BULBS, TUBEROUS PLANTS AND RELATED ORNAMENTALS
Many of the bulb-forming plants such as tulips, most lilies and many of the iris are not well adapted to Valley conditions. This is also true concerning many tuberous-rooted plants such as tuberous-rooted begonias and peonies.
Amaryllis, Crinums, Easter lilies, Day lilies, Rain lilies, Spider lilies, Star-of-Bethlehem lilies, and Amazon lilies are well adapted and require no special cultural. Ranuncules, Anemones, Dahlias can be grown by gardeners who are willing to give special cultural care to these subjects. Gladiolus are especially well adapted to conditions in the Valley and are grown successfully by amateurs and commercial gardeners alike.
Agapanthus africanus. Agapanthus Lily, Blue Lily of the Nile. This tuberous-rooted plant produces tall flowering stalks topped with umbels of pale blue flowers. Plants usually die out during the summer. (Liliaceae.)
Anemone coronaria. Spring Windflower. Spring Anemones have been found to be fairly well adapted to conditions of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The vari-colored, poppy-like flowers are quite attractive. There is a fall blooming, herbaceous type of anemone, A. japonica. (Ranunculaceae.)
Brodiaea (Leucocoryne) ixioides var. odorata. Glory of the Sun. A fairly well adapted bulb plant that produces narrow leaves and umbels of fragrant blue flowers with lighter colored centers. (Liliaceae.)
Convallaria majalis. Lily-of-the-Valley. If srong "pips" are planted every year, these small, dainty flowers can be successfully grown. They will produce blooms shortly after planting either indoors or outdoors in a moist shady location. (Liliaceae.)
Cooperia Drummondii, C. pedunculata and C. Smallii. Rain Lily. These three forms of native rain lilies, two of which are white and one yellow, are well worth searching for after the rains. C. Drummondii (Small White Rain Lily) is found in great abundance. C. pedunculata (Great Rain Lily) is the large, white-flowered species which is occasionally found in this region. C. Smallii (Yellow Rain Lily) is the only one of this color known in this genus. These native plants are particularly useful as ornamentals when the bulbs are planted in the lawn grass. They do not interfere with the care of the lawn, and after the rains, the flowers show up within a few hours, and usually last two or three days. To add color to the planting, Fairy Lilies (Zephyranthes and Habranthus) can be set among the plants of Cooperia. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Crinum. The crinums are especially well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and thrive under almost any growing conditions. Their large, showy leaves are fully as attractive as the fragrant, lily-like flowers. Crinums multiply by division and will become a permanent part of the planting plan if allowed to remain undisturbed. The following forms are recommended: C. americanum (White Crinum), C. asiaticum (hybricum), (Pink Crinum), C. erubescens (Rose-Stripe Crinum), C. fimbriatulum (Milk-and-Wine Crinum), C. scabrum (Rose-Stripe Crinum), and C. zeylanicum (Drooping Crinum). (Amarillidaceae.)
Dahlia. Garden dahlias (D. pinnata) and the Cactus-Flowered dahlias (D. Juarezii) are being grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for commercial purposes. However, it is suggested that amateur growers make limited trials before starting extensive planting. The tubers should be planted deep (6 inches), and covered with 3 inches of soil, gradually filling the holes from time to time. Give heavy waterings at regular intervals to encourage deep rooting. The plants should be staked and tied when they are about six inches tall, and then retied as they developed. To obtain choice flowers, it is necessary to prune the plant to a single stalk, and pinch off the superfluous flower buds as they appear, leaving only one or two to a plant. (Compositae.)
Eucharis grandiflora. Amazon Lily. A small, bulbous plant having ornamental dark green, broad leaves and large, white, narcissus-like flowers. Well adapted and quite popular. (Liliaceae.)
Freesia hybrida and F. refracta. Freesia. Freesias are being grown commercially, under lath, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and appear to be fairly well adapted. F. hybrida is available in a variety of color patterns; F. refracta produces white or yellow flowers. (Iridaceae.)
