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Ariocarpus fissuratus (photo by Ricardo Ramirez

The depth of the crater is about 65 meters from the

highest point (1880masl) to the lowest point (1813masl).
It is partially formed by layers of sedimentary origin and
there also is another section formed of a material known
as tezontle (solidified Lava froth).
This is the late relict site of Mammillaria tezontle, which
should be valued for conservation because of its
imminent danger of extinction by removing and looting of
specimens or habitat loss. Laguna Seca was possibly the
largest crater; however, as it has been at the base of
Tangamanga Basin (St. Joseph Basin 1 and 2) it is
completely silted but still noticeable from the air. The site
is currently used as an agricultural area.
The historical name Laguna Seca, comes from being a
character endorheic basin, this intermittent lake that fills
up during the rainy season works as a recharge zone to
the groundwater table.

Pedro Njera Quezada - Xeric flora in

La Hoya crater region (Xerophilia 16
March 2016)

Echinocactus platyacanthus in La Hoya Honda (photo by

Pedro Njera Quezada)

A group of four plants growing in the same crack. Seed

dispersal happens in a very local way, one can often see
small plants growing around or near the old plants, or
various individuals in the same spaces like in the photo.
Sometimes local people confuse Ariocarpus fissuratus
with Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) which also grows in
the region; some believe they are true peyote and some
people think it is a different kind of peyote and call them,
peyotillo. However I do not know that people regularly
ingest Ariocarpus fissuratus for hallucinating purposes.
Different plants with flower buds about to bloom or that
have just withered. More visits are needed to the places
where A. fissuratus grows, in order to determine its
conservation status and real range, because they are
usually taken from poachers or from people who seldom
finds them in the field and considers them to be pretty.
More awareness is also required in order to protect them
and to keep them for generations to come.

Ricardo Ramirez Chaparro - Ariocarpus

fissuratus - the star among stones... in
Snakeland (Xerophilia 17 June 2016)

Ariocarpus fissuratus among stones and rocks (photo by

Ricardo Ramirez Chaparro)

Because other species of Echinocereus cacti are

flowering at around the same time,e.g. E. dasyacanthus,
E. viridiflorus ssp. chloranthus, and perhaps E. fendleri or
E. stramineus, the pollen deposited on the female E.
coccineus can come from any of these plants. The two
latter species, E. fendleri and E. stramineus, are most
likely not often part of the hybridization process, the first
one, because it is rare, and the second, because it
flowers later than E. coccineus. This leaves the genes of
E. coccineus, E. dasyacanthus, and to a lesser extent
E. viridiflorus ssp. chloranthus as the most likely parents
of any of these hybrids.
However, the microclimate does also have an impact on
when a plant will flower, i.e. those more exposed to the
sun will bloom earlier, while those in the shade will have
delayed flowering. This makes it possible, that all the
theoretically exchange genetic material and form hybrids.

Harald Grieb - Hybrid cacti of

Orogrande, NM (Xerophilia
October 2016)

Echinocereus roetteri - pink-white flowering hybrid

(photo by Harald Grieb)

The slight morphological differences between Huntington

plants and Bergers (1915) description could be attributed
to seedling variation. The finding of A. franzosini in
Catalonia is, thus, significant as within Europe we found a
unique reference from Italy as occurring in the wild (as
casual in Liguria; Celesti-Grapow et al., 2010) in
addition to the Spanish occurrences. The population of
Tarragona has been found in a place very close to the
oldest luxury residential area built in the region (Cala
Romana), which dates from the 1950s. Uncontrolled
disposal of plant debris from pruning and/or gardening is
common in the area (J. Lpez-Pujol, pers. obs.), which
can be the origin of the observed individuals of A.
franzosini as well as other xenophytes such as Agave
ingens var. picta, A. difformis, at least two taxa of Opuntia
species, and several species often used in gardening.
Similarly, the population of Salou is probably the result of
uncontrolled disposal of garden debris; as in the former
locality (Cala Romana), the population of A. franzosini
from Salou is located within a residential area (Cap
Salou) also dating from the 1950s, probably one of the
ugliest examples of unsustainable urban sprawl in the
Spanish coasts.

