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194202 Desert Magazine 1942 February

194202 Desert Magazine 1942 February

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Published by: dm1937 on Feb 21, 2008
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THEN E
L
-
FEBRUARY, 1942v25 CENTS
 
A typical clump of Foxtail cactus, showing the characteristic salt-and-pepperappearance.Photo by the author.
>
v
- '^
By GEORGE OLIN< 4 ^ / OXTAIL cactus," the descrip-/ tive common name of this plantis perhaps the most suitableapplied to any of our native cacti. Almostanyone coming across a slender solitaryhead of this plant would exclaim, "Whyit looks just like a foxtail!"Because of persistent collection by anappreciative but thoughtless public, it hasbecome rather scarce. A sturdy little bar-rel shaped plant; a body covered withpure white spines tipped with black; aprofusion of large pink flowers in season—these are the factors which have led tothe inroads upon its numbers by both com-mercial and private collectors. A sad mis-take for those who do collect it because itdoes not thrive under cultivation and soonsuccumbs to a dry rot.
Coryphantha alversonii
has a rangewhich can best be described as spotty—that is, while occasional specimens maybe found over a wide area, colonies areencountered only when certain conditionsof altitude, drainage and mineral contentof the soil are suitable. In a general way itsrange extends from the coastal mountainseast to the Colorado river, and from thenorthern borders of the Colorado desert tothe Mexican border. Finest specimens maybe found in isolated patches through theChuckawalla mountains, the Coxcombmountains, and the Joshua Tree nationalmonument.This species is the largest of the groupof about a dozen which are native to ourSouthwest (this excludes species such as
Coryphantha aggregala
which commonlyclumps into large mounds). It is usuallyfound as a solitary head until with age itwill form a clump with sometimes a dozenbranches. Single heads will attain a size ofup to 10 inches in height by 4 inches in di-ameter. It attains its greatest size at alti-tudes ranging from 3000 to 4500 feet.Near perfect drainage seems to be a requi-site and it is found sometimes wedgedtighly between crevices of the rocks ormore usually on the edge of wide desertwashes in the most coarse and gravellysoil.The plant body has as many as 20 rowsof short conical tubercles which ascendspirally to the tip. The tubercles bear adeep groove along their upper surface.This is one of the identifying characteris-tics of the genus. The "foxtail" is verystoutly spined—a tubercle sometimeshaving 30 or more radial spines and asmany as 14 centrals. All spines are whitethrough the lower half of their length anddark brown to black near the tips. Thisgives the plant the "salt and pepper" ef-fect which furnishes it with its commonname.The flowers grow from the base of thelast mature tubercles in the tip of theplant. Since the blooming season is alsothe growing season, the new spines in thetip are short and sparse and the flowersare free to open unhindered. There maybe as many as a dozen flowers, often IV2inches in diameter and deep pink in color.The fruit is green, somewhat tinged withred when ripe. It is a long oval shape andis easily plucked from between the spines.In flavor it resembles a rather sour straw-berry.There has been no little controversyover the botanical status of this plant. Formany years it was considered a variety of
Coryphantha deserti
(Engelm.) Br. & R.but later authorities agree that it deservesspecies rank and Orcutt's description of itas
Coryphantha alversonii
has been gener-ally accepted.THE DESERT MAGAZINE
 