Gladiolus sp. Gladiolus are well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and are grown commercially on a large scale. The plants require full sun and an abundance of water. They are obtainable in a wide range of colors and color combinations. (Iridaceae.)
Gloriosa Rothschildiana. Climbing-Lily. A bulbous plant having bright green leaves; climbing stems; red and orange, lily-like flowers; and small black seed. This plant is well adapted but it quite slow growing. (Liliaceae.)
Habranthus Andersoni. Copper Rain-Lily. This small rain-lily is native to other parts of Texas and is well adapted in this region. It produces small yellow flowers, the outside of the petals being coppery-red. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Hedychium coronarium. Butterfly Lily, Ginger Lily. A tuberous rooted plant that flourishes best in a moist location. It has upright stems with sheathed leaves and fragrant white flower clusters which are produced during the spring and fall seasons. (Zingiberaceae.)
Hemerocallis. Day Lily. Day lilies appear to be well adapted to conditions in this region. They are obtainable in a large range of colors ranging from lemon yellow to tawny orange, and several colors are obtainable in the double-flowered form. The following species are recommended: H. flava (Lemon Yellow), H. flava pleno (Double Tawny), H. Florham (Orange Flowered), and H. fulva (Single Tawny). (Liliaceae.)
Herbertia Drummondiana. Native Blue Flag. A small iris-like plant that produces narrow leaves and small, blue, three-petaled flowers. H. Watsoni produces blue iris-like flowers with yellow mottled corollas. This species is also native. (Iridaceae.)
Hippeastrum. Amaryllis. These plants are especially well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and seem to thrive under almost any conditions. H. puniceum (equestre), Orange-Flowered, and H. Johnsoni (Red Flowered) multiply rapidly and maintain themselves continuously. H. hybridum (Hybrid Amaryllis) are well adapted and produce a great range of color patterns. If the grower has a creative desire, these plants offer an excellent opportunity, as it is not difficult to cross pollinate the flowers and obtain hybrid seedlings. The hybrid seeds should be planted shallow in flats of loamy soil, and may be kept moist by laying a damp paper over the surface. The flats should be kept in partial shade during the summer months. After the seedlings become sufficiently hardened, they should be transplanted to pots or to field locations. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Hyacinthus orientalis. Dutch Hyacinth. These bulbs make excellent pot plants, but are not adapted to ourdoor culture. After the bulbs bloom in March, they should be allowed to dry thoroughly and should then be stored in a cool, dark, dry storage space. (Liliaceae.)
Hyacinthus orientalis var. albulus. French-Roman Hyacinth. These sturdy small plants are well adapted, and although the spikes have fewer blossoms, they produce such a profusion of bloom out-of-doors that they are quite popular with most flower growers.
Hymenocallis caribaea and H. galvestonensis. Spider-Lily. Both species of Spider-Lilies have white, fringed petals. H. galvestonensis (Gulf Coast Spider-Lily), the species native to Texas, is recommended for general use. It is quite hardy and will thrive under almost any growing conditions. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Iris. Small scale, commercial production of iris bulbs has been attempted in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and it has been shown that certain iris can be grown successfully where diseases are controlled. For general use, the rhyzome forming, Tall Bearded (German) Iris (I. germanica) is recommended; however, Spanish (I. xiphium) and English iris (I. xiphioides) are being grown. (Iridaceae.)
Kniphofia Uvaria. Poker-Plant, Tritoma. This plant is weak growing and short lived in this region. The grass-like foliage and torch-like spikes of bloom are very attractive where they are grown in a favorable environment. It is suggested that these plants be planted only in locations favorable for Day-lilies. (Liliaceae.)
*Lilium aurantum. Gold Banded Lily. (Liliaceae.)
Lilium candidum. Madonna Lily. This white flowering lily somewhat resembles the Easter Lily. The bulbs should be planted in the fall and allowed to remain undisturbed.
*Lilium canadense var. coccinea (rubrum). Rubrum Lily, Red Lily-of-Japan.
*Lilium elegans. Elegans Lily.
Lilium formosanum. Philippine Lily. This white flowering lily appears to be fairly well adapted to conditions in this region. It produces attractive, trumpet-shaped flowers.