Vanessa Mesquida, Jordi Lpez-Pujol &

Daniel Guillot Ortiz - A new species and
new populations of the genus Agave L.
for the alien flora of Catalonia (northeastern Iberian Peninsula) (Xerophilia
19 December 2016)
Agave franzosini (photo by Jordi Lpez-Pujol)

When I got to the (hopefully) past winter break devoting

myself to study, among other things, the existing travel
records of Fittkau, Buchenau and Krhenbhl, I also took
a fancy for a few old slides of the Weekend Getaways
from 1995 in the part south of Mexico City, which I only
very carelessly had travelled.
After reviewing and editing the slides, I decided to publish
here a few pictures of Mammillaria heidiae rarely seen at
the site.
The plants were not really rare, but then often very
difficult to find at the type location in El Papayo in the
state of Puebla.
The species was discovered in the 1970s by Heidi
Krhenbhl, the wife of the Swiss cactus connoisseur
Felix Krhenbhl on a journey they made together, and
described in 1975 by Hans Krainz, the former head of the
Succulent Plant Collection Zurich and publisher of the
loose-leaf collection Die Kakteen.

Stefan Nietzschke Mammillaria

heidiae Krainz. - the hidden beauty
(Xerophilia 16 March 2016)

Mammillaria heidiaei in El Papayo, Puebla (photo by

Stefan Nietzschke)

Simply put, this species is so widespread and its many

populations are so variable that C. R. Huxley & Jebb
found it too difficult to fit them into subspecies and/or
varieties in their 1993 revision. Their concept of M.
tuberosa and I quote, is extended here to include the
whole variable continuum from Indochina and the
Philippines to Australia and the Solomon Islands. This
species does not fall readily into discrete, replacing units
and should therefore be regarded as an ochlospecies..
They sank many names previously considered to be
individual species into M. tuberosa but added them as
taxonomically unofficial nicknames (their word) in a bid
to describe these largely indiscrete populations. However,
H&J mostly used the word variant in their revision,
something I will now adopt. For example, the variant
found in northern Australia and in nearby areas of New
Guinea was named by them as M. tuberosa Jack
papuana (sic) and is what I expected to find on the
Papuan Peninsula. M. papuana Becc., was one of the
previous individual species mentioned above. Yet what I
found in the mission grounds is a variant that seems not
to fit any of those populations currently published.

Derrick Rowe - Ant-plants of Milne Bay

Province, Papua New Guinea. Part one The Mainland. (Xerophilia 17 June
Myrmecodia tuberosa papuana. Kutini Payamu (Iron
Range) National Park, Cape York Peninsula, Australia.
(photo by Derrick Rowe)

Which name should we then use for our plants? Should

we give in to the labels waltz on our plants? The answer
is simple: keep your labels (the plants remain always the
same!), and simply use the name that you prefer. But, be
open-minded, accept new names and be able to dialogue
with others. A name is always satisfactory as long as it is
valid, that is to say, it Is recognized by the community
and it allows one to communicate. If one wants to
distinguish plants accurately from each other,
Backebergs names, or even better, names of Buining
and Donald are recommended. If one wants simple
names for a set of related plants, the names of the New
Cactus Lexicon are recommended, but one loses almost
all of the resolving power, as if any dahlias or tomatoes
were mixed up whatever they are delicious (black Crimea
tomatoes) or awful (hybrids of supermarkets). In the latter
case, one may interbreed plants that have been
erroneously lumped together, and this would eventually
lead to totally biased subsequent genetic studies. Maybe
it has already happened when plants of collections have
been used for the study.

Aymeric de Barmon & Daniel Schweich

Rebutia sensu Buining et Donald
(Xerophilia 18 October 2016)

