New Cactus and Succulents for the SF Bay Area

San Francisco Bay Area Cactus and Succulents


February and already the rains are starting up again. Harsh! It’s still too soon to be planting cactus, but if you like Aloes and Aeoniums, then let me tell you all about winter planting! Also California natives of course. They’re winter growers as you know.

Just you want to plant your winter growing succulents when the ground is at least a little less wet than it’s been after the heavy storms. Give it a week! The sun will come back out and dry the top layers of soil out a bit, it is California you know.

Cactus Jungle, Berkeley
1509 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

(510) 558-8650

Open 7 Days
9:00a – 5:00p Weekdays
10:00a – 5:00p Weekends


Cactus Jungle, Marin
130 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960
(415) 870-9930

Winter Hours
Open Wed-Sun, Closed Mon-Tue
Wed-Fri 9:30a – 5:30p
Sat-Sun 10:00am – 5:00pm



Aloe humilis hybrid is a toothy small rosette. Bigger leaves than A. humilis and fewer marginal teeth. But it has its own character so don’t you think it isn’t exactly what it wants to be.

Agave “Shira ito No Ohi” is a small spiny very stripey agave with lots of marginal hairs on the leaves. Beautiful, and dangerous! Like my first boyfriend. {cymbal crash}.

Sedum lucidum is a fat leaved sedum from Mexico. Cherry red leaves in full sun. Small white flowers with red centers – is that a flower spike I see getting ready back there? says that the common name in Korean is: KOREAN (한국어): 환엽송록 which then takes us to this Korean site where they sell these for only 7,000 원 (적립 70). In case you were wondering, google translates that Korean common name to Eaves. I don’t know either, but I do all this research work for you the valued readers of my monthly email blast.

Crassula arborescens is the Silver Dollar succulent with the fine red edging. Arborescent, as in tree-like, but not a tree. It only grows 3-4ft tall. A short tree? No! It’s species name is arborescens, not arboreal.

Agave murpheyi “Rodney” are a pretty decent 1g crop. Colorful! Any other words you want me to look up for you? Both Murphey and Rodney are a persons name, so I think we can leave that one un-googled. Maybe it was named after Rodney Murphy? Maybe he was a 17th century naturalist who invented a system for cataloguing leaf margin colors? Maybe.

Mangave “Mission to Mars” does kind of look like the martian surface there. I think. What do I know, I’ve never been to mars. Space!

Agave “Mateo” has the look of the softer-leaved agaves but it’s not! Those curling leaves are quite vigorous. The central stripe on those leaves will become more visible in full sun.

Aloe “Pink Blush” are full and blooming. The little tubular red flowers are too high up to be included in this photo, and vice versa, so this is all you get to see, but trust me – there are flowers up that bloom spike.

Echeveria “Blue Atoll” is a beautiful new blue cultivar. More like a green than a blue, but then I didn’t name this one.

Echeveria “Blue Wave” What do we think – is it blue? are the leaves wavy? Did the namers do a good job with this one? (Hint: “yes”.)

Cremnosedum “Crocodile” is a weird name for this. You would think the cultivar name would mean it has a scaly crocodile skin, but no, that’s not it, it’s quite smooth. Looks more like a Sedum than it’s intergenic hybrid partner Cremnophila. Weirdly, Cremnophila is also a Genus of Snout Moths. Animals! Plants! Moths! Succulents!

Sedum “Thundercloud” have just come out of winter deciduousness and are sprouting new leaves everywhere.

Gasteria batesiana are a lovely small crop that will get quite big, as you know if you carefully read last month’s email.

On the other hand, Gasteria lilliputana stays small. Who names these plants? Lilliput is a fictional kingdom of small people, but this plant is not fictional at all.

Coreopsis gigantea is the California native giant tickseed from the Channel Islands in the Daisy family with pretty yellow daisy flowers coming soon – probably in the next month or so. No guarantees.

Agave “Blue Glow” is always popular but I don’t feature it often enough. We have a good crop of 2ga. sized plants out. Smallish for an agave, maybe 18-20″ across when mature.

Aeonium “Sunburst” are winter-growing and loving it. Look at how big and fresh that rosette is!

