In This Issue:

Medusoid Euphorbia
By Tom Glavich
From the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society

By Tom Glavich
From the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society

Can They Adapt?
by Emy de la Fuente, Jr.
From Cereus Chatter, the official publication of South Florida Cactus and Succulent Society

Beneficial Scale?
by Emy de la Fuente, Jr.
From Cereus Chatter, the official publication of South Florida Cactus and Succulent Society

Notes from a Court of Last Resort: Cygon-2E used in a collection of Cacti, Succulents and assorted exotics
by John T Hulley
From "Cactus Factus" newsletter of the Toronto Cactus & Succulent Club

QUIZ TIME #13 -- 16 & 17 -- 19 By Chuck Staples Mid-Iowa C&SS

Global Growing: Meet Willy Verheulpen in Belgium
From the Prickly Press, Kansas City C&S Society


From the San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society

Succulent of the Month May 1999 - Medusoid Euphorbia

By Tom Glavich

The myth of Medusa is very old, and predates Greek Mythology. The role and character of Medusa changes with culture, social conditions and time. The best known story comes from late Greek Mythology; where Medusa was a mortal woman, descended from the gods, whose beauty was so renowned that she fancied herself more beautiful than the god Athena. As punishment (or in revenge), Athena turned Medusa's hair to snakes, and placed a curse on her so that any living being looking at her was turned to stone. Although no one turns to stone, the first sight of Medusoid Euphorbias often stops viewers at our shows. The Medusoids are among the most unusual of the Euphorbias, and have no close parallel in other genera.

The Medusoid Euphorbias are easily identified. A (usually) large body is covered with arms. The arms may be stubby and widely spaced (Euphorbia decepta), or they may be long, snake-like and closely spaced (Euphorbia caput-medusae). For all of the Medusoid Euphorbias, the central thickened stem is really a caudex. It is a central storage region, and can act as a reservoir for nutrients and moisture in times of stress. Many of the Medusoids will shed their arms (branches) during extended droughts, regrowing new ones when the rains return.

In our shows, we generally have classes for Medusoid and Caudiciform Euphorbias. The medusoids are really a subset of the caudiciforms, and compete best against similar cylindrical or spherical species rather than the odd shaped caudiciforms. The Euphorbias with all of the branches coming from a small area in the top are generally entered as in the caudiciform classes.

Medusoid Euphorbias come from a wide range of habitats, with Cape Province, South Africa being Medusoid central; but all go through extended periods of low moisture. Cultivation for many is relatively easy; as long as attention is paid to not watering during periods of dormancy. There are generally two periods of dormancy, a long one during the late fall and winter (mid November through the end of February) and a shorter one during the peak of the summer heat (a few weeks in August and September). The arrival of the summer one is harder to predict, and over-watering in late summer can result in root rot. In spite of the sensitivity, most of the Medusoid Euphorbias do well as unprotected pot plants outdoors in Southern California during the winter.

It's nearly impossible to find seed for most of the Medusoid Euphorbias, and in general, the seed is short lived (months). Vegetative propagation is easier. Most Medusoid Euphorbias can be propagated from arm cuttings, although an extended period will be required before the plant is worth of showing.

Species of Note:

Euphorbia caput-medusae is the classic species. It is from Cape Province, with a caudex of up to 8 inches in diameter. The branches are long and serpentine. It's the most snake like of all the species.

Euphorbia decepta is from Cape Province South Africa. The caudex is 2 to 4 inches thick, and the branches generally less than an inch long. In habitat, the branches are deciduous, but in cultivation they stay on the plant all year. Seedlings of this plant look like World War II floating mines.

Euphorbia flanaganii is one of the most common and easily grown of the medusoids. The central caudex is generally two or three inches across. It grows quickly, offsets readily, and can rapidly fill a large bowl with meduosid plants.

Euphorbia fortuita comes from Ladismith in Cape Province. It has a tuberous main root that merges into the main caudex, and stiff cylindrical branches usually about 4 inches long, but occasionally one will be twice as long.

Euphorbia gorgonis - another species from Cape Province near Grahamstown. The caudex is mostly subterranean. It has short tuberculate branches, that turn red in strong light. The name of this species is an extension of the medusa myth. Medusa was one of the three Gorgon sisters. In an earlier version of the myth all three had snake-like hair and wings. When Perseus beheaded Medusa, the two remaining Gorgon sisters chased after him as he flew across Africa.

Euphorbia woodii is from Natal, but similar to Euphorbia flanaganii in appearance. Most of the caudex and a large turnip like root are subterranean.

References H. Jacobsen, A Handbook of Succulent Plants H. Schwartz ed. Euphorbia Journal G. Rowley, Name that Succulent M. Sajeva and M. Costanzo, Succulents, The Illustrated Dictionary

Tom Glavich April 1999


Tom Glavich

San Gabriel Valley Cactus and Succulent Society

Cactus of the Month May 1999 - Echinocereus

Echinocereus is one of the earliest recognized genera of Cacti; first described in 1848 by George Engelmann from a plant collected in 1846 in what is now New Mexico. The type species (the first one found, and after which the genus is named) is Echinocereus viridiflorus, a widespread species with a distribution that ranges from Southern Wyoming, South Dakota, and Kansas to Eastern New Mexico. As the name suggests, it has brilliant green flowers. Echinocereus species can be found throughout the Western United States, and the range of species stretches through the American west and through Northern and Central Mexico to about Mexico City.

As might be expected from a genus covering such a large range, Echinocereus are extremely varied in form, ranging from nearly spineless green balls such as E. knippelianus, to very spiny short columnar species such as E. engelmannii, to pencil thin sticks such a E. poselgeri. Along with the variation in form, there is an enormous variation in natural environment, ranging from Northern Prairies, where the plants are hidden in grass, and regularly exposed to rain, snow and freezing temperatures, to Southern Baja, where the rains are seasonal, the plants more exposed to the sun, but never to really cold temperatures. Many of the species are quite variable, and exhibit different spination and flower colors depending on where they are found. As a result, a large number of species were named. These are being reduced to a more conservative 30 to 50 species.

Most Echinocereus have spectacular flowers, giving rise to such common names as Claret Cup, Strawberry Cactus, Calico Cactus. These common names are often attached to more than one species. Echinocereus flowers erupt through the skin, leaving scars. Offsets also erupt through the skin.

Almost all the species need strong light and warm temperatures to grow well and flower. Some are quite easy, but most have somewhat fragile root systems that are prone to rot. They often benefit from being slightly underpotted. Good drainage is a must.

Propagation from seed is fairly easy. Seed germinates in a few days to about two weeks in warm weather, as long as soil mixture is kept moist. Once germination occurs, the seedlings need to be moved to an environment with moving air. They need to be kept damp until they have hardened off.

Propagation from cuttings can be done, but particular attention needs to be paid to cleanliness. Use of Rootone, or another rooting compound containing a fungicide helps the success ratio.

Notable Species

Echinocereus brandegeei - clustering, long needle like spines, medium sized pink flowers (from Baja California)

Echinocereus delaetii - spines are reduced to white hairs. Flowers are pink to purple, with a very obvious green stigma. One of the more difficult to grow. (from Coahuila, Mexico)

Echinocereus engelmannii - from the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. A clumping species with stems 2 to 3 inches thick with generally light tan spines and rose like flowers.

Echinocereus knippelianus - dark green body, with slightly lighter ridges, nearly spineless, clustering, and slow. Lots of pale pink flowers. Sensitive to over watering. (from Coahuila, Mexico)

Echinocereus nivosus has dense white needle like spines, with a dark green body. It clumps freely, and has large pink flowers, with bright green stamens. If this plant wasn't natural, it would be in bad taste. (from Coahuila, Mexico)

Echinocereus poselgeri was formally Wilcoxia poselgeri, and is one of several tuberous rooted species that have above ground pencil thin stems. They have bright pink flowers, and make an odd sight and an interesting addition to any collection. (from Texas, Coahuila, Mexico)

Echinocereus rigidissimus - columnar, with bands of red, pink and cream spines. A classic, and a frequent show winner. Every collection ends up with one sooner or later. (from Arizona, New Mexico, Northern Mexico)

Echinocereus schmollii, like E. poselgeri, was once a Wilcoxia. It has wider stems, and larger flowers.

Echinocereus sharpii, discovered in 1971 by club member Peter Sharp near La Asencion in Nuevo Leon, is one of the more difficult to grow, and infrequently seen in cultivation.

References N. L. Britton & J. N. Rose, The Cactaceae C. Innes and C. Glass, Cacti J. Pilbeam, Cacti for the Connoisseur Cullmann, Gotz & Groner, The Encyclopedia of Cacti S. and L. Brack, Mesa Garden Seed List, January 1998

Tom Glavich April 1999


The following article appeared in the October 1999 issue of Cereus Chatter, the official publication of South Florida Cactus and Succulent Society:

Can They Adapt?

by Emy de la Fuente, Jr.

The More Specifically A Plant Is Adapted To A Particular Environment, The More Successful It Is, And The More Difficult It Is To Maintain That Plant In Any Other Environment.

As we all know by now, all cacti belong to the Cactaceae Family, which is native of the New World. While a couple of species of Rhipsalis have been found in the African continent, most experts (but not unanimously) agree that these were introduced there, probably by migratory birds.

In the extremes of the American continents, Opuntia fragilis has been found as far as latitude 58? north in Fort St. John in British Columbia; in the southern hemisphere, there are several cacti growing below latitude 49? S; Maihuenia poeppigii exists in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile at nearly 51? S and this plant is considered to be the most southerly cactus. However, M. patagonica has been found as far south as latitude 49? S and Pterocactus australis has been found at El Calafate in Argentina around 50? S. Even Austrocactus patagonicus has been reported to exist in the same National Park as M. poeppigii. The largest number of species, however, is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Mexico and the United States. These are followed in numbers by cacti from the arid regions of Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

Needless to say, inhabiting such a vast geographical area, cacti come in many shapes and sizes and tolerate a great variety of environmental conditions. Let's take a look at some of them:

Opuntia polyacantha, for example, inhabits the mountainous regions of the United States and Canada. In these relatively cold places, at altitudes of up to 8,800 feet (2,700 m), it survives two rainy seasons per year (fall and spring) as well as snow in winter. Its native climate is similar to the Alpine regions in Europe.

