Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hechtia montana Variability in Sahuaripa, Sonora

Hopefully you have realized from my other posts that I am fascinated by the variability of plants within a population. Sometimes subtle, sometimes quite stark, these differences from one individual to the next is a nice reminder of genetic diversity and how the biological world works.

This post is about the variability of Hechtia montana in and around Sahuaripa, Sonora. Sometimes you have to get up close to see the differences in plants, but sometimes like in the picture to the right, you can see a difference in the size and habit even from a distance.
Hechtia montana
If there are difference that are clear enough from a distance then you are almost guaranteed to see some interesting things when you get closer. Some of the differences are in the size, color, shape of the leaf, spines, or even the overall conformation of the plants.

On the left is a plant with notable spies and a more green cast. Below are a few more pictures showing diversity within a very small area.

A green Hechtia montana with relatively small spines

A very white form of Hechtia montana

Hechtia montana habitat
Size differences in Hechtia montana clumps.