I always check the succulent tables at plant nurseries for something new and/or bizarre, but the offerings have been much the same so far this year. Once the eye has been well-trained on the familiar, whenever something unfamiliar pops up, like this Echeveria ‘Opal Moon’ did a year or so ago, it really stands out in the crowd. This echeveria made great size over the winter, so I slipped it out of its pot and planted it in the garden over the weekend. A pot of Echeveria secunda was thinned to add a few at the base, which gives an idea of scale. ‘Opal Moon’ has some faint breaks and streaking in the overall greyish-pink color of its leaves, a color very similar to that of Graptoveria ‘Fred Ives.’ (I’ve always called this color “puce,” but checking the dictionary I see that I’m mistaken.) I have to admit this greyish-pink color is not my first preference, but I can tolerate it if the succulent is a good one. Is ‘Opal Moon’ a good one? Still not sure. The irregular-shaped, loose rosettes build up higher and higher, and it’s formed about a 3-inch trunk, so it would be of no use tucked into nooks and crannies, making it more a specimen. It lacks the severe geometry of many echeverias, for instance, the E. secunda at its base, but I suppose that extreme fleshiness counts as a feature in its own right. It is an odd one. And wouldn’t you know, the snails never found it in its pot, but were nosing around among its leaves this morning, so this just might be the last photo in its pristine state. The snail hunt kit, a peanut butter jar, was produced and the mollusks were dispatched to the freezer and the Big Sleep.
Echeveria ‘Opal Moon’