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Punotia lagopus, close to Macusani, at 4300m (Photo by

Few plants enter so deeply in


mythology, in mysticism and on
cultural identity of a country in such
a solid way as prickly pear has done.
The humble prickly pear (Nopal in
Spanish), with roots that religiously
drinks water from all over the
national territory, is without a doubt
one of the cacti that often portrayed
in the vast Mexican imagery because
of its unique qualities. This reflection
not only rests over its edible uses,
although myths are coated with it,
but even patriotic symbolism bears
its shapes evincing the local identity.

Nopal, the great cultural


pillar of Mxico by Leo
Rodriguez .
Opuntia stenopetala, El Tule, Garabatillo, Moctezuma
(photo Pedro Njera Quezada)

Xerophilia

12

April

How not to be intimidated, when you


see the watch telling you its eight
oclock in the evening and the
temperature is around 49 Celsius
and, in absolute solitude, you start
installing
your
photographic
equipment, being aware of the risks
of nature, even in the desert, which
is equally alive as the tropics? We
associate the desert with austerity,
but the desert lives and transforms
itself every day. Note that in the
desert storms are formed and it rains
too, it is in all the survival manuals
that the temperature can drop
sharply or that snakes prefer nighttime to hunt their prey, these arent
only
Bear
Grylls'
tips.
These
possibilities have always existed, but
with due respect for nature, the
desert rewards
incomparable
From
sunsetustowith
sunrise:
a
sunsets and starry night that seemed
night
in the desert by
to have come right out of a dream.

Csar Cant.
Chisos Mountain, Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA.

Xerophilia

13

June

We walked quickly getting to exit the


cool corridor, being struck suddenly
out from the hot sun and heat,
almost unbearable. It was about 3-4
oclock in the afternoon, the heat
reaching levels well above 30 C.
The "colleague" we were placed in
custody explained us how it goes: we
leave our car in the parking lot,
taking with us only the most
necessary things and wait quietly
until he returns with his car. We
came to believe what is happening
to us; besides we have got a guide,
this includes a car and a driver! And
that wasnt all! After a few minutes
he and the car appeared, the driver
inviting us to climb into the back
seat
and
still
before
getting
A
cactus
hike
through
comfortable gave each one a small
Inferno
by cold water.
bottle of really

Norbert Tth.
Ferocactus lindsayi with extra long spines (Photo by
Mt Fehr)

Xerophilia

14

Flowering Aichryson tortuosum, Las Ermitas de Las


Nieves, Lanzarote

I have also found in their natural


habitat Aichryson bollei Webb ex
Bolle
in La Palma,
Aichryson
punctatum (C. Smith ex Link) Webb
& Berthelot in La Gomera, El Hierro
and La Palma and the beautiful
Aichryson tortuosum (Aiton) Webb &
Berthelot in Lanzarote, the latter,
being one of the perennial species,
characteristic for its small rosettes of
particularly fleshy leaves. I have not
found instead in my short botanical
trip
to
Fuerteventura
another
perennial
Aichryson,
namely
Aichryson bethencourtianum Bolle
which is very similar to Aichryson
tortuosum (Aichryson tortuosum ssp.
beth, so similar that an expert in this
genus as Baares Baudet (2008)
considers it to be, I think with good
The
genus
Aichryson
reason,
a subspecies
thebylatter
(Aichryson
tortuosum
ssp.
Massimo
Afferni.
bethencourtianum (Bolle) Baares &
S. Scholz).

Xerophilia
15
December 2015

Pereskia bahiensis fruits, Umburanas, Bahia, Brazil.

Yes, in all Pereskia species the


areoles in the fruit remain active,
and can develop new flowers and
subsequently new fruits, resulting in
a chain or fruit cluster. But the
leaves in the fruit correspond to the
scales (or perula) found in most
other
cacti
for
example,
Gymnocalycium.
The
interesting
thing about the cacti is that the
flowers not only have an inferior
ovary (that is, sunken in a
hypanthium - a floral cup or flower
disk), but the whole hypanthium is
sunken (or enveloped) by stem
tissue, hence the areoles on the
exterior of flowers and fruits.
Besides Pereskia, many of the
opuntioids also do the same thing,
and some Cylindropuntia (chollas)
Active
areoles
on Pereskia
are known
to produce
chains of
fruits. by
Also,
fallen fruits
of the
fruits
Marlon
Machado.
opuntioids readily grow new stems,
helping in the dispersion of the
Xerophilia
12 April
plants.

