Monday, March 05, 2007

Seed starting Lophophora, Ariocarpus, and Epithelantha

The last couple of days I’ve been busy starting the next generation of plants from seed. One of the more interesting lophs this year is a variety of Lophophora williamsii originating from El Oso, Coahuila, Mexico. According to The genus Lophophora – Kaktusy Special 2, 2005 this variety forms massive clusters with individual heads measuring up to 15 cm (5.9'') in diameter! Unfortunately it seems the El Oso site is severely threatened by agricultural activities.

Lophophora williamsii - El Oso, Coahuila
Lophophora williamsii - El Oso, Coahuila (picture taken from The genus Lophophora – Kaktusy Special 2, 2005)

I’ve sown the following Lophophora seeds this year:

  • Lophophora diffusa v. koehresii (RS 1182; El Sabino, San Luis Potosí)
  • Lophophora diffusa ssp. kubesai (JJH 0010892; Puente Mezquitio, Querétaro)
  • Lophophora fricii (RS 404B; Viesca, Coahuila)
  • Lophophora williamsii (MMR 89; El Oso, Coahuila)
  • Lophophora williamsii (RS 428A; Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila)
I have great expectations for the Lophophora diffusa ssp. kubesai. According to the retailer’s seed catalog this variety is prone to offsetting (in contrast to the typical single stemmed L. diffusa specimens), eventually forming multi-headed clumps as pictured below. Lophophora diffusa ssp. kubesai Lophophora diffusa ssp. kubesai In addition to the Lophophora seeds I also started a handful of Ariocarpus from seed:
  • Ariocarpus fissuratus (JDL 26; Hot Springs, Big Bend, Texas)
  • Ariocarpus fissuratus (VVZ 204; Terlingua, Texas)
  • Ariocarpus fissuratus (VVZ 205; North of Alpine Texas)
  • Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus v. macdowellii (RS 134; Hipolito, Coahuila)
I’ve specifically selected extreme northerly types of A. fissuratus as most of the Ariocarpus seedlings will be moved to a coldhouse later in spring (along with half of the L. williamsii and L. fricii seedlings) to experiment with the cold hardiness of these species. The move is also a necessity because my windowsills are getting crammed ;-) Finally, the following Epithelantha seeds (also for the coldhouse) were sown:
  • Epithelantha micromeris (JM 101; Sitting Bull Canyon, New Mexico)
  • Epithelantha micromeris v. gregii (MMR 179; El Oso, Coahuila)
The seeds were bought from Jan Martin Jecminek and Jaromír Dohnalík – details for both are listed in the seed and plant retailers section. All seeds are sown in a mix of limestone gravel, regular soil, and loamy sand (mixed in a 2:2:1 ratio). The pots are placed in closed bags where they will stay until the seedlings are well established - check out the post on growing cactus from seeds for more information on seed starting.

1 comment:

  1. Cool site. Never knew something like this existed. Be sure to check out and www.virtualbigbend for more information on Cactus and the West Texas Trans Pecos Big Bend region.. ShaneA


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