Thursday, September 16, 2010

Foliage Follow-up: September 2010

On the sixteenth of every month, Digging sponsors Foliage Follow-Up which lets us know that blooms aren't the only show in town.  For this month in my garden, I decided to highlight some of the Dyckias.  A year ago, I had never even heard of this variety of plants.

Three of those pictured below were planted in the ground and made it through our surprising 18 degree winter lows with only a towel thrown on top of them (and sometimes not even that!).  Suspect they'd be happier with a bit more sunshine, but so far they've been as tough as their thorns.

The first Dyckia to be planted in my garden is also the only one for which I have misplaced its identity (and I'm a bit grumpy about that).  The undersides of the leaves have neat longitudinal green and white striping while the upper portions of the leaf are a solid glossy green.

Sun and stress tend to bring out the color in the Dyckias.  Thus my dappled shade Dyckia 'Cherry Coke' shows only a small amount of red at its center, but it still catches the eye.

A free plant received with another purchase, this small Red-leafed Dyckia (Dyckia 'Red Devil') was placed into a pot and has doubled in size over the summer (though it's still just a little fella).  With enough sunshine, the leaves can turn quite red (which basically means you'll never see a picture of that on this blog!)

Another summer planting, the Dyckia platyphylla has the broadest leaves of any of my garden's Dyckias.  The thorny edges on this one are quite stout and coupled with the thick leaves gives it an agave-like appearance.

Bronze Dyckia (Dyckia fosteriana 'Bronze') is my garden's only Dyckia to have bloomed this year, sending up short stalks of orange-yellow blooms in May.  It's narrow, slightly flexible leaves create an interwoven mass whose thorns have managed to catch my flesh more often than I would prefer.

Some plants have light and airy foliage.  Others have soft, broad leaves.  Dyckias have leaves that, if you're not careful, will quickly punish you with their saw-like edges.

Dyckias demand that you pay attention.


  1. Do all the Dyckias bloom or only a few?

  2. They do indeed. I have a couple of dyckias too and really enjoy their compact form and interesting structure. But yeah they're sharp.

  3. nice! Maybe I'll plant these around the border to keep the unsupervised neighborhood kids out.

    I laughed out loud when I read your profile info! :)

  4. Bob: Only one of mine bloomed, but I believe they all can

    Pam: They sure do have wicked thorns

    Wendy: They'd certainly keep away the barefooted ones!