TCSS Plants Database: Search Results

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Item ID: 1
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Ferocactus
Species: wislizenii
Common Name: Fishhook Barrel
Habitat: Various soil types from 1,000 to 6,000 feet elevation from grasslands to rocky mountainous areas.
Range: Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, limited extremes of western Texas, Sonora, northwest Chihuahua and northern Sinaloa, Mexico
Care: An extremely easy plant to grow in and around the Tucson area. It requires little attention or special care as it is perfectly at home in almost any garden setting. It is very tolerant of extreme heat as well as cold. Cold hardiness tolerance is at around 10 degrees farenheit.
Propagation: Propagation of this cactus is by seed.
Size: To 30 inches in diameter and 12 feet tall
Shape: Globular
Flowers: The flower color can be variable from yellow, to orange and red. The most typical color seen is orange.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of American Desert Plants

Description
This plant is most recognized by the large curved and hooked central spine and the large ribbed "barrel" body. The Fish-hook Barrel is the most common barrel found growing in and around Tucson.

Author Comments
This is a MUST have plant for anyone who loves the Sonoran Desert and the cacti that live there. For us in Tucson this large barrel is a common sight and it can survive when others cannot. Please consider having at least one of these beautiful plants as a significant part of your landscape.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=f.wislizenii

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Item ID: 2
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Echinocactus
Species: grusonii
Common Name: Golden Barrel Cactus
Habitat: Located on rolling hills and cliffs.
Range: Limited to small areas in Queretaro, Mexico. The population had become very low in numbers over the years but is just now beginning to increase due to protective laws and the fact that this plant is now in mass cultivation all over the world.
Care: The Golden Barrel has slowly become one of the most purchased plants for home landscape in Tucson. It is an easy plant to grow and takes no special care. Most plants are purchased at a fairly nice size and can be easily transplanted to a garden landscape or a decorative container. It is not an extremely fast grower but can reach a very large size. Here in Tucson it is safely grown in practically any area of town and will add a nice touch of gold to your landscape.
Propagation: This plant is very easily grown from seed.
Size: To 24 inches wide and 40 inches tall. After many years this cactus may offset into a multiple headed plant that is truly a prize for any gardener. can be
Shape: Globular
Flowers: The yellow flowers are distinct because of the sharp brownish pointed petals along the outer perimeter..
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©1999

Description
This popular barrel cactus is noted for the beautiful golden yellow spines that thickly surround the dark green body. As with all true Echinocactus the crown or top of the stem is covered by dense white or slightly cream colored hair that is more prominent on older and larger plants.

Author Comments
This is a favorite plant for anyone that wants a bit of dangerous beauty. The spines are densely laced and painful if touched, which is probably why this cactus is rarely bothered by predatory animals. We all love to see others who enjoy their plants and without exception this cactus is a Tucson favorite now and will be for many years to come.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=e.grusonii

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Item ID: 3
Family: Fouquieriaceae
Genus: Fouquieria
Species: splendens
Common Name: Ocotillo (oh-koh-TEE-yo), Candlewood, Jacob's Staff, Coachwhip
Habitat: Found at elevations of 3000 to 6500 feet elevation in rocky, gravelly hillsides and especially areas where limestone soils are common. Sandy plains are also a favorite for the Ocotillo.
Range: Fouquieria splendens can be found native to southern California, the extreme southern region of Nevada, western and southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southwestern Texas. It also occurs in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Care: The Ocotillo is a very drought tolerant plant and can take quite a lot of abuse. It can be dug up and transplanted after many days out of the soil. To best insure good health it is best to plant your Ocotillo deep enough for adequate support and to keep the long slender stems moist with a garden hose until it is well established.
Propagation: Propagation is best from seed. Cuttings may not produce a very attractive plant.
Size: Stems can grow anywhere from 9 to 30 feet tall with spines to 1.5 inches long, spread to 15ft.
Shape: Clustering
Flowers: Red flowers in the spring. Leaves occur whenever there is plentiful moisture.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Mark Dimmitt ©2002

Description
Ocotillo is a drought-deciduous shrub. It can have anywhere from 6 to 100 wand like branches that grow from the root crown. The growth rate is very slow.

Author Comments
This is an old classical desert dweller that should always be given our attention. It is a very slow growing species so please understand that a small plant can take many years to reach specimen proportions. This plant is very attractive during the summer monsoon rains as the green leaves come forth and the plant begins to breathe a little relief.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=f.splendens

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Item ID: 4
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
Species: palmeri
Common Name: Palmer's Agave,
Habitat: Characteristically this Agave grows in areas inhabited by the oak woodlands from 3,000 to 6,500 ft. elevation usually in limestone soils.
Range: A rather widely scattered species that is found throughout southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico
Care: Agave palmeri is a rather slow growing species that is a very easy plant to cultivate in and around Tucson. It can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 degrees F. or lower but usually requires a more humus soil than typical desert plants.
Propagation: Seed or rhizome offsets
Size: Medium sized species 3.25-4 ft. and 20-47 in. wide.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: Pale yellow/green to white
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Chris Monrad ©2003

Description
This Agave is somewhat misunderstood in that younger plants usually do not offset but as the plant ages it will often send out many small rhizome offsets.