A bit further south, but still in the United States, you can find giant columnar cacti such as the Saguaro, Carnegiea gigantea, a native of Arizona. These giants may reach a height of 49 feet (15 m) and a weight of over 15 tons (13,600 kg). They are true deposits of moisture that can tolerate drought periods of 2 years or more. However, when it does rain in the Sonoran desert, they quickly absorb several tons of water, which they store for later consumption. According to the experts, the roots of a fully mature Saguaro can cover an area of 6.2 acres (22,500 sq. m) around the perimeter of the plant. Curiously, the depth of these roots will only be from 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm).

If we look yet a bit further south, still in North America (in Mexico), Turbinicarpus species share a different environment and different ways of coping with it. Mostly native of San Luis Pososi, Turbinicarpus are small plants with thick, napiform, tap roots, which serve as their moisture-storing organ. Not measuring over 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) in diameter, they have been known to survive 5 and 6 years without water. As water becomes scarce, the plants absorb the moisture stored in their roots; the roots contract and, in periods of severe drought, this contraction pulls the plants into the ground where they lay covered with dust and dirt. After a rainfall, the roots immediately begin to absorb the water and quickly swell up, pushing the plant back above the surface of the ground. Having to survive these lengthy periods of drought, Turbinicarpus seeds have been known to be viable after 7 years of harvesting!

In the Caribbean regions, many cacti including several species of Melocactus and several columnar species, tolerate life near the shores and, in many cases, the constant thin spray of salt water carried inland by the prevailing winds.

In the jungles of certain South American countries, such as Ecuador, a great number of epiphytic cacti live in a hot but very humid environment where it rains all year round. Temperatures here range between 61 deg and 100 deg F (16deg - 38deg C). They are predominantly climbers with aerial roots using the surrounding trees as support as they reach for the sunlight above the jungle canopy.

In Brazil, certain species of Discocactus also survive in humid environments. However, this humidity is of a different nature--when rivers overflow because of heavy rains, they may be submerged under water for over 3 straight months!

In valleys atop the Andes Mountains in South America, we find cactus living in quite a different environment. Here, at up to 15,700 ft (4,800 m) in altitude, Haageocereus, Oreocereus and Tephrocactus live and reproduce successfully despite being exposed to inhospitable temperatures which may reach -4deg F (-20deg C). For example, the small-sized species of Tephrocactus, which seldom reach over 12 inches (30 cm) in height, remain buried under the snow from mid-winter until the spring when they thaw out and begin to grow quickly in anticipation of the next winter season.

Another example of cacti adaptation occurs way south in southern Argentina where Opuntia australis not only survives the cold dry weather but also copes with abrasive winds and the highest level of salinity in which any plant in the Plant Kingdon lives.

The key to these cacti surviving in such diverse ecosystems is their adaptation abilities to such systems. Over the years, those that have not adapted perished. Those that did, are doing just fine, thank you.

Let us take a look at adaptation with an example perhaps a bit closer to home.

Let's begin when we purchase, for example, that nice Tephrocactus at our annual show or through one of the many mail order nurseries all over the country. The new plant is now at our home and we probably do not know the exact conditions as to how it was being grown. We just know it's a nice looking plant. If it was purchased through the mail, it is probably bare root and we plant it in a pot. If we bought it locally, even though we should repot it into our own soil mix, we may or may not do so. We then place it next to our other cacti, either on a windowsill, a terrace, a greenhouse or even outdoors, exposed to all the elements. If we merely do this, what are the chances of this Tephrocactus to adapt and survive?

Let's translate the example above to a human being and see how far it gets him (for the sake of this article but NOT meant to offend the female gender, let's assume our hypothetical human being is a male). Let us also assume that our male is a photographer with an adventurous heart and a great deal of money who decides to go on a one-year photo-safari tour deep into the jungles of Africa.

The first thing our human being would do, would be to get his vaccination shots -- he wouldn't dare even think about not getting these. Right? He would also make arrangements to have during his trip lots of drinking water, food, light clothes, good hiking boots, a medicine kit, film, cameras in good working condition, sleeping bags, etc. In other words, he would prepare to begin adapting to his life in the jungle, which is just beginning.

At first, his body will feel the differences. For example, discounting the fact that he may be very tired from the physical exhaustion caused by miles of hiking, he might find it hard to sleep in a sleeping bag, covered with stars, with crickets chirping in his ears and the sound of rodents rustling in the bushes--this is definitely quite different to his cool air-conditioned penthouse on Brickell Avenue. As he begins to get deeper into the jungle and spends more days, weeks and months in the wild, his body slowly begins to adapt.

By now, he no longer hears the chirping of the crickets nor the rustling in the bushes. Sleeping in the wild is now easier to do. By this time, his bottled drinking water is gone and he has begun to drink, without any side effects, the same water his tour guides drink. The food he brought is also gone and it has been replaced with local meats from animals killed by his tour guides. Slowly, he is adapting and will probably adapt.

He will adapt because adaptation is a slow process, which takes place slowly over many months, perhaps even years in some individuals, whether they are plant, animal or even human.

Our Tephrocactus as well as most cacti and other succulents, in most cases, cannot adapt without our help. Sometimes, even with our help, he still will not be able to adapt. But in order to do so, we must lend a hand. Our Tephrocactus will encounter the same basic differences our photographer encountered--a different climate, different food, different water and different diseases (and he wasn't even vaccinated!). If our photographer had not been vaccinated, chances are he would have never survived the jungle.

We are not going to vaccinate our Tephrocactus. However, we should observe a regimen that calls for periodic fertilization and periodic spraying of our plants with a systemic insecticide/fungicide. This is the equivalent of our photographer's vaccine. Prevention of fungi, bacteria and certain insects is very important in the game of adaptation.

As an aside, keep in mind that not all fungi, just as not all bacteria and not all insects, are bad--there are many beneficial individuals in all three groups! Examples of beneficial fungi can be found in those mushrooms that end up sauteed in our frying pans and in yeasts used in alcoholic fermentation and the leavaning of bread. Examples of beneficial bacteria include those used in the cleaning up those dreaded beach oil spills occurring as a result of shipwrecks. Examples of beneficial insects are many such as the silkworm and the honeybee, whose benefits are known to all of us.

The bad guys are the ones our Tephrocactus has to be shielded from while adapting to the environment we have chosen for him. Keep in mind that our Tephrocactus is bound by a set of genetically inherited traits as well as by the environment in which it was grown before we purchased it. Our Tephrocactus, transparently to us, is (hopefully) enjoying his new life with plenty of sunshine, food and air. I say transparently because we cannot see this process, we can only observe its results.

To assist in their adaptation, we must be careful with our cacti. They must be treated so as to ensure that they do not prick each other with their spines because the smallest of holes in the skin, can make them vulnerable to diseases against which their bodies are not equipped to combat. We must observe their bodies. If we see any puncture wounds, say from an insect, a mouse, a bird or even a pebble that fell on it from the shelf above, we must apply the proper preventive medicine to avoid a fungal or a bacterial infection.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, but why is it then that columnar cacti, such as the Saguaro, survive from holes made by woodpeckers--holes that are large enough to become bird's nests? The answer is that they are in their natural environment to which they have adapted quite well over thousands of years. Most probably, the same hole in a Saguaro that has been transplanted out of his native habitat into your back yard would be fatal.

We must also observe our new Tephrocactus for signs of skin decoloration, which may be the indication of bacteria being present. Of course, more obviously, we must ensure that they are insect-free. Any presence of mealy bugs, scale, spider mites, etc. must be addressed immediately. If we don't apply the proper preventive medicine, chances are the new cactus will succumb to these attacks before ever adapting to their new environment. For example, some strains of fungi call kill a healthy plant in 48 hours; so if you don't react quickly, your Tephrocactus will be history.

Observe your plants! When I advise you to observe your plants, this observation is not merely limited to observing the new Tephrocactus as it begins and continues its adaptation process. You should observe all your plants carefully. At the smallest sign of infestation of any of your plants, they should be segregated from the other plants and treated. You should also inspect more closely the plants that are housed around the infected plant. Incorporate the segregated plant back into the collection after you have nursed it back to health.

To assist our Tephrocactus in its complete adaptation process, we should also pay attention to its requirements as they relate to soil conditions, sunlight, nutrition, pot size and rest periods. Try to learn as much as possible about its needs. You should ask the vendor who sold you the plant; chances are that if he has been growing it and the plant is doing well, you might want to replicate (if possible) the vendor's growing conditions.

If we follow the steps I have mentioned above and continue to observe our Tephrocactus, chances are that he will adapt to our environment and will enjoy many years of life in our collection. ?


The following article appeared in the August 1999 issue of Cereus Chatter, the official publication of South Florida Cactus and Succulent Society.

Beneficial Scale?

by Emy de la Fuente, Jr.

If you were to attend a dinner party at a friend's house and he offered you a glass of sweet vermouth as an aperitif, would you drink it? Probably.

Well, after reading this article, you might still drink it, but you will for sure think about it before you do it.

Would you believe me if I told you that the aperitif you were offered was made using an insect that lives on and feeds of Opuntia plants? Well, you better believe me because it is a fact!

The color in the vermouth came from Dactylopius coccus, a scale insect, which resembles a mealybug in physical appearance because of the white fuzzy substance with which it covers itself. D. coccus, one of 1,700 species of scale insects worldwide, is classified by taxonomists in the Suborder Coccinea; thus, it's common name the Cochineal insect or Cochineal scale (pronounced koch-uh-neel). The term cochineal has also become the name used for the red dye that is extracted from the insect's body.

Through the years, many other scale insects besides D. coccus have also been used to make dyes. For example, Kermes, a brilliant red dye, was used by the Greeks and it was so prized by the Romans that the insects were used as tribute from conquered nations. Kermes, the source for the word "crimson' was obtained from certain wingless insects, which were scratched with the fingernails from the twigs of oak trees. It is believed that this red dye was obtained from the Phoenicians by the Hebrews to dye the curtains of their tabernacle. Margarodes, another dye produced from scale insects, was harvested about the time of feast day for St. John, hence it was called "St. John's Blood".

