Rock Ridge Road Is Home To Blooming Cacti

The majestic Madagascar Palm, surrounded by blooming cacti, was planted by Bruce Munro, but delights all drivers who pass by.

Bruce Munro recently planted several cacti in the divider on Rock Ridge Road, just past the Westin Resort and Villas.

Recently, those cacti have bloomed with impressive displays of blooms and buds.

Munro shared information on the beautiful cacti with the community.
Both plans are native to Madagascar.

The central one is commonly called Madagascar Palm, its botanical name is Pachypodium laurel, and it has a gorgeous bloom stage which this particular plant has not yet experienced.

This is one of the many species of exotic plants that played a prominent part in the collection of Robert Farmer, a long-time St. John resident who had a passion for exotic succulent plants.

The succulent in bloom just now is Kalanchoe pinnata (syn. Bryophyllum calycinum, Bryophyllum pinnatum, also known as the Air Plant, Life Plant, Miracle Leaf, Goethe Plant and the Katakataka (Filipino).

It is distinctive for the profusion of miniature plantlets that form on the margins of its leaves, a trait it has in common with the other members of the Bryophyllum section of the Kalanchoe genus.

Because they propagate by throwing away these babies these plants are also known as “Bad Mothers” in Spanish.

This last has been a roadside weed on St. John for several decades. There are three other varieties of this sort of Kalanchoe (now known as Bryophyllum) also growing as roadside weeds around the island.