Post Your Caudiciform & Pachycaul Tree Photos Here

Discussion in 'Caudiciforms and Pachycaul Trees' started by markinwestmich, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    It seems most everyone enjoys photos of interesting and beautiful plants. Hopefully, it will stimulate some conversation. A brief description of your plant with the botanical name, if known, and how you've managed to grow it so well, would be appreciated.

    This is my Sinningia leucotricha, on April 21, 2007. Most of the Fall and Winter, it is dormant...nothing more than the caudex/tuber, then at the end of March to beginning of April, it "wakes up". It is kept indoors during the winter and then left outdoors once the overnight temperatures warm up at the end of May or beginning of June in western Michigan. A small pot with primarily granular mix/bonsai soil. Mix in a little granular insecticide and fertilizer, and it seems pretty happy. I love the velvet-like flowers and foliage, as it shimmers in the light. The flowers last about a month, but the foliage spreads out, getting twice as large as you see here, and will last several months before it goes dormant again.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  2. rockminer

    rockminer Active Member

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    markinwestmich: That's a great plant (another one for my wish list!). Here is one of the family Aizoaceae from Cape Province in South Africa. It is Trichodiadema densum. I'm just bringing it along and have not had it flower for me--Yet. Maybe this summer. It is sometimes called "Miniature Desert Rose."
     

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  3. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Bill, very nice. I also like the Trichodiadema bulbosum, as well...similar plant.

    I see you have also found that a nice bonsai pot helps display the plant well. There is nothing wrong with growing in any other container ( I still have plants in black nursery containers ), but if you have a nice specimen, a bonsai pot seems to make the plant a little more special for some reason...just my humble opinion. It's just an observation, but my wife seems to like the more "formal" look when displayed in such a manner. She seems to give me a little less grief with my collection...that's another topic. ; )

    The other thing I've been wondering, specifically with these desert plants, is that perhaps a rather shallow, wide container and bonsai soil would be "ideal". Perhaps having the root system spread out laterally ( versus vertically in a deeper pot ), actually helps the plant take in water more efficiently and allows the soil to dry out quicker ( possibly reducing root rot ). It is just an observation with my plants. I am not sure if there is any science behind it or not.
     
  4. rockminer

    rockminer Active Member

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    I would like to pot up all my plants in nice, appropriate and artistic pots but have not hit the lotto yet! Like you I still have my share in cheap black or brown plastic. I totally agree on wider and shallower for most C & S. Don't know of any science to back it up. The number 1 problem that growers new to C & S seem to have is over-watering so anything that would reduce that has got to be good. As you note the pot must be combined with a fast draining mix. I lean heavily toward sand and pearlite--Both are readily available and cheap. I mix at least 50% with 25% leaf mold and the balance sterilized sandy loam. I've never tried a commercial bonsai mix. It has been suggested that my mix is a little lean on nutrients but in my opinion nutrients can be added as needed. I would rather be free of rot worries.

    Bill
     
  5. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Beaucarnea recurvata. April 29, 2007. I've raised this one from a tiny seedling in a 1-inch plastic pot. "Cousin It" (1960's TV series The Addam's Family) is just over 20 years old. Once the overnight temperatures are consistently over 50*F, it will stay outdoors, otherwise it grows indoors, next to a glass door on the south side of the home.
     

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  6. rockminer

    rockminer Active Member

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    Pachypodium lamerei, from Madagascar. This is a fairly forgiving deciduous tree that will take advantage of whatever size pot you give it! It must get quite large to bloom and is unlikely to make it that far as a house plant but still is a fascinating plant to grow. This plant grew a foot just by moving from an 8" to a 10" pot. There are several species of Pachypodium on the market and some can be spendy--All are fascinating!

    Bill
     

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  7. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    This is my little Pachypodium baronii in bloom May 15, 2007. This species is from northern Madagascar and is characterized by its short, conical spines, relatively narrow trunk, and brilliant flowers. The broad leaves tend to grow in a "whirl" at the top of the plant. There isn't much root structure and it seems to like being in a small container. This is a summer grower and is dormant during the late Fall to late Winter.

    As of this date, here in Michigan, it is still indoors with full southern exposure, as the overnight temperatures are still 40-50*F. Soon, though, it will be outdoors, in full sun.

    It's a nice little plant and very undemanding, provided it gets plenty of light and a well-draining container mix.
     

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  8. rockminer

    rockminer Active Member

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    Beautiful Plant! I think I need one of those...lol. The collection just keeps growing.

