Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' (HBG 73035/ISI 2009-10) - This beautiful succulent forms low clumps to about 18 inches tall with 6 to 8 inch wide rosettes of leaves that are green towards the middle and a reddish toward the tips of the slightly cupped leaf tips. This red color turns a rich red color after new growth hardens off in the late spring and holds this color until active growth in the winter. When mature it often sends up a 1 foot to 18 inch tall conical shaped inflorescence held up above the foliage in late winter with small yellow flowers.
Plant in full sun to light shade in a well-drained soil and give occasional to regular irrigation. Though not documented, this plant is growing in gardens that get light frosts and we speculate that it will tolerate short duration temperatures down to around 25°F without damage. With its distinctly red and green bicolored rosettes and dense habit, this is one of the most attractive of the Aeonium cultivars and it flower it attracts bees and other pollinating insects.
This cultivar was named in 2010 by the Huntington Botanic Garden and distributed through the International Succulent Introduction (ISI) program. The name honors the late John (Jack) Catlin who died in 2008 at the age of 89. Jack was a noted horticulturist and volunteer at the Huntington Botanic Garden and was particularly known for his many hybrids of Abutilon and also for his Aeonium hybrids.
For this plant Jack Catlin crossed Aeonium tabuliforme with Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' in an effort to produce a dark colored plant with flattened rosettes. His efforts yielded 3 selections including one that closely achieved his objectives, which he named A. 'Zwartkin' (ISI 1731), though it was mispelled 'Zwartkind' on the original ISI listing (and 'Zwartkint' in the ISI Directory). In the end 'Zwartkin' proved to be a weak plant and it did not persist long in the trial planting in the Huntington's Desert Garden. One of the other clones was a green plant that was not that exciting but a third one was designated as clone 'Zwartkin #2'. Though not meeting the goals of the hybridizer, this plant proved to be a great and attractive garden plant and is the one that now bears the name of its creator as Aeonium 'Jack Catlin'. It proved to be very vigorous with rich, reddish-colored rosettes that are broader than those of A. arboreum 'Zwartkop' and more cup shaped than Aeonium tabuliforme.
Jack Catlin produced many other Aeonium hybrids, including the large Aeonium undulatum and Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' crosses that were named Aeonium 'Cyclops' and Aeonium 'Voodoo' as well as his Aeonium canariense and A. arboreum 'Zwartkop' crosses that were named Aeonium 'Blushing Beauty', 'Plum Purdy' and 'Velour'.
We first saw the incredible Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' while attending the Huntington Botanic Garden's Succulent Symposium in September 2010. It was growing beautifully in mass plantings in several locations in the succulent garden, where it was labeled "Aeonium tabuliforme x Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop' #2 J. Catlin Hybrid". Fortunately, plants were offered for sale during the symposium, and we were able to purchase our original stock plants at that time. More information and pictures can be found on the Huntington's ISI Page
The information about Aeonium 'Jack Catlin' displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.