I picked up a new succulent this morning (yes, I know I have a problem) and decided to do a little research on its origins. I’ve realized I need to edumucate myself on these beauties a bit more. I’ve made up my own names for most of them, but no one else seems to have learned my lexicon...
The newest addition to the family is a “Harry Butterfield”, which is commonly known as a “Super Burro’s Tail”.
First question, who is this mysterious Mr. Butterfield? There’s not a ton of information about him on the internet, but it seems he was quite influential in California agriculture for about 40 years, leading up to his retirement from UC Berkeley in 1955. He created several named hybrids of echeveria and basically established the field of California horticultural history by himself, writing a long series of articles in the horticultural literature over many years. Thanks, Harry!
Next question, if this is the Super Burro’s Tail, it must be related to the Burro’s Tail, right? It turns out it’s a mix between Sedum morganianum, “Burro's Tail”, and Echeveria derenbergii or “Painted Lady”. There are loads of succulent hybrids in the same genus, but there are only a few that cross genus, including this one. It’s bigger than the Burro’s Tail, but has a lovely mix of the rosettes from the echeveria and the trailing quality from the Burro’s Tail. Mine is still a baby, so not heavy enough to trail quite yet. Since I have both of the parents in the yard, why not do a little side by side of the family? :)
Sedum morganianum ("Burro Tail")
Echeveria derenbergii (Painted Lady)
Sedeveria Harry Butterfield (Super Burro's Tail)
Cross of the two above!
I'm no horticulturist (2nd career?) but the idea of hybridizing is so interesting. More nerdy succulent posts to come.