Sucker for Succulents

My son, Luis, and I have the same birthday.  Instead of the usual party, we celebrated our birthday together inside a giant air-conditioned glass dome filled with interesting and unique plants.  We even had lunch on top of a super tree where we had a magnificent bird's eye view of the entire Gardens By The Bay at the new Marina District of Singapore.

Gardens By The Bay is a truly spectacular work of art of both man and nature. It is an engineering marvel designed to showcase the Plant Kingdom's best art pieces. The grand scale of the garden is overwhelming. The sights are breath taking. At first, I didn't know where to start, just like when I was preparing for this post, but things eventually settled down.

Let me start with succulents.

Succulents are plants that can store water in their leaves or trunks and use the reserved water during long dry spells.  This is the reason why they only require very little and infrequent watering.  Some say that succulents are plants for lazy people.  I don't know if this is true because I am too lazy to research on this.  By the way, I have a lot of succulents in my garden :-)

Succulents, for some reason, are the weirdest and most unusual looking plants.  Some look like they came from outer space and some look like mutants, but for a lot of people succulents are just about as cute as a poodle.  I know a lot of people who collect them. So for those succulent freaks out there this post is for you. 

With my son and a few other guests.

The garden has an extensive collection of different baobab trees.  Look at those trunks!

Group planting of different species of blue leafed Agaves.

Puya species that has almost grey leaves.

Group planting of cacti that can double as barbed wires.

Adansonia spp.

Baobab or bottle tree because of the shape of the trunk. You can also call this as big butt tree if you can see what I mean :-) 

What an eerie sight. Where's the Little Prince?

Adansonia madagascariensis

Madagascan baobab. This one looks famished compared to its cousins.

Adansonia spp.

Agave macroacantha

I'm happy to have been able to add a specimen of this Agave species to my collection.

Agave pachycentra

Time for another plant chase.  I plan to add this species to my collection soon.  Isn't it magnificent?

Aloe plicatilis

This plant is also known  as Fan Aloe.  

Dasylirion wheeleri

A common name for this plant is Desert Spoon.  I wonder why.

Dorstenia gigas

From Socotra, which is the name of both a 4-island archipelago and its largest island, in the Indian sea comes this fig tree.  It's so unusual.  I was half expecting it to move.  Hahaha!

Echinocactus grusonii

A common name of this plant is Golden Barrel cactus.  However, I think it is more aptly nicknamed Mother-in-Law's cushion.  *wink*

Ferocactus glaucescens

Blue Barrel cactus.  What I want to know is how this clump was transported to the garden and if the people involved survived unscathed.

Ferocactus herrerae

This is the Fish hook or Twisted cactus.  Notice how its trunk has a spiral pattern.

Fouquieria columnaris

Nicknamed "Boojum tree".  It does look weird enough to be named after a figment of Lewis Carroll's imagination featured in "The Hunting of the Snark".   

If there is a "butt tree" then there is a "butt plant".  I've been on several plant chases for lithops.  They have proven to be very elusive because even our local suppliers have a hard time growing them in our climate.

Oreocereus trolli

Old man of the mountain. The shape reminds me of something :-)


Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum

This species has many common names:  organ pipe, Indian comb, hairbrush cactus.  Can you imagine using this cactus as a hairbrush??!!

Pachypodium lamerei

This plant's common name is Club foot.  I can't figure out why, can you?  Maybe that is why it is more commonly known as Madagascar palm even if it is really a cactus.

Puya chilensis

Xanthorrhoea spp.

These are Grass trees from Australia. Bush fires are necessary for their survival.

Yucca rostrata

Yucca torreyi

The real scientific name of this plant is supposedly under contention.  We can just call it Torrey's yucca or spanish dagger for now.


Have you got your fill of thorns and spines?

Watch out for the other installments in this series.

For more information, visit the Gardens by the Bay  official website.