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 Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha

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Tam

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PostSubject: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:01 pm

I was working my way throught the Steven Brack seedlist last week, getting ready to place an order, and came across a name I had never seen before, M.phaeacantha FO-58. The Ralph Martin field number data base gives the location as Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo and the collection date of Sept 1984.

The name also appears in Craig's Mammillaria Handbook on page 238. Has well as the description, it was named by Lemaire in 1839. For the locality it was stated has ' reported from San Toro and Regla, Hidalgo'. The black and white photograph is of ' a seedling in our garden' but does look like a young plant of polythele obconella.

Using the inter active map on Goolge earth I was only able to find one location called Regla in the state of Hidalgo. I could find no reference to San Toro. Regla is now a suburb in the north west of the city of Pachuca, but I would imagine that at the time of its original collection Regla was probably a small village. The city of Pachuca is only 40-45 miles from the Felipe Otero collection area of Ixmiquilpan, travelling north west along Mex 85.

The description does appear to point towards polythele obconella. The next collection FO-59, which was collected at the same time has been given the name polythele and is describled as having ' long, curved, golden brown spines ' again pointing towards obconella ?

Has anyone grown this before or is still going it and do you have any further information.

Mark.
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:49 pm

Hi Tam,
I've got a plant of FO-59 which is certainly polythele, and it has longish spines, but certainly not as long as my obconella ML004 which comes from near Venados. Both FO-58 and FO-59 are listed as being from Ixmiquilpan, so it certainly would be interesting to know why Snr Otero distinguished betwen them.
I can't find a San Toro either, but I know Regla but it's not a suburb of Pachuca. It is to the north east of Huasca de Ocampo, in Hidalgo and I know that there are polythele plants there, because it was a stop on my last day in Hidalgo when I was there in 2005. So I would certainly go with phaeacantha being a form of polythele, but whether it is distinct enough to be obconella is for me very uncertain.

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:43 pm

I sowed m. phaeacantha FO 58 in 1999 ( Mesa Garden seeds n. 835)
My plant in August 2006

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:36 am

Hi Ento,

thanks for the picture, its a big help. Has I suspected the above plant points towards M.poythele ssp obconella, althought the spines are not has long has the ML 004 collection I have been.
Has Chris says above, why has Felipe Oterio felt the need to resurrect the superfluous name phaeacantha ?
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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:27 pm

Interestingly enough, there is a description of M. phaeacantha in Hunt 'A New Review of Mammillaria Names".
Globose, 5.4 x 5.4 cm; tuberc les subcylindric, slightly compressed laterally, obtuse, 6-7m; axils with white wool and a few long twisted bristles. Central spines 4 red brown at first, eventually black, subulate, unequal, the lateral 8-9mm, upper 10-14mm, lower 10-12mm; radial spines c. 20 4-5mm white.
He comments that this "ghost" from the past must have been a form of discolor or rhodantha. Craig shows a plant with no radial spines probably M. polythele. Glass and Foster mention the name in connection with a plant from Mineral del Monte, and Hunt comments that onlu discolor and rhodantha occur in that area.
The plant shown in Ento's photo does not look to me like polythele, whch is described as having no radial spines. I'm pretty sure that I can see some radial spines, albeit they look fairly short and nowhere as numerous as the description of M. phaeacantha would suggest. This would seem to me to support the Hunt view that it is related to a form of rhodantha in this area. The spines are black at first but soon fade to an ash grey colour.
However, given that the plant was discovered in 1832, described in 1839, how likely is it that seed from this collection has remained true during the last 170 years or so. There are no later documented collections of this plant.
I would personally totally discount the name, and take the seedlings as Mammillaria sp. FO-59, and then see whether it is a polythele or a rhodantha if at all when it grows up a bit.

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PostSubject: Re: Mammillaria FO-58, phaeacantha   Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:41 pm

I have been in touch with Daivd Hunt and below is an abridged relpy on the subject...

" I saw plenty of plants like ( the above ) on a trip with Felipe Otero back in 1973. It is possible he got the seeds on the same trip. One sees alot of plants like this, with rudimertary radials, in collections, and ( apart from any bumble-bee rhodantha x polthele hybrids ) they may well originate from the area in question, between Actopan and Ixmiquilpan, but I would prefer to think of them as intermediated rather than hybrids.
M.rhodantha ssp rhodantha, as I understand it, mainly occurs to the east and south of the Sierra de Pachuca. By the time you get to Actopan on Hwy 85, I suspect the rainfall is lower and you are 500m lower, you find these plants with just a few wispy radials or none at all and bodies a bit more bluish, suggesting more tendency to having latex. I think we have to call them polythele ( although you could make a case to place polythele has subspecies of rhodantha, the older name ). You could argue that the true rhodantha and polythele are no more than ecotypes of one ( the same ) species. Maybe DNA will eventually tell us. "
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