gerrardanthus macrorhizus
Ledebouria socialis, Silver Squill, ‘Miner’
Euphorbia obesa
Dioscorea Elephantipes [this is my favorite plant right now…I bought it for the caudex (in 100 years it will be amazing, I promise), but the vines and leaves are gorgeous too.]
Huernia zebrina, Life Saver Plant [this flowered soon after I brought it home, and it was so stunning that I now have a huge list of huernia and stapelia on my wish list.]
Huernia erinacea
Mammillaria matudae
Epiphyllum hybrid ‘Kassel’
Epiphyllum hybrid ‘Tiki Torch’
Schlumbergera bridgesii, Zygocactus Christmas Cactus
Sulcorebutia rauschii
Euphorbia horrida ‘snowflake’
Gymnocactus mihanovichii
Astrophytum asterias


Mystery Drosera, Pygmy sundew

Drosera capensis ‘narrow leaf’ Cape Sundew (thousands, seems like)
Drosera omissa x pulchella Pygmy sundew
Drosera nitidula Pygmy sundew
Drosera paleacea Pygmy sundew
Drosera sp. Pygmy sundew #4 (lost tag…although honestly all the pygmy tags may be mixed up anyhow…I have 3 tags and 4 pots, so who knows. This one has pearly pink flowers, looks like omissa x pulchella really, in which case who knows what that one is.)
Utricularia bisquamata, Terrestrial Bladderwort
Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa
Sarracenia x ‘Abandoned Hope’
Sarracenia x ‘Dana’s Delight’
Nepenthes petiolata x veitchii
Nepenthes burbidgeae x sanguinea
Nepenthes spathulata x gymnamphora
Dionaea muscipula sp.
Dionaea muscipula ‘Gremlin’
Dionaea muscipula ‘Ginormous’
Dionaea muscipula ‘-14 Rosetted’
Pinguicula moranensis var. caudate [I picked this up at the August meeting of the LA Carnivorous Plant Society…it had a bud which aborted, but then immediately sent up a new one that bloomed this week. Phew.]

Ant Plants
Myrmecodia sp.
Myrmephytum sp.
Lecanopteris curtisii [These three are the newest additions, arrived about a week ago. I’m a little worried about their humidity needs, they’re outside and I mist them here and there, but I may dig out a terrarium for them.]

That works out to 64…huh. Feels like hundreds. I’m working on a spreadsheet with info on each of the plants, because the water, light, fertilizer, dormancy, pruning, etc, etc, etc was getting a little overwhelming. I just need everyone to stay alive while I get all of their residency requirements worked out!

Marimo Globe


Marimos are a type of algae that grow into a sphere, shaped by the motion of the waves at the bottom of the lakes they grow in. They need very little light, and little care beyond an occasional water change. These guys are about 1/2 inch across, they’ve been sitting on my bedside table for nine months so far, happy as clams.


  • A marimo or three, these came from this shop on Etsy.
  • Glass globe (or really any clear water-holder), this is an 8mm footed glass globe, again from Etsy (The seller I got this one no longer exists, but a search for ‘glass globe vase’ brings up others)
  • White sand (from Michael’s, or probably any craft or garden store. Originally I planned to use black, but wasn’t sure how well the marimos would stand out. I bought some anyhow, still might try it out.)
  • Water–I have been using distilled, but from what I’ve read, tap water should be fine too.
  • Little decorations–small rocks, shells, anything really. The ‘tree’ here is a piece of root from a rose.

Throw it all together, poke things around a bit with tweezers until you like the arrangement, and voila!