In botany, succulent plants, also known as succulents, are plants that have some parts that are more than normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or soil conditions. The word “succulent” comes from the Latin word sucus, meaning juice, or sap. Succulent plants may store water in various structures, such as leaves and stems. Some definitions also include roots, thus geophytes that survive unfavorable periods by dying back to underground storage organs may be regarded as succulents. In horticultural use, the term “succulent” is sometimes used in a way which excludes plants that botanists would regard as succulents, such as cacti. Succulents are often grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.
Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The Orchidaceae have about 28,000 currently accepted species, distributed in about 763 genera. The determination of which family is larger is still under debate, because verified data on the members of such enormous families are continually in flux. Regardless, the number of orchid species nearly equals the number of bony fishes and is more than twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species. The family also encompasses about 6–11% of all seed plants. The largest genera are Bulbophyllum (2,000 species), Epidendrum (1,500 species), Dendrobium (1,400 species) and Pleurothallis (1,000 species).
The family also includes Vanilla (the genus of the vanilla plant), Orchis (type genus), and many commonly cultivated plants such as Phalaenopsis and Cattleya. Moreover, since the introduction of tropical species into cultivation in the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars.
Orchids are easily distinguished from other plants, as they share some very evident, shared derived characteristics, or “apomorphies“. Among these are: bilateral symmetry of the flower (zygomorphism), many resupinate flowers, a nearly always highly modified petal (labellum), fused stamens and carpels, and extremely small seeds.
A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colors ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.
Plants are offered for sale under a variety of common names. The earliest English common name was “Christmas cactus”. In Europe, where plants are largely produced for sale in the period before Christmas, this remains the most widely used common name in many languages for cultivars of all groups (e.g. Weihnachtskaktus in German, cactus de Noël in French, and cacto de Navidad in Spanish). This is also the name used in Canada. In the United States, where plants are produced for the Thanksgiving holiday in November, the name “Thanksgiving cactus” is used; “Christmas cactus” may then be restricted to cultivars of the Buckleyi Group, particularly the very old cultivars such as ‘Buckleyi’. The name “crab cactus” (referring to the clawed ends of the stems) is also used for the Truncata Group. “link cactus” is another common name, describing the way that the stems of the genus as a whole are made up of linked segments. The name “chain cactus” is common in New Zealand, and may also refer to Hatiora species
Introducing: Chris Berg, President of BlueSkye Creative
Chris will be presenting a unique portfolio of marketing concepts to pitch our industry’s product in a B2B environment.
BlueSkye Creative is a San Diego based marketing firm specializing in the horticulture industry. As the leader of BlueSkye Creative, Chris has worked on in-depth marketing programs for breeders, brokers, growers and retailers across the globe. This past July, BlueSkye Creative and their client, PlantHaven International, accepted the industry’s Medal of Excellence in Marketing award at the Cultivate ’17 in Columbus, Ohio. Chris’ major strengths include business-to-business marketing, product development and box store retail presentations and programs. He is known for his out of the box ideas for retail packaging design and innovative marketing and sales tools for business-to-business promotions.
Location: Thompson Rose Co., Inc.
949 Cassou Rd., San Marcos 92069
$50 member/$55 non member/$60 at the door
AHS, American AgCredit-Berger, Grangetto, Green Planet Soil, Harrell’s, SDG&E, Sorensen G.H., Target Specialty Products, Zenith Ins.
History of the Amazing Sunflower
Close-up of a single blooming sunflower in a field of sunflowers The story of sunflower (Helianthus Annuus ) is indeed amazing. The wild sunflower is native to North America but commercialization of the plant took place in Russia. It was only recently that the sunflower plant returned to North America to become a cultivated crop. But it was the American Indian who first domesticated the plant into a single headed plant with a variety of seed colors including black, white, red, and black/white striped.
American Indian Uses
Sunflower was a common crop among American Indian tribes throughout North America. Evidence suggests that the plant was cultivated by American Indians in present-day Arizona and New Mexico about 3000 BC. Some archaeologists suggest that sunflower may have been domesticated before corn. Sunflower was used in many ways throughout the various American Indian tribes. Seed was ground or pounded into flour for cakes, mush or bread. Some tribes mixed the meal with other vegetables such as beans, squash, and corn. The seed was also cracked and eaten for a snack. There are references of squeezing the oil from the seed and using the oil in making bread. Non-food uses include purple dye for textiles, body painting and other decorations. Parts of the plant were used medicinally ranging from snakebite to other body ointments. The oil of the seed was used on the skin and hair. The dried stalk was used as a building material. The plant and the seeds were widely used in ceremonies.
Cloth bag and small packages of sunflower from early century time period This exotic North American plant was taken to Europe by Spanish explorers some time around 1500. The plant became widespread throughout present-day Western Europe mainly as an ornamental, but some medicinal uses were developed. By 1716, an English patent was granted for squeezing oil from sunflower seed. Sunflower became very popular as a cultivated plant in the 18th century. Most of the credit is given to Peter the Great. The plant was initially used as an ornamental, but by 1769 literature mentions sunflower cultivated by oil production. By 1830, the manufacture of sunflower oil was done on a commercial scale. The Russian Orthodox Church increased its popularity by forbidding most oil foods from being consumed during Lent. However, sunflower was not on the prohibited list and therefore gained in immediate popularity as a food. By the early 19th century, Russian farmers were growing over 2 million acres of sunflower. During that time, two specific types had been identified: oil-type for oil production and a large variety for direct human consumption. Government research programs were implemented. V. S. Pustovoit developed a very successful breeding program at Krasnodar. Oil contents and yields were increased significantly. Today, the world’s most prestigious sunflower scientific award is known as The Pustovoit Award.
