Notice

Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Succulents and Cacti

Opuntia cochinellifera (L.) Mill.

Frost tender, shrubby or tree-like perennial cactus with flattened stem segments, few if any spines, and narrowly funnel-shaped, bright red flowers in spring and summer, followed by fleshy, spineless red fruit, to 4cm long.  To 4m.  The dye Cochineal is produced from insects grown on this cactus.  It has been long cultivated in tropical America and elsewhere for this purpose.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Opuntia leucotricha DC.

A true species with white flowers.  [JD].  ‘Often 3 to 5 meters high, with a large top; trunk as well as the older joints covered with long white bristles; joints oblong to orbicular, 1 to 2 cm. long, pubescent; areoles closely set, the upper part filled with yellow glochids, the lower part at first with only I to 3 weak white spines; flowers, including ovary, 4 to 5 cm. long; petals yellow, broad; ovary with numerous areoles, the upper ones bearing long, bristly glochids (1 cm. long); style red; stigma-lobes green; fruit variable, 4 to 6 cm. long, white or red, the rind not easily coming off from the pulp, aromatic, edible.’  [Britton & Rose – The Cactaceae vol.I, p. 174/1919].

Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit.

Frost tender, upright, bushy, clump-forming, succulent shrub with zigzagged stems, evergreen or deciduous, elliptic leaves, often powdery beneath, and fleshy red bract-cups, to 1.5cm long, yellow green at the base, in summer.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Pereskia aculeata Mill.

Uncactus-like shrubby perennial, becoming scandent, with long branches, short-stemmed, lance-shaped leaves, with 2 or 3 leaves at the base, and white to pink flowers followed by pinkish, edible fruit.  Often used as a root-stock for grafting Zygocactus and Schlumbergera.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Polianthes geminiflora (Lex.) Rose

Frost-tender tuberous perennial with 5-6 narrow, semi-erect, linear, basal leaves, to 40cm long, and leafy stems bearing lax racemes of paired, pendant, tubular, bright orange-red flowers, to 2.5cm long, in summer.  To 70cm.  [RHSE, Hortus]. 

Portulaca grandiflora unknown variety

A variety of Portulaca grandiflora Hook.  See Portulaca grandiflora ‘Splendens’.

Portulaca grandiflora ‘Splendens’

The type Portulaca grandiflora Hook. is a spreading, red-stemmed annual with fleshy leaves and pink, red, yellow or white flowers in summer.  The variety ‘Splendens’ has pale red flowers.  To 20cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Portulaca thellusonii Lindl.

‘These much resemble in appearance an ice-plant, having succulent stems and cylindrical leaves.  They are very showy plants, but require greenhouse treatment, although they may occasionally be turned out in the open border in summer.  The best [include] Thellusoni, which is the strongest grower – it has large blood-red flowers’  [Gard. Chron. 1855].

Rhipsalis baccifera (J.S.Muell.) Stearn

Identification uncertain and no description at present.

Ruschia maxima (Haw.) L.Bolus

Succulent shrub to 1.5m, leaves small, to 5cm long, half-moon shaped and 3-angled, flowers rose-coloured, 2cm across. [Hortus, Flowering Plants of Africa].

Schlumbergera truncata (Haw.) Moran

Frost tender, epiphytic cactus with oblong, glossy stem segments with tooth-like marginal notches and deep pink, red, orange or white flowers, to 7cm long, in autumn.  To 35cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Sedum sieboldii Hort. ex G.Don

Fully hardy, spreading, deciduous, succulent perennial with whorls of 3 rounded, occasionally purple-tinted leaves, to 2cm long, sometimes toothed and red-margined, and cymes of star-shaped pink flowers, to 1.5cm across in summer.  To 10cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Selenicereus grandiflorus (L.) Britt. & Rose

Frost tender, climbing, epiphytic cactus with 5- to 8-ribbed stems, to 2.5cm thick, and nocturnal, fragrant white flowers in summer.  To 5m.  [RHSD].

Trichocereus chiloensis (Colla.) Britt. & Rose

Frost tender large shrub- or tree-like erect, ovate cactus, branching near the base, with up to 16 blunt ribs, strong, pale prickles, and diurnal, funnel-shaped flowers, white inside, tinged maroon outside.  To 8m.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Yucca aloifolia L.

Frost-tender, slow-growing, rounded shrub or small tree with a simple or branched stem, linear to narrowly lance-shaped, toothed leaves, ending in a stiff point, and, from summer to autumn, stout, erect panicles of pendant, bell-shaped, white, sometimes purple-tinged, flowers held above the foliage.  To 8m.  [RHSE, Hortus]. See also Yucca aloifolia L.f. var. draconis (L.) Voss.

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