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El Paso - Roswell cactus places

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El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby vulcanrob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:14 pm

Hi all,

I'm taking my kids to Roswell, overtly for the alien festival at the end of this month, but really it's just to visit nurseries and cacti in the wild spots in the El Paso - Alamogordo - Roswell - Carlsbad loop.

Can anyone suggest any nurseries I should stop at, or places to visit?

I'm a bit of an Echinocereus snob, I know I'm too late for flowers but I'd be happy to see some plants in their native habitat.

Our local cactus society president recommended Aztekakti in El Paso, now called Desertland nursery, but it seems their website is gone and I didn't see a nursery on google maps at the address.

Many thanks, --rob
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby peterb » Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:21 pm

Hey Rob, if you go out of Roswell into the deserts surrounding the town and look for rocky ledges, bajadas, etc, it's good cactus viewing out there. Possible to see texensis, horizonthalonius, a lot of different Opuntia, vivipara, and Echinocereus reichenbachii, perhaps even stramineus. Between Roswell and El Paso there is some good habitat also. Look for slopes and rocks.

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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby vulcanrob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:50 pm

Thanks Peter, that's just the kind of practical advice I was looking for, slopes and rocks! Glad to hear reichenbachii is fairly visible. many thanks! --rob
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby peterb » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:14 am

actually, reichenbachii was kind of hard for me to find when I was there, in high summer. But the few that I did find were in the same habitat as Echinocactus etc., so maybe that is what to look for. The Echinocereus tend to hide in the grass. I also forgot to mention dasyacanthus, easy to find around Carlsbad.

good luck, post photos,

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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby RobR » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:04 am

On the west side of Roswell I have found reichenbachii in grassy flats along with escobaria vivipara, and echinocactus texensis. I have found most vacant lots in Roswell to be good texensis habitat, the same goes for lots in Artesia as well. The road to Sitting Bull Falls off of 285 is also good for texensis and echinocereus trig var gurneyi.
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby peterb » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:06 am

oh yeah, also some sort of small Glandulicactus wrightii I found there a long time ago, around Sitting Bull Falls.

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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby Mark » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:42 am

Hey rob the nursery in el paso is on the side of the freeway, on gateway west. It's off the eastlake exit. The owners of the place are very knowlegable and friendly.
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby vulcanrob » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the info! I'm glad to hear the nursery is still there. I'll definitely post some pictures when I get back! --rob
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby RichR » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:51 pm

The Living Desert State Park near Carlsbad is about 66 miles away. They have lots of cacti.
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby vulcanrob » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:21 pm

Thanks for all the tips everyone. We had a great time! I was so amazed to see cacti in the wild like this. They are not just native to home improvement stores!

The first was just East of Ruidoso, NM on highway 70 up on a hill. I don't know which Echinocereus it is. It had a lot of small, dried up flowers which made me think viridiflorus type, but it's awfully spiny.

rudioso.jpg
Echinocereus
rudioso.jpg (77.21 KiB) Viewed 826 times


The following are just West of Roswell up on a hill off of highway 70, I was getting a little discouraged seeing just Opuntias (not that they aren't wonderful) and then I saw one Echinocereus, then another, then a E. horizonthalonius, and then when you get the search image you see that they are all over. Wonderful! The highlight of the trip, I couldn't be happier.

I guess this is reichenbachii*, but the finer points distinguishing reichenbachii, pectinatus and rigidissimus escape me, at least without the flowers.

*edit = apparently this is Echinocereus dasyacanthus, thanks John and Peter

echino1.jpg
Echinocereus
echino1.jpg (83.81 KiB) Viewed 826 times


echino2.jpg
Echinocereus
echino2.jpg (81.71 KiB) Viewed 826 times


I love these little guys. My daughter's hands for scale.

echino3.jpg
Echinocereus
echino3.jpg (65.44 KiB) Viewed 826 times


Here is Echinocactus horizonthalonius. Really cryptic but they were all over, usually hiding by some dried up bush.

horiz.jpg
Echinocactus horizonthalonius
horiz.jpg (80.29 KiB) Viewed 826 times


Thanks again on all the tips on where to look. It's amazing all the microhabitats. The hills East of Roswell were sort of dried mud and I only found Opuntia. Roswell and El Paso are now may favorite towns. Maybe I can retire there someday...
Last edited by vulcanrob on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby John C » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:52 pm

Nice plants there! Looks like it was a good trip!

For the photo that you said "I guess this is reichenbachii" and the photos below it, all look like Echinocereus dasyacanthus.
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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby peterb » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:28 am

Yes, dasyacanthus. The nice clump from Ruidoso looks like a coccineus type to me.

nice pics!

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Re: El Paso - Roswell cactus places

Postby vulcanrob » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:10 pm

dasyacanthus, great! I got a few seeds out of an open fruit so I'll post back in 3-5 years and show you the flowers!
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