Scale insects are highly specialized plant parasites most closely related to aphids, adelgids, whiteflies, phylloxerans, and psyllids, and less closely to leafhoppers, planthoppers, spittlebugs, treehoppers, and cicadas. They tend to have their appendages reduced or absent and have a variety of secretory glands on their bodies. Females tend to be relatively immobile as adults. In the world, of the approximately 22 families of scale insects in the suborder Coccinea, the diaspidid or armored scales are one of the largest. Nearly 300 species of diaspidids are known from North America, and they are our most prevalent aboveground group of scales on woody plants. Most Coccinea in temperate areas occur on woody plants or on the underground parts of perennials. Most Coccinea are mobile for only a few hours or days after hatching or being born (the crawler stage), but this varies even within families. Once the crawler settles and inserts its mouthparts into the plant to feed, it will often remain there for the rest of its life, which is usually about 90 days. The secretory glands on the bodies produce waxes and other materials used to construct various kinds of protective coverings.

They are called armored scales because they produce a detached protective scale or shell, composed of glandular secretions and shed skins of earlier instars. This scale may be circular to very elongate, nearly flat to highly convex, and translucent to opaque. It may be very conspicuous on the plant or extremely well camouflaged. The body of the scale insect is usually small, .04 - .12 inches (1-3 mm) in local species, and circular to elongate. Armored scales usually infest foliage or stems and branches where the bark is thin, but some can be found on fruit or in deep bark crevices.

Adult cochineal males are non-feeding, mobile and winged so they can find females. Females lay their eggs or give birth under the secreted scale, under their own bodies or within a covering of wax especially secreted for the eggs (the ovisac). Most scales in temperate areas have one generation per year or less, but some (especially indoor species) may have more. Cochineal are major pests on many crops, ornamentals, and fruit and nut trees. The most damage caused is from their feeding on plant sap and from a toxic reaction in plant tissue to the insects' saliva. Some damage also occurs from the growth of sooty mold on the honeydew the insects produce. Certain plant deformations can also be caused by some species. Cochineal (especially the introduced species) are usually more damaging in disturbed or modified habitats -- urban areas, yards, crops, greenhouses, etc. -- than in natural areas. Cochineal insects do not seem to be significant vectors of plant diseases. A wide range of arthropod predators and parasitoids help keep them in check but that could be the subject of another article.

The above gave you a brief, basic description of scale insects in general. This article, however, will deal only with D. coccus. At this time, a brief history of this insect and its uses is appropriate.

There are many written accounts of the fact that the cochineal insect was used extensively as a dye by the Aztecs and the Olmecs in Mexico, the Mayans in Mexico and Guatemala and the Incas in Peru. When Hernando Cortez and his "conquistadores" entered the great market place in the Mexican capital, they found bales of finely woven cotton and of delicate yarns spun from rabbit fur, dyed a bright red color. This sparked an immediate interest in the Spaniards. Other records indicate that included in the tribute paid by each conquered state to the great Aztec Emperor, Montezuma, were many bags each containing millions of dried cochineal insects. At the time, the insect had a high monetary value and, in many cases, was used like money. Needless to say, the Spaniards enslaved the Aztecs for the next few hundred years to produce the dye, which was shipped back to their mother country.

In 1820, eight prickly pear plants completely infested with D. coccus were shipped and arrived in Cadiz, curiously, the port out of which Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492. The Opuntia plants established themselves quickly and so did the cochineal scales. The insects reproduced so prolifically that by a judicial decree on June 29, 1822, it was ordered that the plant and the insect be cultivated in such provinces that, because of their environmental conditions, might lend themselves to proliferation of the insect.

Thanks to Father D. Jose Quintero Estevez, the Canary Islands (with ideal environmental conditions for many cacti and succulents) were the first to abide by the decree. Just five years later, in 1825, a manual on the cultivation and harvesting of cochineal was published by Mengliorini and de la Cruz. This manual had become obsolete by 1846 due the fact that the tests conducted by Mengliorini and de la Cruz were done on plants cultivated in pots not in the open fields. Currently, the Canary Islands is a major producer of cochineal insects--and it all started with eight plants!

In 1821, when Mexico and other Nueva Espana (New Spain) colonies gained independence, they inherited the cochineal industry. The cochineal dye produced was the envy of 17th, 18th, and 19th century Spain, England and Colonial America. Records indicate that the British soldiers' red coats were dyed at one time with cochineal. Cochineal is the only natural source of red dye in southern North America and northern South America. Often, it is used as an art medium. Some history experts indicate that our forefathers, the American colonists, even complained about the high price of cochineal along with tea. (Somehow, "The Boston Cochineal Party" doesn't sound too catchy).

After 1830, the cultivation of cochineal spread to other provinces in Spain, to other countries in Europe such as Italy as well as to countries in other continents: Algeria in Africa and Java in Asia. Cochineal was once such an important world commodity that it replaced many of the other natural sources of red for dyeing textiles. As a result, the Opuntia and cochineal insects were introduced and naturalized in many of the desert regions of the world. Because cochineal scale is collected in the wild or cultivated in desert plantations in otherwise barren areas, it had no effect on food production and currently, often serves as one of the few cash crops for the local people.

Believe it or not, cochineal became so popular that it even made its way into the writings of Emily Dickinson. In The Hummingbird, she wrote:

"Sometimes there would arrive an exquisite little detached strain, every word a picture, like this:

The Humming-Bird A route of evanescence With a revolving wheel; A resonance of emerald; A rush of cochineal. And every blossom on the bush Adjusts its tumbled head; - The mail from Tunis, probably, An easy morning's ride."

As we can see, historically, cochineal was widely used as a textile dye, but during the past 100 years, it has been totally replaced by synthetic, analine dyes, mainly due to their lower cost and ready availability. However, there are other uses for cochineal. Most of the world production of cochineal is used to produce the red dye, carmine, and a significant proportion of the produced carmine is used in the food and drink industry. In the food industry, it is used in meat products (such as sausages and baloney), jams/preserves, preserves, fruit syrups, fish cakes, dry mixes, gelatin deserts, confectioner's flour, icings, dairy products (such as yogurts, ice creams and shakes) and even in candies and bubble gum. In the drink industry, carmine is used in fruit drinks and in certain alcoholic aperitifs such as sweet vermouth and Campari. It is also an important ingredient in pharmaceutical products, such as pill coatings, as well as in hair and skin care products, lipsticks, face powders, rouges and blushes. It is even used in pet foods. For those of you who may be wondering, this colorant cannot be Kosher certified.

Currently, D. coccus, is the only commercially important cochineal. Peru is the current principal source of cochineal insects followed by the Canary Islands, Mexico and India.

The red dye is obtained only from the dried bodies of the female of the insect. The deep red color stems from carminic acid (C22H22O13). The brilliant carmine is also currently used cosmetics and artists' colors. For example, most brands of lipstick are tinted with cochineal extract. And, yes, it is safe--it has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use both in food and cosmetics. Depending on the treatment, the dye yields colors ranging from scarlet and crimson to pink and even orange

By now you are probably wondering how in the world these bugs are processed to extract the dye from them. The process is as follows:

The insects are carefully brushed from the cacti, principally from Nopalea (Opuntia) coccinellifera, and placed into bags. The bags are taken to the production plant and there, the insects are then killed by immersion in hot water or by exposure to sunlight, steam or the heat of an oven. It is to be noted that the variance in appearance of commercial cochineal is caused by the different methods used during this process. It takes about 70,000 insects to make one pound (454 gm) of cochineal. The body of one coccineal is said to contain between 18-20% of carminic acid.

The part of the insect that contains the most carmine is the abdomen that houses the fertilized eggs of the coccineal. Once dried, a process begins whereby the abdomens and fertilized eggs are separated from the rest of the anatomical parts. These are then ground into a powder and cooked at temperatures in excess of 212? F (100? C) to extract the maximum amount of color. This cooked solution is filtered and through special processes that cause all carmine particles to precipitate to the bottom of the cooking container. The liquid is removed and the bottom of the container is left with pure carmine.

It is interesting to note that due to the fact that carmine is an indicator of pH, if mixed in an acid solution, carmine yields a bright red color whereas if mixed in a neutral solution, it yields a purplish red.

There is a relatively large market for cochineal and even an international clearinghouse for cochineal, housed in the Canary Islands, called THE COCHINEAL MARKET EXCHANGE. Their Web site is very interesting and provides the means for buyers and sellers of cochineal to transact business. For example, they have specific instructions for buyers and sellers from The Canary Islands, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Japan, the United States, Europe and a catchall "Other" category. While doing the research for this article, I also saw a web page from Peru selling cochineal internationally on a wholesale basis. There is even an approved system for measuring the percentage of carminic acid concentration on the coccineal powder and prices are quoted accordingly.

It is said by certain experts that cochineal food dye can cause severe allergic reactions. According to allergist James L. Baldwin, M.D. from the University of Michigan the cochineal extract triggered life-threatening anaphylactic(1) shock in a patient after she ate a frozen dessert containing the colorant. Dr. Baldwin wants more doctors and patients to be aware that the extract may be the cause of unexplained allergic reactions - from mild hives and itchy skin to dangerous anaphylaxis(1). He does not advocate removing the colorant from the market, and points out that several large studies have found it to be safe and non-toxic. It would be helpful, however, if the FDA required cochineal extract and carmine to be listed as an ingredient on food labels, he says.

Other medical writings criticize the fact that ironically, cochineal extract often is not listed on food labels. As an animal product it is considered a "natural" additive and, therefore, is subject to less stringent labeling regulations than synthetic food dyes. The only way people can avoid allergic reactions is to avoid the substance they're allergic to - but that's often impossible if the food labels don't list the substance. Many foods containing the additive simply say "color added," "artificial color," or "artificial color added."

