Wednesday, August 7, 2013

QED: dipping into the past again (the 'e's' on easy street)...

Echinocereus knippelianus var. krugeri
 I wish I could remember how many years we grew this: a single plant out on the Dryland Mesa garden at Denver Botanic Gardens. One year I got a picture almost at the peak...two pictures, actually. These (and the rest of this installment) were all lovingly scanned by Ann Frazier--and with a little photoshopping they are better and brighter than they ever were as transparencies! After at least a decade (and likely 15 years) this plant succumbed to this past wretched winter. Glad I got these pix!

Same, slightly more pink.

Echinomastus intertextus
 It is hard to believe this tiny morsel is the same species as the big honker that David Cristiani shows in his blog, but it is indeed. Surely one of the most accommodating, long lived and hardy Chihuahua upland cacti, it is virtually non existent in the trade. Some don't like white flowers: some are nuts!

Engelmannia pinnatifida
 We still have a few of these tucked away here and there at the Botanic Gardens: we had a huge colony that admittedly swallowed up a lot of territory. I rate this as one of the most worthy of yellow composites for cultivation in our region: it is virtually indestructible once established, and sailed through drought cycles unfazed (and seemingly just as happy as in a wet year). Should be on every dry hell strip!

Eremurus fuscus
I am very proud of this 20 year old transparency. I love the contrast of the desert tail (literal translation of the Greek generic) with the misty lavender Turkish veronicas behind (V. "teucrioides") and the contrast of with the red gravel and the dark background--hope you don't mind pointing out all my favorite things about this. I divided the plant when I moved in 2006 and now I have eight or ten, but not as vigorous yet. I grew this from Russian seed. I saw it in Kazakhstan in 2010. It is high on my personal popularity list...

Erigeron vagus
 I feared this would be a weed and I moved it somewhere and it promptly died. I've only seen it a few times in nature. I did the same thing with its soboliferous white flowered cousin from the Beartooth (Erigeron flabellifolius). I will not make the same mistake twice with either of these two treasures. Uggh. (We take pictures to remind ourselves of our follies)...

Eriophyllum lanatum and Salvia x superba in background
 I grew Eriophyllum superbly for years--and one day it was gone. This is destined one day to be a great xeriscape garden plant once someone ELSE discovers it. I been dere, done dat. Until Ann scanned this ancient transparency, I had completely forgotten that I grew a nondescript, but somehow still fabulous Salvia from South Africa outdoors for several years (the wispy plant in the foreground)...I rue that as much as I do the Oregon sunshine (or maybe more).

Eryngium glaciale
 I took this picture above tree line in October of 2001 on the Sierra Nevada above Granada (España). I have grown the plant in Denver, but never so photogenically. I want to grow it again now!

Escobaria vivipara on the Laramie Plains
 I took this picture on a field trip with Ron McBeath--one of my all time heros--fifteen, maybe twenty years ago. I recently visited him and saw he still has an Escobaria in his garden (just about the only cactus there too) undoubtedly from this trip. The white flower is Xylorhiza glabriuscula--which I can guarantee you has never been sold at Walmart! But I would love to grow it in my garden....

Erythronium idahoense
 I sometimes fret about futile, unnecessary things. Such as the sad fact that 98% of the range of this lovely trout lily is now wheat and pea fields on the Palouse of Washington, and the lily is now gone from there. I was very fortunate one day when Richard Naskali--who created the wonderful arboretum in Moscow, Idaho--drove me around the Panhandle in May and I found many, many treasures I'd always yearn to see. This chief among them (although I had collected seeds and a few bulbs in 1976 long before then)...and even bloomed it in two of my gardens.

Erythronium idahoense
 I shall inflict several pictures of this on you: an obscure and utterly wonderful American wildflower. Current treatments have lumped this as var. candidum under E. grandiflorum--but I still like the old name better and will use it (taxonomy is a very flawed art and flawder science: just get a taxonomist drunk and they'll admit it).

Erythronium idahoense
 One last parting shot. "ensnared in flowers, I fall on grass" indeed.
                          God I love that poem...I will type the next verse, just because it's my blog and I can do whatever I want to on it (provided it's not banned or illegal, of course)

                         "....Meanwhile the Mind from pleasure less
                           Withdraws into its happiness.
                           The Mind, that Ocean where each kind
                           Does straight its own Resemblance find.
                           Yet it creates, transcending these
                           Far other worlds and other seas
                           Annihilating all that's made
                           To a green thought in a green shade"

I don't know what the heck Andrew Marvel meant by all that (four centuries ago no less), but I doubt a week has gone by in my life in the last few decades where that stanza doesn't resonate in my brain for a while. Of course, these flowers are our resemblances, just as we are each others, and our mutual bliss does ultimately annihilate all the stupidities and cupidities of mundane life, resolving them in the magic of chlorophyll. The one religion, philosophy and cult I passionately adhere to. Amen...

