January 2013

A more in depth look at individual cactus species, a new one is added each month -managed by Hob
DaveW
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January 2013

Post by DaveW »

A couple of days early, but here's my first try for Cactus of the Month:-

It’s supposed to look like that!

Anybody seeing Turbinicarpus subterraneus for the first time would think it was a case of extreme etiolated growth until it was recently brought into better conditions. It grows from a tuberous root and at first forms a long spindly stem with later a more normal head on it. It comes from Nuevo Leon in Mexico.

It has been placed in the past in the genus Rapicactus meaning “turnip rooted cactus". It’s a plant well worth getting simply for its curious method of growth, if rather slow at first, as for it’s beautiful flowers.
subrerraneus.jpg
subrerraneus.jpg (98.3 KiB) Viewed 7973 times
subterraneus2.jpg
subterraneus2.jpg (98.94 KiB) Viewed 7973 times
You will find an article on it here:-

http://www.cactus-art.biz/schede/TURBIN ... raneus.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And a picture of it in habitat here:-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aztekium/202852473/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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hoteidoc
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Re: January 2013

Post by hoteidoc »

It looks like I get to be 1st to congratulate the "passing of the torch"! See, with all your "cronies" from your 50+ yrs of cacti, you'll be able to pull all kinds of strings! Way to go DaveW! Hobs, thanks so much -- still like to see you get back on-line more :( !
Once bitten by the cactus collecting/growing bug, there is no known cure!
There's no 12 step programme for Cactaholics...so I shall just have to get some more!!
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Peterthecactusguy
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Re: January 2013

Post by Peterthecactusguy »

that is one strange cactus. You are right it does look sorta etiolated.. but it also appears sorta like the way how Peniocereus greggii stems can look. They lack normal looking epidermal tissues at the bottoms sometimes. :)
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
DaveW
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Re: January 2013

Post by DaveW »

Yes Hob seems to be getting into woodworking machines just as I am disposing of them since I retired and closed my workshop down (I was a self employed carpenter)! It would be nice to see him back posting again, since loosing plants is something we all do over the years and I see he has not posted since October 29th. He says he lost 50-60 plants in the bad UK bad winter a year or so ago. I did the same with a cold greenhouse since the temperature stayed down for over a week without rising during the day. I must have lost about the equivalent of three collections in my time in bad UK winters, but it's surprising how quickly you build them up again. Therefore I hope Hob will not let loosing plants put him off. If I can keep setting cactus seeds at 71 years of age Hob and the rest of you have no excuse if you loose plants!

http://www.cactiguide.com/forum/viewtop ... ob#p244767" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Ivan C
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Re: January 2013

Post by Ivan C »

DaveW wrote:A couple of days early, but here's my first try for Cactus of the Month:-

It’s supposed to look like that!
Dave first of all thank-you for taking on 'Cactus of the Month'. I do like seeing and using it.

Now, that is a very interesting looking Turbinicarpus subterraneus. I assume this is from your collection. Nice looking plant and I bet quite a conversation specimen. I like it.
DaveW
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Re: January 2013

Post by DaveW »

Yes it is from my collection Ivan. They are a bit slow at first only producing a spindly stem until the thicker head is produced. Whilst some other species of Rapicactus (If you wish to keep it as a separate section in Turbinicarpus) do produce a neck, there are none with such an elongated one as subterraneus.

http://www.cactus-art.biz/schede/TURBIN ... ragora.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Click on the links at the bottom right of the above link for others in this group.

There is a book on Turbinicarpus and Rapicactus, I don't know if Cactiguide stocks it though:-

http://www.exoticplantbooks.com/detail/?product_id=110" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
daiv
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Re: January 2013

Post by daiv »

DaveW wrote: There is a book on Turbinicarpus and Rapicactus, I don't know if Cactiguide stocks it though:-

http://www.exoticplantbooks.com/detail/?product_id=110" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Hey Dave, that link is to my bookstore site. I do keep that title in stock as indicated on the page you linked to. Anything that doesn't say "In stock" is likely already on order too as I remove out of print books entirely from the site. - For example - the Turbinicarpus book by Zachar is no longer available.
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Jens
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Re: January 2013

Post by Jens »

Happy New Year everyone!
DaveW it´s great to see you continuing on this topic and many thanks to Hob for the great job he did.
Is the running cactus of the month topic supposed to be enriched by comments or additional pictures by other forumites?
DaveW
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Re: January 2013

Post by DaveW »

"Is the running cactus of the month topic supposed to be enriched by comments or additional pictures by other forumites?"

Why not, it's a whole new ball game since Hob stopped posting his ones and asked if others would do it in future. The more information on any plant the better.

