I checked your archive and I couldn’t find anything about this, so I thought I’d ask you. Years ago I remember reading that scientists were extremely vexed about the evolutionary appearance of Venus flytraps. The article I read said that the little evil-looking plants simply appeared some time in our planet’s history without any apparent relatives, and the creepiest thing is that their (very small) native area is right in the middle of where a meteor hit the earth years ago. Is this true? It sounds very “Little Shop of Horrors” to me. Additionally, how do the plants “know” when an insect is in their maws? I didn’t think plants had nerves. I patiently await your reply.
SDStaff Doug replies:
There are no scientists puzzled about the Venus flytrap, only “scientists.” The VFT is the only member of its genus, Dionaea, but it has several relatives in the genus Drosera, which also happen to be carnivorous plants, known as “sundews.” Together, these two genera make up the plant family Droseraceae. Sundews occur all over the world, while the VFT is limited to bogs throughout North and South Carolina — and, despite any X-Files episodes to the contrary, neither of the Carolinas used to be a meteor crater….
It’s the Tokidoki Unicorno Pride Special Edition – It’s a 2-pack!
We sell a lot of the Tokidoki toys, mostly the Cactus Friends and the Unicornos (also spiky!) since we are a spiky kind of nursery kind of place. And now they’ve released a Pride Special Edition?!? And we are in the middle of Pride season here in SF!?!
Common Name: Red Carpet
Origin: South Africa
Description: Forms a carpet of lightly fuzzy leaves, green in shade and bright red in full sun. Afternoon shade needed in inland locations.
Temperature: Hardy to 25F
Classic blue cactus from the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Very low water, can handle high heat and winter cold if dry. Pink flowers. Loads of small glochids, very few spines. Will get 2 to 3 feet tall and spread 6 to 8 feet wide over time. Pads were used medicinally.
Cute South African succulents in the Mesemb Family, also known as the Iceplant Family, also known as the Living Stone Family. Indeed! To be clear the actual family name is Aizoaceae, Sub-Family Ruschioideae. And yet they’re called Mesembs because at some point in the past the family was called Mesembryanthemaceae. And some will dispute the current family name anyway, and insist these all belong under Ficoidaceae instead. Don’t get me started!
Ceropegia serpentina is one of the strangest succulents with a basically bare stem that travels in weird directions. Until it blooms. Here it is just starting to open. And there are more than a dozen more buds still to come!
I have attached a photo and I’m wondering if you can tell me what is happening with this plant.
Is it a lost cause😞? If not, how can I help it?
The plant is a Euphorbia, and hopefully it is just the tip that got damaged in the winter. Depending on where you live, they are only semi-hardy here in the Bay Area, so they can take damage to the tip when we get below freezing, or with heavy rains, or especially with both (See: This year.)
You can cut the top part off the plant and it looks like the damage is limited there. Cut at an angle, using a bread knife, and make sure the flesh is clean and white. If there is still some rot there, cut lower. Be careful when cutting a Euphorbia as it has a caustic milky-white sap. Where gloves, long sleeves, and eye-protection. Spray the cut end with Hydrogen Peroxide and put a paper bag over it to keep the sun off it until it is healed. Good Luck!