Category Archives: Succulents


I bought two flats of kalanchoe at Home Depot a couple weeks ago.  The sunny yellow flowers have brightened up the garden greatly.  But when the clerk pronounced the name, I was wondering if we were still talking about the same plant.

Turns out I’ve been pronouncing the name all wrong, but I’m not alone, “Almost everyone pronounces the genus name ‘kah-lan-cho’ at first, when it actually is properly pronounced as ‘ka-lan-ko-ee.’”

Kalanchoe is a species of succulent, so they’re extremely easy to care for.  Although a few went into the ground, most went into pots.  This way if I forget to water them for a week, they won’t die on me.  Plants for the absent-minded, just what I need.

Dortort, Fred. The Timber Press Guide to Succulent Plants of the World. Portland: Timber Press, 2011. 66. Print.

My Long Lost Friend Perle von Nurnberg

Unless they’re common, plant names are never very easy to remember.  Derived from Latin and Science, I usually can’t even pronounce them.  But Perle von Nurnberg, how could I forget?  She sounds like an old German woman my grandmother should eat liverwurst with and rattle off a string of ich’s and ach’s that sound more like coughing than talking to the non-native ear.  But no, Perle can’t sprechen sie deutsch or fry up potato pancakes with my German grandmother; Perle is indeed a plant – a succulent to be more specific.  She was lost with some other whatchamacallit succulents under the overbearing vines of the Passion flower.  When I first spotted the pot, it was because of a bloom.  But when I pulled the pot out of the vines, Perle and her bloom took a dive. Perle is now replanted with vintage tiles substituting for mulch and looking quite chipper again.  A cross between E. gibbiflora metallica and E. potosina, Perle von Nurnberg is the hybrid name.  The succulent is part of the Crassulaceae family; Echeveria is the genus.  They’re slow growing but clearly survivors.  It probably hadn’t seen daylight in months underneath that vine.