To summarize, I can safely say for myself that the articles I have read to be able to bring the above article to you have left me in total amazement because I could not have ever imagined any of it. If have sparked the interest in you to learn more on the subject, there is plenty of literature on it. Let's just hope that I have not sparked enough interest to begin cultivating D. coccus to color your drinks or color your bow tie!

(1) Anaphylaxis is the word used for serious and rapid allergic reactions usually involving more than one part of the body which, if severe enough, can kill. The word anaphylaxis was coined when scientists tried to protect dogs against a poison by immunizing them with small doses. Far from being protected, the dogs died suddenly when they got the poison again. The word used for protection by immunization is prophylaxis, so the scientists coined the word anaphylaxis to mean the opposite of protection. What the scientists saw in the dogs helped them to understand that the same can happen in humans. This helped us to understand asthma and other allergies too, because they work in a similar way. Scientists now use the word anaphylaxis to mean any immune reaction of this type, even if it is not serious. But most doctors use it to mean a life-threatening rapid allergic reaction.


From "Cactus Factus" newsletter of the Toronto Cactus & Succulent Club:

Notes from a Court of Last Resort Cygon-2E used in a collection of Cacti, Succulents and assorted exotics by John T Hulley

The Other Half and I aren't great fans of chemical warfare. Over time this has created a hybrid approach to bug control. We promote biodiversity, biological control, environmentally friendly gardening, and infrequent spot treatments that employ a wide range of remedials.

Although we willingly share the yard with as many others as we can, we find spot treatment allows us to protect individual plants that we really don't want to lose. A few are yard plants but most are the tender exotics that brighten our Zone 5b winter. After 4 months of outdoor (or sheltered outdoor) conditions we bundle them indoors and expect them to tough out 8 months of low light levels and dry air. In short, we stress them. It comes as no surprise when they fall prey to the bugs of the world. Understanding this caused us to explore our options.

Tearing my hair out was a non-starter as I'd few enough to start with; while dabbing assorted irregular spiny euphorbias and the likes of grusonii with alcohol-soaked Q-tips proved more or less non-productive (and a potential waste of good gin). Colourful sticky strips are festive but only marginally successful and hand picking tiny critters from a large collection just don't work. Insecticidal sprays threatened all cohabiting the house -- the hound, Other Half's cats, and my fish in equal measure. A close-targeted soil drench seemed like a good alternative.

Systemic insecticide is close-targeted, usually long-lasting, and very effective against sap suckers, leaf munchers, and leaf miners. Various authorities consulted were unsure of what succulents systemics could be safely used on, and all warned that the products should only be applied out-of- doors as available systemics are bad stuff. Erring on the side of safety seemed the best approach. I guess we'd been lucky as we'd not found mealybug on our cactus collection until mid-1996. Over the previous several months we'd been in an acquisitive phase and prudent selectivity had been set aside. Among our new pieces and plants we found several with rapidly growing mealybug infestations.

In early '97 we decided to try Cygon-2E. The manufacturer's instruction, because of product toxicity, is that Cygon should only be used outdoors. Because of its foul odor we were only too happy to comply. In late May '97 we began. As the product recommendations are very restrictive as to plant types and application methods, and as no house plants were listed, we started at a very low dose rate and a very limited range of plants. A pot of year-old cold-hardy Opuntia were drenched with a 2mL/litre mix (the low end of manufacturer recommendations). These plants had wintered over under lights indoors and carried a few mealybugs. The plants appeared unaffected after 2 weeks but as some of the bugs I removed were still moist I wasn't convinced of their demise. So, at two weeks, with the soil dry, the pot was drenched at 4mL/litre (toward the high end of the recommendations for outdoor border perennials). A week later I began to smile. There wasn't a live mealybug to be found and the plants were happy. Allowing a further interval, with no observed ill effects to the plants treated, we drenched several other house plants that had been moved onto the back deck. Over the month of June Other Half moved the house collection outside. By early July the few plants we'd done appeared fine and so we drenched the entire collection. Again, in mid to late September, as the green tide flowed back into the house we drenched at the 4mL/litre level.

The results? Shortly after the early summer mass drenching, in a cold greenhouse, I admired an emerald-green sap sucker with his hind end high and his proboscis deep in a cactus. Days and weeks later he was still there, frozen in time by Cygon-2E. At the time of writing (January '98) we have no mealybugs and our plants seem fine.

At the risk of repeating myself, I've got to say that we are not in favour of insecticidal chemicals. Biodiversity, mechanical methods, and other environmentally-friendly techniques are methods of first choice, but . . . . ! When losing the plant isn't an option, and all else has failed, chemical means may be an only choice. Between broadcast applications such as topical sprays and individual targeting with systemics the choice, for us, is clear. We have found Cygon-2E effective in eliminating mealybugs from a variety of pot-grown plants. These include a hundred plus species of cold-hardy cacti, desert cacti, jungle cacti, other succulents, herbaceous exotics, and woody exotics. We have not seen any negative effects to date.

Editor's Note: Cygon-2E is currently supplied to the Toronto area market by the Canadian manufacturer Later Chemicals Ltd., and is sold under their trade name of Lagon-2E, specifically for use against Leaf Miners and Aphids.


Quiz Time #13
Chuck Staples, 1999, Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. You can find this 'Living Rock' Ariocarpus cactus in the Big Bend National Park in Texas:
a. A. kotschoubeyanus b. A. scapharostrus c. A. retusus d. A. trigonus

2. The flower of the cactus Carnegiea gigantea (the Saguaro of Arizona) is fertilized by:
a. mice b. road runners c. bats d. rattlesnakes

3. After 48 years of study in the field and the herbarium, The Cacti of the United States and Canada, a 1,044 page book, was published in 1982 by:
a. Lyman Benson b. Lloyd Brinson c. Robert T Craig d. Harry Johnson, Jr

4. Which bird likes to make a nest in branches of the 'Jumpin' Cholla' (Cylindropuntia fulgida) cactus?
a. hawk b. crane c. pheasant d. wren

5. The author in #3 above said that the great age of discovery of species of cacti in the USA from 1845 to 1883 was the time of this part-time botanist from St. Louis, Missouri, whose research on the cactus family was by far the best at the time:
a. Adrian Hardy Haworth (1768-1833)
b. Joseph Nelson Rose (1862-1928)
c. George Engelmann (1809-1884)
d. Rudolph Amandus Philippi (1808-1904)

6. The part-time botanist from #5 above along with 3 other botanists of the time were instrumental in setting up herbariums at the Missouri and New York Botanical Gardens and at Harvard and Columbia Universities:
___ True ___ False

7. This thick waxy substance enables plants to withstand long periods of drought:
a. embryo b. filament c. cuticle d. iridescence

8. The answer in #7 above is an impervious layer secreted by the epidermis, generally as a protection against undue water loss:
___ True ___ False

9. One difference between the cactus genera Mammillaria and Coryphantha is that in Mammillaria flowers are produced among tubercles of precious seasons while in Coryphantha the flowers are produced upon the newly developing tubercles of the current season:
___ True ___ False

10. Another difference between the genera in #9 above is that the Coryphantha tubercle has a groove on the upper side from its base to its apex, and the Mammillaria tubercle does not:
___ True ___ False

11. Any large herbarium is a depository for plant materials used in taxonomic research:
___ True ___ False

12. Papago Indians gather the ripe fruit of the 'Saguaro' cactus to make:
a. bread b. jelly c. butter d. flour

13. This cactus plant has a tuberous root:
a. Peniocereus greggii b. Lemaireocereus thurberi c. Lophocereus schottii d. Carnegiea gigantea

14. The correct spelling of this succulent genus is:
a. Dideria b. Diderea c. Didieria d. Didierea

15. The genus in #14 above is considered a leaf succulent:
___ True ___ False

16. The genus in #14 above has spines and only leaves during the growing season:
___ True ___ False

17. The genus in #14 above is endemic to New Guinea Island:
___ True ___ False

18. The Greek word 'gymno' in the cactus genus Gymnocalycium means:
a. broad b. naked c. small d. large

19. Variety is a subdivision of a species:
___ True ___ False

20. 'Joshua Tree' is a common name for this succulent plant:
a. Pachycormus discolor b. Yucca brevifolia c. Bursera microphylla d. Plumeria acuminata

Answers to Quiz Time #13

1. c. Ariocarpus retusus. All four can be found in Old Mexico; however, A. retusus is the only one with habitat extending into the USA into southern Texas.
2. c. bats -- at night; during the day by morning doves and other birds.
3. a. Lyman Benson (1909-1993). Two other books he wrote were The Cacti of Arizona 1940 & The Native Cacti of California 1969. Robert Craig (1902-1986) wrote the first comprehensive book on just Mammillarias, The Mammillaria Handbook 1945. Harry Johnson, Jr, is the son of Harry Johnson, Sr (1894-1987) who produced the Echinopsis Paramount hybrids. All five were presidents of USA CSSA: Craig (49-50), Johnson, Jr (51-53), Benson (56-57), Johnson, Sr (58-59) & Brinson (84-85).
4. d. wren -- called the cactus wren. Cylindropuntia is a subgenus of Opuntia. Author Lyman Benson gives us two varities of this plant: C. fulgida var fulgida & C. fulgida var mamillata.
5. c. George Engelmann (1809-1884). His research may have been matched in bulk but not approached in quality. He was a practicing physician by trade. Haworth died before that time period and Rose of 'Britton & Rose' fame was too young. Philippi was a German-Chilean botanist & zoologist who described numerous species; and genera Eriocyce 1872, Eulychnia 1860 & Maihuenia 1883.
6. True: George Engelmann (1809-1884) @ Missouri Bot Garden; Asa Gray (1810-1888) & Thomas Nuttall (1786- 1859) @ Harvard Univ; & John Torrey (1796-1873) @ NY Bot Garden & Columbia Univ.
7. c. cuticle
8. True
9. True
10. True - & easy to see if plant is not too spiny.
11. True - however, most herbaria pressed specimens of cacti are few & inadequate.
12. b. jelly.
13. a. Peniocereus greggii. Older plants have a very large tuberous root with stems that look like dead sticks or branches.
14. d. Didierea.
15. False. It is a stem succulent.
16. True. It has many long spines up & down the stem.
17. False - endemic to Madagascar Island.
18. b. naked
19. True. Variety is a taxonomic category containing a group of organisms within a species which has certain distinguishing features but is not sufficiently distinct to justify elevation to the rank of species.
20. b. Yucca brevifolia.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #14
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. Succulents are zerophytes:
___ True ___ False