*Lilium Henryi. Henry Lily.
Lilium longiflorum. Easter Lily. Easter lilies are especially well adapted to conditions in this region, and maintain themselves in a very satisfactory manner. The plants die down after blooming in the spring and reappear early the following spring. They are very popular and the bulbs are produced for export.
Lilium regale. Regal Lily. The Regal or Royal lily appears to be fairly well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It is one of the best trumpet-shaped lilies, producing large clusters of fragrant white flowers which are tinged with rose and have yellow centers.
Lilium tenuifolium. Siberian Coral Lily. The flowers of this lily are small, bright red in color and have recurved petals and prominent stamen. It blooms during the early summer season.
*Lilium tigrinum. Tiger Lily.
Lycoris squamigera (Amaryllis Hallii). Pink Amaryllis. This plant is similar in appearance to Hippeastrum but is not as vigorous. It produces dainty pink flowers. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Morea irioides. Morea Iris. These plants, similar to Iris, seem to be well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Easily grown and quite popular. (Iridaceae.)
Muscari. Grape Hyacinth. Very small plants (6 inches high) having dark green, very narrow leaves. The commonly planted variety, M. botryoides, produces pale blue flowers; M. armeniacum produces flowers of a deeper color. (Liliaceae.)
Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus. Daffodils. These golden narcissus are very attractive during the early spring season, and are quite popular with some gardeners. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Narcissus Tazetta. Polyanthus Narcissus, Paper-White Narcissus. These are among the most commonly grown bulb plants in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for outdoor plantings, as well as for house plants. It is usually necessary to transplant the bulbs every year to insure regular blooming. If allowed to remain undisturbed, the plants will become "splindling" and cease blooming. Very popular.
Narcissus Tazetta var. orientalis. Chinese Sacred Lily. This plant differs from the better known Paper-White narcissus in having larger flowers with yellow centers.
Ornithogalum umbellatum. Star-of-Bethlehem Lily. These very small, star-shaped lilies are useful as edging plants for the lily bed. The leaf blades are grass-like, and the small, white flowers with yellow flowers are quite ornamental. They are well adapted to conditions in this region and multiply rapidly. (Liliaceae.)
Oxalis. These very small plants produce clover-like leaves in most cases, and attractive vari-colored flowers. These plants, like the Fairly-Lilies, Rain-Lilies, and Star-of-Bethlehem lilies, make excellent edging or lawn plants. If allowed to remain undisturbed, they will multiply rapidly. It is recommended that the native species, O. dichondraefolia and O. Drummondii be sought out and planted. The latter produces very small bulbs and the plants bear clusters of several long stemmed, clover-like leaves, and lavender-pink, bell-like flowers having yellow center. O. dichondraefolia produces dull, kidney-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers. Other species that have proven well adapted are: O. Acetosella (White Flowered), O. Bowlieana (Bowies Rose), O. cernua (Buttercup), O. corniculata (Creeping Sour Grass), and O. rubra (Pink Flowered Oxalis. (Oxalidaceae.)
Paeonia albiflora. Peony. Chinese peonies are not adapted to the hot climate of this region and fail to produce flowers. (Ranunculaceae.)
Polianthes tuberosa. Mexican Tuberose. Mexican tuberoses are well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and multiply rapidly if given sufficient space. The plants bloom during the winter, and early spring months, and should be separated after blooming period is over. Quite popular. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Ranunculus asiaticus. Persian Buttercup. Ranunculus are being grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley to a limited extent. The small, tuberous plants produce large, bright colored buttercup-like flowers which are quite attractive.
Ranunculus are rather exacting in their demands, and thrive best in a loose soil in a partially shaded location. The tubers should be soaked for several hours and then planted with the tapering points downward. (Ranunculaceae.)
Tigridia Pavonia var. grandiflora. Shell-Flower, Tiger Flower. This plant produces the typical three-petaled flowers of the Iridaceae family. The highly colored flowers are available in various shades of yellow, red and orange dotted with brown. (Iridaceae.)
