Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Favorite Plant in the Garden This Week Is...

...Dyckia 'Precious Metal.'

It's been a while since I wrote a Favorite Plant in the Garden post. Not because nothing looks good, but because everything looks good. Well, pretty good. Maybe it's the mood I've been in, but nothing in the garden is really knocking my socks off lately. Everything seems just a little bit off. I could have posted about my Rheum palmatum a few weeks ago, it had a spectacular flower. But I found myself wishing the leaves were redder, and that the flower was red, not white, and, and, and...

See what I mean?

I've been waiting for something to really wow me.

Dyckia 'Precious Metal' -- It's alive!
It's flowering!



And the flower is orange!

When I first got this Dyckia last year at WeHop, its foliage was much more purple. I can't decide if I like it better with this more dark gray color, or if I want it to be purple again (although purple foliage with that orange flower would sure be cool). I don't know enough about Dyckias to know if the purple is caused by light exposure or fertilizer or what. Most of the photos I've seen of this variety online show it as steel gray. I'm thrilled that I managed to overwinter it and keep it alive, and now it's flowering! You can read about my experience repotting it after purchase here.

San Marcos has this to say about it:


"A terrestrial bromeliad with 18 inch wide rosettes of narrow leaves that are pale purple with a dusting of silvery scales on the upper surface and a silver coloring underneath. In mid to late spring appear stout unbranched 2 to 3 foot tall wands of bright orange flowers. Plant in full sun with little to occasional irrigation. Hardy to 15-20 F. We received this plant with a group of unnamed Dyckia forsteriana hybrids that were growing in the Santa Barbara garden of the late Jim Prine. We have given this plant the name 'Precious Metal' to distinguish it from others that we grow. Dyckia 'Precious Metal' is similar to another that we named Dyckia 'Purple and Silver' which has darker purple leaves with a silver sheen and branched flower spikes that appear earlier in spring."

Here are some stats:

Height: 12-18 inches
Width: 3-4 feet
Hardiness: Zone 9a - 11
Light Needs: Full Sun
Water Needs: Drought tolerant




Those barbed clusters remind me of the days when I was younger and did a lot of wood-working with power tools.  This is one of those plants that can easily draw blood.

It looks fabulous with all the other gravel garden potted plants


Loree at Danger Garden hosts the Favorite Plant in the Garden meme. You can read her current post here. Be sure to check out the comments, where other bloggers leave links to posts about their favorite plants.

8 comments:

  1. Nice choice of a favorite, Alison! It looks great with the gray foliage, too - and what a bloom! I've wanted to grow Dyckia but since it's not hardy, well...call me the lazy gardener! Also, the gravel garden is fab!

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  2. Gorgeous color and looks good in the garden. It seems to have a purple tint in the bigger view unless that's an older photo.

    I am beginning to add more to my garden too. Funny too is that I was planning on jumping into the meme this week with my newest dyckia!

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  3. Oh Alison that's a looker! The plant itself is enough for me but you through in that orange bloom spike and I'm lusting hard.

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  4. I've been in a similar mood lately, or at least in a mood with similar results. Nothing is really wowing me, but I've been forcing myself to pick favorites to try to make myself look at things more positively. Your Dyckia is spectacular. I love that orange flower spike! If I had a greenhouse I would have a collection of these, but the house is just too dark in winter to grow them well enough.

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  5. I'm having a problem with comments disappearing into the blogosphere twilight zone this evening but I'll try again. I think 'Precious Metal' is a particularly good-looking Dyckia, Alison. It almost looks as though it was crafted of metal.

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  6. That does look good Alison, looking perfect even and certainly lives up to its name!

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  7. Now that is a most unusual plant

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  8. Interesting choice for the week. I think your Dyckia looks great, Alison. Looks like it's blooming beautifully. You've arranged your potted plants nicely in your garden as well. Remember to be careful not to let any kids near the Dyckia, though. It can definitely draw blood easily, so it's best if everyone would take extra care. Enjoy gardening! :)

    Al Perreault @ GreenCollar

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Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.