Haworthia Revision

This month’s talk on Interesting Haworthias by Stirling Baker on Sept 20th is fast approaching so here are some pictures of Haworthias in the Winterbourne collection and informative Haworthia links to whet your appetite.

Winterbourne Haworthia tesselata

Winterbourne - Haworthia Semiviva

Winterbourne - Haworthia reinwardtii

Winterbourne - Haworthia Cymbiformis

BCSS forum post on Haworthia Propagation.

Winterbourne -  Haworthia radula?

Facebook photo gallery of Haworthia’s in nature

Winterbourne - Haworthia schuldtiana

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia


Winterbourne - Haworthia viscosa

Winterbourne - Haworthia attenuata

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne Haworthia

Winterbourne in Bloom

Crassula Perforata Varigata in flower

Conophytum Ornatum in Flower

Glottiphyllum linguiform in flower

Conophytum in flower

Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark

The Brown team and colleagues from Oberlin College and the University of Zurich, Switzerland, were interested primarily in dating the origins of the cacti (scientific name Cactaceae). The team sequenced the chloroplast genomes (the organelles inside plant leaves that engineer photosynthesis) for a dozen cacti and their relatives and combined their new genomic data with existing genomes to build a phylogeny, or evolutionary tree, for angiosperms, the genealogical line of flowering plants that represents roughly 90 percent of all plants worldwide. From there, the scientists deduced that Cactaceae first diverged from its angiosperm relatives roughly 35 million years ago but didn’t engage in rapid speciation for at least another 25 million years.

Succulent plants waited for cool, dry Earth to make their mark

Ariocarpus Fissuratus Flowering Time Lapse

Costas got me!

My newbie airio’s.
Airocarpus seedlings

via ebay. Still some left. Now I just need to wait about 20 years…

Birmingham Branch August Meeting: Costas Papathanasiou – Ariocarpus

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas Papathanasiou

At this month’s meeting Costas Papathanasiou gave a talk about his fantastic Ariocarpus collection. I took some notes but I was not quite fast enough to catch everything and probably have some things wrong as well. Please comment with any corrections or extra detail you might have.

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

There are 6 accepted species in the books; agavoides, bravoanus, fissuratus, kotschoubeyanus, retusus and scaphirostris. Costas thinks that Ariocarpus retusus trigonus should also be a seperate species.

Ariocarpus agavoides

When young they have long tubercles. As they age they get shorter and shorter. With age they lose their tips.

Ariocarpus bravoanus

These are the biggest of the Ariocarpus. Prolific flowerer. The more you water, the more they flower. 3 or 4 times per summer.

Ariocarpus fissuratus

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

These are the ‘kings’ of Ariocarpus and a good specimen is sure winner on the show bench. These are flat when they are on their own root and they bulge when they are grafted (because grafted plants can only grow up).

Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Ariocarpus Show plants.
I think the plant on the right is one and I believe it is one of Stuart’s entries in this month’s show.

They are small. About 1 inch to 2 and 1/2 inches and flat with a depressed centre. Very susceptible to mealy bugs which cause skin damage that can lead to rot. Invisible in habit until it flowers. Offsets can form from epidermal cracks

Ariocarpus retusus

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

Recommended for beginners. These are Costas’s favourite Ariocarpus. Great variability in appearance. A. retusus furfuraceus has a lot of wool on top, fluff on the tubercle tip and short spine, slightly upturned. A.retusus elongatus have long narrow tubercles.

Ariocarpus scaphirostris

They have upright tubercles. Very little wool. Can’t see the areole. It can take 15-20 years to get to 4 inches. They start out soft but get hard as nails. They are the most difficult Ariocarpus to grow and they tend to gain a tubercle and lose a tubercle at the same time and thus never get big. The leaf shape is like a boat with a bow and a keel. Rare. I think the plant in the square black pot in the top right of the picture below is one.

