December 2012

Mammillaria hahniana

Old Lady Pincushion

Nativity:

Mexico

Growth Habit:

This cactus is a small, clumping form with short spines and white bristles.

Growing Requirements:

Grow in full sun to partial shade in well draining soil. Hardy to 20 degrees F.

Features:

The white bristles and magenta flowers are highly decorative.

Where at Lotusland:

Along the main drive near the house.

December 2011

Caryota urens

Fishtail palm

Nativity:

India, Sri Lanka, Malaysian Penninsulua

Growth Habit:

This fishtail palm is solitary, meaning it forms just one trunk. It grows up to 75 feet or more. When it reaches its mature height, it begins to flower. A large, branched inflorescence is formed in succession at each leaf node starting at the apex and progressing down the trunk. The process takes many years, but when it is over, the tree dies.

Growing Requirements:

Palms require even moisture and this species thrives in shade to partial sun. Cold hardy to perhaps 22° F.

Features:

The fishtail palm is aptly named in reference to the shape of the leaflets.

Where at Lotusland:

At the edge of the fern garden

December 2010

Aeonium arboreum ’Zwartkop’

Nativity:

Canary Islands

Growth Habit:

Sturdy succulent stems may reach 3 feet or more and are topped with a rosette of dark burgundy leaves. In full sun, the plant looks nearly black. With time, the plants will branch and become loosely shrubby.

Growing Requirements:

Full to partial sun and well-drained soil. Very drought tolerant.

Features:

Selection of Aeonium arboreum is grown for its striking foliage. As each rosette matures, it produces a cone-shaped inflorescence of many tiny yellow flowers.

Where at Lotusland:

In the succulent garden and in planters by the front door of the house.

December 2009

Sedum rubrotinctum ‘Aurora’

Nativity:

Mexico

Growth Habit:

Trailing stems covered with plump jelly bean shaped leaves form a succulent groundcover.

Growing Requirements:

Full to partial sun.

Features:

This is a pastel version of the well-known jelly bean plant. Pale green shades to pink, especially when stressed from drought or cold. It is easy to propagate from stem cuttings or rooting each bean-shaped leaf.

Where at Lotusland:

In the succulent garden.

December 2008

Quesnelia testudo

Nativity:

Brazil

Growth Habit:

Rosettes of stiff leaves normally grow attached to tree branches, but may also grow on the ground. The leaves overlap tightly to hold rainwater in the center.

Growing Requirements:

Partial shade, consistent watering.

Features:

Leaves are coated with white hairs on the underside. Flower stalks appear in cool months and hold many dark purple tubular flowers surrounded by hot pink bracts.

Where at Lotusland:

There are several plants in the bromeliad garden near the Pavilion.

December 2007

Camellia sasanqua

Sasanqua

Nativity:

Japan

Growth Habit:

Sasanqua is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 12 feet, although of the many cultivars grown, most stay much shorter. The flowers appear in late fall and early winter. They range from white through many shades of pink and may be single or semi-double. The many gold stamens provide abeautiful contrast.

Growing Requirements:

Grow these camellias in soil enriched with plenty of organic material. While they prefer a slightly acid soil, they will tolerate more alkaline conditions. Keep uniformly moist. They bloom best and retain their deep green color if planted in partial shade.

Features:

Since Sasanquas bloom earlier than Camellia japonica, they make a good addition to the winter garden.

Where at Lotusland:

In the Japanese garden, near the Buddha statue.

December 2006

Laelia anceps

Nativity:

Laelia anceps is native to Mexico.

Growth Habit:

This orchid species grows epiphytically on trees. Specimens may be mounted directly on the trunk of a suitable tree or attached to a plank and hung in the garden.

Growing Requirements:

Laelia anceps should be positioned in light to moderate shade. Established plants can stand some drought, but do best when watered regularly. Bloom production can be enhanced by monthly applications of dilute liquid fertilizer.

Features:

Laelia anceps is one of the easiest orchids for outdoor culture in Southern California. It survives temperatures as low as 22° F and does not mind hot summers.

Where at Lotusland:

There are a couple of clumps of this orchid hanging above the bromeliads near the pavilion and another is attached to a palm trunk in the fern garden.

December 2005

Mahonia lomariifolia

Chinese Holly Grape

Nativity:

Myanmar (Burma) and western China.

Growth Habit:

A tall narrow perennial to 6-10 feet tall. It has evergreen leaves which are composed of up to 40 stiff, thorny leaflets that are clustered near the ends of the non-branching stems.

Growing Requirements:

Best grown in partial shade to avoid burning the foliage, and planted in well-drained soil.

Features:

M. lomariifolia is not a true holly, but is a member of the barberry family. The common name of ‘holly grape’ refers to the plant’s stiff holly-like leaves and round grape-like fruit. Fragrant yellow flowers bloom from winter to early spring. After they fade, they are followed by attractive powder blue fruit which often attracts birds.

Where at Lotusland:

There are four specimens in the Japanese Garden.

December 2004

Nandina domestica

Heavenly Bamboo, Sacred Bamboo

Nativity:

China and Japan

Growth Habit:

A multi-stemmed shrub up to 8 feet tall, speading outward by underground runners.

Growing Requirements:

Nandina will grow in sun to light shade, and is adaptable to moist or dry soil. It is very hardy and resistant to oak root fungus, as well as most pests.

Features:

Although not related to bamboo, it has the same lacy, fine-textured foliage. The leaves are pinkish when young, then turn green when mature and finally bronze or red in autumn. Fall color is best in sunnier locations. Clusters of small white flowers are followed by bright red berries, though plants may have both fruit and flowers at the same time. There are many cultivars with variations of height, flower, and berry color.

Where at Lotusland:

There are over eighty Heavenly Bamboo growing in the Japanese Garden.

December 2003

Ilex cornuta ’Burfordii’

Burford Holly

Nativity:

Ilex cornuta is native to East Asia; ‘Burfordii’ is a cultivar developed from a sport discovered on a plant growing in a Georgia cemetery around 1900.

Growth Habit:

A tree to 15 ft tall and 10 ft wide. It naturally forms a dense shrub, but can be pruned into a small tree by removing the lower limbs. It is easily shaped, and can even be espaliered along a wall.

Growing Requirements:

Full sun or partial shade with regular watering. It is adaptable to different soil types, and is drought-tolerant once established.

Features:

Burford Holly has glossy dark green leaves with only one spine on the tip. The small white flowers are not an important ornamental feature, but are followed by clusters of large red berries in fall that last for months. Unlike some types of holly, Burford Holly is self-fertile and a single plant will have prolific fruit.

Where at Lotusland:

There are two specimens growing in the Arboretum, an area between the Aloe Garden and the Japanese Garden which has many unusual trees and shrubs.