Tritonia crocosmaeflora. Montbretia, Tritonia. Montbretias appear to be well adapted to conditions in this region, but thrive best in shaded locations. The plants resemble those of the gladiolus, but are smaller and more reclining. The three-petaled flowers are orange-red in color and have yellow throats. Very desirable. (Iridaceae.)
*Tulipa Gesneriana. Dutch Tulip. (Liliaceae.)
*Tulipa Eichleri, Kaufmanniana, praestans and sylvestris. Botanical Tulips.
*Watsonia. Bugle Lily. (Iridaceae.)
Zantedeschia (Richardia). Calla Lily. These bulbous plants make excellent pot plants. The bulbs require a rest period during the summer, and must be forced for the production of winter bloom. Z. aethiopica (White Calla), and Z. Elliotiana (Yellow Calla) are well adapted and produce large showy leaves and flowers. Z. Rehmannii (Pink Calla) is a small, weak growing type. (Araceae.)
Zephyranthes. Fairy-Lily, Zephyr-Lily, Shower-Lily. These small, dainty rain-lilies are well adapted to conditions in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and produce a profusion of blooms after each rain or heavy irrigation. Zephyranthes are usually classified as Fairy-Lilies or Shower-Lilies but are often called Rain-Lilies. One species, Z. chrysantha (Golden Shower Lily) is native to this region. Other well adapted species are: Z. Atamasco (White Shower-Lily), Z. candida (Autumn Shower-Lily), and Z. carinata (Rose Shower-Lily). (Amaryllidaceae.)
CACTI AND OTHER SUCCULENTS
The semi-arid nature of our Valley climate makes it possible for gardeners in this region to maintain interesting and attractive collections of plants in this group. It may be necessary to grow them under somewhat artificial conditions as regards soil drainage and they must be grown in full sunlight, with the exception of a few tender succulents. There are a number of native species which may be collected in brush country near the coast or back in the hill country near Rio Grande City. Most gardeners prefer to use some of the rarer types because of the unusual nature of the subjects and the interest which they attract. Of the cacti, Star, Lace, Pencil, Pincushion, Devils Head, Fishhook and Night-Blooming Cereus are the more popular native species.
Other popular succulents include Crassulas, Desert Rose, Hen-and-Chickens, Star-of-Bethlehem and Kalanchoes. These are among the more attractive flowering plants.
Aloes, Agaves, Yuccas and Sansevierias may be considered separately because of their special use in the landscape scheme. Most of these are used as individual specimens, but Sansevieria varieties are used principally in border plantings and as edging plants.
Some of the better adapted plants in these groups have been described on the following pages.
Acanthocereus (Cereus) pentagonus. Night-Blooming Cereus. A plant having 3 to 6-angled elongated stems which root at the nodes. It produces large strong spines; showy, white, night-blooming flowers and red fruits. (Cactaceae.)
Ariocarpus fissuratus. Living Rock. A small flat cactus with a rock-like appearance. The small flowers are pink to red. (Cactaceae.)
Astrophytum (Echinocactus) asterias. Star Cactus. A small, globose, gray plant that is entirely thornless. It is heavily ribbed, the ridges forming a five-point star pattern across the top. (Cactaceae.)
Astrophytum (Echinocactus) myriostigma. Bishops Hood or Crown. This spineless, globose, gray plant resembles a Bishops head-dress.
Cephalocereus senilus. Old Man Cactus. An upright plant bearing long, silky, white, hair-like covering. (Cactaceae.)
Echinocactus horizonthalonius. Devils Head. Large hemispherical plants having curved spines along the heavy ribs, rose-colored flowers and red fruits. (Cactaceae.)
Echinocereus Blanckii. Large Finger Cactus. This plant produces spiny, plump stems which become elongated-prostrate at maturity. The dark reddish-purple flowers are quite showy. (Cactaceae.)
Echinocereus chloranthus. Rainbow Cactus. A cylindrical plant having a single thickened stem overlaid with fine white spines. The yellow flowers never completely open.
Echinocereus dasyacanthus. Yellow-Flowered Rainbow Cactus. This plant resembles E. chloranthus but produces showy, large yellow flowers.
