A Study of Aeonium

 Sometimes you have to see through the eyes of a stranger to notice bits of your hometown that are too familiar. Ever since A Little Bit of This and That published her piece about Eggplant Cactus on her blog referring to a plant she photographed while visiting San Diego, since then I have become acutely aware of how widely grown the family Crassulaceae, Stonecrop, is here. I mean it is every where! In the family, there is a genus commonly called Hen and Chicks, which refers to a large plant, Hen, which has smaller plants, Chicks, popping up around it.  In our hike around Quail Gardens,we found quite a variety of plants belonging to the genus Aeonium, which the Eggplant Cactus belonged too.  Technically, these are succulents not cacti.

Although, Aeonium are not sold as the Hens and Chicks plants they belong to the same family and are quite similar.  In quite a few pictures you can see the Hen surrounded by the Chicks! 😎 Such a wonderful description. There are about 35 species of Aeonium. I’m sure Quail Gardens must have had a majority.  I didn’t take pictures of all the species because by the time it registered that I was seeing quite a few, I had passed by many and wasn’t going to circle back. 😎

Some are medium sized and grow low to the ground.

Some stay greener.

Some stay quite small and creep along the ground.

Then there are the high rises! Look at the chick in the sky.

Green high rise with chicks on the ground.

Fabulous yellow flower with stunning eggplant-colored leaves.

Smaller sized growing tall.

Look at this tall one which has yellowish chicks.

Amazing dinner plate sized! That’s their common name.

Another dinner plate picture with a daisy-type flower to give scale.

Just a sampling. My favorites are the purple-green colored ones. Now, it’s time to try and recreate some dye samples from the “Eggplant Cactus”. 😎

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