Thursday, September 20, 2007

Captivating Cacti

It is strange that the very set of eyes which revel in the colorful beauty of soft fragrant flowers, also find the crude, thorny cacti appealing. Nature is a master crafter to have hoodwinked our brains into enjoying such a contrasting variety of things, that they all appear so beautiful in their own unique way. I was besieged by these thoughts while falling in love with my cacti & succulents again and again.Enamored, I caught the few I have on my camera. The diverse geometric shapes and the unique adaptability characteristics make them a tribute to the eclectic craftiness of nature. Some of them have swollen stems to store water and food for testing times of drought.Known as Caudiciforms, they make lovely shapes and forms.
Adenium Obesum or the Desert rose
Jatropha Podagrica or the Buddha Belly Plant
Beaucarnea or the Ponytail Palm
Some of them form rossettes by complex geometric arrangement of leaves like these Agaves and Haworthias .
Agave isthmensis
Agave palmeri
Agave Americana variegata
Haworthia limifolia
Some form long spiny columns like these Euphorbias Then there are Kalanchoes which are known for their non exacting, non demanding nature. Some varieties bless their owners with profuse blooms in gorgeous colours, while others have an understated beauty and charm.
Kalanchoe Beharensis
Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri
Kalanchoe farinaceae
Kalanchoe longiflora
Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
The identity of these two plants still eludes me as the local plant nursery person was, unfortunately, more interested in selling them, without caring to know more about their details, and hence I am left only with their physical presence to admire. I wish I can get some more information on them, and I am still searching… Although I have tried my best to name them correctly, but I hate to admit that my knowledge on their exact names is slightly challenged, therefore I request my blogger friends to please point out, if I have bungled somewhere. This little fellow seems to be enjoying the shade, or maybe testing the place for its winter hibernation, blissfully oblivious of the attention he is getting.


Matron said...

I loved your Buddha belly plant! He looks like he has two arms as well! Have you ever eaten prickly pears?

Annie in Austin said...

What a wonderful collection of succulents you have, Green Thumb - with so many different kinds of Kalanchoe. I also have one Haworthia, but it looks quite different from yours.

Do you have to keep them under a roof or cover so they don't get too wet?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Marie said...

Oao! So many lovely plants!
I've got a plant on my livingroom-table very similar to yours Ponytail Palm. It is so nice to "talk" to someone on the other side of the planet!
By the way, thank you very much for your comment on my blog.

Have a really nice day :o)

kate said...

I loved seeing pictures of your cacti/succulent collection. We have some cacti in common ... it was fun to see them growing in India in pots too. Maybe Aiyana of can make some identifications for you. She has a great blog for showing many different cacti and succulents and writing about their origins and gives advice about their care.

I missed seeing your little one in this post!!

Andrea's Garden said...

What a collection of succulents and cacti. Personally I own only three, but a friend of mine collects them. Thanks for sharing yours. Andrea

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Wow, what an amazing collection of succulents and cacti you have dear Green Thumb. It's fun to see how well you Kalanchoee do outside in your garden. Mine do well too but only indoors where they flower for months.

There was a time when I didn't care all that much for succulents but I've grown to love them over the years.

BTW love those terracotta pots!

Aiyana said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad you liked it.
As far as the identity of some of your plants--it's always tough through photos, but I don't believe the Agave palmeri is correct. The growth habit in the center resembles an Aloe more than Agave. One way to tell is if the thorns along the margins are hard and stiff. Agave thorns are hard; Aloes, not. Also, the Agave leaves are very leathery and Aloe leaves are succulent. It definitely doesn't resemble the Agave palmeri I'm familiar with.
As far as the cactus photo near the bottom, it appears to be some species of Opuntia. Some Euphorbs have the same look, and the way to make sure it's a cactus and not a Euphorb is the spines. If they are true spines, they are usually hard and sharp. With Euphorbs, they are thicker, flexible and not really sharp.
Sorry I can't provide more definite IDs for you.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a great collection of succulents! In my garden zone they would all be houseplants. The toad is a cutie also :).

deepanjali said...

Your blog is nice. I think you should add your blog at and let more people discover your blog. It's a great place for Indian bloggers to be in and I am sure it would do wonders for your blog.

Diana said...