2. Of the world's approximately 10,000 succulent plant species, about ? originate from the Republic of South Africa.
a. one-fourth
b. one-third
c. one-half
d. two-thirds

3. The answer in #2 above represents about this many plant families:
a. 7
b. 12
c. 30
d. 101

4. More than half the South African succulent species in #2 above belong to this plant family:
a. Mesembryanthemaceae
b. Crassulaceae
c. Portulacaceae
d. Asclepiadaceae

5. The correct spelling of this succulent genus is:
a. Ceropega
b. Cerapega
c. Ceropegia
d. Cerapegia

6. Euphorbias are usually avoided by animals due to its toxic sap as a chemical defense:
___ True ___ False

7. Seeds of this genus are dispersed explosively:
a. Lophophora
b. Euphorbia
c. Haworthia
d. Conophytum

8. Most cacti & other succulents have a shallow spreading root system that can effectively make use of light rain showers:
___ True ___ False

9. The succulent genus Sansevieria has been placed in this family at one time or another:
a. Dracaenaceae
b. Liliaceae
c. Agavaceae
d. All of the above

10. Propagation of Sansevierias can be done from:
a. leaf cuttings
b. pups
c. rhizome cuttings
d. all of the above

11. A rhizome is a stem growing above the surface of the soil and which often functions as a storage organ: 12. Sempervivum montanum var burnatii. The abbreviated word 'var' stands for:
a. variation
b. variegated
c. variability
d. variety

13. The cactus genus Tephrocactus belongs to this sub-family of plants:
a. Pereskioideae
b. Opuntioideae
c. Cactoideae
d. None of the above

14. Trichocereus cactus species can be found in low bushland or chaparral habitats of:
a. South America
b. Central America
c. West Indies
d. North America

15. Gymnocalycium cactus species can be found in the desert grasslands of:
a. North America
b. Central America
c. South America
d. West Indies

16. Epiphyllum cactus species can be found in the subtropical forests of:
a. Central America
b. South America
c. West Indies
d. All of the above

17. Sclerocactus & Pediocactus cactus species can be found in the high arid deserts of:
a. South America
b. Central America
c. North America
d. All of the above

18. Annual rainfall in the arid regions of Arizona can be up to 10 inches and occurs mostly in the winter period:
___ True ___ False

19. Annual rainfall in the arid regions of mainland Mexico between the USA border and Mexico City can be up to 20 inches and occurs mostly in the summer time:
___ True ___ False

20. Soil mixes vary from grower to grower; however, soil mixes for cacti & other succulents from the more arid regions of the world should use a coarse mix that drains well; warms readily in the sun; allows for easy root penetration and repotting; contain low levers of nitrogen; and has balanced levels of other nutrients:
___ True ___ False

Answers to Quiz Time #14

1. True. A xerophyte is a xerophilous plant; a plant capable of withstanding drought or conditions where the absorption of water may be difficult.
2. b. one-third.
3. c. 30.
4. a Mesembryanthemaceae.
5. c. Ceropegia.
6. True.
7. b. Euphorbia.
8. True.
9. d. All of the above. Books prior to 1980s placed Sansevierias in Dracaenaceae; during 1980s in Liliaceae; and in 1990s in Agavaceae.
10. d. all of the above.
11. False. A rhozome grows beneath the surface of the soil. but it does often function as a storage organ.
12. d. variety. Various writers use either 'v.' or 'var.' as an abbreviation of 'variety'.
13. b. Opuntioideae.
14. a. South America.
15. c. South America.
16. d. All of the above.
17. c. North America.
18. True
19. True.
20. True.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #15
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. 'Burn Plant' is a common name for this succulent plant:
a. Gasteria maculata
b. Haworthia truncata
c. Aloe vera
d. Haworthia fasciata

2. This succulent has low stems with large rosettes up to 50 cm (19+ inches) in diameter; branching inflorescence to 60 cm high; the rosette dies after flowering; and is from the Canary Islands:
a. Tacitus bellus
b. Aeonium tabulaeforme
c. Echeveria lauii
d. Orostachys minutus

3. The correct spelling of this succulent genus is:
a. Tilecodon
b. Tylecadon
c. Tilacodon
d. Tylecodon

4. The genus in #3 above belongs in this family:
a. Crassulaceae
b. Mesembryanthemaceae
c. Asclepiadaceae
d. Apocynaceae

5. The genus Pachypodium belongs in this family:
a. Crassulaceae
b. Mesembryanthemaceae
c. Asclepiadaceae
d. Apocynaceae

6. The genus Hoodia belongs in this family:
a. Crassulaceae
b. Mesembryanthemaceae
c. Asclepiadaceae
d. Apocynaceae

7. The genus Faucaria belongs in this family:
a. Crassulaceae
b. Mesembryanthemaceae
c. Asclepiadaceae
d. Apocynaceae

8. Fenestraria rhopalophylla succulent species belongs in the Mesembryanthemaceae family:
___ True ___ False

9. 'Pencil Tree' is a common name for this succulent species that can grow into a tree up to 9 meters (29 feet) tall:
a. Bursera microphylla
b. Euphorbia trigona
c. Euphorbia tirucalli
d. Bombax ellipticum

10. Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa is home to some of these low growing (mostly globose in appearance), very succulent genera, and all are members of the Mesembryanthemaceae family:
a. Cheiridopsis, Cylindrophyllum, Delosperma
b. Argyroderma, Conophytum, Dinteranthus, Lithops
c. Faucaria, Glottiphyllum, Hereroa, Ruschia
d. Lampranthus, Machairophyllum, Trichodiadema

11. The word 'succulence' (succulent) is a morphological concept, the word being derived from the Latin succus meaning 'sap':
___ True ___ False

12. Succulent genus Monadenium is a member of this family:
a. Compositae
b. Cucurbitaceae
c. Agavaceae
d. Euphorbiaceae

13. The genus Monadenium was established in 1895 by this author (based on a plant collected by the explorer G A Fischer ten years earlier in German East Africa), and the first species was named M coccineum:
a. Nicholas E Brown (1849-1934)
b. Ferdinand A Pax (1858-1942)
c. Peter R O Bally (1895-1980)
d. Carl F Foerster (1805-1902)

14. After years of study both in the field and herbarium (beginning in 1934), the book The Genus Monadenium 1961, a monographic study of this genus, was written by:
a. Edward F Anderson (1932-*)
b. Peter R O Bally (1895-1980)
c. Curt Backeberg (1894-1966)
d. Albert F H Buining (1901-1976)

15. The genus Monadenium is endemic to Africa and, with few exceptions, most species are found in:
a. Northern Africa
b. Southern tip of Africa
c. Eastern Africa
d. Western Africa

16. Geophytes are plants adapted to specific climatic and ecological conditions which include very prolonged periods of drought:
___ True ___ False

17. The Genus ECHINOCEREUS book (1985) was written by this Englishman:
a. Gordon D Rowley (1921-*)
b. Werner H H Rauh (1913-*)
c. Nigel P Taylor (*?)
d. David R Hunt (1938-*)

18. The cactus genus Echinocereus is:
a. low-growing
b. native to North America
c. large-flowered
d. all of the above

19. Credit for the discovery of Cereus cinerascens in 1827 (described in 1828 & changed to Echinocereus cinerascens in 1868) goes to this European, who was primarily interested in the Mexican mining industry in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico:
a. Thomas Coulter (1793-1843)
b. August P DeCandolle (1778-1841)
c. Charles A Lemaire (1801-1871)
d. Karl T Rumpler (1817-1891)

20. The species in #19 above was first described in the genus Cereus in 1828; and it wasn't until 1848 that the new genus Echinocereus was established (described) for these special cactus plants by:
a. Dr. Friedrick A Wislizenus (1810-1889)
b. Lt. Wm H Emory (1811-1887)
c. Prof George Thurber (1821-1890)
d. Dr George Engelmann (1809-1884)

Answers to Quiz Time #15

1. c. Aloe vera.
2. b. Aeonium tabulaeforme -- sometimes referred to as the 'Dinner Plate'.
3. d. Tylecodon. 4. a. Crassulaceae. 5. d. Apocynaceae
6. c. Asclepiadaceae 7. b. Mesembryanthemaceae
8. True 9. c. Euphorbia tirucalli
10. b Argyroderma, Conophytum, Dinteranthus, Lithops. All others would be included as answers IF they were globose in appearance.
11. True. Thus, succulent plants are plants possessing organs (roots, stems, branches & shoots; leaves & leaf-stems; flowers & flower stems), all or some of which contain a considerable quantity of sap and are therefore 'fleshy' -- said of plants which store water in their tissues and which can, in consequence, withstand adverse conditions of drought or aridity.
12. d. Euphorbiacaee. 13. b. Ferdinand A Pax (1858-1942)
14. b. Peter R O Bally (1895-1980)
15. c. Eastern Africa. The heaviest concentration of Monadeniums is in Tropical East Africa where from 20' to 80' of rain occurs annually.
16. True.
17. c. Nigel P Taylor. The other three are also authors of various succulent books. Taylor's book lists 44 species within the genus Echinocereus.
18. d. all of the above. Some grow as single stems while others grow in clusters mostly branching at the base, with a few growing in huge mounds.
19. a. Thomas Coulter (1793-1843). August P DeCandolle (1778-1841) described this 1827 discovery as Cereus cinerascens in 1828. Charles a Lemaire (1801-1871) changed this species to Echinocereus cinerascens in 1868. Karl T Rumpler (1817-1891) had nothing to do with this species, but he changed a number of Cereus species to the genus Echinocereus in 1885.
20. d. Dr George Engelmann (1809-1884). Although he established the genus Echinocereus in 1848, other people had trouble accepting it and even Engelmann went back to using the genus Cereus for awhile. Joseph Salm-Dyck (1773- 1861) advocated treatment of Echinocereus as an infrageneric division of Cereus in his famous Cacteae in Horto Dyckensi, published in 1850. This continued for a half century in botanical circles; however, in horticultural circles Echinocereus has been accepted as a genus since the 1850s.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #16
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. The flowering plants whose seed-plant has one leaf (monocotyledons) would include:
a. Euphorbia
b. Gasteria
c. Mammillaria
d. Hoodia

