Plant haul from my August 2021 trip to Southern California

If you read my previous post, “Trip to Inter-City 2021 and other Southern California destinations,” you probably expected a plant-haul post. Well, here it is. 

The plant selection at the 2021 Inter-City Show at the Los Angeles County Arboretum was overwhelming, and I could easily have come home with 100 plants of more. However, with the exception of a couple of $2 plants that were total impulse purchases, I tried to be sensible. That doesn't mean I came prepared with a shopping list (I didn't), but I carefully thought about where each plant would go—and why I wanted it in the first place. Was I entirely successful? Probably not, but I didn't end up with any why-the-heck-did-I-get-this plant either.

Without further ado, here are the plants that got to ride home with me:

↱ Who says hotel rooms are just for humans? I didn't want to leave these plants in the hot car during the day.

↱ Back of our minivan at the end of day 1

↱ Aloe arenicola, Sinningia tubiflora, Drimia media, Dudleya candida, Dudleya pachyphytum × caespitosa, Dudleya candida

↱ Dyckia 'Tarzana', Aloe suzannae, Cheiridopsis cigarettifera, Aloe 'TH012216', Ebracteola wilmaniae

↱ Day #2: some California natives from the Theodore Payne Foundation

↱ Final day, back seat: some of these are mine, the others belong to a Sacramento area friend who was also at the Inter-City Show but didn't have enough room in her car

↱ Final day, back of the van: all of these are mine

Here are some of my new plants in detail:

↱ LEFT: The mass of yellow on the left is Thymophylla pentachaeta, commonly known as dogweed or golden dyssodia. To see what it looks like en masse, check out this post about Hidden Agave Ranch. RIGHT: Mexican tulip poppy (Hunnemannia fumariifolia), a plant I forever associate with Piece of Eden.

↱ Three desert perennials with gray leaves to complement the succulents in our garden: white-flowering sage (Salvia cedrosensis 'Baja Blanca'; desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata); Baja bush snapdragon (Galvezia juncae 'Gran Cañon'), like Salvia cedrosensis from Cedros Island half-way down the western coast of the Baja California peninsula

↱ Galvezia juncae 'Gran Cañon'. I love sparsely-leaved plants like this one because they look good weaving in and out of other plants. Similar plants in our garden are Verbena bonariensis and Justicia californica.

↱ Three new California natives: a beach sagebrush cultivar called 'Dr. Seuss' (Artemisia pycnocephala 'Dr. Seuss'), and two new manzanitas: Arctostaphylos pacifica, a small prostrate manzanita known only from a single location on San Bruno Mountain south of San Francisco; and Arctostaphylos peninsularis, a small shrub found in San Diego County and Baja California

↱ Three aloes from the Inter-City Show: Aloe suzannae from Madagascar (it has a reputation for being difficult, but this one was reasonable so I thought I'd give it a try); a Tim Harvey hybrid called Aloe 'TH012216'; and Aloe arenicola, a small creeping aloe

↱ Here are the only two agaves I bought. LEFT: Agave cerulata var. dentiens native to several small islands in the Gulf of California. Check out this adult specimen at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. RIGHT: Agave deserti, one of few agave species native to California.

↱ Yucca endlichiana, a dwarf yucca species from the Mexican state of Coahuila that forms sansevieria-like leaves up to 1 ft. in length.

↱ Three South Africans, two mesembs (“ice plants”) and a bulb: Cheiridopsis cigarettifera and Ebracteola wilmaniae are South African mesembs that should do OK in the ground. Drimia media is a bulb with grass-like evergreen leaves 12 to 18 inches in length; it makes a nice foreground accent.

↱ Two $2 finds: Sinningia tubiflora, a South American flowering perennial in the Gesneriad family with a potato-like tuber, and Echeveria minima, one of my favorite landscaping echeverias for the front of the border.

↱ Dyckia 'Tarzana', a hybrid by the late Bill Baker, named after the Los Angeles neighborhood of Tarzana where he lived. (Bill Baker is also credited with the creation of the iconic Aloe 'Hercules'.) I love how the well-developed white teeth contrast with the greenish brown leaves. I'll live in a pot in the backyard near most of my other dyckias. I should really do a dyckia post...

