It’s a Boy!

Muttered at the TV on the locker room wall: “What we saw is what we got.”


I’ve rediscovered Lone Pine Gardens in Sebastopol.

Found it in the nineties and made a number of trips up to it from San Francisco over the years and bagged quite a few great specimens there, most spectacularly a magnificent Agave Leopoldii about which i was briefly confused when i misread its little stake as Leopold II rather than leopoldii.  Yes, doubtless a different Leopold.

A month ago it struck me that i was sitting here in Petaluma fourteen miles due southeast of this excellent nursery and could take JoAnn to Sebastopol and introduce her to both the nursery on Lone Pine Road and Retrograde Coffee Roasters’ newly opened cafe on Main Street.

Casey and Danielle are a delightful young couple i discovered peddling their small batch roasted coffee beans and delicious coffees at Petaluma farmers’ markets, and now they’ve moved up to a brick and mortar location in downtown Sebastopol, an airy and welcoming place where you can buy their beans, drink their coffee, eat their pastries, and even use their Wi-Fi.

Retrograde Coffee Roasters

That’s Casey with the grin.


We skipped the Wi-Fi and then went on to the gardens.  Toured the greenhouse.

Lone Pine Gardens


And the outdoor offerings.

Lone Pine Gardens


They also have gorgeous bonsai in another greenhouse, but i passed on them because i knew they’d just curl up and die as soon as i got ’em home.

Lone Pine Gardens


Here’s why i included the bonsoi shot:

Lone Pine Gardens


JoAnn went into a feeding frenzy and ended up with a hundred bucks worth, not that many plants since one of ’em was a specimen, but i limited myself to a two-centimeter Pachypodium namaquanum even though i won’t have the proper environment for it when i move back to the city and will have to give it to my friend Bob so he can spend the rest of his life growing it to its full four meters on his patio.


Pachypodium namaquanum


OK, since i was in there, i also picked up a Euphorbia obesa.  I’d had a couple of these years ago but had managed to kill them and thought i’d give this species another try.  This one was flowering, but i couldn’t remember the difference between the flower on the male and that of the female, so i asked the nice guy.  He couldn’t remember either, so we asked his partner, who said she thought it was a female.  She also dug around and produced another specimen with buds just beginning to open that she thought was maybe a male.  So i snapped it up, too.

The tall, three-pronged stamens on the female make it easier to identify, well, if you have a bryologist’s loupe.

Euphorbia obesa, female


I waited around impatiently for a couple of weeks until the buds opened on the second, and with my loupe i could see that she was right.

Euphorbia obesa, male


It’s a boy.






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  1. David Ogden
    Posted 7 March 2017 at 14:24 | Permalink

    My new word for the day: bryology. Thought it might be related to bryanology. But no.

    • Posted 24 November 2017 at 08:01 | Permalink

      For something related to bryanology, see the genus Mesembryanthemum.

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