2. The flowering plants whose seed-plant has two leaves (dicotyledons) would include:
a. Sansevieria
b. Aloe
c. Lobivia
d. Haworthia

3. Another name for greenhouse is:
a. Orangery
b. Glasshouse
c. Conservatory
d. All of the above

4. An earlier spelling for the genus Euphorbia was:
a. Euphorbium
b. Euphorbiatus
c. Euphorbius
d. None of the above

5. One of the succulents listed in John Gerard's 1597 Herbal is 'the poisonous gum thistle'. This refers to:
a. Lophophora williamsii
b. Euphorbia officinarum
c. Faucaria tigrina
d. Melocactus intortus

6. The word 'cactus' is the common name that came into general use during the 19th century to describe the botanical Family Cactaceae. What was the name used prior to this time?
a. cereus
b. melocactus
c. melon thistle
d. prickly pear

7. The plural of 'cactus' is:
a. cacti
b. cactuses
c. cactosus
d. all of the above

8. A pachycaul succulent is considered a thick-stemmed plant somewhere between a typical stem succulent & a caudiciform succulent with smooth transitions from trunk to branches and branches to ultimate thick shoots, and photosynthesis in most cases is undertaken by green leaves rather than stems:
___ True ___ False

9. This plant is considered a pachycaul succulent:
a. Fouquieria columnaris
b. Dorstenia gigas
c. Cyphostemma juttae
d. All of the above

10. This pachycaul succulent grows in Baja California, Mexico:
a. Fouquieria columnaris
b. Pachycormus discolor
c. Bursera microphylla
d. All of the above

11.Pachycormus discolor (Elephant Tree) is part of the family:
a. Anacardiaceae
b. Crassulaceae
c. Burseraceae
d. Moringaceae

12. A caudiciform succulent can have the following features:
a. A caudex not ribbed, not regularly jointed, not green, & not photosynthetic.
b. Branches thin, weak, climbing, twining, prostrate, & more or less non-succulent
c. Leaves thin, mesophytic, lobed or compound, & deciduous
d. Any or all of the above

13. A caudex is defined as the main axis of a plant, comprising stem and root; in succulents, a fleshy -- woody stock which may be above or below ground and from which arise usually slender, ephemeral shoots, inflorescences or leaf rosettes:
___ True ___ False

14. The spelling of this species of genus Dioscorea caudiciform plant is:
a. elephantipes
b. elephantides
c. elephantines
d. elephantices

15. There are one or more caudiciform plants in the following genera:
a. Calibanus, Dioscorea, Pachypodium, Ibervillea, Adenium, Bowiea, Sedum, Fokea, Bulbine, Cissus
b. Cyphostemma, Cyphia, Brachystelma, Adenia, kedrostis, Chamaegigas, Pyrenacantha
c. Cyphia, Stephanis, Momordica, Myrmecodia, Neoalsomitra, Nolina, Gonolobus
d. All of the above

16. Who wrote the 1987 book CAUDICIFORM & PACHYCAUL SUCCULENTS?
a. Ron Lafon
b. Hermann Jacobsen
c. Herman Schwartz
d. Gordon Rowley

17. The spelling of this species of genus Calibanus caudiciform plant is:
a. hookerii
b. hookeri
c. hookerri
d. hookkeri

18. Is the genus Raphionacme considered a caudiciform plant?
___ Yes ___ No

19. Species of the genus Ibervillea caudiciform plant can be found in these countries:
a. Kenya & Madagascar
b. Argentina & Peru
c. Mexico & USA
d. China & India

20. Numerous shapely caudiciform plants in this genus makes it popular with succulent growers:
a. Crassula
b. Sedum
c. Brachystelma
d. Pachypodium

Answers to Quiz Time #16

1. b. Gasteria. Other succulents included would by Aloe, Bulbine, Haworthia, Sansevieria.
2. c. Lobivia. this would include all cacti plus other succulents such as: Euphorbia, Monadenium, Sarcocaulon, Adenia, Cissus, Senecio, Othonna, Cotyledon, Kalanchoe, Stapelia, Caralluma, Duvalia, Hoodia, Huernia, Crassula, all Mesembs, Portulaca, Adenium, Pachypodium, and more.
3. d. All of the above. Historically the orangery came first with a long narrow shape, limited glazing on the sun-facing side of sloping roof. Greenhouse originally meant a structure for winter protection of greens, a heated or unheated structure; a generic term now. Glass-house is a common term used in England for a winter heated greenhouse with overall glazing to the ground. Conservatory is usually attached to the house, probably ornate in style, doubling as a sun lounge, in addition to decorative plants. Another term hothouse is a greenhouse equipped to grow tender tropical plants.
4. a. Euphorbium. the other 2 are fake names.
5. b. Euphorbia officinarum - a toxic plant. The herbal suggested Senecio anteuphorbium as its supposed antidote.
6. c. melon thistle.
7. a. cacti. However, the 1990 Concise Oxford Dictionary (England) allows both plurals cacti & cactuses -- using cacti for the word treated as Latin or in scientific contexts -- using cactuses when anglicised for vernacular use.
8. True. Most pachycauls are tree-like in nature, but less woody. They are generally thickest at base, tapering upwardly into thick branches.
9. d. All of the above. In Hermann Jacobsen's classic book Sukkelente Giganten of 1949 lists these 3 as pachycauls along with species of Moringa, Pachycormus, Chorisia, Dendrosicyos, Cavanillesia, Pachypodium, Adenia, Pyrenacantha, Fockea & Adansonia. More have been added since then.
10. d. All of the above. Bursera microphylla & Pachycormus discolor are similar looking in nature and both can hava a bonsai appearance, but differ on fruit structure and Bursera doesn't have the milky sap that the Pachycormus does. An older name for Fouquieria columnaris is Idria columnaris and is commonly referred to as the 'Boojum Tree'.
11. a. Anacariaceae. Pachycormus discolor is the only member of this family to have evolved as a pachycaul succulent.
12. d. Any or all of the above. Flowers are unisexual, often small, and plants are dioecious. Photosynthesizing and storage organs are sharply distinct.
13. True. Although often readily recognisable, the definition of a caudex as applied to succulent plants is very difficult.
14. a. elephantipes.
15. d. All of the above.
16. d. Gordon Rowley. Ron LaFon is a world renown photographer and was editor of this book. Herman Schwartz was the publisher. The book was dedicated to Hermann Jacobsen (1898-1978) who studied the 'other succulents' extensively and was an author of numerous succulent books; notably the excellent 3 volume A Handbook of Succulent Plants 1960 English edition.
17. b. hookeri.
18. Yes. Raphionacme vignei has a fat vertical taproot while Raphionacme daronii is found in soil so shallow that it has a caudex that spreds laterall, flattened by rock beds underneath the soil.
19. c. Mexico & USA.
20. d. Pachypodium.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #17
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. Gordon Rowley's 1987 'Caudiciform' book tells us that there are about this many species in the genus Dioscorea:
a. 2
b. 60
c. 20
d. 600

2. Common name for the African Dioscorea elephantipes caudiciform species is:
a. Hottentot's Bread
b. Turtleback
c. Elephant's Foot
d. All of the above

3. The African Dioscorea elephantipes look-alike caudiciform in Mexico has this Dioscorea species name:
a. hemicrypta
b. macrostachya
c. sylvatica v sylvatica
d. no such species

4. Sir Wm Hooker (1785-1865) reported that in habitat the caudex of Dioscorea elephantipes could attain a height of 7 feet and weigh in at some 600 to 700 pounds:
___ True ___ False

5. A synonym (prior name) of the genus Dioscorea was:
a. Testudinaria
b. Zehneria
c. Kedrostis
d. All of the above

6. The Cucurbitaceae Family includes the following succulent genera:
a. Fokea, Brachystelma, Ceropegia, Gonolobus
b. Microloma, Kinepetalum Microloma
c. Seyrigia, Dendrosicyos, Coccinia, Ibervillea
d. All of the above

7. All species of the following genera (shown in parenthesis) are considered caudiciform plants:
a. Ibervillea (3), Trochomeria (19)
b. Cucurbita (15), Eureiandra (9)
c. Kedrostis (35), Seyrigia (4)
d. None of the above

8. 'Ocotillo' is a common name for this Fouquieria species:
a. columnaris
b. fasciculata
c. purpusii
d. splendens

9. Some species of the following succulent genus have caudices that are edible raw and after cooking:
a. Coccinia
b. Zehneria
c. Kedrostis
d. Momordica

10. This cactus species has a swollen underground reservoir in nature:
a. Gymnocalycium gibbosum
b. Peniocereus greggii
c. Selenicerus testudo
d. None of the above

11. Gordon Rowley says the succulent genus Pachypodium comes in this form:
a. Pachycaul (tree-like)
b. Caudiciform (under ground)
c. Cactiform (above ground)
d. All of the above

12. This Euphorbia species has a caudex:
a. squarrosa
b. piscidermis
c. tirucalli
d. milii

13. Fenestraria rhopalophylla has been referred to the common name of 'Baby Toes'. This species is referred to as 'Purple Baby Toes':
a. Nananthus schooneesii
b. Frithia pulchra
c. Lithops optica
d. None of the above

14. This succulent species from the Canary Islands has been referred to as the 'Irish Rose':
a. Greenovia aurea
b. Graptopetalum bellum
c. Villadia imbricata
d. Titanopsis calcarea

15. The succulent genus Crassula grows in Namibia and South Africa. Where does the succulent genus Sinocrassula grow in habitat?
a. Same countries
b. Arabia
c. Argentina
d. China

16. The chief distribution of this succulent genus is in the Cape Province of South Africa:
a. Pleiospilos
b. Tradescantia
c. Sedum
d. Jovibarba

