Friday, 23 September 2011

Another first: Dykia marnier-lapostollei

Dyckias are an unusual group of plants, most with lethal rows of teeth along the leaf margins.  I have had dyckia 'morris hobbs' for a few years now and I get more cuts from this one plant than almost all my others put together. A garden full of these really would be a dangerous place!  For me the true stars of the are the silver varieties. Unlike the agaves and echeverias, the silver colour is not due to a powder that washes off, so the plants can be handled without spoiling the look. Which is lucky given the number of grubby fingers that seem unable to resist reaching out to touch them. Probably the best (at least of the available plants) is dyckia marnier-lapostollei, a beautiful silver star. Sadly there is a large demand for the few plants available in the UK and they tend to go for stupid money. It took me a couple of years to finally get one, I was kindly given it as an un-rooted offset last year and have been nurturing it ever since.  This was it at the start of the summer:

This year it has grown at a good rate and is now showing the traits that make this plant stand out form the crowd.

I would have been happy with just the amount of growth from this year.  I kept it in the shed in full sun, and it obviously appreciated the extra warmth. We can do that in the UK as our temperatures are not too hot  and the sun is not as strong.  It is suppose to burn in stronger sun, something to watch out for. This one has done so well it has produced its first offset. These come out from between the leaves,  so can not be removed without taking the plant out of the pot.  I don't want to risk this one so I will leave it on until at least spring, something I am finally getting better at doing.

It is amazing to think that these beautiful plants are a totally natural species, it would be amazing to see them in their natural habit in Brazil.  But for now, this one in London will continue to be pampered, at least for another year.


  1. so glad I found your blog as I love these plants also, will be watching this propagation eagerly.

  2. I can't imagine Dyckias (generally) burning in full sun...even at the Huntington, much hotter than here, they are in full blazing sun and all the happier for it. Is it that particular species?

    I have a dark version planted on the hot front slope, where one plant has become about 30 in a few years. (I dread the thought of ever having to touch them again.) The ones at the Huntington form massive domes several meters across.

    Your silvery plant is beautiful! I think they are better solitary. Safer, at least.

  3. Becc: Thank you, always good to know others are interested in the posts.

    HB: I am not sure if they burn in the traditional sense or just the tips go brown like some aloes do. Large clumps do look amazing, but as you say you never want to have to go near them or have to tidy them up!

  4. Hi there. Love the post above. Would you be able to post an update now that we're in 2016? I bought a small 7cm wide plant a month ago and potted them (Mar in Victoria, Australia). Nothing happening yet so far...