↱ Cardboard palm (Zamia furfuracea), not a palm at all, but a cycad from the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. It's often sold as a house plant, but with some careful siting, it can live outside all year in our climate.

Here's a handy list of all my plant purchases from this trip. This is primarily for my own reference when I need to refresh my memory about a particular plant down the line.

AgavedesertiTheodore Payne Foundation
Agavecerulata var. dentiensTim Harvey/Plantae Novae
AloesuzannaeJohn Matthews
AloearenicolaDuke Benadom
Aloe'TH012216'Tim Harvey/Plantae Novae
ArctostaphylospacificaTheodore Payne Foundation
ArctostaphylospeninsularisTheodore Payne Foundation
Artemisiapycnocephala 'Dr. Seuss'Roger's Gardens
BaileyamultiradiataTheodore Payne Foundation
CheiridopsiscigarettiferaSkyview Succulents
DrimiamediaJohn Matthews
DudleyacandidaGrow Nursery
DudleyacandidaGrow Nursery
Dudleyapachyphytum x caespitosaGrow Nursery
DudleyapachyphytumTree of Life Nursery
Dudleyasaxosa ssp. aloidesTree of Life Nursery
Dyckia'Tarzana'Rainbow Gardens
EbracteolawilmaniaeKyle's Plants
EcheveriaminimaJim Hanna
EncephalartosmunchiiBotanical Wonders
EncephalartoslehmanniiLiving Cycads
Galveziajuncae 'Gran Cañon'Tree of Life Nursery
HunnemanniafumariifoliaTree of Life Nursery
Salviacedrosensis 'Baja Blanca'Tree of Life Nursery
Sansevieria'Bantel's Sensation'Jim Hanna
SinningiatubifloraJim Hanna
Thymophyllapentachaeta (3x)Tree of Life Nursery
YuccaendlichianaJim Hanna
ZamiafurfuraceaArmstrong Garden Center

Lots of new plants to play with come fall!


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  1. Quite the collection of plants. That Dyckia is gorgeous. You should rename your car the 'Plant Collector'.

    1. Our minivan has been invaluable over the years. In addition to hauling people and plants, it's transported everything from furniture to rocks.

  2. Finally, a plant I also have: Sansevieria 'Bantel's Sensation'. I immediately spotted it the first photo, as I recently purchased one, for indoors of course. It couldn't live outside in Seattle. The Cardboard palm cycad is a beauty, I hope it thrives.

    1. I had a smaller 'Bantel's Sensation' once and foolishly left it outside in the winter. No good--it does NOT like the cold. This pot was $20 and has a whole bunch of offsets.

  3. All excellent "investments," although Dyckia 'Tarzana' is my favorite. I'm going to have to look for it - a close friend of mine grew up in Tarzana and she might appreciate it for that reason, if not also for its spiky beauty. I'll be interested to see how the Drimia does. As to the cycads, methinks you may be developing a new addiction ;)

    1. 'Tarzana' is an attention getter for sure! Several Inter-City vendors had it at wildly fluctuating price points. Mine was the "best value", as they say.

      A landscaper friend of mine in the East Bay uses Drimia maritima as an ornamental grass replacement because it's tough and needs much less water.

      As for cycads, I have a bunch already--several dozen at last count, mostly small. These are simply the latest additions :-).

  4. Oh that Yucca endlichiana is crazy cool! What is the fleshy green plant on the far left of the photo "Back of our minivan at the end of day 1"...?

    1. The plant you referred to is an Aloe lukeana I brought for Kris P., i.e. not a purchase.

  5. An excellent haul indeed. Lucky you on the Encephalartos and all the other gems you found.

    Having trouble commenting--problem on my side. hope this time it works.

    1. Sorry for the commenting issue. I hope it's gone now!

      I was happy to see a nice selection of cycads from two vendors (Botanical Wonders and Living Cycads).


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