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Mt. Etna Eruption! Carunculations run amok!

16 years ago

I have been thinking about photographing this trio of plants for a while now. Al's recent thread showing the same plant inspired me to go out and shoot them this morning. I am very proud of these plants. Among a dozen or more different Echeverias, these are by far my favorites. So much so that come February, I am going to do them the kindness of beheading them because of their unbearable heaviness of being.


Comments (21)

  • sjv78736
    16 years ago

    that is amazing; what a unique looking lovely.
    a q for you -
    i also saw al's post. i have a unid'ed plant that looks virtually identical to the plant in his pic on the left - but no caruncles. i picked it up at the local c&s soc show last spring but have never seen another. could it be this is one parent to this hybrid? any idea on the name of it? i did a search on e. gibbiflora and that does not match my plant. mine has the lacy leaf margins shown on these plants. beginning about 2 months ago, my plant shot up a tall stalk which eventually fell over and curled upward. i placed a fresh pot of soil under this 'starter' with the thought it would root and i'd snip it free from mom but alas it has not rooted yet :-( during this process the parent plant changed from being rather compact 'bushy' to being more 'leggy' and many bottom leaves now look 'weak'. geesh, i need a dictionary of succulent terms! there must surely be a better way to describe all that than the one i just provided! LOL!
    thanks for sharing your pix -

  • cactuspolecat
    16 years ago

    Why, they're so cool they wear their lungs on the outside! Actually I like those lumpy bits, Nice plants Brad, they sure are something to be proud of. Nice looking lemons too!


  • ariole
    16 years ago

    Yes, that's a great combination picture; fantastic plants and the lemons in the bckground.

    And I'm especially grateful for the ID. I never thought that my plant would get a real name.

    Muchas gracias!


  • meloman
    16 years ago

    Those are amazing! The post name fits perfectly.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • billinsc
    16 years ago

    Very nice Brad! Also unusual...
    Bill in SC

  • cactijoe
    16 years ago

    Or perhaps some mayo and shredded carrots and you'll have a nice slaw. Speaking of Mt. Etna (how did you happen to pick this volcano?) I was stationed in Sicily for 18 months from the end of '81 till June '83 and there was a lava flow during my time there. After Mt. St. Helens blew her top I was thinking, "We're dead meat" if Mt. Etna decides to do the same. Aaaa, we all gotta die from something, might as well be a billion tons of hot searing ash and poisonous gases, right?

  • emyemy
    16 years ago

    Is that stuff contagious?

    Great photo and great plants.


  • alealdo
    16 years ago

    And the gorgeous lemons in the back??? Where do you live, in the Garden of Eden?? :)
    Nice pic indeed!


  • paracelsus
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    No, its not contagious Emy.

    CactiJoe, I picked Mt. Etna because that is the name of this particular Dick Wright hybrid.

    Everyone, thanks for the kind comments on the photo and the plants. Not everyone can appreciate plants with growths that look cancerous and contagious :)

    Jo, that sounds more like a flower stalk (infloresence) than a pup developing on your plant. They grow tall and long, often needing support or they fall over. It will not root. It takes two to three months before obvious flowers develop.

    My plants don't look like gibbiflora because they are probably a few crosses away from that plant. There are many different hybrids out there in world that have lost their parents and go by the name "E. gibbiflora hybrid". Some have frilly edges, some have great color (browns, reds, blues, and greens), some have light carunculations, some have heavy carunculations. They go by a number of fanciful and amusing names like 'Afterglow', 'Morning light', 'Crinoline', 'Petticote', 'Mauna Loa', and 'Paul Bunyon'. Mt. Etna's name obviously comes from its outrageous appearence. These plants are so promiscuous anyway that determining their true ancestery will probably require DNA testing. Echeveria hybrids are often hybrids of hybrids. Sometimes it it possible to determine a E. hybrids real name, but they are so variable in growth habit and can change colors dramatically at different times of the year, making identification difficult unless you have an accurate tag from the start. See the link below for some nice photos of many different hybrids:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Echeverias in Oz

  • deefar
    16 years ago

    What an incredible picture. I was thinking more like elephantitis. How old are those plants?


