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 Mammillaria solisioides

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Amante
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Amante

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PostSubject: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeFri Sep 26, 2008 4:38 pm

Mammillaria solisioides growing at Vista Hermosa, Huajuapan De Leon, Oaxaca. It is not easy to find them as they are found on a single hill.

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Chris43
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeFri Sep 26, 2008 7:52 pm

Hi AMante, I've looked for Vist Hermosa but can't find it. I found this species growing on a hill just outside the village of Chila in Oaxaca. this is more or less on the border between Oaxaca and Puebla, and maybe 15km north of Huahuapan. Is this the same place? It was in early March and very dry still, so the plants are quite shrivelled.

Mammillaria solisioides Pict1510

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeFri Sep 26, 2008 7:55 pm

Not easy to find for you and not easy to keep for me. One of the most difficult Mamms.
Very nice specimens you found. I see that they are a bit covered with some weeds. Did they get full sunshine or were they in partial shade?

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeFri Sep 26, 2008 9:05 pm

The ones I found at Chila were on the flattish top of a small hill, quite open to the sun, soil being mainly limestone. As it was early March and there had not been any obvious rain for a good while, the grasses and weeds were all dry and dead looking. I would think that as the summer rains came these would regenerate and give soem shade, but probably only very light shade at that. Some of the plants were towards the end of the flat hill, from memory on the north west side, and there it was likely that there would have been little shade at all.

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Amante
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeSat Sep 27, 2008 10:34 am

Hi Chris and Hugo,

I too, could not find Vista Hermosa at first. The problem with Mexican maps is that there are too many of the same names even in the same State.

On my third visit to Mexico I was searching for Obregonia denegri which I knew grew near a town called San Vincente, near Jaumave. I went to a town by that name which happened to be the wrong one. It was only back home did I realised that I had gone to the wrong one. Ironically, I had another map at home which showed another San Vincente (the right one), which I simply did not take with me to reduce weight. I have many maps and every time I go I buy State maps of the State I am visiting and this may not be all because maps have a tendency to show only towns or places preferred by the cartographer's company.

What I did was to buy a Map of Oaxaca. Back at the hotel in the evening I studied the map carefully. I then realised that Vista Hermosa is on the outskirts of Huajuapan and part of Huajuapan. Notice from the map below that there are several Vista Hermosa in just a short area for a large State. These are highlighted green and the place is the one near the large green highlight near the centre, Santiago Huajolotitlan, a place I had gone the day before I went to Vista Hermosa.

Even so, finding the place does not produce a hit. I have gone to several places where I could not find what I was looking for. To make matters worse, previous collectors/botanists tend to encrypt the data and after much searching can you hope to succeed. A case in point is La Perdida, Tamaulipas. Lau mentions it as Rancho Perdido which does not exist on any map at all and which is really La Perdida. Rancho Perdido simply does not exist even at La Perdida. There are only about five houses and no Ranch. Sometimes it is mentioned 'near' to a particular place. But how 'far' is near only God and the cactophyle know. C. Glass had his ways to encrypt, also. I think the most accurate is M. Lacoste.

It, sometimes, can be very frustrating but in the end there is satisfaction. That is, when you find whatever you are looking for. The best way is to let someone take you, but believe me it takes out all the fun.

Mammillaria solisioides Scan0011
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Amante
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeSat Sep 27, 2008 11:09 am

This is the hill where they are growing. Notice there are no Agaves, Hechtias or other Cacti associated with smaller ones. The only other species was a Coryphantha. My visit was in September 2006. There may have been some shade created by the slope of the hill but this is a small hill and it faced towards Huajuapan. It had been raining the day before and on the morning of that faitful day.

It only takes a couple of earthmovers to level this hill.

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeSat Sep 27, 2008 12:10 pm

Thanks, that is interesting about Vista Hermosa.

It looks a rather similar habitat to the hill near Chila (which is just over the border in Puebla, near the edge of the map you show). It seems that solisioides is reasonably well distributed, at least over an area of perhaps 30km or more.

Here's a view of Chila from the hill on which solisioides grew.

Mammillaria solisioides Pict1511

The trip I did was an fairly well organised one, with the locations where we stopped pretty well researched, so we had a fair bit of success in finding what should have been at the location. But things change over time, and we did have a few disappointments.

But in New Mexico last year, I had acquired 4 locations for Sclerocactus mesa-verdae, and even so, it took a full day to actually find a site - not quite where it was supposed to be, and these were GPS locations, let alone the vaguaries of Mexican place naming. In Meztitlan area, we were looking for a place, and the locals didn;t know it even it seemed, and it was as you said about the rancho, the name had been "embellished" so it was only when we concentrated on the second part of the name, that anyone recognised where it was we wanted to go to. But it was quite a put down when I asked how long it would take us to get there. The old guy we were talking to, truned to his equally elderly friend, looked at us again, and said...for us..1 hr...and with another look at us...for you 3 hrs...!
I don't know about the 1 hr, but it took us 2, and our driver was, by my standards, pretty forceful.

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Amante
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria solisioides   Mammillaria solisioides Icon_minitimeSun Sep 28, 2008 9:18 am

Mexicans are very helpful to outsiders. One can find an exception or two but I have been in situations were the hospitality and kindness was incredible. The hospitality seems to increase in proportion to the distance from a major city.

I don't use the conventional way to travel in Mexico. Only once did I rented a car for just one week and it got real expensive. So I use the local transport. For long distances I use coaches which are very convenient and reliable, then I use every other means, such as hitch-hiking, local busses and taxis. One day I even got a lift on two different tractors.

I find that both types of travelling have their disadvantages and advantages. For example if you are driving you cannot stop where you like on the highway and when you do you have to get down to where you left the car. Also there is the fear of car theft or a flat tire. I had two flat tires in one day.

By other means you have to rely on local timetables and cannot estimate the arrival back to the hotel. And then you do not know the intension of the driver who gave you the lift. I usually stay about two or three days in each place and then go somewhere else, as I said by coach.

It was only in my last visit that I used a GPS which is very helpful but one day I got lost in a narrow valley and the GPS was useless. A GPS is very useful to find your hotel, especially if you forget which hotel you are in, a disability which seems to be inherent in me.

I find that Mexicans do not know much about Geography. This is not to taunt them but is generally the truth. I have often explained about my country carefully explaining that it is a small island south of Italy, in Europe, to be answered by an ah Brazil. Mexico for the poor is Mexico City.
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