Agave tequilana is delicious. If you harvest it when nearly full grown and cut off the leaves and roast the heart of the plant and distill it and if you are in the Tequila region of Mexico, northwest of Guadalajara, in the Mexican state of Jalisco that is allowed to name their pulque Tequila – Appelations! So much new vocabulary to study after this dense and fascinating email.

Sempervivum “Ruby Heart” has nice color this time of year – cold makes them more colorful! Also a little extra iron.

Graptoveria “Opalina” is a moonstones succulent from the intergenic Graptopetalum x Echeveria hybrids found in the hillsides of central Mexico. Now to be clear, Moonstones are not Opals. Though we do carry them in our polished gemstones collection on the rock table.

Simple species names continue: Euphorbia ferox. Spiny, ie Ferocious. Now you know.




Not a lot of new cactus in February around here. Maybe in Australia they introduce all the new varieties in the midst of our winters. This one is Echinopsis sanguiniflora, formerly Lobivia, and with a sanguine species name like that one has to assume they have blood red flowers. There I go translating words for you again. “sanguiniflora” = Sanguine Flora = Blood-red Flower.

Mammillaria prolifera. I have just about had it with words so you can figure that name out for yourself. (Hint: it is “prolific” in the number of stems).



Crassula “Buddha’s Temple” – we’ve been growing them out for a while now, and these are tight, very tight. We still have smaller ones available too. But look at the stack. It’s a tight stack. Perfect temple form.

Adenium obesum, grafted Thai hybrids, grown for wacky flower colors, striped or spotted or something else too. Nice specimens.

Adenium obesum “Chubby Tubby” is just a very fat and shiny caudiciform form of the Desert Rose. No special flower colors. Just stunning Desert Rose flowers on a fat caudex.

We are very slow in getting full crops of these Euphorbia lactea fa. cristata out. A few here, a few more later. Today we brought out 3. Two for the Berkeley store and 1 for the Marin store. More to come.

On the other hand we apparently had a crop failure of the Stephania venosa and this is the only one left. So let me know if you want to fight over it, we can schedule that for you.

Euphorbia platyclada is a slow seller because it is one of what we like to fondly call the “Dead Stick Plants”. Fun! Join our club and grow one for yourself! This one has that horrible flat-pink color going for it too. Maybe it has showy flowers? No!

Monadenium rubellum on the other hand is no dead stick – look at the leaves forming! It has beautiful small pink flowers, and if you look close you can see those stems are stripey. Everyone likes to collect stripey-stem plants.

Euphorbia horombensis comes from Madagascar and has astounding fuschia flowers. Not here in this photo, not on this plant at this time. This one is busy growing a lot of rich green leaves right now, thank you very much.

Haworthia splendens is pretty rare, not too rare, just enough rare.

Haworthia limifolia is less rare, not too much less rare, just a bit less rare.

Euphorbia aeruginosa is a South African spurge growing in sandy soils with sulfur yellow flowers. The short vertical blue stems are covered in red spines.




x Chiranthofremontia, the rare hybrid California native Monkey Hand Tree is back! You’ve been waiting, and so have we. Patience pays off, in this case. Stunning yellow flowers. Large, broad and showy. If provided space in a garden, this centerpiece plant will be covered in golden flowers in spring.

Ceanothus “Dark Star” is a California Lilac with darker flowers than what would usually be called lilac. Maybe more of a violet. But dark green leaves anyway. These have just started to bloom and the first flowers are open! Lots more buds still to come.

Manzanitas are nice red-barked California natives. They are a bit sensitive to too much water so planting now is a little trickier than the Ceanothus, but it can be done! Arctostaphylos “Emerald Carpet” is a ground cover, known as bearberry since it has berries that the bears like.

Anigozanthos “Amber Velvet” – the Kangaroo Paws keep blooming and blooming throughout the year and throughout the winter and whenever you might like them to bloom, like right now too.

Leucadendron “Hawaii Magic” is a gorgeous shrub, not from Hawaii, but the species this was hybridized from are from the South African part of the Protea family. Maybe it was cultivated in Hawaii? Yes! That’s it. Compact growth, stunning winter color, soon to have small cones filled with tiny cone flowers.