  • sjv78736
    16 years ago

    thanks for the info para! i had not thought a flower. the plant is quite young. i will anticipate a bloom!

  • paracelsus
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Dawn, the two plants in the background were purchased in eight-inch pots in the summer of 2003. I would guess they were about 2 years old when I got them, making them about 4 years old now. The stems are waaaay too long now and they need beheading soon.

    The foreground plant was purchased last fall in a six-inch pot. It was much smaller and had almost no carunculations at that time. It is now in a eight-inch clay pot and needs repotting come Spring.

    This hybrid grows fast, but tends to make long stems which are strongly challenged by the enormous weight of the rosettes. The older plants are in 14-inch tall cylindrical pots to create enough weight at the base to keep them from toppling over. Last winter I didn't rotate the pots frequently enough, resulting in long stems reaching for more light. I have moved them a couple of times this year to give them more light, and to encourage growth in a new direction. The stems are long and S-shaped. They are supported by large rocks placed on top of the soil to give them something to lean on.

    Many of my Echeverias produce pups without beheading, but these plants have not. I am really looking forward to next Spring when I will chop off those big beautiful rosettes and re-root. The remaining stem should then make babies all over the place.

  • Adesertwind
    16 years ago

    Just to clarify, the beautiful Echeveria in the photos is Echeveria 'Etna', created by Denise Manley, a good friend of Dick Wright. Echeveria 'Etna' was named after the volcano in Italy, in the tradition began by Dick of naming Echeverias with carunculations after volcanos, such as his Echeveria 'Mauna Loa'. After speaking with Dick Wright, he agrees that the probable parents of Echeveria 'Etna' are his own hybrids, Echeveria 'Mauna Loa' and Echeveria 'Barbillion'. Both of the plants are descendants of the first known carunculated Echeveria from Mexico, Echeveria gibbiflora v. carunculata (which unfortunately grew quite tall). Echeveria 'Etna' is a definite improvement!

  • paracelsus
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Great information there Adesertwind! So Etna is a Denise Manley hybrid from Dick Wright hybrids following Wright's somewhat explosive naming conventions. Cool. The origin of the common and virtual useless 'gibbiflora hybrid' is also good to learn. Thank-you.

    I love the 'probable parents' line. These guys are promiscuous, aren't they ;)

    Mauna loa makes sense as a parent, as does barbillion. I have a number of other echeverias which have frilly edges, or deep color, or modest carunculations, but nothing comes close to Etna's combination of mutant traits all expressed in a most outrageous and provocative way.

    My wife and I have differing opinions on Etna's aesthetic qualities. You either love it, or hate it. There is no middle ground ;)


  • greenlarry
    16 years ago

    Im afraid I hate this one, I just find it an eyesore-just too ugly!

  • biwako_of_abi
    16 years ago

    I have just one of these and love it, but my two E. mauna loas have more color, so I am looking for more of them. So far mine have refused to grow tall enough to warrant beheading them!

  • wslesan
    16 years ago

    You say eruption - I say evisceration.

  • cajunkisses2007
    15 years ago

    WOW OH WOW those are outrageous and beautiful to ME! I love them! I always look for unique and different plants and this is deffinetly one of them. Would love to see some of the others you have. Is there some place special you buy them? I'd love to have more than this one.

    I also have a question for you on heading. Does that mean you will cut off the entire head and leaf section? Leaving just the stem? I can't imagine doing that and if you do, can you replant the top part?

    Sorry for so many questions and hope they don't sound to dumb but i'm very new to this. If you have more info you'd like to share with me, please feel free to email me

    Thank you kindly for sharing your photo and plants with us. :)


  • kathi_mdgd
    10 years ago

    Those are sooooooooooo cool,have never seen them before.TFS

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex
    10 years ago

    I just love the difference of opinion. I love this plant/ I hate this plant. Mis of death. It's is amazing the emotion a plant can bring out in us. Just a stack of cellulose cells and it has us humans rife with judgements flying this way and that.

  • cactusmcharris, interior BC Z4/5
    10 years ago

    I'm rife, all right, and look where it got me....



    Just to let you know, I'm actually starting to not dislike this plant as much as I used to. Carunculations are making me ... (cue Carly Simon).

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