Aylostera azurduyensis VZ 267 (NCL: not listed). Plants

from seeds collected from the site. (photo by Leonard

We left the hotel at 7:00 oclock, and after a quick

breakfast and filling up the tank, continued north. Today
was also mostly a transfer journey, our goal being Paso
de Coneto, Durango. The amazing thing isn t that we are
driving such long distances, but that my ancient Jeep
Cherockee hasnt exploded yet. We made just a brief stop
in Saltillo to eat a hamburger, then we drove straight to
Paso de Coneto, stopping briefly before reaching the
pass to explore some promising rocks. Unfortunately we
can only say that we found a Mammillaria heyderi ssp.
gummifera in a shallow pocked of soil.
Back to the car, our attention was attracted by a tree full
of noisy, dark birds with a yellow head: Xanthocephalus
xanthocephalus. We then continued to the Coneto Pass
to visit Mammillaria theresae. Since we were here 10
days earlier than last year, there was no hope to find
them in flower, and even Mammillaria longiflora and
Echinocereus polyacanthus were just in bud. To soften
the frustration I photographed the beautiful Agave parryi
that was growing everywhere, and that I had ignored the
previous year. The sun was very low on the horizon when
we decided to drive until Rodeo, where we found a hotel
first, and then a restaurant where we closed our day at
23:00 oclock.

Aldo Delladdio Spring in Mexico (part

one) (Xerophilia 19 December 2016)
Agave parryi, Coneto Pass, Durango. (photo by Aldo

In 1980 Charles Uhl studied the cytology of a few

Mexican sedums, among them also S. burrito and S.
morganianum. Uhl concluded that both have 35
chromosomal elements, although study of field collected
material would be necessary to determine without doubts
the normal chromosome numbers of S. burrito (UHL
1980). Its not a surprise reading that these two species
may have evolved from the same ancestral stock (UHL
1980), but its very interesting that Uhl established a
relationship with Sedum palmeri and Sedum obcordatum.
In fact they are apparently very different plants from S.
burrito and S. morganianum, but the cytology tells another
story. Since Uhls paper little has been written about S.
burrito and no one has found its habitat yet, but it would
be really interesting to know how many people have been
looking for it in the meantime... Barry Coats purchased
the plant in Coatepec, where also Sedum morganianum
was discovered, so one could conclude that the plant
grows nearby, but Fred Boutin and Myron Kimnach
discovered it initially in a nursery in Guadalajara, some
800 km from Coatepec and this is quite puzzling. Surely
one nurseryman could have bought the plant near
Coatepec and brought it to Guadalajara, but it could also
be the opposite. Another possibility is that the plant could
have been spreading among nurseries and collectors in
Mexico well before Boutin, Kimnach and Coats found it,
so the place of their discovery has only a limited
significance in order to understand the habitat of S.

Marco Cristini Sedum burrito Moran ,

the succulent from nowhere (Xerophilia
16 March 2016)

Sedum burrito at the Botanical Garden of Perugia. (photo

by Narco Cristini)

Sedum caespitosum is present only in small distribution

areas in Tuscany, Lazio and Campania and Puglia and in
greater concentration in the main Italian islands, such as
Sicily and Sardinia, missing instead in the northern part of
the peninsula and almost the entire Adriatic coast. It
grows frequently on rocks, walls and rocky limestone
substrates, up to about 800 m altitude.
I tried to find many times this little Sedum in some places
in Tuscany where it is reported, particularly in Radda in
Chianti, Province of Siena, as mentioned by Pignatti
(1982), but without ever being able to find it.
I could be probably my inability to find them, although
now I have a pretty trained eye to search for these small
succulent plants, but also, I believe, because Sedum
caespitosum is an annual plant and an exasperated
therophyte, as reported by Turrisi (1991). In fact the seed
germinates, the plant grows, develops, flowers and dries
out in a very short time span of about four months, i.e.
roughly from mid-January to mid-May, but particularly
dries out completely in a matter of 10-15 days.

MassimoAfferni Two unusual annual

Sedum in Italy: Sedum caespitosum
(Cav.) DC. and Sedum aetnense Tineo
(Xerophilia 17 June 2016)
Sedum caespitosum & Crassula tillaea (photo by Emilio

