Fouq Experience -- Year 1 (Fouqlore)

Use this forum to discuss matters relating to the xeric genus Fouquieria. This is where one posts unknown plant photos for ID help.
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Fouq Experience -- Year 1 (Fouqlore)

#1

Post by Gee.S »

I picked up several small Fouquieria species last year for my landscape. These include F. burragei, F. diguetii, F. formosa, F. macdougalii, and F. purpusii. I also have a couple of large F. splendens, and have very recently acquired F. columnaris. This past winter was dry and mild, never dipping below 30°F.

I have always noted that F. splendens seems completely unconcerned with colder temps, often leafing out in cold winter weather as a response to precipitation, so I was keenly interested in how my new acquisitions would respond to the cold. My initial impressions follow.

F. burragei hunkered down a bit, but remained in leaf throughout the season, and has been in active growth mode for weeks now, adding new leaves, stem, and branches.

F. diguettii reacted rather like my F. burragei, remaining in leaf, but not growing or adding new leaves. It has since resumed new growth, but only in the form of buds and blooms.

F. formosa reacted dramatically to the cold, going into full deciduous mode, rather like a maple tree. It shed all its leaves and went dormant for months, only now in late April starting to leaf out again. This plant seems a real heat-seeker. Boyce-Thompson Arboretum reports that none of their F. formosa survived even a single winter (@2400' elevation).

F. macdougalii also hunkered down just a bit, but remained in leaf throughout the season, resuming full growth (leaves and stems) by late February.

F. purpusii is a bit harder to gauge. It tried to remain in leaf throughout the season, but shed many older leaves, which have only recently been replaced in apparent response to spring warmth.

My recently acquired F. columnaris, initially leafless, has now been leafing out as of one week ago. Whether a response to increased warmth or hydration, I cannot say.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#2

Post by SteveK »

My experience with a larger diguetii I planted in the ground was similar for the first year it would remain in leaf with sporadic flowering but no real stem growth.

Now in its second year it is putting out heavy new growth as well as blooms.

No irrigation other than rain in southern CA. About ten miles from the coast.
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#3

Post by mcvansoest »

Aside from F. columnaris my forays into growing Fouquierias is too recent to have much to report, but a friend and colleague told me that he has been experimenting with a F. diguettii and a F. macdougalii with their watering and feeding regime and told me that with quite frequent watering and feeding he has had his diguettii double in size in about six months and has had one of his macdougaliis growing rapidly and in leaf for over a year now. So it would appear that while these are quite good at dealing with xeric conditions, they respond well to increased watering.
I asked him if he watered throughout the heat of summer and he says he did, except for F. columnaris which he puts on a break in the heat of summer.

He is in Chandler, AZ.
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#4

Post by Gee.S »

SteveK wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:46 am My experience with a larger diguetii I planted in the ground was similar for the first year it would remain in leaf with sporadic flowering but no real stem growth.

Now in its second year it is putting out heavy new growth as well as blooms.

No irrigation other than rain in southern CA. About ten miles from the coast.
Good info, thanks!
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#5

Post by Gee.S »

mcvansoest wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:02 am Aside from F. columnaris my forays into growing Fouquierias is too recent to have much to report, but a friend and colleague told me that he has been experimenting with a F. diguettii and a F. macdougalii with their watering and feeding regime and told me that with quite frequent watering and feeding he has had his diguettii double in size in about six months and has had one of his macdougaliis growing rapidly and in leaf for over a year now. So it would appear that while these are quite good at dealing with xeric conditions, they respond well to increased watering.
I asked him if he watered throughout the heat of summer and he says he did, except for F. columnaris which he puts on a break in the heat of summer.

He is in Chandler, AZ.
It is important to keep these well hydrated, if growth is the objective. Sure, they're good at hunkering down through drought conditions, but they're only growing while adequately watered.

F. columnaris and F. purpusii are significantly distinct from other Fouqs (I wonder if these deserve their own genus), in that they are actually succulent. Also, F. columnaris is well established as a winter grower, so not watering during summer seems an excellent common sense approach.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#6

Post by Melt in the Sun »

My F. macdouglii has done great the past few years, including being rudely uprooted and moved last summer. First flowers this spring!
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#7

Post by Gee.S »

^ I've heard from a few folks with F. macdougalii, and all reports basically mirror yours, suggesting a plant extremely well-suited for life in the AZ low desert.

Glad to hear it survived the move. Phew....
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#8

Post by mcvansoest »

Woohoo! I have two! Now to remember to not treat it like a cactus...