17. In addition to the genus answer in #16 above, the following succulent genera have a chief distribution in the southern part of the Cape Province of South Africa:
a. Abromeitiella, Boussingaultia, Chorisia, Deuterocohnia, Dyckia, Peperomia, Puya, Rechesteineria.
b. Aeonium, Alluaudia, Caralluma, Didierea, Dorstenia, Echidnopsis, Edithcolea, Greenovia, Hoya, Huernia, Ipomoea, Melothria, Merremia, Monadenium, Monanthes, Myrmecodia, Orostachys, Pseudolithos, Rosularia, Seyrigia, Welwitschia, Xerosicyos
c. Adromischus, Aloinopsis, Argyroderma, Aspazoma, Bijlia, Brachystelma, Cephalophyllum, Cerochlamys, Cheiridopsis, Conophyllum, Conophytum, Faucaria, Gasteria, Gibbaeum, Glottiphyllum, Haworthia, Machairophyllum, Malephora, Mitrophyllum, Monilaria, Oophytum, Ophthalmophyllum, Piaranthus, Ruschia, Rhombophyllum, Sceletium, Tanquana, Trichodiadema, Tromotriche, Vanheerdea
d. Agave, Bursera, Calibanus, Dasylirion, Dudleya, Echeveria, Fouquieria, Graptopetalum, Hechtia, Ibervillea, Nolina, Pachycormus, Pachyphytum, Plumeria, Portulaca, Villadia, Yucca

18. The common name for the genus Lithops is:
a. Flowering Stones
b. Pebble Plants
c. Living Stones
d. All of the above

19. The generic name, Lithops, was published and described in 1922 by:
a. Martin H Schwantes (1881-1960)
b. Nicholas E Brown (1849-1934)
c. H M Louisa Bolus (1877-1970)
d. Moritz K Dinter (1868-1945)

20. Cactus spines are poisonous:
___ True ___ False

Answers to Quiz Time #17

1. d. 600.
2. d. All of the above. Turtleback may be the best descriptive name. Elephant's Foot appears to be the common name used in Europe and the USA. Hottentot's Bread is used in Africa due to thinking that the caudex is edible.
3. b. macrostachya. About the only surface difference between these two species is the viny foliage. The caudex of both look like a turtle's back and spreads out in age to the size of an elephant's foot or bigger.
4. True. It was reported one of these species in captivity in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens weighed in at about 600 pounds before it was destroyed by rodents and vandals.
5. a. Testudinaria. Dioscorea elephantipes was first described in 1788 by Charles L L'Heritier de Brutelle (1746-1800) as Tamus elephantipes; changed in 1824 to its own genus Testudinaria; and then moved to the current Dioscorea genus in 1827 after discovering the species as a very superior type of yam.
6. c. Seyrigia, Dendrosicyos, Coccinia, Ibervillea. (a. & b. belong in the Milkweed Family.)
7. a. Ibervillea (3), Trochomeria (19). Of the others, one or more species are considered caudiciform succulents, but not all species in each genera.
8. d. splendens.
9. a. Coccinia. Some species of the other 3 are considered poisonous and some are used in native medicines.
10. b. Peniocereus greggii. However, rowley stops short of calling this swollen underground reservoir a caudex. Wilcoxia schmollii has a thickened soft-fleshed root system that may be called tubers. The succulent stems of both genera are perenial where in succulent caudex plants the stems are generally annual.
11. d. All of the above. Examples: pachycaul (tree-like) = P. geayi; caudiciform (under ground) = P. bispinosum; & cactiform (above ground) = P. brevicaule. Gordon Rowley also calls P. namaguanum a cereiform (single stem succulent) & P. decaryi a shrubby pachycaul. (Interesting concept. CS)
12. a. squarrosa.
13. b. Frithia pulchra -- primarily due to the magenta to purple coloring of the flower petals.
14. a. Greenovia aurea. Succulents Graptopetalum bellum & Villadia imbricata are from Mexico & Titanopsis calcarea is from the Cape Province of South Africa.
15. d. China.
16. a. Pleiospilos. Tradescantia grows in South America up into Mexico. Sedum grows around the globe in the northern hemisphere. Jovibarba grows in Europe.
17. c. Adromischus, etc.. (a. Abromeitiella, etc., comes from South America countries. d. Agave, etc., comes from Mexico & USA. b. Aeonium, etc., comes from various countries around the world.)
18. d. All of the above.
19. b. Nicholas E Brown (1849-1934). Many Mesembs were published and described by the 4 people listed.
20. False. Cactus spines are not poisonous. This is a myth that may have started because of an infection that occurred where the spine punctured the skin.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #18
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. The starting point of our modern binomial nomenclature for flowering plants was in:
a. 1653
b. 1753
c. 1853
d. 1953

2. The man responsible for our modern binomial nomenclature for flowering plants was:
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

3. The genera Aloe, Agave, Cactus, Mesembryanthemum, Sedum, Sempervivum, Stapelia & many more were first described by:
a. Alwin Berger
b. Louisa Bolus
c. Carolus Linnaeus
d. Friedrich Boedeker

4. This French medical doctor was the first to name the genera Haworthia & Gasteria, separating them from the genus Aloe:
a. Henri A Duval
b. Nicholas E Brown
c. Helia Bravo
d. Franz Buxbaum

5. The year of birth & year of death of Adrian Hardy Haworth is:
a. 1668-1733
b. 1899-1958
c. 1768-1833
d. 1932-still living

6. All species of genera Haworthia are located in this country:
a. Argentina
b. India
c. Mexico
d. South Africa

7. The genus Gibbaeum was formally described by Nicholas E Brown (1849-1934) in 1922. However, this famous plant person used the name a century earlier (but never formally described the genus):
a. Henri A Duval
b. Alwin Berger
c. Adrian H Haworth
d. Carolus Linnaeus

8. On what continent is the genus Gibbaeum found?
a. Africa
b. South America
c. Asia
d. Australia

9. Succulent plants belong to the biological category of xerophytes:
___ True ___ False

10. Euphorbia obesa & E. symmetrica are:
a. Stem succulents
b. Leaf succulents

11. Lithops & Conophytums are:
a. Stem succulents
b. Leaf succulents

12. This plant might be called a 'window-leaf' succulent:
a. Aloe vera
b. Haworthia truncata
c. Carruanthus peersii
d. All of the above

13. Dracophylus delaetianus is in the family Crassulaceae:
___ True ___ False

14. Dudleya brittonii is in the family Crassulaceae:
___ True ___ False

15. The family Asclepiadaceae contains over 2,800 species of lianas or low shrubs, some of which are succulent. It would include this succulent genus:
a. Ceropegia
b. Tromotriche
c. Raphionacme
d. All of the above

16. If a black coloration of the epidermis on Stapeliads occurs, you have a fungus for which there is no known cure:
___ True ___ False

17. The cactus genus Gymnocalycium can be found in this country:
a. Argentina
b. Paraguay
c. Bolivia
d. All of the above

18. The genus name used prior to the time that Karl Pfeiffer (1805-1877) first described the new genus Gymnocalycium in 1845 for these special, ribbed, globular cacti plants was:
a. Eriosyce
b. Eulychnia
c. Echinocactus
d. Echinocereus

19. In the hierarchy of categories in plant nomenclature, Latin '--aceae' is used in the ending of the name of a:
a. Kingdom
b. Order
c. Class
d. Family

20. In the hierarchy of categories in plant nmenclature, Latin '--eae' is used in the ending of the name of a:
a. Tribe
b. Subclass
d. Division
d. None of the above

Answers to Quiz Time #18

1. b. 1753.
2. Linnaeus. Carolus Linnaeus is the Latinized form of his original name Carl von Linne (1707-1777).
3. c. Carolus Linnaeus ?. Friedrich Boedeker (1867-1937) first described the genus Aztekium. Louisa Bolus (1877-1970) first described a number of genera including Berrisfordia, Leipoldtia, Mau-ghaniella, Namaquanthus & many more. Alwin Berger (1871-1931) first described a few genera including Encephalocarpus & Epiphyllanthus. Linnaeus first described over 3 dozen genera names.
4. a. Henri A Duval (1777-1814). Helia Bravo (1903-still living) from Mexico first described the monotypic genus Backegergia. Nicholas E Brown (1849-1934) first described many genera including Cheiridopsis, Conophytum, Delosperma, Frithia, Gibbaeum, Lithops, etc.. Franz Buxbaum (1900-1979) first described a few genera including Buiningia.
5. c. 1768-1833.
6. d. South Africa. This is the southernmost country of the African continent & is within the southern temperate zone.
7. c. Adrian H Haworth (1768-1833). His own words were '...a good genus, I propose the name Gibbaeum,...' to distinguish a group of succulent species that were covered under the generic term Mesembryanthemum.
8. a Africa. This genus is found in the Little Karoo of South Africa.
9. True.
10. a. Stem succulent.
11. b. Leaf succulent.
12. b. haworthia truncata.
13. False. It is in the family Mesembryanthemaceae.
14. True.
15. d. All of the above. This family also includes Brachystelma, Caralluma, Cynanchum, Dischidia, Duvalia, Echidnopsis, Edithcolea, Fockea, Frerea, Hoodia, Hoya, Huernia, Notechidnopsis, Orbea, Orbeanthus, Orbeopsis, Pachycymbium, Piaranthus, Pseudolithos, Quaqua, Rhytidocaulon, Sarcostemma, Stapelia, Stapelianthus, Tavaresia & Trichocaulon.
16. True, at least according to Werner Rauh in 1979. He says the fungus enters through the roots & spreads through the veins in the plant tissue, so that if black spots appear it is already too late to stop it.
17. d. All of the above. Some species of Gymnocalycium can also be found in Uruguay & southern tip of Brazil.
18. c. Echinocactus. The genus Echinocactus was an umbrella name used for many ribbed, globular cacti first described by Johann H F Link (1767-1851) & Christoph F Otto (1783-1856) in 1827.
19. d. Family.
20. a. Tribe.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Quiz Time #19
Chuck Staples, 1999 Mid-Iowa C&SS