Echinocereus enneacanthus. Strawberry or Cob Cactus. An erect cob-like plant forming large clumps that produce dark red flowers along one side of the stems, followed by fruits of strawberry flavor.
Echinocereus Fitchii. Lace Cactus. A short cylindrical plant covered with fine, lace-like, white spines. It produces pink flowers.
Echinocereus pentalophus. Wee Lady-Finger Cactus. Similar to the other Finger Cacti, being the smallest of the group, and having lighter colored flowers.
Echinocereus Reichenbachii. Lace Cactus. A tall cylindrical plant having one or more stems; fine, white, lace-like spines overall; and pink flowers.
Echinocereus triglochidiatus. Claret Cup Cactus. The banana-shaped stems of this plant form large rosettes. It produces showy, dark red, goblet-shaped flowers and red fruits.
Epiphyllum (Phyllocactus) Ackermannii. Showy Epiphyllum. This plant is closely related to the commonly grown Christmas Cactus (Zygocactus). It is a thornless plant of upright, flat, leaf-like branches. The lower part of the branches are fleshy with distinct ribs. It produces large, deep red flowers which open during the day. (Cactaceae.)
Epithelantha micromeris. Button Cactus. This is a small, globose plant entirely covered with soft white spines. It produces small flesh-pink flowers, and small red fruits which are called "Chilitos." (Cactaceae.)
Escobaria Runyonii. Escobaria. These low clumps of small cacti are thickly covered with small, weak, gray spines. They produce very small pink flowers and small red fruits. (Cactaceae.)
Ferocactus hamatacanthus. Fishhook Cactus. Dangerous hooked spines overlay this plant. It produces showy yellow flowers. (Cactaceae.)
Ferocactus uncinatus. Turks Head. This plant produces long, white, hooked spines; heavy blue-green tubercles; and orange to brown-colored flowers.
Ferocactus Wislizeni. Barrel or Fishhook Cactus. A barrel-shaped cactus having numerous curved spines.
Hamatocactus setispinus. Hedgehog or Fishhook Cactus. This cob-shaped, upright cactus is very abundant in this region. It has a heavy covering of yellowish, close-fitting spines and produces large, satiny, yellow flowers. (Cactaceae.)
Homalocephala (Echinocactus) texensis. Devils Pin Cushion. A small hemispherical plant that produces small spines along the numerous ribs, pink flowers and red fruits. (Cactaceae.)
Lophophora (Echinocactus) Williamsii. Peyote or Mescal Button. A small, spineless, globose, blue-green, succulent plant that is used by the Indians in their religious rites. Undersirable qualities. (Cactaceae.)
Mammillaria hemisphaerica. Pin-Cushion Cactus. A very small hemispherical plant that is covered with spine-bearing nipples. It produces small cream-colored flowers and small red fruits called "Chilitos." (Cactaceae.)
Mammillaria multiceps. Hair Covered Cactus. Low clumps of small, woolly, hemispherical plants.
Mammillaria plumosa. Plumy Cactus. Similar to M. multiceps but having a fine hair covering.
Mammillaria (Coryphantha) Runyonii. Runyons Coryphantha. This succulent plant forms large clumps and produces fleshy roots. The plants are covered with thick tubercles bearing tip spines. The flowers are pink to purple.
Optunia Dillenii. Spineless Prickly-Pear. The large pads of this plant are spineless when grown in the shade. (Cactaceae.)
Optunia Ficus-indica. Spineless Prickly-Pear. This is the commonly grown plant that produces large, spineless pads.
Optunia grandiflora. Giant Flowered Prickly-Pear. This prickly-pear produces large prickly pads and large yellow flowers with red centers.
Optunia imbricata. Walking Stick, Candleabrum, or Cholla Cactus. This tree-like plant produces many branching stems and numerous vicious spines.
Optunia leptocaulis. Turkey Cactus or Tasahillo. A long stemmed, very spiny cactus that produces inconspicuous flowers and numerous small red fruits.
