Huntington Desert Garden eye candy for the holidays (New World 2)

I hope the eye candy from the Huntington's Desert Garden that I've been showing you over the past couple of days has brightened the dark winter days. The first post was all about the Old World section with its aloes, euphorbias, and the like. The second post featured many of the amazing cactus and other succulents in the New World section. That's where this post (the third and final installment) continues.

The most iconic agave at the Huntington is Agave parryi var. truncata. In fact, the Huntington has its own eponymous clone, officially a named cultivar since 2012. In the second post you saw it growing amidst the jumble of golden barrel cactus; in the photo below, it frames a magnificent Agave mapisaga var. lisa:

Agave mapisaga var. lisa and Agave parryi var. truncata

Agave americana 'Marginata' right across from a bamboo grove so large, you can walk through it (@INWIG, this photo is especially for you)

Agave filifera and Agave 'Blue Flame'

Flowering Agave 'Blue Flame'

Beaucarnea stricta, a close relative of the ponytail palm

Arm of Cereus peruvianus on trunk of Beaucarnea stricta

Beaucarnea stricta trunk with a colony of aloes and cactus

Dasylirion wheeleri flowers

Echeveria agavoides × Echeveria colorata

Echeveria agavoides × Echeveria colorata

Rosa minutifolia, a rose with tiny leaves and flowers native to Baja California

Agave titanota

Agave mapisaga var. lisa

Dried up Puya flower stalks

Boojum tree (Fouquieria columnaris)

Heart of flame (Bromelia balansae) with fruit. This terrestrial bromeliad is native to Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. Its common name, heart of flame, makes perfect sense when you see it in flower. An amazing transformation typical of many bromeliads.

Agave americana var. protoamericana; the agave on the right pushing a flower stalk is Agave parrasana

Agave parrasana

Agave sisalana, flowering Dasylirion on the right

Puya coerulea var. violaceae

 Agave tequilana 'Sunrise'

Dyckia brevifolia

Agave franzosinii

Dudleya in the Baja California section

Cylindropuntia munzii (back), Dudleya brittonii (front)

Creeping devil cactus (Stenocereus eruca)

Stenocereus eruca crawling along the ground

Bloomed out Agave ocahui, quite striking even when dead

Pedilanthus bracteatus, a euphorbia relative from Mexico

Puya lanata

Agave parryi var. truncata (front)

Another Boojum (Fouquieria columnaris), one of Baja California's signature plants

Fouquieria columnaris

Now we're back in the entrance garden:

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue' in a bed of aeoniums

Agave attenuata 'Boutin Blue'

Agave angustifolia 'Woodrow', one of my personal cult agaves

No succulents in the final photo, but the backlit palm trees and cycads perfectly encapsulate the magic of the Huntington Botanical Gardens:


Have a Merry Christmas! 

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  1. Magic indeed! That first photo is absolute perfection. (I expect to see it on the cover of the succulent book I'm sure you'll produce one day.) That hybrid Echeveria (agavoides x colorata) is drool-worthy - I hope it shows up in one of the Huntington's future plant sales.

    Best wishes for a merry Christmas, Gerhard!

    1. I agree with all Kris Peterson just said!!! I live in Phoenix but my sister lives in Santa Barbara so I have seen in person. However, your photos are just spellbinding!

  2. Gerhard, thanks so much for this fantastic armchair tour of the awe-inspiring Huntington Desert gardens. Hope your Christmas is festive and peaceful!

  3. Happiness and joy for Christmas Eve - thank you for sharing!

  4. Um, "dark Winter days"..... 42 degrees Celcius in Central Goldfields of Victoria, Australia today! Really interesting blog - thanks.

  5. I wonder what's going to happen with the 'Boutin Blue' seed -- new experiments, I suppose. I remember you've been on the lookout for that 'Woodrow' -- hope Santa was good to you!


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