Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Monday, May 13, 2013

Small Green Hechtia Species from Gabriel Zamora, Michoacan

One of the frustrating but exciting things when finding Hechtia species in habitat is the subsequent search for a name. This nice spidery species is from the municipality of Gabriel Zamora, Michoacan. I was only able to see them on one isolated rock outcropping, but there are likely many others sprinkled in the hot fruit growing region. As of yet I have not been able to find a published name that matches this plant.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stoloniferous Hechtia glomerata in Queretaro

Hechtia glomerata stolons
Stolon hanging down over the rocks.
A handful of Hechtia species are stoloniferous. Some species always seem to be stoloniferous as a whole, some species have populations seem to be stoloniferous, and some species seem to have just a portion of a population that will be stoloniferous. Stolons are a feature that always catches my attention!

Hechtia glomerata is a very widespread species. It runs nearly the complete north-south distribution of the genus. As you would imagine, over such a wide range and in so many different habitats there is a lot of variability within the species.  Some populations in the northern Mexican states mature at only ~12" in diameter or so while some in the southern state of Chiapas can be 6' across (or more!).  Some produce offsets profusely while others stay solitary.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hechtia species on the Coast of Michoacan

Hechtia reflexa
Hechtia sp. growing in a limestone formation.
My previous post showed a species of hechtia that is growing on the faces of cliffs and boulders. This plant is more typical for the genus, thriving in the cracks and crevices between the rocks.  Most hechtias have very deep, roaming roots that are great at finding a crevice to send their roots in search of the seasonally scarce water.

While likely related, this isn't Hechtia reflexa. The species is variable and spread along the Pacific coast on limestone formations.