Friday, October 31, 2014

Blue

Green leaves are the norm. Yellow, orange, red or purple leaves can be interesting or just plain weird. But blue—blue leaves make me go weak at the knees.

A bluish cast is the result of either a waxy coating or irregular microscopic projections from the epidermal cells that reflect sunlight. It’s easy to tell what it is. Simply touch a leaf, and if the bluish color goes away, it was wax.

These mechanisms protect the plant either from water loss or from sun damage. Desert-adapted plants are more likely to have bluish leaves than tropical plants growing in environments where water is abundant. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So without further ado, here are some of the plants with glaucous foliage in my garden. Coincidentally, all of them are succulents.

141030_Yucca-rigida_001

Yucca rigida

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Agave pygmae ‘Dragon Toes’

141030_Agave-attenuata-Boutin-Blue_001

Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’

141030_Echeveria-secunda_001

Echeveria secunda and Kalanchoe marnieriana

141030_Yucca-baccata_001

Yucca baccata var. vespertina ‘Hualampai Blue’, a Cistus Nursery introduction

141030_Agave-colorata_001

Agave colorata (from Ruth Bancroft Garden)

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Another Agave colorata (from UC Botanical Garden)

141030_Agave-macracantha_002

Agave macroacantha (from UC Botanical Garden)

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Agave macroacantha

141030_Agave-parrasana_001

Agave parrasana (from UC Botanical Garden)

141030_Agave-parrasana_002

Agave parrasana (from Ruth Bancroft Garden)

141030_Agave-colorata-x-bovicornuta_001

Agave colorata x bovicornuta (from Greg Starr)

141030_Hesperoyucca-whipplei_001

Hesperoyucca whipplei

141030_Agave-ovatifolia-Frosty-Blue_001

Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue’, a Cistus Nursery introduction

141030_Senecio-talinoides_001

LEFT: Senecio talinoides subsp. cylindricus    RIGHT: Dioon edule ‘Palma Sola’

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Senecio talinoides subsp. cylindricus, Dioon edule ‘Palma Sola’, Agave ovatifolia ‘Frosty Blue’, Hesperoyucca whipplei

141030_Hunnemannia-fumariifolia_001

Mexican tulip poppy (Hunnemannia fumariifolia), Agave ‘Sun Glow’

141030_Agave-ovatifolia-Vanzie_001

Agave ovatifolia ‘Vanzie’

141030_Agave-mitis-Nova_003

Agave mitis ‘Nova’ (with Farfugium japonicum ‘Argenteum’ on left)

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Agave mitis ‘Nova’, Echeveria cante

141030_Echeveria-cante_001

Echeveria cante, one of my favorite echeveria species

141030_Agave-pumila_001

Agave pumila

141030_Echeveria-Lady-Aquarius_001

Echeveria ‘Lady Aquarius’

I think blue rocks, even in the fall when red think it’s king!

8 comments:

  1. Oh so blue, my eyes almost hurt. I do love blue foliage...

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I should have included a caution notice telling readers to wear sunglasses!

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  2. Love it! There are some nice blue grasses that you might want to consider too -- although too much blue and they start losing their impact maybe?

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    Replies
    1. You're right, too much blue and it becomes ordinary. Same thing for variegated plants.

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  3. Fabulous! Blue on foliage is still relatively unusual in the plant so they stand, couple that with architectural merits of some xerophytes a winning combo.

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    Replies
    1. I love unusual plants for sure. When they're beautiful to look at, like these, that's an extra bonus.

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  4. Blue, blue my world is blue! And you have quite a bit. Looking good!

    ReplyDelete