    Here are the first blooms for my Ornithogalum caudatum. This is a member of the Lily family from South Africa. Note the "pregnancy" on the side of the caudex. The common name for this plant is Pregnant Onion--I guess for obvious reasons! This plant is also very non-demanding.

    Bill
     

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  9. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    June 2, 2007. A sunny day in western Michigan (we do not get that many). This is my Adenium multiflorum that is beginning it's second blooming period. It bloomed in February, also, which was a treat. It only bloomed once, last summer. This little plant has been very active this year, with plenty of foliage, lots of branching, and two blooming periods. The leaves, I believe, are a little larger than normal due to it's life indoors, as they tend to be smaller when given full sun. The caudex is maintaining it's fat appearance, with some of the lower roots just starting to swell above the soil line, as well as some interesting aerial roots beginning to form off the upper part of the caudex. The soil mix is primarily made of a bonsai soil, with some perlite and large-grain sand. We get some pretty heavy rains, so there is some large rocks placed on top of the soil to keep the soil from washing away.
     

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  10. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    This is a classic example of a small pachycaul tree. Maerua decumbens also known as Maerua edulis. No common name that I am aware of. I added this one to my collection in the Spring of 2007. As one can see it already has the characteristic thickened trunk base. The foliage is relatively sparse and is very succulent-like.

    It is a native of eastern Africa were the roots of the live plant may be used for water clarification (makes the water clear). I do not pretend to know the exact process, but I found it an interesting fact.

    In the wild, it will achieve a height of around 3 meters (about 10 feet) and will have small, white, "shaving brush"-looking flowers.

    As one can see, it is growing nicely in a well-draining bonsai soil. I also use a slow-release granular fertilizer and insecticide. Full sun. Water when dry. I had a deer recently "sample" the foliage. It spit it out, but a little damage was done to the plant. I do not know if the plant is poisonous or not, but it obviously does not taste good to deer.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
  11. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Another example of a small pachycaul tree. This is my Clerodendrum makanjanum seedling. This species is from Kenya and is sought after for its flowers and small berries. It takes the form of a shrub, rather than a tree, which actually makes it better suited for bonsai culture. Even at it's young age, it is exhibiting a swollen trunk base. This is a deciduous species and is dormant during the cold months. As with most of my caudiciforms and pachycaul trees, it is kept in a relatively small container with a very loose mix of bonsai soil, perlite, vermiculite, and slow-release granular fertilizer. Due to its extremely small size and tendency to dry out too quickly, it currently resides on the North side of the house where it receives a few hours of morning and evening sun. Once it puts on some size and can store water better, it will likely find itself in full sun.
     

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  12. MartinDK

    MartinDK Member

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    A Trichodiadema densum in early Spring this year:

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully the flower will open!

    Best regards,

    Martin, Denmark
     
  13. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Pachypodium baronii v. windsori
    April, 2009
     

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  14. Laticauda

    Laticauda Active Member

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    I love these pictures! These are probably the most interesting plants. (Well, next to some of the most interesting succulents, like Lithops, but I'm a little partial.) I'd love to get a hold of some of them, but the only ones I can find are small and REALLY expensive. I guess I'll just keep admiring them from afar, haha!

    LoL. Anyway, here's a picture of two ponytail palms that I bought a few months ago. I repotted them into a 10" pot, but it's bowed as well, I'm not sure if I should repot, or let it grow into this pot a little more...not sure if shock is an issue. Not to mention it was outside during our last freeze. (OOPS!!) I'm still seeing how that is going to pan out. (April 5) I'll go take a picture of it in a few minutes. Anyone have any idea when it would start to show signs of decline, and anything I can do or look out for? Anyway, I guess I'm just overly-concerned like an overprotective mom. I just need to learn a little patience. The smaller one's leaves are turning red along the edges, is this a sign of fatality?
     

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  15. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    1. Purchase the plants mail order. You will find them affordable as most are under $20 U.S. Most are small seedlings, but they do grow quickly.

    2. I think you would have seen damage from a freeze within a few days. The fact that it has been nearly 2 weeks, suggests the plant survived the event with relatively little adverse effects.

    3. The red along the edges of the leaves can occur due to heat, sun, and/or mild dehydration. Many arid-climate plants, especially aloes, will change from green to varying shades of gold, bronze, and red in the summer. That said, there are Beaucarnea hybrids that do have red on their foliage. My Beaucarnea will turn a little red in July when placed in full sun.
     