DESERT
Galettda/i
JAN. 29-FEB. 1 Eighth annual tennischampionships, Palm Springs,California.JAN. 31 Close of the month-long pho-tographic exhibit sponsored bySouthwest Cactus Growers,Southwest Museum, Los Angeles.California.JAN. 31-FEB. 1 Rodeo at Palm Springs.JAN. 31-FEB. 1 W. E. "Andy" An.drews will lead Sierra club hikersup Andreas and Murray canyons,out of Palm Springs.FEB.1 Climax of Gila River Round-up,Safford, Arizona. Started January
21.
1-15 Second annual New Mexico pho-tography competition, Fine Artsbuilding, University of New Mex-ico, Albuquerque. Professionaland amateur photographers of thestate. Dean William McL. Dun-bar, of the university, chairman.6 "California Deserts," subject forSierra club meeting at Boos Bros,cafeteria, Los Angeles. CatherineSargent, hostess.6-7 Men's invitational golf cham-pionship, Palm Springs.7 California Quail championshipfield trials, Banning, California.7-8 Agua Piedra ski meet to be heldon ski course near Tres Ritos,New Mexico. Competition opento registered skiers in Rockymountain area.7-8 Martinez and Aqua Alta canyons,Colorado desert, will attract Sier-ra clubbers, as they follow a newtrail discovered and scouted byMr. and Mrs. Russell Hubbard.leaders. Six to eight miles ofhiking, with a stream, probablyflowers, and view of Salton sea.12-15 Phoenix rodeo, Phoenix, Arizona.Joe M. Pond, chairman.13-15 University of Nevada wintersports carnival and Inter-Collegi-ate ski meet, Reno, Nevada.14-15 Northern New Mexico educa-tional association meeting, Raton,New Mexico.15 Indian Turtle dance, at Taos,New Mexico.15 Nevada state press associationholds annual convention in Reno.Jsck McClosky, Hawthorne, pres-ident.19 Community concert at Albuquer-que,New Mexico, with RichardCrooks, tenor.19-22 Riverside County Fair and DateFestival at Indio, California.20-22 Fiesta de los Vaqueros, Tucson,Arizona. M. H. Starkweather,chairman.26 Beginning of Lenten Rituals of
Los Hermanos Penitentes,
Span-ish-American communities ofnorthern New Mexico.Buffalo, Deer and Antelope dances heldin various New Mexico Indianpueblos during February, datesvariable.
Volume 5FEBRUARY, 1942Number 4COVERCACTICALENDARPHOTOGRAPHYRECREATIONTRAVELOGCONTESTARTISTRYFIELD TRIPHISTORYDESERT QUIZLOST MINEPICTORIALART OF LIVINGBOTANYLANDMARKFICTIONNEWSBOOKSMININGHOBBYPLACE NAMESLETTERSCOMMENTPOETRY
"On the Arizona Range at Sunset," photo byKegley, Phoenix, Arizona.Coryphantha alversonii, by GEORGE OLIN .Current events on the desertPrize winning pictures in December ....Up the West Face of Kofa MountainBy RUTH DYAR MENDENHALL ....We Found the Sheep Hole PalmsBy RANDALL HENDERSONPrize announcement for FebruaryDecorations from Desert DeadwoodBy CARLYLE ELLISTropical Corals in a Desert CavernBy JOHN HILTON'We Cut a Cross'—wrote Kit CarsonBy CHARLES KELLYTest of your desert knowledgeLost Quartz Vein of the Tonto Apache IndiansBy JOHN D. MITCHELLScenic Yavapai County, ArizonaDesert Refuge, by MARSHAL SOUTH . . .Bladder Bush, by MARY BEALCalico Cemetery, by JOHN W. GARNER . .Hard Rock Shorty of Death ValleyBy LON GARRISONHere and There on the Desert"Bonanza Railroads," and other reviews . .Briefs from the desert regionGems and MineralsEdited by ARTHUR L. EATON . . . .Origin of names in the SouthwestComment from Desert Magazine readers . .Just Between You and Me, by the Editor . . ."Savagery," and other poemsMax
. 2. 3. 4
. 9. 13. 14. 17
. 20. 22
. 23. 25. 37. 39. 41
. 42. 43. 46. 50
. 51. 55. 56. 58. 59
The Desert Magazine is published monthly by the Desert Publishing Company,
686
State Street, El Centro, California. Entered as second class matter October
11, 1987, at
the post office at El Centro, California, under the Act of March 3, 1879 Title registeredNo. 358865 in U. S. Patent Office, and contents copyrighted 1941 by the Desert PublishingCompany. Permission to reproduce contents must be secured from the editor in writing.RANDALL HENDERSON, Editor. LUCILE HARRIS, Associate Editor.Dick Older and A. J. Kupiec, Advertising Rand Henderson, CirculationManuscripts and photographs submitted must be accompanied by full return post-age.The Desert Magazine assumes no responsibility for damage or loss of manuscriptsor photographs although due care will be exercised for their safety. Subscribers shouldsend notice of change of address to the circulation department by the fifth of the monthpreceding issue.SUBSCRIPTION RATESOne year, including gold-embossed loose leaf binder $3.00Two years, including binders for both years
5.00
You may deduct SOc each for binders if not desired.Canadian subscriptions 25c extra, foreign 50c extra.Address correspondence to Desert Magazine, 636 State
St., El Centro, California.
FEBRUARY, 1942

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