Author Comments
Agave palmeri was also a favorite of the Apache, Papago and Pima Indians. It was used as food and tools for everyday life in North America. Almost every part of this plant was used as a food source and the fiberous leaves were made into rope and twine. The spine tip on the leaf was often broken and peeled down to form a needle and string. A fermented liquid drink was made from the crowns of the plant into a liquor or mescal.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=a.palmeri

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Item ID: 5
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Carnegiea
Species: gigantea
Common Name: Saguaro
Habitat: Plants are found in the Sonoran Desert of extreme southeastern California, southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. The Saguaro is at home on desert slopes, flats, and rocky areas up to about 4000 feet.
Range: Arizona, California and Sonora, Mexico
Care: The first word in care for the Saguaro is patience. It is easily grown from seed except for the fact that from seed the plant takes many years to reach several feet in height. Most garden plants are purchased from nurseries and are already large enough for establishment as a landscape plant. No special requirement is needed. Extra watering can sometimes speed up the growth but this practice is really up to the owner.
Propagation: The Saguaro is always grown from seed.
Size: 35 inches wide and up to 50 feet tall.
Shape: Columnar
Flowers: White
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of American Desert Plants

Description
The magnificent Saguaro Cactus, the state flower of Arizona, is composed of a tall, thick, fluted, columnar stem, 18 to 24 inches in diameter, often with several large branches (arms) curving upward in the most distinctive conformation of all Southwestern cacti.

Author Comments
Once established this cactus will slowly grow into a magnificent specimen symbolic of the Sonoran Desert. Saguaros under cultivation can be coaxed into a more vigorous growth by adding additional watering during the summer months as long as this is done with a sense of moderation. All who love cacti and the true beauty of the Sonoran Desert should have this plant in their garden.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=c.gigantea

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Item ID: 6
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
Species: americana
Common Name: Century plant, Maguey
Habitat: Although it is a native of Mexico, the actual habitat has not been very well established. This Agave has been found in many types of soil and is a real survivor as the offsetting plants will continue growing long after the mother plant has died.
Range: The natural location of Agave americana is unclear, but the range of this plant within Mexico is very extensive. It is a very desirable ornamental plant and has been widely used in the production of fiber, food and drink. It has been introduced in Arizona, California and many southern states where it is receiving much attention. It is also grown in several Mediterranean countries, Africa and the far east.
Care: Easily grows from separation of the numerous offsets. With added water during the heat of the summer the plant is most robust but is an easy target for the Agave weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus). This plant can tolerate very hot dry areas and is also quite successful in coastal locations in the southeastern United States. It has been tolerant of temperatures as low as 12 degrees farenheit if kept very dry.
Propagation: Seed and by offset removal
Size: Commonly 5 to over 10 feet in height and 10 or more feet wide.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: The inflorescence of this Agave is a very impressive sight as the stalk can rise to over 24 feet in height. The flowers are yellow.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2001

Description
This beautiful Agave is easily recognized by the blue/gray leaves and its large size. The actual age of the plant typically does not exceed 30 years and some plants may flower much sooner than expected. If you plan to grow this Agave be sure to think about its location and growth pattern as it can easily get very large.

Author Comments
This is one of my favorite Agaves. The above photo is of a plant about 7 feet tall growing in Arivaca, Arizona. It was about 5 years old when planted in 1986 and flowered in June of 2004. The name agave is from the Greek word agauos which means admirable. There are now more than 136 species in 20 groups and over 197 taxa in the subgenera of Littaea and Agave. Admirable is a very fitting word for these magnificent plants.

Additional Information About This Plant:
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Item ID: 8
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
Species: victoriae-reginae
Common Name: Queen Victoria agave, Royal agave
Habitat: This plant is typically fond of the rocky limestone areas throughout its range in the Chihuahuan Desert. Populations are rather isolated and quite rare today as this beautiful Agave was a favorite for habitat plant collectors during the 20th century. Habitat numbers have now reached the endangered status and wild plants today are protected.
Range: A variable species with small populations being found in Durango, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila, Mexico
Care: This is a slow growing Agave that requires rather little care. It loves being grown with full sun exposure and can tolerate the dry Arizona weather although extra watering during the summer months can insure your plants remain healthy for many years.
Propagation: By seed or by the removal of occasional offsets.
Size: From 6 to 14 inches in height and 18 to 30 inches wide.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: Yellow to a reddish beige or light burgundy
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2002

Description
The compact, tightly set leaves of this plant with the strange white markings and sharp dark brown to black pointed leaf spine makes this a favorite choice among plant lovers.

