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 Mexico trip - part 9

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Chris43
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PostSubject: Mexico trip - part 9   Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:26 pm

After leaving Hermosillo we made a couple of stops on the way to San Carlos Bay. At the first there were lots of columnar cacti, and the first of many hooked spined Mamms:


M. sheldonii


M. sheldonii

And at the second, much the same. But as we drove towards Bahia San Carlos, little did I know what was awaiting:


Initially on the lower slopes, M. sheldonii and M. johnstonii.


A white radial spines M. sheldonii


A curly spined M. johnstonii - the form that is often called fma San Carlos


A straight spined form of M. sheldonii - these were surprisingly common on this site.


Typical form of M. johnstonii - since both forms occur at San Carlos, there is no sense in maintaining that fma suffix.


Close up of flower of M. johnstonii


A view of the bay from up on the hill.


Up at the top of the hill, broken rocky slabs, with M. boolii living in the cracks.


M. boolii was quite variable, some central spines being thin and lighter brown


and others being thick and darker. Does this shed any light on whether M. boolii and M. insularis should be separate species??

We then drove on towards Guasimas, and found a wild open area which had lots of plants. Among them were two Mamms.


M. sheldonii again, darker spined form


Close up of the dark spines


And M. bocensis with pale flowers. Some plants made really big groups, others were solitary.


A general view of the site - you can see at leats three clumps of M. sheldonii there.

We then tried unsuccessfully to find Mammillaria yaquensis, but in each place we tried, we were unsuccessful because the whole coastal region seemed to have been turned over to agriculture. After a couple more stops, in which we only found Mammillaria sheldonii again (but large groups of other plants!), we headed on to try to find Mammillaria sonorensis. We eventually gave up because the light was fading fast, and got to the hotel rather late. But tomorrow was another day!!

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PostSubject: Re: Mexico trip - part 9   Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:15 pm

Mexico trip is always more interesting.
The straight spined form of m. sheldoni is called "fa. inaiae"
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PostSubject: Re: Mexico trip - part 9   Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:54 am

Is that a fruit on the plant labled "white radial spines M. sheldonii"? It didn't manage to get stuck to the bottom of your shoe, did it?

I'm so jealous! I hope one day I get to take such a trip! Fantastic Chris,

Thanks for sharing!
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PostSubject: Re: Mexico trip - part 9   Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:18 pm

M.boolii and M.insularis may be very closely related and could even be the same species / subspieces. They both grow at roughtly the same latitude but on opposite sides of the gulf of California
While I can grow boolii without much difficulty and have a few different collections, I find it impossible to grow insularis for any lenght of time and they qucikly dry up and die.
Having said that it is not offen you see insularis of sale on plant and seed list.
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PostSubject: Re: Mexico trip - part 9   Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:46 pm

Paul, sadly I didn't collect that seed, and I don't remember now why not!
But I think now, on review, that this is actually M. grahamii not M. sheldonii.

Ento, M. iniae is one plant I don't have, although I have seed from the Almeda Gardens in Gibralter. It will be interesting to see if they come true and similar to those that I saw.

I agree, Mark, insularis is a lot more difficult to keep, although both are, I think, relatively short lived. But the main differentiator, other than location ( the island on which insularis lives is as you say across the gulf), is the colour and stength of the central spine. My personal view is that they are sufficiently close, and so obviously related, that they ought to be species and subspecies, not two different species. Two of my insularis plants come from Uhlig seed of Lau 022.

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PostSubject: Re: Mexico trip - part 9   Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:47 pm

M.insularis is said the have the much darker / stronger spine, but looking at the close up view of the M.boolii above, if you did not know that is was boolii you could easily mistake it for insularis.

You did send me one of the Lau 022 last year but it did not last long. M.boolii is not a problem has long has the plants are kept in small pots and not over potted, which is the usual story with all the Ancistracanthae.
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