1. All members of this stem succulent has a soft, fleshy consistency; contains a considerable amount of a colorless, watery sap; hardly any foliage; mamilla-like formations; ribbed; uniform growth; remain relatively small; uniformity in flower position that rarely appear singly, occurs in five segments, are always divided into calyx & corolla, and sometimes called 'carrion flowers':
a. Euphorbias
b. Delospermas
c. Stapeliads
d. Conophytums

2. This genus belongs in the milkweed family:
a. Edithcolea
b. Pyrenacantha
c. Pterodiscus
d. All of the above

3. The main distribution of the genus Sempervivum is in:
a. USA, Mexico, West Indies
b. Europe, Asia, n Africa
c. Kenya, Angola, Namibia
d. Bolivia, Peru, Chile

4. The common name for the genus Sempervivum is:
a. roof wort
b. hen & chicks
c. house leek
d. all of the above

5. The Senecio mesembryanthemoides species is a:
a. leaf succulent
b. stem succulent

6. The genus Anacampseros has both stem and leaf succulents:
___ True ___ False

7. Of all the succulent families, Family Mesembryanthemaceae has the largest number of leaf succulents:
___ True ___ False

8. Water storage roots can be found in this genus:
a. Trichodiadema
b. Ophthalmophyllum
c. Muiria
d. All of the above

9. A giant 'tree' Euphorbia might be this species:
a. cylindrifolia
c. candelabrum
b. cactus
d. all of the above

10. A Euphorbia species from Madagascar would be:
a. didiereoides
b. oxystegia
c. bupleurifolia
d. none of the above

11. The habitat for Euphorbia antisyphlitica species is in:
a. India
b. South Africa
c. Madagascar
d. Mexico

12. This Monadenium species can be found in Tanzania, Africa:
a. stapelioides
b. echinulatum
c. schubei
d. all of the above

13. This species is one of the 'highly succulent mesembs':
a. Drosanthemum hispidum
b. Faucaria tigrina
c. Delosperma pruinosum
d. None of the above

14. The genus Oophytum is sometimes referred to as the 'teeth plant':
___ True ___ False

15. A genus that shows characteristics of mimesis is:
a. Lithops
b. Lapidaria
c. Conophytum
d. All of the above

16. The genus Agave is monocarpic:
___ True ___ False

17. IOS is an accepted abbreviation for:
a. Institute Of Succulent Plantology
b. International Organization for Succulent Plant Study
c. Iowa Organization of Succulent Plant Study
d. None of the above

18. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is the internationally accepted set of rules which govern the naming of plants:
___ True ___ False

19. f. or fa. is an accepted abbreviation for:
a. facies
b. faciated or fasciation
c. form or forma
d. any of the above

20. An 'air plant' would refer to an:
a. Astrophytum
c. Ariocarpus
b. epiphyte
d. none of the above

Answers to QUIZ TIME #19

1. c. Stapeliads - a family of milkweeds.
2. a. Edithcolea. In the Family Asclepiadaceae, it also includes Caralluma, Ceropegia, Decabelone (= Tavaresia), Diplocyatha, Duvalia, Echidnopsis, Hoodia, Huernia, Huerniopsis, Pectinaria, Piaranthus, Stapelia, Stapelianthus, & Trichocaulon.
3. b. Europe, Asia, north Africa. A winter-hardy genus.
4. d. all of the above.
5. a leaf succulent.
6. True.
7. True. Over 2,000 species in about 150 genera.
8. a. Trichodiadema.
9. c. candelabrum.
10. a. didiereoides.
11. d. Mexico
12. d. all of the above.
13. b. Faucaria tigrina. The other 2 are shrubby mesembs.
14. False. Oophytum is referred to as the 'egg plant' due to the spherical to egg-shaped, olive-green to shiny-purple-red bodies. 'teeth plant' refers to genus Odontophorus due to the thick, fleshy, gray-green, warty leaves with 4 teeth on the margins.
15. d. All of the above. Mimesis means a similarity of an organism with another or with its surrounding environment so that it is not easily seen, as a means to avoid predation. These 3 plus Pleiospilos, Dinteranthus & more look so much like the surrounding stones where they grow that they are hard to spot -- well camouflaged.
16. True. Monocarpic means the plant flowers once at the end of the life span and then dies after the fruits have ripened.
17. b. International Organization for Succulent Plant Study -- an organization founded in 1950 in Zurich to promote the study of succulent plants; its members including botanists and cactophiles from all over the world.
18. True.
19. c. form or forma.
20. b. epiphyte.

      20       First Rate
     18-19     Top-notch
     16-17     Worth-while
     14-15     Run-of-the-mill
   13 or less  Need-more-study


Global Growing
From the Prickly Press, Kansas City C&S Society

Willy Verheulpen, from Belguim, is a regular on the Internet list cacti_etc. Professionally he's a chemical-electronic engineer. He has worked at Union Carbide European research center and the Brussels University where he did research in Protein chemistry and Immunoglobulins. In the late 70's he began to work with computers and now that has completely taken over his research activities.

Meet Willy from Belgium

I was born in 1944 and I was basically not interested in plants although my grandparents were farmers. I lived in town most of my childhood although one could say that moving to the outskirts of town in 1956 was a step towards nature. If it was it was a very unconscious one. I started to be interested in houseplants in the late 60ies and so I came to cacti a couple of years later.

There is absolutely no doubt, it was my wife that brought the cactus-collecting virus into our home. For reasons unknown she did not get infected, I was the one that 'got it all'. In those days, we used to be very interested in all sorts of houseplants and as a consequence we visited a lot of hobby exhibitions and plant markets. Then one day she came home with the well-known pack of cactus seeds plus the 'jiffy' compressed peat tablets, and a sowing container. Thus the evil was brought in!

At that time, the local mall had a very large selection of cacti and many visits there made the collection grow very quickly. Most of the harvest were Mamillaria, Notocactus, Lobivia and some other globular cacti of which the names were unknown at that time but that looked very attractive.

Books were bought and consulted and the names of many of the pictured plants were noted on the 'want to have' list. Unfortunately they were not to be found. It is very interesting to look back now as the major part, if not all, were species from South America.

After having stumbled along on my own for a year or two I eventually joined a local club branch, oh well it was not that local ... it was in Antwerp and attending the monthly gatherings was rather impossible. They started at 6pm and I had to work till 6. Fortunately one of the members there had the idea to start a local club branch in Brussels and I was there from day one. I was the club secretary/treasurer for over 15 years.

Now this new world opened up. The supply for those rare and highly sought after plants was now at my fingertips. In the summertime we were on the road almost every weekend, visiting 'open-houses' exhibitions, sales ... you name it! All those plants had to be accommodated inside the house. This was a bit of a problem so I decided to build a modest greenhouse in 1976. The plants were transferred and what had looked as 'a lot' when in the house, was only ' a little bit' in that huge greenhouse. Unfortunately as it turned out. Greenhouses do not grow at the same rate as do the plants!

That first summer one plant flowered in the most spectacular way, it had seven big yellow flowers all at the same time. This was really something! It was a Parodia mutabilis. In the mean time collecting went on and on. Copiapoa, Weingartia, Notocactus, Lobivia, Coryphanta, and so many others were bought, traded, grew and died mostly from a lack of knowledge. So more books were consulted and people at meetings were questioned and information gathered.

Of course I had tried to sow cacti, and many experiments were conducted with very unstable results. The germination was mostly good but keeping them on over the first winter was very problematic. As I only had a 'cold' greenhouse and I had to bring the plants inside the house during winter. I rebuilt one of our street level basements to accommodate the plants. Artificial light was installed and benches were set up. The plants did OK, but it was a problem to convince them not to grow when early Spring temperatures rose up.

In 1978 I remembered this first plant that flowered so well for me. So I decided to see if I could spot more of them. The hunt was over before it began. There weren't that many around. The obvious thing was to try to sow them and raise them to the plants that where shown in Backeberg's kakteenlexicon. At the same time I thought that gathering the necessary information and names that go with the plants was not a bad idea so I started to hunt the literature as well as the seed lists. As is so often the case, the good advice given in books seemed to be written by people who had never raised a Parodia from seed, so after having spent handfuls of money on seeds that never made it to a mature plant, I decided to forget all the books and follow my own intuition backed up with habitat information. Looking back now it seems that it was the way to go ...

Now all plants that are not Parodia have almost left my greenhouse ... but I still have a weak spot for Neochilenia and Eriosyce. In the mean time lots of things have happened. An international Parodia (sensu strictu, no "newspeak" here!) study group was founded (1988) and many of it's members have visited the habitats. Newer insights have been gathered and more information has become available. It is still fun to be busy in this hobby!

Now just to give people some idea of where I'm situated I'm giving some "geographical" details here. Belgium is the country, lying just opposite the United Kingdom across the Channel. I'm at 50Deg 45 min Northern latitude (approx.) which, for a good understanding and allowing for a possible mistake, about half way between Winnipeg and Calgary in Canada. Fortunately we have the warm Gulf Stream around and so the temperatures are not too harsh. Unfortunately this means we get a lot of 'water'! Summer temperatures are moderate, between 18C (64F) and 25C (77F) and is considered normal, a good summer would range between 25C (77F) and 30C (86F) and an exceptional summer above 30C (86F). We have had a couple of those these last years. The instability of the climate however, often accounts for very bad 'Spring' weather followed by a sudden summertime where temperatures jump from15C (59F) with overcast sky and rain to full sunshine and well over 20+C (68+F). Winter temperatures oscillate from around freezing, sometimes a couple of degrees above sometimes below. Exceptional freezing would be below -10c (14F) or very exceptional -15C (4F) or lower.

We are probably the country with the highest number of cacti amateurs per capita and probably count the highest number of local clubs. I guess one could not drive more than 40Km (25M) without finding the next 'local branch'. We have almost 2000 registered succulentophiles belonging to a club. I have no idea how many 'scattered' people are still around that have no club connections but I know there are a few and maybe more then a few.

I hope I was able to give you a very short overview about what and how 'things' are over here. There are lots and lots more to tell but I hope you've enjoyed this so far, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit the Parodia website at... Willy's Greenhouse