The sacred places are indivisible and continuous natural

areas, where each of he landscape elements, such as
water, soil, vegetation, rocks, mountains, air, etc., have a
symbolic-religious value. These sites are scattered along
the pilgrimage route and represent the places remaining
from each of the mythical ancestors of the Wixaritari, who
took the form of landscape elements such as: springs
(Tatei Matinieri in the town of Yoliat, Villa de Ramos, SLP
and Tui mayeu in San Juan del Tuzal in Charcas, San
Luis Potosi), cairns (Kauyumarie in the town of Las
Margaritas, Catorce, SLP), caves or mountains. Some of
these sites are inhabited or are located close to
populated areas such as the case of Kauyumarie and
Tatei Matinieri, while others have been woefully interfered
by mining and installation of telecommunication antennas
as in the case of Tsinamekuta (or Cerro del Fraile) in Villa
de la Paz, SLP. Currently there have been recorded 58
sacred sites in San Luis Potos and their names can vary,
according to the ceremony center who is visiting. There
are also several sacred places having the same name, as
in the case of Kauyumari, which is used by the ejido
(community) of Yoliat (Villa de Ramos), ejido of San Juan
del Tuzal, (Charcas), and foremost in the ejido of
Las Margarita (Catorce).

Pedro Njera Quezada & Fernando

Augusto Olvera Galarza Sacred Sites
of the Wixaritari Community (Xerophilia
18 - October 2016)
Ariocarpus retusus, Muta Werika (photo by Pedro
Njera Quezada)

That grafted plant that I got many years ago has

grown into a plant of many heads. I have not
grafted any for many years so I decided it was
time to take a few heads off and graft them. That
worked nice and all the grafts took; then I decided
on taking several heads and trying to root them. I
decided to take large heads this time as the small
ones failed before. I took two heads that are 4.5
cm in diameter figuring I would give them a try. I
have talked to several people that say that they
have Aztekium ritteri on its own roots and that
they put it down to root and it did root. Like
Ariocarpus the Aztekium ritteri has the reputation
of super slow growth. I have had to up pot quite a
few of my Ariocarpus into larger pots since they
seem to grow to another pot size in something like
three to five years. I am sure that Aztekium ritteri
would not be that way even if it were growing just
fine as it is a much smaller type of plant. The
clump I had all those many years ago was maybe
12 cm in diameter; I am sure it was no larger than
that. In habitat the plants do not grow much taller
than about 3 cm tall and for the largest of plants
no larger than about 5 to 6 cm in diameter. The
clump I had, the offsets grew out of the side of the
plant and was on the same level as the main head.

Elton Roberts Notes on Aztekium

ritteri (Boed.) Boed. (Xerophilia 19 December 2016)
Aztekium ritteri (photo by Elton Roberts)


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 released in 2016 :

Aaron Gonzlez Mrquez, Mexico; Aldo Delladdio, Italy; Angelica Bracho, Mexico; Attila Kapitany, Australia; Aymeric de Barmon, France; Carles
Puche Rius, Spain; Carlos Bautista, Mexico; Chez Marabel, Mexico; Cristian Perez Badillo, Mexico; Daniel Guillot Ortiz, Spain; Daniel Schweich,
France; Derrick Rowe, New Zealand; Elton Roberts, United States; Emilio Laguna, Spain; Enrique P. M., Mexico; Eva Macas, Mexico; Fabin Font,
Argentina; Fernando Augusto Olvera Galarza, Mexico; Francisco Moreno, Mexico; Gabriela Gonzlez, Mexico; Gabriela Magdaleno, Mexico;
Grzegorz Matuszewski, Poland; Harald Grieb, United States; Igor D. Drb, Slovakia; Jesus Vilchez Rodriguez, Spain; Joel Lod, France; Jordi LpezPujol, Spain; Karl Ravnaas, Norway; Leccinum J. Garcia-Morales, Mexico; Leo Rodrguez, Mexico; Leonard Busch, Germany; Luis Antonio Arias
Medelln, Mexico; Manuel Cuevas, Mexico; Massimo Afferni, Italy; Marco Cristini, Italy; Mara Mizrahi, Mexico; Maricela Casas-Sols, Mexico; Noelene
Tomlinson, Australia; Pablo Alberto Salguero Quiles, Spain; Pablo Moya, Mexico; Paco Navz, Mexico; Peter Breslin, United States; Ralf Hillmann,
Switzerland; Ray Stephenson, United Kingdom; Ricardo Ramirez Chaparro, Mexico; Roberto Kiesling, Argentina; Roberto Rodrguez, Mexico; Stefan
Nitzschke, Germany; Thomas Linzen, Germany; Vasile Plcintar , Romania; Vanessa Mesquida, Spain; Victor Terrez, Mexico.