Ariocarpus retusus trigonus

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

Costas considers this a separate species from retusus. It has an upturned curved tubercle and it takes 2-3 years for a new tubercle to extend and the aereol to be exposed in order for it to flower. Due to this, it’s artichoke shaped flowers appear in a ring around the centre and not in the centre. Young plants are susceptible to burning and yellowing of the tips. It is a fast grower.

Watering – Growing Ariocarpus indoors with some light winter watering results in brown fluff rather than the white fluff of Ariocarpus grown in the greenhouse. During the winter you can preserve the fibrous root extensions by lightly watering around the outside edge of the pot. Give Ariocarpus plenty of water and plenty of food. In habitat Ariocarpus are fed nutrients by the mountain rains and flooding. Start with a light watering in April to wake them up. Water once the temp. hits 21C. Water at night to avoid marking due to water lensing. Water around the outside or from the bottom to get long roots. The hotter it gets the faster they grow. If you have aborting flowers you are probably not giving it enough food & water. The flowers should just shoot up fast. Plants mostly flower from the center from the new tubercules. Costas recommends a thin dilution of Chempack and uses sand filtered rainwater for his plants.

Pots – Grow Ariocarpus in clay Tall Toms (also called Long Toms) to allow the plant to hang – have no more than 2 inches clearance to the edge of the pot otherwise you are risking root rot by having too much extra potting mix for moisture to hide in. Ariocarpus have a long tap root that in habitat can even crack stone. Habit harvesting typically involves cutting the root and re-rooting the plant which can take 4 or 5 years and the roots form from the outside of the cut centre root. Costas has his plants sitting in a saucer and uses a moisture sensor during cloudy periods to make sure he doesn’t overwater.

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus Talk - Costas's Plants

Potting Mix– 1/2 John Innes and 1/2 grit plus limestone chipping and fine Cornish grit. Don’t use too much Cornish grit because it retains a lot of water. Change soil every 2 years. Change the surface grit covering every couple of years to remove lime and salt buildup.

Grafted Plants– Grafted plants can be recognized by their bulging growth. Grafted plants grow faster and have shorter lifespans (10 to 15 years maximum compared to regular plants that can survive for more than 100 years). They also often have brown markings from scorching because their fast growth results in thinner skin.

Misc. Tips and Tricks– You can force flowering by simulating shorter days by watering the plants heavily and then moving them inside for 2 or 3 days. “Dutch Acceleration”

To see Costas’s plants if you missed this talk be sure and go to the National Show next year.

Some Other Ariocarpus Resources
CactiGuide Notes for the Genus: Ariocarpus

Cacti and Succulents seen at Southport Flower Show 18th August 2011 taken by Jim Mercer

To view the slideshow in fullscreen click on the button on the right with the arrows pointing to the four corners of the square. [Esc key to exit fullscreen]

August meeting: Opening Notes

Kings Heath Gardener’s weekend is cancelled and has been replaced by a new show in the City Centre in conjunction with Artsfest. There will be three marquees in the City Centre Gardens (behind the library) and we will have a display in the Artsfest marquee. Volunteers to help out are needed.

This coming Sunday (21st) there will be a road trip to Abbey Brook. You will need to arrange your own transportation but some ride sharing may be available. Contact one of the executive if you need details. The plan is to arrive at 1pm.

The ELK trip to Belgium is being arranged. Stuart has details.

August Meeting: Plant of the Month

For this month’s plant of the month Mark priveleged us with a a twofer.
BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus talk - Mark and his Leuchtenbergia principis

First up was a Leuchtenbergia principis.

BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus talk: BCSS BB August - Ariocarpus talk - Mark about to eat his pot of Haworthia venosa ssp. tessellata

and that was followed by a full pot of Haworthia venosa ssp tessellata

Autumn Show Schedule

Adromischus @Birmingham Branch Cactus Show

Word Document: Autumn Show Schedule

for a printed version please email you address to the Show Secretary: Gill Mills

Show Entries due by Thursday, 6th October.