Eucomis bicolor in the garden
 Here at Denver Botanic Gardens many years ago...

Eucomis bicolor in the wild
 Here on Platberg, twenty years ago....

Eucomis autumnalis
 Furiously green and chartreuse (rather like the euphobias below), I nevertheless would love to  have grown this...

Euphorbia acanthothamnos

I took this picture in Greece almost 20 years ago. I didn't notice the Centaurea at the time. I believe this was at Sounion or nearby there. I have yearned for this plant ever since and assumed it would be hard to grow--until I saw healthy plants at Wurzburg last May. Sheeesh! at there no justice?

Euphorbia clavarioides and Dierama robustum on Ben McDhui
 These were very lofty indeed--over 9000' in elevation. Who ever dreamed that succulent Euphorbias and Dieramas would grow together? But they did (and no doubt do)...

Euphorbia rigida at Ephesos
 Why is the red flowered form of E. rigida not in cultivation? It grows right around the ruins at Ephesos for Heaven's sake!

Euryops acraeus at Denver Botanic Gardens, ca 1985
 I grew this and harvested tons of seed for years and one day it disappeared. Boy, would I love to get it back. Saw this at a half dozen botanic gardens in Europe this year--it's still well ensconced in cultivation there.

Euryops acraeus at Denver Botanic Gardens, ca 1985
 Is  this not a yellow composite anyone would love to have?

Eustoma grandiflorum at last stand in Metro area, 1982
 I really should end with this: I took a lot of pictures of this which I have not found (I know there somewhere). Joan Franson summoned me to see this in 1982 and I was amazed to see a meadow full of these just north of I-70 on Kipling. Today this area is a shopping center. Believe it or not, I tried to talk the developer into leaving the area with the Eustoma undisturbed (it could have been done--today it is a sterile lawn). Needless to say, I didn't get very far. I wish they designed emoticons that could convey a blend of bitterness, longing, tragic resignation, and just plain sadness.

Echinocactus texensis and Echinocereus dasyacanthus in seed!
 We still have an E. texensis, but it has never again had such wonderfully colored fruit. The dasyacanthus are now enormous. You take pictures to remind yourself of these things...

Eberlanzia sp. on Roggeveld
Only the most terminal of plant nerds would yearn for a mesembryanthemum with chickenwire armature. But friends, I am that very nerd. Quod erat demonstrandum.


  1. Panayoti, I finally understand why certain plants (like Androsaces) need a gravel or rock mulch. I lost all my Androsace chamaejasme seedlings in a recent heavy rain. They were growing well in a gritty mix. They probably would have survived the heavy rain if I had mulch the pot with pea gravel (or larger) stone.


  2. Gravel mulch is manna for many alpines and drylanders indeed, James! Androsace chamaejasme is worth the effort (says one who no longer has it!) But I have many forms of the similar but more accommodating A. villosa.

    1. The Androsace chamaejasme grew find in the gritty mix until the heavy rains. The heavy rains splashed just enough of the mix out of the pot so the little rosette was suspended above the surface. The rain then pummeled the exposed little rosette, knocking it around, until the small brittle root snapped. I think gravel mulch would have prevented the mix from splashing out of the pot. This would have left the rosette supported and better able to survive the avalanche of water from the heavens.

  3. geia sou! thelw na mathw kati: mipos to Engelmannia pinnatifida fenetai san Hypericum perforatum pou ftiaxnw ladi gia na xrisimopiw san farmako?

  4. Η ομοιότητα της μαργαρίτας στο Hypericum είναι πραγματικό. Το Hypericum είναι ζιζάνιο στο Κολοράντο - και είναι πολύ μικρότερο. Γνωρίζω μερικούς βοτανολόγους που συγεντρώνουν το Hypericum στην Αμερική για τον ίδιο σκοπό. Στη Νοτιοανατολική Τουρκία υπάρχει ένα είδος Hypericum με λαμπερά κόκκινα λουλούδια που θα ήταν θα είναι θαυμάσια εισαγωγή στους κήπους καλλωπιστικών.

  5. ta kokkina vriskontai kai edw. alla protimw ta kitrina -den kserw pws alla telika ginetai katakokkino balsamolado me ta kitrina louloudia.


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