Monday, August 29, 2005

The power of grafting - IV

For the third time this year my grafted Lophophora williamsii (SB 854; Starr Co, Tx) is flowering – quite an accomplishment from a plant only 18 months from seed (sowed February 29, 2004). This flower was also self-pollinated.

Flowering Lophophora williamsii
Flowering Lophophora williamsii

The two spent flowers can be seen below the current one.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

The power of grafting - III

My grafted Lophophora williamsii (SB 854; Starr Co, Tx) is flowering again (and yet another bud is in the works). Once again I had to self-pollinate the flower since none of my other plants are blooming.

Flowering Lophophora williamsii
Flowering Lophophora williamsii

Growth will tear us apart
The scion is growing so hard you can practically hear the epidermis squeaking. A couple of days ago it gave in to the pressure and burst – maybe triggered by the plant “rearranging itself”, starting to grow more ribs. The scion has grown to a width of 5 cm (~1.97’’), excluding the offshoots.

Bursting Lophophora williamsii.
Bursting Lophophora williamsii

The Echinopsis (Trichocereus) pachanoi stock refuses to give up the fight and is stubbornly growing yet another offshoot.

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Obregonia and Ariocarpus from seed – IV

The sowing bags have been open for the last week, and yesterday the seedling plants were removed from the bags and fully exposed to the real world environment. The 30+ Obregonia denegrii (VVZ 163; San Vicente, Tamaulipas) seedlings are growing vigorously, and I’m already wondering how to find room for all the plants ;-)

Obregonia denegrii seedlings
Obregonia denegrii seedlings

The 6 Ariocarpus fissuratus (PP 176; Big Bend, Texas) seedlings also started out convincingly but after growing a couple of diminutive tubercles each, their growth grinded to a halt. I’m a bit disappointed with the germination rate of these A. fissuratus seeds and will probably try again next year with seeds from a different supplier.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Munching on Lophophora williamsii

Until lately my coldhouse grown Lophophora williamsii (SB 854; Starr Co, Tx; sowed May 1, 2004) were dazzling in their immaculate appearance – until some critter decided to munch on them.

Munched on Lophophora
Munched on Lophophora

The main shoot of my Cylindropuntia tunicata was maimed too. A search of the cacti revealed a great green bush-cricket (Tettigonia viridissima) hiding among the plants. I took the mug shot below before releasing the suspected culprit outdoors.

Captured great green bush-cricket
Captured great green bush-cricket

The harm is not too great and I expect the plants to fully recuperate from the damage.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The New Cactus Lexicon

I finally got around and ordered my ‘early subscriber’ copy of the The New Cactus Lexicon. The lexicon is prepared on behalf of the International Cactaceae Systematics Group (ICSG) by David Hunt et al. and will publish by March 2006 at the latest. The invitation to subscribe early expires at August 31, 2005. A full prospectus and order form is available online.

The New Cactus Lexicon“Planned as a successor to Backeberg's Cactus Lexicon, The New Cactus Lexicon will be the most scientifically authoritative conspectus of the Cactaceae published for nearly a century. It will be comprehensively illustrated in colour and is confidently expected to become the benchmark reference for all those with amateur or professional interests in the diversity, identification and conservation of cacti.”

I trust the lexicon will have in-depth coverage of Acharagma, Lophophora, Obregonia, Strombocactus etc. ;-)

Update - July 31, 2006
The lexicon arrived a couple of days ago – I’ll get back with more information when I’ve had a chance to study the books.

Update - September 17, 2006
The New Cactus Lexicon: A Review

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