Sunflower Back to North America
By the late 19th century, Russian sunflower seed found its way into the US. By 1880, seed companies were advertising the ‘Mammoth Russian’ sunflower seed in catalogues. This particular seed name was still being offered in the US in 1970, nearly 100 years later. A likely source of this seed movement to North America may have been Russian immigrants. The first commercial use of the sunflower crop in the US was silage feed for poultry. In 1926, the Missouri Sunflower Growers’ Association participated in what is likely the first processing of sunflower seed into oil. Canada started the first official government sunflower breeding program in 1930. The basic plant breeding material utilized came from Mennonite (immigrants from Russia) gardens. Acreage spread because of oil demand. By 1946, Canadian farmers built a small crushing plant. Acreage spread into Minnesota and North Dakota. In 1964, the Government of Canada licensed the Russian cultivar called Peredovik. This seed produced high yields and high oil content. Acreage increased in the US with commercial interest in the production of sunflower oil. Sunflower was hybridized in the middle seventies providing additional yield and oil enhancement as well as disease resistance.
Back to Europe
U.S. acreage escalated in the late 70’s to over 5 million because of strong European demand for sunflower oil. This European demand had been stimulated by Russian exports of sunflower oil in the previous decades. During this time, animal fats such as beef tallow for cooking were negatively impacted by cholesterol concerns. However, the Russians could no longer supply the growing demand, and European companies looked to the fledging U.S. industry. Europeans imported sunflower seed that was then crushed in European mills. Western Europe continues to be a large consumer of sunflower oil today, but depends on its own production. U.S. exports to Europe of sunflower oil or seed for crushing is quite small.
The native North American sunflower plant has finally come back home after a very circuitous route. It is the Native Americans and the Russians who completed the early plant genetics and the North Americans who put the finishing touches on it in the form of hybridization. Those early ancestors would quickly recognize their contributions to today’s commercial sunflower if they were here.
The reference for this summary was taken from: Albert A. Schneiter, ed. Sunflower Technology and Production, (The American Society of Agronomy No. 35, 1997) 1-19.
Locally grown plants direct from the Growers. Lots to choose from indoor, outdoor, color baskets, succulents and more. Create your own color bowl.
Sat. June 3rd
10 am to 3 pm
902 Encinitas Blvd.
Benefiting the San Diego County Flower & Plant Assoc.
Thursday, April 27th
Tours: 5:00 pm / Dinner: 6:30 pm
Please join Eric Larson, Executive Director of the SDC Farm Bureau
(attire business casual, wear comfortable shoes)
Topics will include:
• The opportunities for commercial marijuana production in San Diego County
• The new agricultural runoff order for growers
• How to save employers thousands of dollars in unemployment insurance benefits
Materials will be provided. Bi-lingual class.
Location: Twin Oaks Growers
1969 Marilyn Ln.
San Marcos 92069
Brilliantly colored flowers are ‘ranunculus‘ chief attraction, and they are indeed special. They most often come in multiple layers of delicate, crepe paper–thin petals, looking like an origami masterwork. Ranunculus (R. asiaticus) excel in southern and western gardens, and make terrific container plants everywhere. They also make long-lasting cut flowers. Bulbs are widely available in Fall at retail nurseries in mild-winter climates; in Fall and early spring from mail-order catalogs.
Ranunculus leaves, grass green and vaguely celery-like, grow in a mound 6 to 12 inches across. Flowers on 12- to 18-inch stems emerge in March from fall-planted bulbs, June and July from spring-planted bulbs; they last up to six weeks. On the most common type, the Tecolote strain, flowers are mostly fully double, 3 to 6 inches wide, and available in bicolored picotee, gold, pastel mix, pink, red, rose, salmon, sunset orange, white, and yellow. The less common Bloomingdale strain is shorter, to 10 inches, with pale orange, pink, red, yellow, and white double flowers.
The carnation, also known by the nickname ‘carn,’ has been cultivated for centuries for its ruffled blooms, favoured for its fragrance and hardiness.
The scientific name Dianthus caryophyllus contains the Greek word ‘dianthus’ which means “flower of the gods,’ and the original pink blooms of the flower led to its common name which is said to mean ‘flesh toned.’
Others believe carnation gets its name from the word ‘coronation’ or the Greek word for ‘flower garlands’ which is ‘corone.’
This Eurasian plant has a spice scent, and is also called the Clove Pink or Gillyflower, and can be found in numerous colours ranging from pink to purple-red and are said the symbolize love, fascination and distinction.
As legend has it, pink carnations were said to have appeared below the Virgin Mary’s tears as Jesus carried the cross and as a result, the pink variety symbolizes a mother’s love.
This connection between the carnation and Mary was immortalized in the 1475 painting “The Madonna with the Carnation” by Leonardo da Vinci. It is housed in Munich, Germany as part of a collection of famous works and is also called the “Munich Madonna.”
Carnations carried the meanings of love, fascination and distinction.
Other meanings attached to carnation colours include passionate love (red), rejection or distain (yellow), innocence and steadfastness (white) and whimsical and capricious (purple).