Optunia Lindheimeri. Common Prickly-Pear. This is the native prickly-pear that produces large prickly pads and showy yellow, red or orange colored flowers followed by large edible purplish fruits.
Optunia microdasys var. rufida. Velvet Prickly-Pear. This plant produces small bright green pads with velvety brown dots.
Optunia Schottii. Devils Rope or Clavellina. Small elongated cacti joined end to end and having vicious barbed spines.
Phyllocactus latifrons. Queen Cactus. An upright growing thornless plant that produces flat, wavy-edged, leaf-like stems about four inches wide. Its night-blooming flowers are creamy white. (Cactaceae.)
Wilcoxia Poselgeri. Lead Pencil, Sacasil, or Dahlia Cactus. The stems of this plant are gray, pencil-like and thickened to form white spine-covered tips. It produces showy rose-colored flowers. (Cactaceae.)
Zygocactus (Epiphyllum) truncatus. Christmas or Crab Cactus. The thornless, flat, jointed, leaf-like stems of this plant produce conspicuous small rosy flowers. The short jointed sections are succulent and droop gracefully over the sides of a flower pot. (Cactaceae.)
Other Small Succulents
Ceropegia Woodii. Rosary-Vine. A dwarf, succulent, tuberous-rooted vine that produces small, kidney-shaped, silver-spotted leaves, small pinkish flowers and long slender pods filled with winged seed. (Asclepiadaceae.)
Courantia (Echeveria) rosea-grandis. Hen-and-Chickens. This plant forms a large rosette of succulent green leaves edged with red. (Crassulaceae.)
Crassula arborescens. Jade Plant. A small arborescent plant that produces succulent, ovate, jade-green leaves. (Crassulaceae.)
Crassula (Rochea) falcata. Cleaver Plant. An odd growing rosette of leaves, each leaf having one cleaver-like edge.
Crassula impressa (rubicunda). Crassula. A dwarf plant having pencil shaped green leaves and bright red flowers.
Crassula lycopodioides. Princess Pine. A small dainty plant having slender upright stems and bright green, pine-like foliage.
Crassula perfosa. String-of-Buttons. A dwarf plant having square, blue-green leaves arranged on the stems like a string of buttons. C. monicola produces triangular, blue-green leaves on a plant similar in other respects to C. perfosa.
Echeveria elegans. Hen-and-Chickens. This plant produces a rosette of succulent, blue-green leaves. E. glauca produces blue-green leaves tipped with red, the young plants being produces at the base. E. gibbiflora var. metallica produces mauve-colored, metallic leaves. E. Hoveyi produces blue-green leaves. E. scaphylla and E. simulans produce pale green, very thick leaves. (Crassulaceae.)
Euphorbia mammillaris. Cob-of-Corn. This small, succulent, light green plant resembles a tiny corn-cob. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Euphorbia splendens. Crown-of-Thorns. Erect, branching, thorny plants having small, dark green leaves and showy clusters of red flowers.
Euphorbia Tirucalli. Milkbush or Rubber Plant. A tall growing (6-8 feet) almost leafless plant having numerous dark green, pencil-like stems filled with milky sap.
Faucaria splendens. Jacobs Staff or Devils Walking Stick. A succulent, leafless, many branched plant of dark green. The stems are pencil-like and contain milky sap. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Gasteria hybrida. Harts Tongue or Deers Tongue. A small, fan-shaped plant having gray-green, knife-like leaves spotted with white. (Liliaceae.)
Graptopetalum Orpetii. Desert-Rose. This plant produces numerous rosettes of succulent, gray, rose-like leaves tinted rose and long flowering stalks of small white flower clusters. (Crassulaceae.)
Haworthia cymbiformis. Window-Pane. Rosettes of succulent, transparent, light-green leaves. New plants are produced between the leaves. (Liliaceae.)
Haworthia fasciata. Patridge Breast. A small aloe-like plant having stiff, dark green leaves spotted with white.
Haworthia margaritifera. Haworthia. A small, flattened, aloe-like plant having numerous white dots on the leaves.
Hoya carnosa. Wax-Plant. A delicate vine with succulent, broad, light green leaves and fragrant, waxy flowers having pink centers. (Asclepiadaceae.)
Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana (globulifera; coccinea). Red-Flowered Kalanchoe. These plants are 6 to 8 inches high having bright green leaves and flowering stalks of small, bright red, flower clusters. K. crenata is an upright plant with large, dark green, serrated leaves. K. Daigremontiana (Triangular-Leaf Kalanchoe) is an upright branching plant having large, succulent, triangular leaves and drooping, rose-colored flower clusters on long stalks. K. Fedtschenkoi is a tall plant producing purplish-gray leaves and rose-colored flowers. K. marmorata (Spotted-Leaf Kalanchoe) produces rosettes of large, ovate, pale green leaves splotched with brown. K. miniata (Light Green Kalanchoe) produces crowded, succulent light green leaves tinged with pink. K. pinnata (Air Plant or Live Forever) produces large, deep green, wavy-edged leaves and tall flower clusters with rose-colored flowers. K. Schmidtii (Schmidts Kalanchoe) is a small plant with bright green leaves and clusters of red flowers. K. somaliensis (Rose-Tinted Kalanchoe) is a rosette type having pale green leaves edged with red. K. sp. (Purplish-Green Kalanchoe) is a branching plant having crowded, succulent, purplish-green leaves and rose-colored flowers. K. tomentosa (Velvet Leaf Kalanchoe) is an upright plant having narrow, gray, velvety leaves spotted with brown. K. tubiflora (Narrow-Leaf Kalanchoe) is a tall slender plant having short, pencil-like, spotted gray leaves and showy, rose-colored flowers. Most of the Kalanchoes produce clusters of drooping half-closed flowers on long flowering stalks and produce new plants along the edges of the leaves. (Crassulaceae.)
Mesembryanthemum Bolusi. Heart-Leaf Fig Marigold. This low growing plant has a rock-like appearance. It produces showy yellow flowers. (Aizoaceae.)
Mesembryanthemum cordifolium. Dew Plant. A small succulent plant having small, bright green, heart-shaped, frosted leaves and small, bright red flowers.
Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. Ice Plant. A succulent, low growing plant that produces pale green, succulent, frosted leaves and small white flowers.
Mesembryanthemum edule. Flowering Mesembrythemum. These low growing succulent plants produce thick, triangular to awl-shaped, succulent leaves and showy yellow to rose-colored flowers.
Pedilanthus tithymaloides. Red Bird Cactus. A many-branching plant having fleshy, dark green, pencil-shaped stems with milky sap, very few, small, dark green leaves. The stems are tipped with small, bright red, leaf-like flowers. (Euphorbiaceae.)
Sedum acre. Golden Moss or Stonecrop. A small, moss-like plant having succulent, light green, awl-shaped leaves and tiny yellow flowers. S. Adolphi (Adolphus Stonecrop) produces rosettes of fleshy, golden-green, broad leaves. S. confusum (Blue Stonecrop) produces moss-like, blue-green leaves. S. guatemalense (Christmas-Cheer Stonecrop) produces thickly clustered stems of fleshy, shining, dark green, awl-shaped leaves tipped with red. S. pachyphyllum (Red-Tip Stonecrop) is similar in appearance to S. guatemalense except that the red-tipped, fleshy leaves are blue-green. S. spectabile (Showy or Brilliant Stonecrop) is a plant 18 inches high having broad, thick green leaves and bright red flowers. S. spurium (Bronzy Moss or Stonecrop) is a moss-like plant having small bronzy-green leaves and red flowers. (Crassulaceae.)
Sempervivum Braunii. Hen-and-Chickens. These plants produce rosettes of succulent, bronzy leaves tipped with red. S. calcareum produces rosettes of rigid dark green leaves. S. globiferum produces rosettes of succulent, red-tipped, green leaves, the new plants appearing between the leaves. S. Moggridgei and S. tectorum produce rigid, bright green leaves. All of these Sempervivums appear to be well adapted. (Crassulaceae.)
