Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Echinomastus madness


Two-month old seedlings of Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis" CR137, seeds probably from the population I've been visiting since November.
A young plant of Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis" in the most northeasterly known population, growing in the usual situation: out in the open on weathered granite, on a slightly south facing slope.
A very old Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis", with uncommon branching near the base.
Echinomastus erectocentrus "erectocentrus" in southeast AZ. Some students of these plants see the "acunensis" population above as an intergrading form, with certain characteristics of "acunensis" and other characteristics of "erectocentrus." The type location of Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis" is about 150 miles from the above population and in the somewhat more dry and warmer Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Echinomastus johnsonii "lutescens", backlit by sunset, in more northwestern AZ. Some students of cacti see Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis" and E. johnsonii as "hardly distinguishable." In some ways, I can see why. But the plants seem rather distinct to me. Of course, some botanists have eliminated the entire genus Echinomastus, adding all of the plants that were in it to Sclerocactus. I don't think this will be accepted over the long haul.

Spine clusters from Echinomastus erectocentrus "acunensis" (L) and Echinomastus johnsonii "lutescens" (R).

It's a strange experience, going out to hunt for these obscure, well-camouflaged and somewhat remote plants. A lot of the time is spent scouring the ground with one's vision, looking for little color and texture anomalies that are the clues to the plants' presence. Periodically, you look up and see things like this:

10 comments:

Tere said...

Good photos. Greetings

MediaTrash said...

Hi... do you happen to have any more seeds of this population? I have an E. erectocentrus that just flowered for me... It looks like the plant in your post on Duology. But the flowers are more pale than what you've posted as being from the E. e. acunensis population and the pistils on the one I have are more red or burgundy. BTW the image of E. johnsonii "lutescens" is a beautiful plant! Seeds from that would be cool too :-)

peter breslin said...

Hey Mediatrash-- The seeds I got for the Florence population of 'acunensis' were from Mesa Garden. I don't have any Echinomastus seed at the moment, but I'm hoping to help Steven Brack at MG introduce a few more into cultivation over the next few years.

thanks for stopping by!

bruno said...

Hi Peter,
thanks a lot for reporting about these wonderful plants. I have been growing Echinomastus for over 15en years now and I am preparing for giving a conference at the Rome branch of the Italian association on cactus and succulent plants. Most of my plants have been raised from seeds from mesa garden.
If you are fine with letting me use your photos I would be more than happy to include a few of them in the presentation. Also, if you are interested in taking a look at my plants, just let me know and I' ll provide the link to my web site.
Thanks again
Bruno

peter breslin said...

Hi Bruno- Check out the Echinomastus album I have going on photobucket, with 340 pictures, most are labeled. Feel free to use any you would like. I'd like to see your webpage so send a link. Thanks,

Peter

peter breslin said...

oops, the URL for the photobucket album is:

http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k209/zorgalfish/echinomastus/

bruno said...

hi Peter, thanks a lot, here is the link: http://www.succulentstreasures.com/index.php/component/option,com_zoom/Itemid,61/catid,2/

Again thanks
b

peter breslin said...

hey bruno- really looking good! Beautiful cultivated Echinomastus plants. Thanks for the link.

Curious if the erectocentrus plant that's 10 years old in 2004 has flowered yet? If not, I'd suggest watering in the winter, especially January and February, tapering off in March, fairly dry and warm in March-early June. The winter waterings mimic conditions in the wild, and some field studies show that flowering is tied to the amount of winter rains in the Sonoran.

happy growing,

Peter

bruno said...

Hi Peter,
thanks a lot for your feedback on how plants are going and for the link to your photo album. Wow! a lot of nice pictures of plants in the wild.
I also find your consideration about watering very interesting. I usually water these plants beginning in mid-march and suspend in mid-may. Then I resume late august, beginning of september, when night temperatures go down a bit. No watering in winter. The frequence of watering is variable, I take a look at the plants and follow my istinct. Eventually Echinomastus can be watered 4/5 times per year.
E. erectocentrus flowered last year but the single bud that showed up last month did abort. I am also encountering a similar difficulty in getting E. mariposensis and E. unguispinus v. unguispinus to flower. All other species flower freely and I got fruit and seeds.

Well, I have about a hundred questions for you on the subject. Please let me know if you are fine with going ahead with this interesting tread.

Thanks again
b

bruno said...

Hi Peter,
here again, I created a site on echinomastus here: http://echinomastus.succulentstreasures.com/index.php?lang=en

Hope you don' t mind seeing a few pictures of yours in the site.

Thanks
Bruno