Garden Photo of the Day

Beautiful Plants in Alberta

Cold climates still have wonderful wildflowers

Brody lives in northern Alberta, Canada, and loves observing interesting native plants in the wild as well as growing all sorts of unusual plants at home.

unusual spiky-looking pink plantsDrosera rotundifolia (sundew, Zones 3–8) is a carnivorous plant that, like many insect eaters, lives in bogs. The constant flow of water through the bog leaches out almost all the nutrients, so this plant relies on luring insects to the sticky leaves, where they stick and are dissolved into fertilizer to allow this plant to thrive where few plants can.

yellow and burgundy orchid flowersWhen you think of northern Canada, you might not think of orchids, but it does have some beautiful native species, like this incredible Cypripedium calceolus (Zones 3–7). Like so many orchids, it thrives in very specific conditions in the wild and can be difficult to cultivate in gardens.

clumps of small yellow orchidsBut clearly, where this orchid is native, it is very happy indeed. Look at those incredible clumps in full bloom! These are blooming at a park called Wagner Natural Area near Edmonton, Alberta.

unusual succulent flowerIn addition to enjoying unusual wildflowers, Brody cultivates odd plants from around the world. Growing inside, out of the Canadian cold, is this succulent plant Orbea variegata. Like many plants with a similar coloration, it smells like rotting meat to attract flies to pollinate it. Brody says on this one the smell is pretty faint, and a small price to pay for this beautiful bloom.

tiny seedling on tweezersGrowing from seed—with the right conditions, this tiny seedling could develop into an enormous tropical tree.

small cactus with white flowers on topOn the cactus Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus, I love the contrast between the harsh spines and the delicate-looking flowers.

many tiny cactus seedlingsMore baby plants! These are seedlings of another cactus, Dolichothele uberiformis. Growing cacti from seed can be tricky, as they can be a little delicate when this tiny, and it can take them quite a while to get up to a more robust size. But have you ever seen cuter tiny plants?

two light green succulentsConophytum calculus is a succulent species native to South Africa with odd little lips. Just add some googly eyes, and it would be a face. It will produce a yellow flower that emerges from those unimpressed lips.

clump of cacti growing outsideNot all cacti have to be grown inside in Canada. This is Opuntia polychantha (prickly pear cactus, Zones 3–8), which is one of the four species of cactus native in Canada. This one was seen growing in a national park.

If you want to see more of Brody’s plant adventures, check out his instagram: @brody.that.plant.loving.boy


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View Comments


  1. katherine_8 04/21/2022

    Hello from Ontario :)

    What a fantastic unique collection you have!! What an eye for unusual and little-known beauty. So much patience to nurture those odd little babies into maturing.
    Congratulations on these lovely cacti and plants.

  2. bunny2luv 04/21/2022

    Beautiful array of plants! The orchids are growing near tree trunks - what are the trees? And are they important for the orchid? I love the twisted sepals.

  3. User avater
    cynthia2020 04/21/2022

    Hi, Brody. I enjoyed looking at a lot of plants new to me plus I can identify with the care you took working with seedlings. Finally, for a short while - I worked with Opuntia - I dislike glochids - ouch. Thanks for sharing!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 04/21/2022

    Wow, I've never seen a baby cactus (your photo of cactus, Dolichothele uberiformis) sprouting from seed before, so amazing to see!
    The Conophytum calculus has to be the cutest succulent ever!

  5. btucker9675 04/21/2022

    Fascinating and beautiful!

  6. alicefleurkens 04/21/2022

    Brody, thanks for the great pictures and information.

  7. user-5117752 04/23/2022

    Great photos and dialogue!

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