2015

How
common
is
Geohintonia
mexicana,
Strombocactus
disciformis ssp. esperanzae or
Astrophytum caput-medusae in seed
lists today? Most of the seeds
available now probably originate
exclusively from plants originally
sown and raised in cultivation, but
where did the original plant matter
come from and was it exported
legally from Mexico? I doubt it. I
would guess that nearly everyone
who reads this and has any of the
above three species in their
collection are growing plants that
ultimately trace their origins back to
illegally collected habitat plants
and/or seeds. How long ago was it
that Lophophora alberto-vojtechii
and Strombocactus
An
alternative corregidorae
way
to
were discovered? I see them on
combat
more and more seed lists every year.

This is the fate of seized cacti (Photo by Gabriel Milan

illegal collecting
Ravnaas.

by

Karl

Beside
the
society,
Nordisk
Kaktusselskab, local subgroups were
established. Nowadays only two
remains one for the Copenhagen
area and one in Jutland. But in the
1980-ties five subgroups existed in
Denmark, besides one in Schleswig,
two in Sweden, two in Norway, and
one in Finland. More than 900
members were registered, including
five members in Japan. Those were
the days. In 1993, the total number
of members was only 659.

Tour planner Peter Brandt Petersen (middle) studying


plants at the Klein Mexico nursery. Peter was the NKS

Nordisk
Kaktus
Selskab
1965-2015
(NKS)
by
Hanna E. Hansen & Erik
Holm.
Xerophilia

14

After lunch and rest we continued


our way. 60% of the trip was already
gone the wonderful landscapes
were left behind and we had only to
get back, to the end of the track.
After such a brilliant day the descent
is rather boring, but still beautiful
landscapes,
curious
rocks
and
increasing numbers of sub-alpine
plants

great
specimens
of
Phyllachne colensoi (Oreomyrrhis
colensoi) and Gentiana bellidifolia
(unfortunately not in flower). Once
arrived at the Ketetahi hut we had
our last five minutes break and
continued our last hour walk through
the bush, to the car park.

50 Shades of Dry: Tongariro


National Park by Eduart
Zimer.
Phyllachne colensoi in Tonagriro, New Zealand.

Xerophilia

15

The Sierra de San Miguelito is


consisting entirely of basalt, just in
an elevated part a relict sedimentary
layer is present, probably from
ancient times when the mountains in
question originated and magma
partially covered the seabed; now,
after erosion, it became visible in
the southwestern part of the
mountain.

Sierra de San Miguelito: a


preliminary
regional
ecological
analysis
by
Pedro Njera Quezada,
Jovana
Jaime
Hernandez,
Claudia
Lopez Martinez & Sandy
Karina Neri Cardona.
Mammillaria densispina fma. rubra, Arroyos-Tierra
Blanca.

Xerophilia

12

April

The next population we saw was in


Tula, Tamaulipas, where we visited
two sites. The first was rocky and the
second a mud plain. At the first
location
we
found
Ariocarpus
agavoides,
Echinocactus
horizonthalonius, Stenocactus, and
Coryphantha, and few Ariocarpus
kotschoubeyanus which coexisted
with the Ariocarpus agavoides in a
state of "sympatry". It is noteworthy
that among the plants at the first
population we observed a variegated
Ariocarpus agavoides.

A Greek in Mexico by
Benjamin Sklavos.
Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus.