Summerwinds nursery had a number of macdougaliis and formosas as recently as two weeks ago. $40 for a 5 gallon size plant so pretty reasonable.
The macdougalii from Summerwinds came in flower:
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1374f.jpg
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_1374f.jpg (172.7 KiB) Viewed 13836 times
I think it may be developing some seed pods now...
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#9

Post by Gee.S »

^Nice! Arizona Cactus Sales also had 5-gal F. macdougalii a few weeks ago.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#10

Post by Meangreen94z »

Gee.S wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:49 am I picked up several small Fouquieria species last year for my landscape. These include F. burragei, F. diguetii, F. formosa, F. macdougalii, and F. purpusii. I also have a couple of large F. splendens, and have very recently acquired F. columnaris. This past winter was dry and mild, never dipping below 30°F.

I have always noted that F. splendens seems completely unconcerned with colder temps, often leafing out in cold winter weather as a response to precipitation, so I was keenly interested in how my new acquisitions would respond to the cold. My initial impressions follow.

F. burragei hunkered down a bit, but remained in leaf throughout the season, and has been in active growth mode for weeks now, adding new leaves, stem, and branches.

F. diguettii reacted rather like my F. burragei, remaining in leaf, but not growing or adding new leaves. It has since resumed new growth, but only in the form of buds and blooms.

F. formosa reacted dramatically to the cold, going into full deciduous mode, rather like a maple tree. It shed all its leaves and went dormant for months, only now in late April starting to leaf out again. This plant seems a real heat-seeker. Boyce-Thompson Arboretum reports that none of their F. formosa survived even a single winter (@2400' elevation).

F. macdougalii also hunkered down just a bit, but remained in leaf throughout the season, resuming full growth (leaves and stems) by late February.

F. purpusii is a bit harder to gauge. It tried to remain in leaf throughout the season, but shed many older leaves, which have only recently been replaced in apparent response to spring warmth.

My recently acquired F. columnaris, initially leafless, has now been leafing out as of one week ago. Whether a response to increased warmth or hydration, I cannot say.
What temperatures did Boyce Thompson see? I had read Formosa was possibly hardy into the high teens? Thanks
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#11

Post by Gee.S »

This would have been winter before last, and BTA is not too far from me, tho 400' higher elevation. I would guess they were no colder than 25°F, if that. My initial impression, based upon my limited experience and the BTA report, is that F. formosa is my most tender Fouq. Of my plants, F. formosa was the most aggressive grower while warm (by far), and the only one to go 100% dormant in apparent response to winter.

For the record, BTA has all kinds of F. columnaris and F. splendens. The only other species I saw was F. purpusii.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#12

Post by mcvansoest »

Their Boojum Tree forest exhibit is worth a visit...
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#13

Post by Meangreen94z »

Yeah, it seems Splendens and Macdougalii (most winters) are the only two hardy here. They are the only two I’ve seen sold as large specimen anyways. I saw large Diguetii for sale in Houston.
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#14

Post by Minime8484 »

Ironically, my formosa has been the most cold-hardy of all my Fouqs, with the exception of splendens. Back in 2007, we got down to the teens for a couple of weeks, and in 2011 in the low 20s for extended periods. Immediately after those winters, my formosa put on most of its growth (it had been a very slow grower up until then). Never even lost a single tip to any branches of formosa (which I do with my burragei, macdougalii, & diguetii when it drops below 25F). So it seems completely the opposite of others' experience!

For me, the most frost tender of the genus are ochoterenae, leonilae, and shrevei.
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#15

Post by Gee.S »

Minime8484 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:44 am Ironically, my formosa has been the most cold-hardy of all my Fouqs, with the exception of splendens. Back in 2007, we got down to the teens for a couple of weeks, and in 2011 in the low 20s for extended periods. Immediately after those winters, my formosa put on most of its growth (it had been a very slow grower up until then). Never even lost a single tip to any branches of formosa (which I do with my burragei, macdougalii, & diguetii when it drops below 25F). So it seems completely the opposite of others' experience!

For me, the most frost tender of the genus are ochoterenae, leonilae, and shrevei.
Well, it could be that I'll post a different, more informed view in a few years. Or it might be that some F. formosa are hardier than others. I understand it has a very broad range.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#16

Post by Gee.S »

Once again, F. formosa has dropped most of its leaves, in apparent response to cold rather than reduced hydration. All my other Fouqs, save F. splendens, remain leafed out. There is little doubt in my mind at this point, F. formosa is a real heat-seeker, and actually seems deciduous, which sets it apart from all my others.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#17

Post by Gee.S »

Minime8484 wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:44 am Ironically, my formosa has been the most cold-hardy of all my Fouqs, with the exception of splendens. Back in 2007, we got down to the teens for a couple of weeks, and in 2011 in the low 20s for extended periods. Immediately after those winters, my formosa put on most of its growth (it had been a very slow grower up until then). Never even lost a single tip to any branches of formosa (which I do with my burragei, macdougalii, & diguetii when it drops below 25F). So it seems completely the opposite of others' experience!

