Monday, April 21, 2008

Question for the Hive Mind: NOID succulents

Looking for identification on two plants today, plus there's an early result in the GASP project:

Succulent NOID #1:

NOID #1 has been around for at least a couple years; presumably it's looked better than this before. I'm assuming it's a succulent, even though it doesn't look much like one, because WCW says it's been grouped with the succulents since it arrived. She's never known what it is, and neither of us have seen anything like it before.

There's been talk of cutting it back and letting it, you know, get more normal-looking, but WCW and I don't want to do that until we know what it is. I did have a piece break off spontaneously, which I managed to root for a little while, though I think the cutting in question has been lost to rot already. Not sure. In any case, this has been bothering me for quite a while, so I'd be grateful if somebody had any ideas.

UPDATE: A reader has proposed Plectranthus ecklonii by e-mail, which seems to be in the right general neighborhood as far as leaf, leaf margin, and leaf arrangement, though the stem color and shape don't work, and it'd take a very unusual Plectranthus to grow so slowly and never flower in greenhouse conditions. P. ecklonii is also supposed to be a caudex-former, which we never saw in the two years or so that the plant was around, but there were a number of other cauduciform plants around, that had also been in the store since before I started working there, and our supplier did often do stuff like send boxes of "assorted" unidentified plants. It's plausible to me that this could have been in a box of "assorted cauduciforms," and that would explain why nobody knew what it was. (Explaining why a cauduciform plant didn't have a caudex is more complicated, though.) So I'm inclined to say that it's probably not P. ecklonii, but that P. ecklonii could be in the right neighborhood as far as genus or family.

(Close-up of leaves for NOID #1)

Succulent NOID #2:

NOID #2 actually does look a little familiar, but I can't place it. It's been in the same 6-inch hanging basket since I started working in August, and it was rootbound enough that you couldn't really water it: the water would run around the rootball right away without ever penetrating the soil. The plant didn't seem to mind this terribly, but I've felt bad about it, so yesterday I moved it up to the 8-inch pot in the picture. It has white, annoyingly sticky sap. The leaves turn slightly pinkish in full sun, and are tough but not very thick.

UPDATE: Was identified as Dischidia ruscifolia in the comments.

(Close-up of leaves for NOID #2)

Finally, the very first thing to happen with the GASP project is underway: I noticed this tiny, tiny sprout of Echinopsis peruviana (=Trichocereus peruvianus) yesterday. It doesn't look like much of anything in the picture, which is totally accurate: it doesn't look like much of anything in person, either. But it's still a sprout, so we're guardedly happy.


Anonymous said...

Could the first plant be a Clerodendron?


Esther Montgomery said...

Have mentioned you in relation to marigolds on post for 21st April on ESTHER IN THE GARDEN

Hope this is ok.


Karen715 said...

Hi Mr.S:

I think NOID #2 is Dischidia ruscifolia. Number 1 doesn't look familiar.

Tracy said...

I second the dischidia, although I would not have known precisely the name If I were you....hehe, I would totally snatch it up. Some of them (dischidia) have the cutest tiniest flowers. There is a site/forum called Epiforums, and there are a few people over there that are into dischidia's (they are kind of cousins to the hoya's).

I have no idea on the first....but I can't wait to find out what it is.

Hope your getting over your cold. :)

mr_subjunctive said...


Not really a problem, but just for the record, I don't dislike marigolds. Don't know that I like them a lot either, but we're reserving judgment. So far they're okay (kinda like impatiens).

karen715 / Tracy:

Dischidia ruscifolia does seem to be it; that was the assessment of "mfyss" at Garden Web too. Thanks. Rest assured, if I ever manage an ID for the other one, I'll let you know.


Well, I don't feel sick anymore in the sense that my brain seems to be working fine, and my muscles are . . . not any more sore than usual, and I don't have to sleep twelve hours a day. On the other hand, my head is still stuffed up a lot, and my throat is still sore, both of which are annoying (especially the throat). So I guess you'd say I'm about 80% recovered. The question now is, who did I pass it to? One of the nursery lot guys brought it in, and he gave it to the boss, and the boss gave it to one of the front counter people, and they gave it to me. Early indications are that I may have given it to a different nursery lot guy, but we're still waiting to see how sick he gets and with what.

HappyHermit said...

I am one of those odd people who collects the unknown , only a few succulents have remained unnamed for the most part and something that faintly resembles a lipstick plant sold by angel exotics.

I have had the most sucess with the following book

This book is very detailed , almost like a textbook , its illustration are sometimes easier to identify plants than photos.