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Succulents at Punta Colonet

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

A few shots here from a recent trip from a spot near Punta Colonet, south of here on the Pacific coast of NW Baja California.

First up is Agave shawii. This one had nice red spines.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Some perspective. The agaves are growing on a hillside next to a much larger flat area that has been cleared for agriculture/livestock. First shot shows the border where the two areas meet. A big messy pitaya (Stenocereus gummosus) in the second picture, and a look up the hill in the third.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

A couple of clumps. The agaves tend to sucker pretty profusely over time.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

The agaves are starting to flower this time of year. Two shots here showing the range in color of the bracts.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Lots of buds suffered from premature termination. A few examples here. They must be tasty.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

A few flower oddities here. First shot shows an axial bloom (?secondary to an event like the ones above). Not sure exactly what happened with the other two plants but they definitely don't look normal.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

An unusually long-stemmed clone here (all three big heads come from the same plant).

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Lots of fog in this area so there are epiphytes and lichens about. Second shot shows Euphorbia misera completely cloaked.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Succulent thicket with Stenocereus and Bergerocactus in the foreground. The Ferocactus in the last picture was the only one we saw on the whole trip (not so common at this location).

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Mammillaria dioica here and there. Third picture shows a very odd multi-headed monstrose plant.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

The Dudleyas have definitely seen better days. It hasn't rained for 6 months, which must have something to do with it.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

View from the top of the hill north toward Punta Colonet in the distance.

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Menasha, WI

Baja, Thank-you for the mini vacation. I love seeing plants in their native locations. Seeing that makes you realize how very tough they are.

Cannelton, IN(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the tour, Baja. I,too, like seeing them in their natural environment.

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Yes, they are tough plants. Our dog leaped over a clump of agaves while we were out there climbing around... don't think she even looked to see that there was a landing zone on the other side. Imagine coming down belly first on the crown of an agave. Yikes!

Decatur, GA

Very interesting. So dry.

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Yup. Especially right now... hasn't rained since April. Punta Colonet gets about 6-8 inches of rain a year, mostly during winter. Most years are probably a bust for agave seedlings. They have to go months without water their first summer, pretty much guaranteed. It's a harsh environment, so it selects for survivors.

This message was edited Oct 9, 2012 11:06 PM

Perth, United Kingdom(Zone 7b)

Mexico looks a bit like the Scottish highlands which I live near. The highlands have a similar barren look but its due to wind exposure and often extreme soil acidity (peat bog conditions) Moss thrives and heather but little else. Sort of a case of totally different conditions producing similar looking landscapes.

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Indeed. There are plenty of boulder-strewn hills with low scrubby vegetation around here. Every so often it all catches on fire and then the color pattern changes from grey on brown to grey on black. I remember being shocked by that when I first moved here.

Speaking of wind, that place with the agaves is incredibly windy. We were told that's the case most of the time. It's not so fun going for a walk on the beach when you end up getting sandblasted...

Morpeth, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

So glad you shared these amazing photos, makes you appreciate how these types of plants are perfectly evolved to fit their environment.

Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Another thing the experience made me appreciate is how terribly pampered the succulents in my garden are. It's time I stopped watering more of them. They can obviously handle it. This one has been in the ground 3 years and has been getting water monthly.

I'm all for growing plants from offsets, but when they come from seed, one can appreciate all sorts of interesting differences between individuals. Agave shawii is pretty variable, both within and among populations. The two shawiis in the garden here (=siblings) are similar in most respects, but only one has a solid margin around the edges of the leaves (red/purple fading to grey).

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

Oops, the picture (plant without margin).

This message was edited Oct 17, 2012 4:45 PM

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Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

A shot from further back showing the whole plant.

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Cannelton, IN(Zone 6b)

Nice plant Baja! Love the firestick, too.

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