Monday, November 19, 2007

Random plant event: new purchase needing ID

Bought this plant from work yesterday; I thought when I got it that it was a
Gasteria, but the only Gasteria gallery I could find made me think that it couldn't be, because its leaves really are arranged as a rosette, not stacked up in two opposite orientations like almost every Gasteria I've ever seen.

The leaves are smooth, with two exceptions: the tip of each leaf comes to a sharp point, and the outside ends of some of the leaves are bumpy, with light gray markings. Every leaf has the sharp point, but only a few have bumpies.

If anybody knows what I've got, or could point me to a gallery that might help me narrow it down, please let me know, either in the comments here or at Garden Web here, on the cactus and succulents forum.

UPDATE: I believe we have a winner: Gasteria x 'pseudonigricans,' as best as I could determine from poking around on photo sites and from "rjm710" at Garden Web. What did people do in the days before the hive mind of the internet? Look stuff up in books or something? Sounds terribly inefficient.


cirrat said...

actually, you had to have a friend who knew a friend who knew somebody who grew cacti or succulents - or roses or whatever, you set up an appointment (in our post-socialistic country you often came bearing gifts) and he took a look and told you what do you have on your hands. Reminds me of the time I did some German-Czech translation of an article about Pyreneas and their endemic plants and animals. Without the internet we would take about three weeks only to go through all the books and professors of Iberian fauna and flora :D Now we were done within one evening...

insideout said...

So have you noticed Gasterias needing a "winter rest"? Colder temps in the winter? I'm wondering because that's the main thing that's prevented me from getting them...but after getting a few plants that allegedly needed a "cold rest" to bloom and then bloomed fine without one and are still growing, I'm now wondering about your experience. Also, did you ever consider releasing Lacewing larvae for scale? Just wondering what your thoughts were on that

mr_subjunctive said...


Mainly what I've noticed is that if you keep them cold and wet in the winter, the roots will rot and then you have to throw them away. I haven't had a full Gasteria (as opposed to Gasteraloe or Gasterworthia) in a really long time, though.

I did consider lacewings, but didn't do it, on the grounds that the cure sounded almost worse than the disease. I've since tried biological controls indoors once (predatory mites for thrips), which was 1) very expensive and 2) not even a little bit effective.

The scale hasn't ever completely gone away, but imidacloprid does seem to work pretty well to keep it under control.

insideout said...

Oh, what seemed worse about it? Is it just having bugs crawling around?

mr_subjunctive said...


Yeah, just the prospect of having lots of bugs in the house flying around or whatever.