Aeonium in Habitat and Cultivation

By: Richard G Turner Jr

Richard G Turner Jr is the editor emeritus of Pacific Horticulture. After receiving degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from…

More From This Author

I’ve had numerous sorts of Aeonium in my garden for many years; most were gifts from fellow gardeners that arrived without pedigree or identification; some were here when I moved in, almost thirty years ago. The task of identifying them was more than I was up to (they do look a lot alike), until I picked up Aeonium in Habitat and Cultivation and began thumbing through it. What a revelation!

It turns out that Rudolf Schulz, a serious student of the world of succulents, had had a similar problem with aeoniums, so he decided to research the subject by traveling to the Canary Islands (home to most of the species) and writing a book about the genus. The result is one of the most complete and readable, non-academic monographs I’ve ever read. He thoroughly describes the genus and each of its species, presents maps of their natural ranges, provides countless brilliant photographs of the plants (both in habitat and in cultivation), and recounts the history of their discovery. For those keen on cultivating this adaptable group of rosulate succulents, he provides all the details of soil, exposure, moisture, pests and diseases, and propagation techniques. And he discusses the many hybrids and cultivars of aeonium that have in recent years entered the nursery trade.

This is, quite simply, a stunning book—clearly organized, thoroughly researched, and beautifully illustrated. It is a worthy addition to the library of anyone curious about the genus, and a great aide to those interested in growing them, particularly in coastal California where the majority are eminently adapted.

Richard G Turner Jr, editor