Author Comments
This is one of the most popular Agaves and is found at almost any nursery in the Tucson area. It is a most attractive addition to any garden and can also be easily kept under pot culture.

Additional Information About This Plant:
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Item ID: 9
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Agave
Species: vilmoriniana
Common Name: Octopus Agave
Habitat: Vertical cliffs and rocky slopes in rugged forest locations at elevations around 2,000 to 6,000 feet.
Range: It occurs in some very rugged and remote rocky cliff locations in the Mexican states of Aguascalientes, Durango, Jalisco, Sinaloa and Sonora.
Care: A very easy Agave to grow in and around the Tucson area where the night temperature rarely drops below 24 degrees farenheit. It is frost sensitive and can be damaged rather easily in certain micro climates. It is both tolerant of full sun as well as partial shade and is very vigorous.
Propagation: By removal of the hundreds or thousands of bulbils from the flower stalk.
Size: Some plants grow as large as 4 feet in height and nearly 6 feet wide.
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: Yellow
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Vonn Watkins ©2003

Description
This plant gets the name "Octopus" form the long curled leaves that are flexible and easy to touch.

Author Comments
It is a popular landscaping plant mainly because of the strange curled leaves and its attractive growth pattern. One slight draw back to having this plant is the fact that it does have a rather short life. Plants have been known to flower in only 8 years, but will produce many small bulbils from which many more plants can be grown.

Additional Information About This Plant:
http://tucsoncactus.org/cgi-bin/MySQLdb/DisplayCollection.php?Collection=a.vilmoriniana

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Item ID: 10
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Aloe
Species: vera
Common Name: Aloe vera
Habitat: 
Range: 
Care: This Aloe is very easy to grow and maintain in the Tucson area. It requires very little actual care and is not very popular with predators. Plants do well if watered during the winter months. It is best to reduce watering and allow the plants to be self maintained during the spring and summer.
Propagation: Propagation is by seed or by removing the numerous offsets.
Size: Large single specimens are over 14 inches wide and 2 feet in height. Large clumps can be over 10 feet in diameter..
Shape: Rosette
Flowers: The flowers of this Aloe are always a somewhat medium shade of yellow. Flowering time in Tucson is usually March and April.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Barber ©2003

Description
The common Aloe vera found in many nurseries may be a hybrid. The true Aloe vera is a yellow flowering plant with somewhat gray leaves and stem color. Aloe vera is sometimes mistaken for Aloe barbadensis which also has yellow flowers and there are also hybrids that have orange or reddish flowers.

Author Comments
Aloe vera has been in cultivation for hundreds of years and was used for its great healing properties over 2,000 years ago. It was used as a moisturizer by Cleopatra and is still valued today for its numerous useful qualities. There are beautiful displays of this plant along Kino Blvd. from 22nd St. south to Ajo Road and also along the median on Camino Seco Road from Broadway Blvd. to Speedway Blvd.

Additional Information About This Plant:
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Item ID: 11
Family: Cactaceae
Genus: Cereus
Species: hildmannianus
Common Name: Hedge Cactus, Queen of the Night
Habitat: The exact habitat for this species is rather uncertain because of its popular cultivation over the years.
Range: It is found throughout southern Brazil and especially in and around the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is also found in neighboring countries such as Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Care: This plant has been in cultivation for many, many years and has been commonly seen in lots of gardens in and around Tucson. It is easy to find and to grow and has no problems adapting to any garden in this area.
Propagation: Propagation is by seed or by stem cuttings.
Size: 30 or more feet in height, and sometimes forming large columnar bushes.
Shape: Columnar
Flowers: Large white flowers appear in mid-summer.
 Image Not Available
Photo Courtesy of Dick Wiedhopf ©2003

Description
This plant has long columnar stems that have 5 to 7 ribs. The stems are bluish-green or a dull gray-green color. Spines when present are short and brown to black in color.

Author Comments
Please understand that this plant is really the plant most commonly referred to as Cereus peruvianus although that name is no longer recognized. It seems that the name C. peruvianus was first recorded by Linnaeus in 1768 but after further study no species of cereus is found native to Peru. Cereus Peruvianus is now correctly identified as Cereus repandus. The plant we see in Tucson with the beautiful white flowers and in many nurseries in warmer climates is really Cereus hildmannianus.

Additional Information About This Plant:
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