oday we will be exploring the lovely Lavandula multifida, a Mediterranean native usually seen on the Iberian peninsula, Sicily, and the Canary Islands.
Cleveland Sage. Jim Sage. Blue Sage. Fragrant Sage. All these are common names for Salvia clevelandii. Regardless of region, this plant is known for its aromatic qualities--a trait shared by its cousins in other sage species. Native to southern California and northern Baja, this perennial thrives in a chaparral habitat, usually found growing wild below 3000 ft / 900 m. Initially identified in 1874 by Asa Gray and Edward Lee Greene, it was named in honor of San Diego's noted plant collector, Daniel Cleveland.
There are many species in the Sempervivum genus, each unique and with particular properties. Noted by Linnaeus in 1757, the genus name translates to "always living," a reference to the plants' hardy, drought-tolerant nature, enabling it to survive in both intense heat and frost. They are also known as houseleeks, hens, chicks, or hen's nests in some areas.
As an evergreen perennial, this hardy flowering plant is native to the rocky, subalpine region spanning northern California and southern Oregon.
While each species has its own unique traits and properties, all share an inherent hardiness in dry, arid conditions. However, because they evolved to exist in regions largely devoid of water for the majority of the year, they are highly suceptable to over-watering and potential rotting--either from fungus or from being waterlogged.
Today, we'll be talking about the ever-lovely Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusoni), first described by Hildmann (1891). I will admit that the barrel cactus has always been a favorite of mine. In retrospect, that is likely because it looks much like a cuddly pillow (unlike the soft-spined Paraguan and Brasilian native, (Notocactus leninghausii), but I digress.