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11 Mar 2018

Aeonium (Crassulaceae)

The name derives from the Greek «immortal» aiónios. It is, in fact, a genus similar to the genus Sempervivum of which it recalls the rosette arrangement of the leaves, although the A. are caulescent. Almost all of them are from the Canary Islands, except for some African form; there. arboreum is natural in many parts of southern Italy.

Aeonium arboreum, atropurpureum variety, with the typical rosettes of bronze red leaves
Aeonium arboreum, atropurpureum variety, with the typical rosettes of bronze red leaves

Cultivated species of Aeonium:

A. arboreum, thick and succulent stem of more than a meter in height, crowned by a large rosette of green and spatulate leaves, flowers in long racemes, yellow-gold; the var. atropurpureum has almost purpureous bronze red leaves; A. decorum (sin cooperi, very branched bush, each twig with a terminal rosette of small leaves that take on the sun a bronze color, white flowers streaked with pink; A. haworthii, bushy plant with lignified twigs with rosettes of fleshy leaves, obovate-acute, ciliate, from the red margin, pale-yellow flowers; Aeonium lindleyi, branched shrub with rosettes of small leaves, carenate, slightly viscous and tomentose, olive-green, yellow flowers; A. tabulaeforme, low, with large rosette flat small leaves embedded in each other, closely imbricate and ciliate, yellow flowers, in nature it grows almost vertical out of the crevasses of the rocks that provide it with partial shading.


like all succulents, the A. prefer very permeable and sandy soils; the sunny positions favor the thickening and compactness of the rosettes of leaves and the liveliness of the colors. Semirusics in temperate climates, these plants would require a minimum of 5 ° C, but also withstand lower temperatures provided they are sheltered from freezing. Multiplication normally occurs by stem or leaf cuttings, provided the cuttings are kept almost dry. They can also be reproduced by seed to be laid on the surface without burial, on fine and sandy soil, in spring.

Also read: Garden project: garden on the roof.

09 Mar 2018

Aechmea (Bromeliaceae)

The name derives from the Greek akmé «punta», with an allusion to the rigid points of the glass. The genus includes evergreen plants from tropical America, often epiphytes, which have the peculiar shape of most of the Bromeliaceae; they have in fact rigid leaves arranged like acaulettes, each one inguaining in the form of a spiral to form a central tubular void from which the inflorescence emerges with numerous bracts and small flowers, mostly of a contrasting color. Considered until recently as plants suitable only for the warm greenhouse, some species have proven to have good qualities as houseplants where it is however very difficult to make them bloom.

Aechmea fulgens specie of great ornamental value.
Aechmea fulgens specie of great ornamental value.

Cultivated species of Aechmea:

 A. fulgens (about 50 cm), dark green leaves, violet flowers and scarlet bracts, persistent; var. discolor (75 cm), leaves with green-gray upper page, brown-violet bottom, violet-blue flowers, scarlet persistent bracts; Aechmea mariaereginae (60 cm), light blue flowers that change to pink before wilting, pink bracts; Aechmea wrapped, the most widespread, leaves 10 cm wide, 45 cm long, stiff, thorny, gray-green striped horizontally with silver-gray stripes; the plants can have a diameter of more than 60 cm and an inflorescence about 40 cm high, with small celestial flowers that last a short time although the pink and thorny bracts remain colored for about six months.


usually for all the plants of this family it is recommended to keep the central “vase”, that is the heart of the plant, full of water, possibly rain; however, this is a practice that must be done very sparingly in the apartment, since the temperature is usually not high enough to prevent rotting. Even the waterings should be very moderate in winter, for the same reason. After flowering, the central rosette dies, but in the space of almost a year, before this happens, numerous suckers will grow around each root and can be detached and repotted individually in jars with a mixture of equal parts of the fibrous earth, peat and earth of leaves. The minimum winter temperature should be around 20 ° C, although the A. fasciata can withstand lower temperatures when the soil is kept rather dry.

Also readTYPES OF GARDENS: Mediterranean Garden.

08 Mar 2018

Adromischus (Crassulaceae)

The name derives from the Greek adrós «abundant» and mischóis «stem». The genus, native to South Africa, includes dwarf succulent herbaceous plants, which cling to fleshy round, flat or cuneate leaves that become mottled in brown or reddish in the sun; the flowers are brought into rising spikes from the center of the plant.

The succulent rosette of Adromischus
The succulent rosette of Adromischus

Cultivated species of Adromischus:

Adromischus clavifolius, clavate leaves (cm 5), green, reddish in the sun, small pinkish-green flowers; A. cooperii, cuneate leaves crested on the upper margin, gray-green with more intense purple spots towards the top; A. hemisphaericus, up to 30 cm tall, leaves thickened light green with a thin waxy layer, become completely reddish without streaks, flowers on long stems, small, pale-red; Adromischus maculatus, a succulent rosette with a few flat, almost round leaves, stained reddish brown on both sides, a dense colonies shape; A. rotundifolius, a small branching plant, with almost oval oblong leaves, green with waxy dots; the stems carry numerous bright pink flowers.


 all Adromischus require very porous soil, sandy and with excellent drainage, very sunny and sunny position, always moderate watering, especially in winter when the optimal temperature should be around 5-7 ° C. They are all multiplied with extreme ease by means of leaf cuttings in the almost dry sand as the rot represents the greatest danger.

Also read: The right approach to create a Perfect garden design.