  16. soekershof

    soekershof Member

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    Attached a few pictures. File names are plant names except the Dioscera elephantipes (elephants foot) and the Adenia glauca
     

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  17. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    That Dioscorea elephantipes is a rugged-looking plant. Looks to be pretty old, as well. The Adenia glauca is a nearly perfect show specimen. I do not think I have seen one as fat and with as much foliage, either. Very nice. Both the Cyphostemma are are superb specimens, as well. I am very jealous right now.

    I love these plants for some odd reason, but I have to seriously modify my approach to growing them here in Michigan. I wish I could just plant them in a nice garden and have them grow big and fat. Despite all that, as a group in general, these plants are by far the easiest. I do not have the bug/pest problems and they tolerate a lot of neglect.

    Thanks for sharing
     
  18. soekershof

    soekershof Member

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    Mark,

    We are just so lucky to be in the right environment for these plants.

    About jealousy: I see in this posting two of your plants which are still on our wishlist: Maerua decumbens (edulis) and the Clerodendrum makanjanum. Any idea where we can obtain seeds?

    Thanks,

    Herman & Yvonne
     
  19. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    I obtained these two plants from a mail-order nursery, Arid Lands Greenhouses http://www.aridlands.com/. I know that they do not ship live plants outside the U.S., but they obviously make trips outside the U.S. to obtain plants and seeds, themselves. Perhaps if you were able to speak with the right person, they would sell you seeds or give you a source for plants within Africa.
     
  20. soekershof

    soekershof Member

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    Thanks,

    I just mailed Bob and Toni to pop in since we're not too far from the airport where they land in South Africa. Hope that they succeed in that.

    Enjoy the weekend,

    Herman & Yvonne
     
  21. decompost

    decompost Member

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    Hi, brand new to the board, first post. :) Really enjoyed seeing these beauties.
    I have only a beginner collection, and am learning by trial-and-error as I go.
    These are my few Adeniums (ready for a hard pruning) and a Pachypodium lamerei (being kept VERY potbound to control growth).
    The larger ones are all NOID obesums, the seedlings include 'Star of Luck', 'Spindrift', 'Net Line Star', and 'Harry Potter'.

    I do have a question regarding the seedlings, each is between 1 and 2 inches tall,
    when is the right time to do a 1st pruning/pinch on them?

    :-D Thanks in advance for your advice.
     

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  22. soekershof

    soekershof Member

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    We never prune!
    Only when a branchtip dries out (rot) we take the tip of and seal the wound.
     
  23. markinwestmich

    markinwestmich Active Member

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    Some things to consider: 1. What do you want the final form to look like? 2. How is the individual plant growing? Does it branch freely, or is it growing up straight and tall with little branching? Each plant will likely be different, so sometimes you have to wait and see how it wants to grow vs. how you want it to grow. Part of the art of bonsai.

    As a general rule though, best to prune at the moment it want to come out of it's Winter dormancy. The first signs that it wants to send out new Spring growth, then prune. If your seedlings are only 1-2 inches tall, then you probably will not need to do any pruning until next year, or perhaps the next.

    Personally, I like a shorter plant that has several branches. I waited until mine were 8 to 12 inches tall, then pruned the main trunk. This will induce branching (sometimes only two, sometimes several branches). After that, then I wait until each branch is about 4-6 inches long, then prune again. Again, this is my personal preference, as I like more of a tree-like form. You may want something quite different.
     
  24. decompost

    decompost Member

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    soekershof ~ How fortunate you are to be able to allow them to grow to large sizes. :-D
    In my case, these poor, tortured plants have to be treated like pseudo-bonsai or they will quickly outgrow the modest space allocated for them in the glasshouse over the frosty winter months.

    Mark ~ Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about the seedlings, it makes a good deal of sense to me.
    These little guys have yet to reveal their individual characteristics, so I believe that letting them grow on for another year or more is sage advice.

    Meanwhile, I got busy this morning - and I went forward with the pruning on the 4 larger plants -
    I flat-topped one as an experiment, but all of the other cuts were made at a 45° angle.
    For better or worse, what's done is done ... sure hope I got it right.
    [​IMG]
     
  25. burdan54

    burdan54 Member

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    These are beautiful specimens of plant. I would like to find out what they are so that I may start looking for them to grow myself. Do you think they would grow in southern alabama. I am unsure as to what zone i live in.

    Thanks
     

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