Monday, September 16, 2013

Hop on the dyckia band wagon

I spent the weekend planning some major garden projects that will happen this fall—involving the removal of two large clumps of bamboo, among other things—but I wasn’t inspired to do much actual work. However, I did do some de-cobwebbing and repotting. 

Last year I bought two red containers, and after gathering dust all this time, I finally used them for their intended purpose: to give my two Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ a new home. I bought both dyckias at the same time and at the same nursery and they had the same label. However, one (on the left in the first photo) has far fewer barbs than the one on the right.In addition, it has remained solitary while the one on the right has produced several pups. I have no idea if one was mislabeled or not, but aside from the coloration, they don’t look all that similar.

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ in their new pots

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ (smooth-leaf form)

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ (barbed-leaf form)

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ (barbed-leaf form)

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ (both forms)

But no matter what exactly they are, they do look good in their new pots.

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Dyckia ‘Burgundy Ice’ (both forms)

I must admit that I have developed a bit of a weakness for dyckias. While I don’t actively seek them out (as in looking for them online), I do pick up the ones I come across at plant sales and in nurseries. Not that there is ever a large selection since they are a fairy hard sell—most plant lovers are put off by the general nastiness of dyckias (and other related terrestrial bromeliads like puyas and hechtias). Me, I love how feisty these tough-as-nails plants are.

Spiders seem to love dyckias, maybe because their webs stick so well to the barbed leaves. I cleaned up mine, and it made quite a difference:

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Dyckia ‘Cherry Coke’

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Dyckia ‘Cherry Coke’

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Dyckia ‘Cherry Coke’

In addition to the burgundy dyckias you saw above, I also have two silver ones. If anything, there are even more stunning.

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Dyckia fosteriana hybrid

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Dyckia marnier-lapostollei hybrid

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Dyckia marnier-lapostollei hybrid

Finally, here are two dyckias I photographed at Succulent Gardens last fall. They weren’t cheap, but to this day I regret not buying them.

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Dyckia ‘Silver Superstar’

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Dyckia NOID

Dyckias aren’t cuddly plants and their barbs will draw blood if you’re not careful. However, their looks are so unusual that people constantly ask what they are. The next time you see one, bring it home and live a little dangerously.

7 comments:

  1. I love my only one! I need more!

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  2. Live dangerously? Is there any other way?

    Love your collection, interesting about the two very different versions of 'burgundy ice' - I have a few and they all resemble the more toothed version.

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    1. I've been told that dyckias are incredibly promiscuous, resulting in countless hybrids which themselves can show great variation.

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  3. There are loads of gorgeous Dyckias out there and no wonder you are hooked! And your specimens are a superb selection. Spiky they may be but they are a much gentler lot than their cousins Puya.

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    1. That's for sure! Puyas are super spiny and generally grow much larger. Still, I like puyas, too :-).

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  4. I bought a couple of small ones (red). Don't know the names at SG in 2011. They are in a head pot and probably should be transplanted so they will get bigger. I would like to get more of these guys as they are very cool. I will look for some at the SE! Woo hoo! Can't wait. Great post my friend!

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