Davide Donatti signed my Copy at the Cactus Explorers Weekend in the UK Daiv. I also got his book on Epithelantha at the same time and saw his habitat slides on both genera during the weekend.
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Peterthecactusguy
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Re: January 2013

Post by Peterthecactusguy »

why wouldn't we comment, and or add our own pictures. If someone needs pictures for plants I have on my grow list, just ask ;) After all I think having shots, esp of cacti in habitat makes a huge difference. I am not saying that pictures of plants in cultivation ARE bad, or that they shouldn't be included, its more like along the lines of getting as much info as possible. It might give clues on how to grow them in cultivation better :)
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
DaveW
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Re: January 2013

Post by DaveW »

Also plants in cultivation can differ quite considerably from their wild counterparts and even in cultivation from country to country according to climate, so different examples can be an aid to identification. A cactophile friend of mine emigrated from the UK to Australia for a time and confessed he had a job at first identifying plants he was very familiar with in the UK as the growth and supination looked different there since where he was the plants grew pretty well all year round without a significant rest period unlike the UK, therefore the spination was far more open, with more green body showing.

When he moved back to the UK, a couple of Australian friends came to visit him and they were taken around a good UK collection. We were looking at some beautiful densely spined white plants (Escobaria's if I remember correctly) and his friend from Australia said "I don't like how those are growing, you can't see the green body between the spines!". A matter of taste I suppose, but not sure I would want bloated green plants in preference to densely spined ones and I am sure in other parts of Australia that were not so hot their plants may be more like ours.

A cactus nurseryman was telling us he went on a trip to some cactus collections in one part of India, saying they could not grow Sulcorebutia's there very well as they did not get a cool enough winter rest because their climate was too warm in winter. It is a fact of life that cacti are not just widely spread geographically but altitudinally also, meaning they can prefer vastly different growing conditions though we try and grow them all in the same microclimate in our greenhouses, or even outdoors where your climate is kind enough.

Those with more tropical climates can grow Melocactus and a lot of the tropical Cerei far better than we can in the UK. Those in the USA probably have a longer growing season too. However sometimes we in the UK can do better with plants from altitude that need cooler growing conditions and a good winter rest.

Really we all should grow the plants that thrive best for us, but human nature being what it is we will all keep on trying to grow those that would prefer to be elsewhere than in our conditions! :lol:
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Jens
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Re: January 2013

Post by Jens »

Another cultivated plant of Turbinicarpus subterraneus
Turbinicarpus subterraneus 2012 Mai01-2.jpg
Turbinicarpus subterraneus 2012 Mai01-2.jpg (88.02 KiB) Viewed 7869 times
T. subterraneus var. zaragozae is kept at species status by Donati /Zanovello as Rapicactus zaragozae
The flower color , growth habit and seed morphology are different .
Turbinicarpus subterranaeus ssp. zaragosae 2012 Mai10-4.jpg
Turbinicarpus subterranaeus ssp. zaragosae 2012 Mai10-4.jpg (92.01 KiB) Viewed 7869 times
Turbinicarpus subterranaeus ssp. zaragosae 2012 Mai10-3.jpg
Turbinicarpus subterranaeus ssp. zaragosae 2012 Mai10-3.jpg (89.03 KiB) Viewed 7869 times
An older specimen at the Piltz nursery
Piltz 2011 Oktober13-7.jpg
Piltz 2011 Oktober13-7.jpg (86.53 KiB) Viewed 7869 times
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Peterthecactusguy
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Re: January 2013

Post by Peterthecactusguy »

nice pictures Jens :)

DaveW, that's sorta of where I was going with that post without posting all the details, however keep in mind that plants that grow here in Arizona have many different factors to deal with. Extreme heat/ and in some places extreme cold, bi-seasonal rains, intense sun, AND times of severe drought. As with many microclimates I live in a strange area right on the edge of the desert. (don't worry we still have cacti naturally here). Saguaros grow here naturally and enjoy the weather here apparently, because some of them are huge. When I see saguaros in other places (Longwood Gardens, in SE PA for instance) they looked different than the ones outside here in AZ. :) I think it's important to show the habitat photos of cacti so people can see how they actually grow and might be able to figure out how to grow them in their climate. :) (although there are some places no cacti would ever grow, too cold, too dry or too little sunlight)
Here's to you, all you insidious creatures of green..er I mean cacti.
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John C
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Re: January 2013

Post by John C »

Great cactus of the month post Dave! Good luck on future cactus of the months! I am looking forward to reading them!

Thank you to Hob for the past months, they too were great! Hopefully he will be able to get on every now and then.
John In Fort Worth, Texas
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SnowFella
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Re: January 2013

Post by SnowFella »

Living downunder I'd have to chime in here that it like would depend alot on where in this big country you live as to what growth you get. Sure up north you would get scorching hot summers and relatively mild winters that would allow growth through the year, along the coast further down south where I live though summers are still rather hot with an abundance of thunderstorms but winters are cool and dry. I have identical clones of M. mazatlanensis both outdoors and under cover and the outdoors one has lots tighter spination with hardly any green showing through compared to it's pampered cousin.
Plants I have out in the ground hardly grow at all during the cooler months, apart from C. peruvians but nothing seems to be able to stop that one growing, and protected potted plants stop growing and shrivel down during winter.
Come spring and warmth combined with watering though it's a whole new ballgame, my M. bocasana's shriveled to nothing over winter but a few waterings into spring and they trippled in size.
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