Senecio succulentus. Kleinia. Two forms are being grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and both appear to be well adapted. S. succulentus (Kleinia mandrolisc), Dwarf Kleinia, produces succulent, blue, awl-shaped leaves forming an elongated rosette about 5 inches high. S. succulentus (Kleinia repens var. nana) is similar to the former but produces a larger plant up to 10 inches high. (Compositae.)
Stapelia variegata. Star-of-Bethlehem or Carrion Flower. This plant produces prostrate, fleshy stems and showy brown and yellow, star-shaped flowers. Stapelia gigantea (Giant Star-of-Bethlehem) is similar to the former but produces much larger stems and flowers. The flowers are malodorous. (Asclepiadaceae.)
Other Large Succulents
Agave americana. Plain Leaf Century Plant or Maguey. This drought resistant plant produces stiff, upright, gray leaves edged with thorns. The leaves are in the form of a huge rosette about four feet in diameter. A. americana var. marginata (Yellow Bordered Century Plant)* produces stiff green leaves with yellow edges and bordered with thorns. A. americana var. striata (Variegated Century Plant) produces thorny edged, stiff green leaves striped with yellow. (Amaryllidaceae.)
Agave macroacantha var. gigantea. Giant Snake Plant. A semi-flat rosette of succulent ribbon-like green leaves that produces a flowering stalk several feet high topped with a small cluster of small, tuberose-shaped flowers.
Agave maculosa. Small Rattlesnake Plant. This plant produces a flat rosette of ribbon-like green leaves splotched with reddish-brown. It produces pink to red flowers similar to those of A. macroacantha.
Agave variegata. Texas Tuberose. This plant is similar to A. maculosa but the rosette is smaller and leafier and the flower stalk is red.
Agave zapupe. Zapupe or Istle. This plant grows in the vicinity of Rio Grande City. It is similar in appearance to A. americana and is valuable as a fiber plant.
Aloe agavefolia. Agave Aloe. This plant produces stiff, thorny-edged gray leaves similar to Agave americana but smaller in size. (Liliaceae.)
Aloe arborescens. Thorny-Edged Aloe. This branching plant produces narrow, blue-green leaves edged with numerous thorns.
Aloe commutata. Variegated Aloe. A stiff, almost thornless plant having gray green leaves spotted with yellow.
Aloe variegata. Small Variegated Aloe. This small plant produces almost thornless leaves spotted and edged with yellow.
Aloe vera. Yellow Flower Barbados Aloe. An upright plant about 18 inches high having pale green leaves spotted with yellow. The leaves turn darker with age and the spots disappear. This plant produces erect flowering stalks of showy yellow flowers clusters. A. vera var. officinalis (Red-Flower Barbados Aloe) is similar in appearance but is smaller and the leaves do not entirely lose their markings.
Ananas sativus (comosus). Pineapple. This plant is somewhat similar in appearance to the agaves and is occasionally used as a decorative subject. (Bromeliaceae.)
Hechtia texensis.* False agave. An agave-like plant that has few thorns and attractive coloration. It takes several years to produce blooms. (Bromeliaceae.)
Hesperaloe parviflora. Red-Flowered Yucca. A Yucca-like plant having very narrow leaves and spikes of rosy-red flowers. (Liliaceae.)
Sansevieria cylindrica. Cylindrical Sansevieria or Bowstring Hemp. This plant is composed of stiff, upright, slender, cylindrical, dark green leaves. S. thyrsiflora (Green Mottled Sansevieria) has upright, narrow, stiff, dark green leaves mottled with pale green. S. trifasciata var. Laurentii (Yellow-Margined Sansevieria) produces yellow-margined, narrow stiff leaves. S. zeylanica (Green Banded Sansevieria) produces stiff narrow leaves banded with pale green. (Liliaceae.)
Yucca Treculeana. Spanish Dagger or Spanish Bayonet. This tree-like plant produces numerous dark green, quill-like leaves terminating in a heavy thorn. It produces tremendous spikes of crowded, creamy-white, lily-like flowers. (Liliaceae.)
*This plant material has been tested under Valley conditions and proved to be unadapted.
Ornamentals for the Rio Grande Valley