Far Out Flora

Holy Crap, Huntington Gardens!


Lots of Lithops

I’m not quite sure how to put our visit to The Huntington Botanical Gardens in to words. Amazing. Really amazing. Hands down the coolest horticultural experience I’ve ever had. Matti said I was in a daze for the first hour. Never have I seen so many cacti and succulents in one place. According to the website, they have 5,000 species of succulents and desert plants. They have 200 of the world’s 300 species of aloes. They’re old too! Some of them are really old. We started our visit at the Desert Garden Conservatory, where they keep their “vulnerable” plants like these Lithops. They look like cute little, succulent butts.

Hmm… I’ve been googling around a little, and I think the above is Alluaudia montagnacii. I’m not sure though. The only info I had was that it was in the Dideraceae family, which turns out only has four genera and eleven species (according to wikipedia). I do know that it’s from Madagascar and weird.

Gymnocalycium, Copiapoa and friends

I don’t really know too much about these guys except that they’re spiky. There are tables and tables filled with spiky plants.

Mammillaria spinosissima ssp. pilcayensis

This guy kind of looks like a hand with a really long middle finger, but mammilla is latin for nipple. It’s native to the Pilcaya Mountains of Guerrero, Mexico.

Conophytum cuteness

Here’s what wikipedia has to say about these guys, “Conophytum is a genus of South African and Namibian succulent plants that belong to the Aizoaceae family. The name is derived from the Latin “conus” (cone) and Greek “phytum” (plant). The plants are also known as knopies (buttons), waterblasies (water blisters), sphaeroids, conos, cone plants, dumplings, or button plants.” I kind of want some. They’re winter rain growers, so maybe they could live outside here in SF. If you REALLY want to get to know Conophytums, you can buy the bible, The Genus Conophytum: A Conograph used for $234.52 on Amazon.

Kalanchoe tomentosa 'Fuzzy Wuzzy'

Kalanchoe tomentosa on cuddly steroids. While I was trying to find info on this extra fuzzy guy, I discovered there’s a website called Plants of Disneyland. Someone has cataloged 2000 plants in Disneyland, botanical names and all. I’m impressed. We’ll be blogging about the amazing outdoor gardens at Huntington soon. If you want to check out all 233 pictures we took click here.


  1. I knew you would love the Huntington. Thanks for the pics of their greenhouse too. I got to see it my first visit years ago but every time I have been back it isn’t open. I think they only have it open a few hours a week and I never plan ahead. I love mesembs so neat seeing so many of them growing so well.

  2. Thank you fro the glimpse inside the Desert Garden Conservatory…it was closed during our visit to the gardens. Naturally I’ve been curious about what wonderful things were hiding inside.

  3. I had to smile and laugh. I know this must have been cacti/succulent heaven for you. Good for you! It’s so great seeing people exploring and sharing what they love. Thank you.

  4. Talk about feeling like a kid in a candy store. I’ve never seen so many lithops in one spot.

  5. how fun to read about your joy! who knew, but i actually have a pretty large fuzzy wuzzy, and now i like it a ton better because of it’s name! huntington gardens is like meth for gardeners!

  6. Such a great place! I visited a few years ago but hopefully I will be able to go back the next time I make it to southern California.

  7. Pingback: Countless Cacti « Far Out Flora's Blog

  8. Sounds like you’ve found your people. Are cactus people? Well, you know what I mean!

  9. Looks like you found Mecca. Funny you should say that about lithops looking like little bottoms. One common name for them is exactly that, but it’s politically incorrect to repeat it, as it might be construed as disparaging the indigenous peoples of the plants’ native habitat.

  10. Pingback: Huntington’s Desert Garden « Far Out Flora's Blog

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.