Saturday, August 18, 2012

The rise and fall of my dinner plate aeonium

One of the plants I bought at the Succulent Gardens Extravaganza last fall was this dinner plate aeonium (Aeonium tabuliforme). It was almost totally flat, rising less than an inch above the soil. My plant was about 6” in diameter but from what I read Aeonium tabuliforme has the potential to grow to a whopping 18” across while still not exceeding a height of 2”.

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October 3, 2011

Here is a close-up of the tightly overlapping leaves fringed with delicate eye lash-like hairs. Notice the almost metallic sheen.

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February 20, 2012

But this exquisite beauty was not going to last.

In the spring, the formerly flat rosette started to rise and soon it became obvious that a flower stalk was beginning to form. At the same time, the color of the leaves changed quite noticeably from a muted apple green to an almost fluorescent yellow green.

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May 31, 2012

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May 31, 2012

Like most agaves, aeoniums are monocarpic. This means that after flowering, they die. Usually the plant either produces offspring that grow around it in a cluster or copious amounts of seeds. The dinner plate aeonium, unfortunately, is a solitary species so mine has no babies.

As the weeks went by, the flower stalk became taller and taller and soon individual flowers began to appear.

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June 10, 2012                                                 July 4, 2012

By mid-June, many of the flowers had opened up.

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July 15, 2012

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July 15, 2012

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July 15, 2012

At the same time, the lower rows of leaves started to dry up—the dying had begun.

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July 15, 2012

This is what my dinner plate aeonium looks like today. Too early to tell if it there are any viable seeds.

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August 18, 2012

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August 18, 2012

The good thing is that this year’s Succulent Gardens Extravaganza is only six weeks away. It looks like buying a dinner plate aeonium during this event is becoming an annual tradition!

8 comments:

  1. So sad to loose such a beautiful plant! I hope that you get thousands of viable seeds!

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    1. Me too! But I'd be even happier if I found an unexpected baby underneath the dying foliage.

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  2. You've got me thinking differently about the little bumb on my formerly flat dinner plate Aeonium...

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  3. I'm sorry it bloomed at such a young age. Can't wait for SE too!

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    1. From what I've read, they only live about 3 years. How is yours doing?

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  4. Ouch...such heartbreak...I hope you at least get some viable seed from it!

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    1. No signs of seed setting. I wonder what psychologists would say about gardeners who get too attached to their plants, LOL...

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