Pseudolithos cubiformis

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KarlR
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Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby KarlR » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:27 pm

A couple of years ago I decided to buy some Pseudolithos cubiformis seeds from Steven Brack at Mesa Garden. The seeds germinated very well and the plants have also grown at a good rate since. I keep them under artificial lights, so maybe that's why :grin:

Anyway, they started flowering last year (at a little over a year old) and have kept at it since. Now, I've never grown these plants before (my interest lies mostly with cacti) so I don't own any literature on them and haven't really read anything about them either. So, when a different kind of flower appeared on one of the plants I assumed that it was a male or female flower. I had read a web page on pollinating these plants and came to the conclusion that enlisting the aid of flies was perhaps the best bet. So I decided to just let chance decide whether any flies would appear and didn't really think any more about this until a month ago when yet another kind of flower appeared on one of the plants.

Now I'm thinking that since the flowers are so different it may be that I have actually got seeds of two separate species by mistake. Maybe some of you good people on here can help me out identifying which of the below are P. cubiformis and what (if any) the other is.

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First type of flower
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First type of flower
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The above were the first type of flower that appeared. They don't really smell much unless you get really close.

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Second type of flower
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Second type of flower
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The above are the second type of flower to appear. As you can see they look dramatically different and my assumption at the time was that these were male or female.

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Third type of flower
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Third type of flower
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The above is the last type of flower to appear. This plant started flowering a month ago. The flowers have a much more pungent smell then the first type. Me and my wife were away on a short holiday when they opened and when we got home (probably the day after they first opened) the whole flat smelled like rotten meat. My wife was not amused :lol:
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Diane
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:58 pm

The first two photos would appear to be P. migiurtinus, and the last two P. cubiformis, but the strange one in the middle with tiny flowers, no idea!! It could be a hybrid, as these plants seem to hybridise readily with others.
I have John Pilbeam's book in front of me, and nothing matches those tiny flowers. P. caput-viperae has very small urn-shaped flowers, and P. harardheranus has small flowers also, but they don't look like yours.

However, congratulations on growing such nice plants, and they do stink, don't they!! :lol:
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby Aiko » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:16 pm

The first two pictures I can confirm being Pseudolithos migiurtinus (or maybe Pseudolithos eylensis?).

Diane wrote:However, congratulations on growing such nice plants, and they do stink, don't they!! :lol:


Not only do they smell, they (well, at least P. migiurtinus) smell exactly like rotting flesh. I could compare the smell of a flowering plant in my greenhouse after finding back one of our dead and rotting chicken that we were missing for a few (very warm) days already. I could not tell a difference in smell.

Flies will take care of pollination, and if you are lucky next year the seed pods will develop. I believe it is not easy / possible to pollinate manually.
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby KarlR » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:19 pm

Thank you for the help, Diane! I actually ordered P. migiurtinus from Mesa Garden too but they were sold out. Maybe I got lucky and a couple of seeds of P. migiurtinus tagged along for the ride in the P. cubiformis packet :grin:

Which book by Pilbeam did you look at? Might look into buying it.
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby KarlR » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:32 pm

Aiko wrote:The first two pictures I can confirm being Pseudolithos migiurtinus (or maybe Pseudolithos eylensis?).

Not only do they smell, they (well, at least P. migiurtinus) smell exactly like rotting flesh. I could compare the smell of a flowering plant in my greenhouse after finding back one of our dead and rotting chicken that we were missing for a few (very warm) days already. I could not tell a difference in smell.

Flies will take care of pollination, and if you are lucky next year the seed pods will develop. I believe it is not easy / possible to pollinate manually.


What would be the main differences between migiurtinus and eylensis?

My P. migiurtinus (as it seems I should rename some of them to) don't smell much at all. I have to get really close to the flowers to smell anything. The P. cubiformis really has a powerful smell though.

Is it just down to differences from plant to plant whether the flowers smell a lot or only little, or is this a character that can be used in identification of species?
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:21 pm

Karl, the book by John is simply called "Stapeliads", excellent for IDs, not a great deal of text. As Aiko said, P. eylensis is very similar to P. migiurtinus, I don't know how you would tell them apart, but as P. migiurtinus seems to be far more easily available, I'd guess that is what you've got. It doesn't seem to smell too much, I agree, but P. cubensis is quite foul!
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby Carl » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:22 am

Not meaning to hijack this thread but how do you not kill these? I've come over funny and purchased some seed :shock:

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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby N.D. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:31 am

KarlR, how do you grow them? I have sown them twice, both times with the same result: They grow fine to about 1cm in size, and then they sit doing nothing, slowly and gradually desiccating to death (not collapsing quickly). I grow them in small clay pots with 75% grit/25% soil, water about once a week (less often in winter), and put them out in the sun for the summer. I suspected they did not like the winter cold (about 15C), but they don't grow in the summer heat either (under direct sun and in the shade alike).
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KarlR
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby KarlR » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:56 am

Diane wrote:Karl, the book by John is simply called "Stapeliads", excellent for IDs, not a great deal of text. As Aiko said, P. eylensis is very similar to P. migiurtinus, I don't know how you would tell them apart, but as P. migiurtinus seems to be far more easily available, I'd guess that is what you've got. It doesn't seem to smell too much, I agree, but P. cubensis is quite foul!


I've had a look at some photos on the Internet and I agree it's not easy telling these plants apart. I will go with the suggestion of P. migiurtinus then for the first couple of pictures. I'll take a look at that book too. Oh, and thank you for the compliments in your first post, forgot to mention that :smile:

I couldn't find any pictures online resembling the second kind of flowers. I suppose it may well be a hybrid.
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Re: Pseudolithos cubiformis

Postby Herts Mike » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:33 am

Congratluations Karl. Well done!

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