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Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:45 pm
Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:08 pm
Beautiful flowers and excellent photos Christer, thanks for sharing.
Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:47 am
Nice pictures Christer.
Not a very good photo of mine since it was a hand held snatched shot, but I obtained a cutting of this Schlumbergera truncata which flowered soon after arrival, said to be from a collected clone from Countess Orssich in Brazil, the same lady who collected Schlumbergera orssichiana.
With a plant so easily propagated by cuttings it is likely the original habitat material is still cultivated, but the problem is over time there has been so much hybridisation since it was first discovered, plus it is said there is some flower colour variation in the wild, it is now hard to be certain which plants in cultivation are not hybrids unless you can obtain authenticated material.
There is a good article on S. truncata by Graham Charles in Cactus Explorer 13, pages 12-15 dealing with it's early history and illustrations, which can be downloaded here:-
Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:14 pm
I've got 2 clones of S. truncata, one from Teresopolis in Brazil, and another which came from a hotel in Northern Argentina (so unlikely to have anything to do with European hybrids). Both look pretty much identical, which is also reassuring. The flowers have pink tubes with red petals, and relatively long compared to their width.
Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:28 pm
Not so sure Ralph.
To quote from "Christmas Cacti" by McMillan and Horobin p55. [my comments in square brackets]
"It seems likely that contamination of the PNSO [Parque Nacional Serra dos Órgãos] has already taken place. In a personal communication, C.F. Innes (9 Sep 1989) informed McMillan that Mrs Abendroth was requested to make enquiries to see if supplies of schlumbergeras could be sent to re-establish some of the depleted regions of the Organ Mountains [within the PNSO and close to Teresopolis - I think]. He sent about 500 rooted cuttings of all the varieties available in his nursery at that time [Holly Gate?] (early 1960s), including 'Delicatus' and 'Crenatus' (lilac purple flower). There were duly acknowledged with a 'thank you' note from the Brazilian Agricultural Department. Is is thought that other nurserymen were also asked to supply."
The book also notes the difficulty of crossing some newer introductions with old clones and wondered if this might be linked to this transfer. That sounds a bit unlikely to me, that it happened the specific exported clone was reimproted and crossed with the same european clone but perhaps there is more behind what McMillan was saying.
Frankly, beggars belief, but there are numerous examples of unfortunate, over-enthusiastic international transfers.
Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:27 am
Yes, David Hunt told me the same thing. That locals were taking so many for their home decoration that "conservationists" decided to restock the wild population, but instead of taking habitat material from the area and breeding it for reintroduction, they simply bought material from the trade of unknown parentage and probable hybrids and introduced those, so polluting the natural population.
Well meaning conservationists always need to be very careful reintroducing cultivated material into the wild to make sure it came from that area originally, or they simply pollute the gene pool by introducing material that would not normally occur there and breed with each other, therefore risking hybridising with the natural flora.
Species often vary over their range and the extremes would not normally breed with each other, so though theoretically the same species, introducing plants from one end of the range to the other creates in effect forms that would not normally occur together and then probably hybridise with each other. Sometimes conservationists have to accept that plants (or animals) are extinct in an area and unless they have authenticated material that originally came from that area, reintroduction from other areas having a slightly different set of genes is polluting the natural environment and interfering with evolution.
Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:46 pm
Found this video on You Tube that shows the altitudes the various species grow at, with S. microspherica right at the top of the mountain above the rain forest in that rocky grassy area shown, which probably means it needs slightly different cultivation to the rest.