For me, the most frost tender of the genus are ochoterenae, leonilae, and shrevei.
Ha! The three I don't have, perhaps just as well.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#18

Post by Minime8484 »

Gee.S wrote: Tue Dec 21, 2021 4:53 pm Once again, F. formosa has dropped most of its leaves, in apparent response to cold rather than reduced hydration. All my other Fouqs, save F. splendens, remain leafed out. There is little doubt in my mind at this point, F. formosa is a real heat-seeker, and actually seems deciduous, which sets it apart from all my others.
I think you are spot on from a previous post in suspecting it all depends on the source for hardiness of formosa because they do indeed have a very extensive range. My two formosa (both survived down to 17F without damage a few years back) responded to last month's light rains by coming into full leaf and remaining so to date (the larger one isn't as "lush", but still with leaves throughout).

Unpredictability is one the things I love most about this genus - they really just keep to their own schedule and to heck with what we want them to do!
Fofo1 (2021-Dec22).jpg
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#19

Post by Gee.S »

That is very different than formosa events in Fountain Hills. My plant has leaves remaining only on new growth, the rest have either dropped or yellowed. All my other Fouqs are leafed out just as they were last August. I'm sure you're aware there has been no shortage of moisture in the area lately. I noticed last winter that once the cold arrives, my formosa is unresponsive to moisture until it warms a bit.

F. formosa
F. formosa
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Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#20

Post by Tom in Tucson »

My 2 cents worth: I'm growing 8 seedlings of Fouquieria formosa from RPS that were started this summer. They are all still leafed out and half are actively growing. They have done so well that I ordered an additional 1000. You can't always rely on RPS handling Fouquieria seed properly. In 2 orders of F. burragei seed 2 years ago they had completely moldered (molded in sealed small plastic bagfs). So buyer beware.

Since I have seed to spare, I'm leaving the seedlings of all my F. formosa out to see how much cold they can take.
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#21

Post by Gee.S »

For comparison with the deciduous and currently ragtag F. formosa, here is my F. diguetti from today.

F. diguetti
F. diguetti
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Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#22

Post by Gee.S »

27°F last night. Will be interesting to see how all the Fouqs respond. I have one Fouq that absolutely prefers cool weather, F. columnaris.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#23

Post by Gee.S »

One of my Fouqs, F. burragei, has reacted dramatically to the gentle hard freeze (gentle as hard freezes go). Leaves are dry and crispy, and dropping like flies, so its very first leaf drop. I doubt the plant is dead, but don't expect to know how extensive the damage for a while. I do know that if it can't take an occasional night like that, it never had a chance here. I had originally thought F. burragei would prove my most tender Fouq, hailing from the southern tip of Baja.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1

#24

Post by Gee.S »

Minime8484 wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 3:12 pm I think you are spot on from a previous post in suspecting it all depends on the source for hardiness of formosa because they do indeed have a very extensive range. My two formosa (both survived down to 17F without damage a few years back) responded to last month's light rains by coming into full leaf and remaining so to date (the larger one isn't as "lush", but still with leaves throughout).

Unpredictability is one the things I love most about this genus - they really just keep to their own schedule and to heck with what we want them to do!
In light of recent experience I am realigning my thinking here. I had associated my formosa's apparent distaste for cool weather with tenderness, but that now appears an errant conclusion. My F. burragei has now dropped all its leaves in dramatic response to a single evening of subfreezing temps, while my formosa remains unaffected, previously having dropped most, but not all of its leaves (i.e. Caesalpinia pulcherrima). I still suspect my formosa may be (semi?) deciduous, but deciduous plants are often extremely hardy, dropping leaves in cool weather, then leafing out in spring, suffering no harm at all. So that is where I'm at now, until another experience sends me trundling down a different path.
Agave
"American aloe plant," 1797, from Greek Agaue, proper name in mythology (mother of Pentheus), from agauos "noble," perhaps from agasthai "wonder at".

"Some talk the talk, others walk the walk, but I stalk the stalk"
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Re: Fouq Experience -- Year 1 (Fouqlore)

#25

Post by mcvansoest »

A little off the current topic of Fouq hardiness and response to cool/cold weather, but I figured most of the people enjoying this thread, would also enjoy this Christmas Boojum Tree. I wish I could say it was my plant, but it is a tree in a yard of someone in my neighborhood (I wish my Totem Pole cacti were that size too), the largest of my two Boojums has about an 8" trunk while the other is about half that, so it is going to be a while. Leaved out though, like this one.
UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_141c5.jpg
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