Xerophilia
2015

13

June

As a result of extensive fieldwork


carried out in the southern part of
Catalonia (provinces of Barcelona
and
Tarragona)
and
Valencia
Province (Valencian Community),
three new Agave taxa have been
observed for the first time in
Catalonia (which increases the
number of agaves observed in this
autonomous community from 10 to
13; Lpez-Pujol & Guillot, 2015),
whereas we provide new reports of
one taxa in Catalonia and two taxa
in the Valencian Community.

Agave ingens var. ingens.

New data from alien


Agavaceae
on
the
Mediterranean coast of the
Iberian Peninsula by Jordi
Lopez
Pujol,
Daniel
Guillot Ortiz & Piet van
der Meer.

Vei gsi muli colecionari care


privesc genul Echinopsis, ca fiind
bun numai ca portaltoi. Ei strmb
din nas n faa acestor plante, fiindc
nu le gsesc destul de rare. Vreau s
tii c este o poziie fals i
nesusinut. Florile, aa cum ai
vzut sunt diverse ca form i au
culori inegalabile. Pe de alt parte
unele dintre speciile genului sunt
dintre cele care traiesc n condiii
extreme i muli colecionari cu
pretenii, le mai cultiv i azi, altoite.
A avea un Echinopsis famatimensis
pe rdcin, nu este la ndemna
orcui! Aadar un sfat: colecionai
speciile acestui gen i vei avea
parte
de surprize
deosebit
Cultivarea
cactusilor
intr-de
satisfctoare!

un
climat
continental
Panco.
Mammillaria luethyi (Photo by Valentin Posea).

temperat
by
Dag

Xerophilia Special Issue

Xerophilia could not have been around without the kind


support of all who sent us articles, photos, drawings, or
helped us with translations and advice for the four
regular issues and the four special issues released in
2015: Alexandru Tar, Romania; Alina Mitric, Romania;
Andrea Piombetti, Italy; Attila Kapitany, Australia;
Benjamin
Sklavos,
Greece;
Carolina
Gonzlez,
Argentina; Claudia Lpez Martnez, Mexico; Csar Cant,
Mexico; Claudio A. Flores Lince, Mexico; Cristian Prez
Badillo, Mexico; Daniel Guillot Ortiz, Spain; Derrick
Rowe, New Zealand; Ghasuan Hamedi, Switzerland;
Grzegorz Matuszewski, Poland; Francisco Moreno,
Mexico; Frank Torzinski, Germany;
Gabriel Milan
Garduno, Mexico; Hkan Snnermo, Sweden; Hanna E.
Hansen, Denmark; Ionu Mihai Floca, Romania; Javier
Mera Rangel, Mexico; Jovana Jaime Hernandez, Mexico;
Jordi Lopez Pujol, Spain; Jose Arturo De-Nova , Mexico;
Jos F. Daz-Salm, Mexico; Karl Ravnaas, Norway; Lacy
Szanto , Romania; Leccinum J. Garca-Morales, Mexico;
Leo Rodriguez , Mexico; Lucian Constantin Vlad,
Romania;
Manuel "Melo" Salazar Gonzlez, Mexico;
Marlon Machado, Brazil; Massimo Afferni, Italy; Mario
AlbertoValdz Marroqun, Mexico; Martin Tversted Ravn,
Denmark; Mt Fehr, Hubgary; Michael Lange,
Germany; Miguel Angel Gonzalez Botello, Mexico;Mihai
Ionescu, Romania; Noelene Tomlison, Australia; Norbert
Toth, Hungary; Pedro Castillo-Lara, Mexico; Piet van der
Meer, Spain; Ricardo Ramirez Chaparro, Mexico; Ricardo
Daniel Raya Sanchez , Mexico; Sandy Karina Neri
Cardona, Mexico; Stefan Nitzschke, Germany; Thomas
Linzen, Germany; Tim Nitzschke, Germany; Titus Simen,
Romania; Vlad Zimer, New Zealand; Volker Schdlich,
Germany; Werner Rischer, Germany; Wolfgang Blum,
Germany; Zolt Mihail Demeter, Romania.

Aztekium valdezii, a plant that has been washed by


heavy rain and, in its struggle to survive, fastened itself
to a rock, showing the world that it does not want to die