Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mammillaria bocasana

Mammillaria bocasana cultivars can be found in many forms. Some of them are so bizarre that it takes some persuasion to believe that they are bocasana at all.

This picture shows a double headed normal M. bocasana. It produces yellowish-white flowers and long thin pink fruits.

This picture shows M. bocasana v. splendens cristata. The plant resembles M. plumosa.

M. bocasana 'Fred' is a monstrose form of the species. There are several stories circulating of how Fred got its name:

1. It is attributed to Frank Harwood., which having had visitors asking what it is he replied ' I do not know, let us call it Frank'. This was in the early Seventies or late sixties.

2. From Ron Studior, a now out-of-business nursery in Texas, in the sixties.

3. Chuck Hanson's Arid Lands Greenhouses in Tucson, Arizona in the eighties.

Since then several other monstrose forms have appeared that are not 'Frank'. The one on the left is a typical example. It produces montrose and cristate forms on the same plant and grafted cuttings can take their own shape.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mammillaria albata

This cactus has been referred to M. geminispina v. leococentra. It has shorter spines then M. geminispina.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cactus Chimera

The name Chimera comes from Greek mythology refering to a fire-breathing she-monster in having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail.

A Cactus Chimera result when two grafted cacti get distinct characteristics of two species on the same plant. In this case a Gymnocalycium mihanovicii cv. 'hiboton' was grafted on Myrtillocactus geometrizans.

Somehow the DNA of the Myrtillocactus passed to the Gymnocalycium and the result is a mix of two species in one. The species showing both of the two species characteristics.

Note: Chimeras are not hybrids. Hybrids occur with the fusion of two gametes from each individual.

Chimeras are very rare and highly valued. Nobody knows how they occur. It could be the result of a viral infection.