Monday, July 11, 2016

The Gasterias

 I decided last year - I think it was last year- to collect Gasterias. The decision was made in the most random manner when contemplating my back garden, possibly probably with a glass of wine. At the time, I had exactly one plant which was label-less and recovering from being left out in a below 20 degree night.Temperatures in the teens here are not unknown , but the duration is typically a brief one hour event at 4 or 5am in the dead of winter. Succulents that are especially tender get moved into the house or garage and the borderline cases are grouped up against a west wall with a primitive frost blanket structure for protection. Gasterias are small enough for the most part  to make the winter moves less demanding. 

 My procedure  would be to keep an eye out for  Gasterias I didn't currently own (which at this point was almost ANY Gasteria) and begin to acquire as many as the pocketbook and the available real estate would allow. My inventory has increased to 6. The challenge I faced from the start was locating plants that were actually labeled. The ubiquitous 'Asst Succulents' was common, along with 'Gasteria spp' . Even the venerable Ruth Bancroft Garden had a few no ID's . Web sites are helpful, though often rife with conflicting information or bad photos. So my disclaimer here is maybe I have the right ID and maybe I don't. I did find an online key, which I will consult when I am feeling more scholarly.

 Here is my original plant, which I have decided is Gasteria bicolor. It had a run-in with a 20 degree night a few years ago, but rebounded from the superficial damage very nicely.


 This is G. bicolor liliputana (labeled !) and is one of my favorites by virtue of it's cuteness.


 This mystery plant is still too small to try to ID, but I note it has a bun in the oven, and I'm hoping it's G. glomerata.


 This was found at the Ruth Bancroft Garden plant sale in spring, tagless . I have tentatively ID'd as G croucheri ,but feel very uncertain-online photos are wildly variable.


 This little guy was tagged, G.'Little Warty'. He is still quite small, and I expect his wartiness will become more pronounced with age .


I believe this to be G. 'Big Brother'



 I snatched this one up quickly at the Ruth Bancroft sale last fall. It is Gasteria 'platinum' , the lone specimen there.

9 comments:

  1. Your collection is up and running! I love your originbal plant, which I don't think I've ever seen anywhere else. I think I have one true Gasteria and another Gasteraloe but, like you, I've been frustrated by the nursery tagging failures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those tagging failures are so frustrating ! I guess I better get a Gasteraloe , don't have one of those, lol.

      Delete
  2. I've recently begun to pay attention to gasterias too. I don't have many but I can give you a pup of Gasteria acinacifolia if you're interested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer Gerhard-I'd love to have that.I hope I have something reciprocal that would be of interest.

      Delete
  3. Nice plants, I especially like G. bicolor liliputana "by virtue of it's cuteness"...for some reason I've overlooked Gasteria. I have a couple, but they've been gifts. Oh well, it's not like I need another obsession.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't mention that I am also now collecting Haworthia. Among other things.

      Delete
  4. It's nice to get into collecting and see your collection grow, something to aim for. Somehow I've overlooked gasteria and only have two at the moment (one is a gift from Sean).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A gift from Sean ! That raises it to a whole new level.

      Delete
  5. I have lilliput, and cute it is. Your plants look happy and healthy, despite flirtations with frost.

    ReplyDelete