Hi. You've got a beautiful and ecclectic collection of cacti and succulents. As you've said before, you and I have many similar plants on opposite sides of the planet! Your Jatropha Podagrica or the Buddha Belly Plant is great - I have a tiny one, so I was excited to see how it will grow. I'm jealous of all your pots of treasures!

teresa g. said...

Unfortunately I can´t help you identifying any of these beauties, but I would suggest you to take a look in a portuguese gardener and virtual friend who has a great collection and most of them identified. Here:
and here:

Sue Swift said...

Hi – this is an invitation to join the Garden Bloggers Retro carnival. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the concept of a Blog carnival – if not I’ve explained it in detail on my site today (Oct 1). But basically the idea is to revive an old post which you think is worth rereading, or which you think new readers might enjoy. Send me the link to the post, and in November I’ll publish a series of posts describing and linking to all the posts people have nominated.
I hope you’ll join in and we have a fun carnival!

Loretta said...

So glad to find your blog! I visited India a year ago (Bombay, Jaipur, Kerala) and loved it, and wished I had gotten more chances to explore the entire country. So cool to know what you are gardening in India!!

Green thumb said...

Matron- That's right dear, it does look as if the plant has two arms. I've never had a chance to taste a prickly pear-It sounds scary though.

Annie- Welcome Annie, it is always a pleasure to know that you visited my blog. I do have to keep my succulents in shade, as of now, they have been kept under the shade of an 'Ashoka' tree.

Marie- It sure feels nice to talk to someone on the other side of the planet, and that's what I love most about blogging. Thanks for the comment.

Kate- Thank you so much for the appreciation and the reference. I got Aiyana to do some identification for me. I am sure to show your lovely comment to my little one, when she has grown up enough to appreciate it. She will be thrilled beyond doubt.

Andrea- Buoyed by your words, I plan to add some more to my collection now.

Yolanda- I too was not very keen on succulents initially, but slowly they caught my imagination.

Aiyana- Thanks for your valuable comment, I know it is pretty hard to identify a plant from the photographs, but the information provided by you has been useful.

Iowa gardener- Thanks for the visit. The Toad, if only he could appreciate, would've blushed by your comment:-)

Diana- Thanks Diana! After having seen your blog, I think, you are being quite modest.

Jardineira - I appreciate your attempt to help me with the identification, and the link you provided has been helpful, Thanks.

Sue swift- Hi Sue! That is a brilliant idea. Thanks for the invitation; I am all game for it.

Loretta- I am glad, that you found me. Good to know that you have visited India. I too went to Jaipur, earlier this year, and have also done a post on it; see my blog archives.

Kumudha said...

Thanks for the wonderful pictures of plants, and flowers.

These pictures are a feast to my eyese!

Anonymous said...

What a nice little toad you have living in your exiting garden. Send him my blessing.

arun62leo said...

hi rajesh, saw some of ur fresha additions in ur blog. u posted beautiful pictures of flowers especially that of galaduliolus.i have saved its enlarged picture.good and carry on to give some fine pictures of ur compound.the frog looking cute and it may give sensational look to children.i think it is quite a big it still there ?.with all the best to u both and love to vrinda

Anonymous said...

Nice collections.
Your query about a succulent name, below Kalanchoe, the first one is Crasullae flame, it has to be exposed to full sun, then it will turn brick red, second one seems to be polka dot, botanical name not known.

The bougainvillea you have with variegated leaves with double colour bloom is Thimma, which was introduced by Lalbagh, Bangalore, somewhere in 1966.

For getting identification of any plant, you can post your query in, plant identification forum, you will get fast replies.

Julie said...

I see your Haworthia limifolia!!! I love all of your plants...especially your agave isthmensis...the color and leaf shape are very lovely! Hope all is well in your part of the world. We are having perfect winter weather here in Florida. An occasional shower...not so bad...helps with our long drought! My succulents love the dryness factor, but my lawn is suffering! Ah, well, this too shall pass. Take care!

Anonymous said...

hi , dear nice collection .you really have nice collection of plants.
i am also having a keen interest in nature.... plants, birds and all...
i have also joined after seeing ur post and profile.
i am a Sr. Lecturer in pharma college. i also have a larga collection of cactus , bonsai"s and many more.....whome i am going to post here after few dayz...

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Unknown said...

A wonderful collection of cactus beauties...I am looking for the English equivalent of 'PothakaLLi' which means literally in Tamil, fat cactus...I think it is a tall roundish stemmed cactus, with milky fluid inside. Can you help me? And show me a picture?

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