Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

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Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by ralphrmartin » Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:28 am

Mike, all

Do you have a good way of distinguishing T alexanderi and T recurvatus? The basic difference seems to be that the former has erect spines and the latter recurved ones - but one of the pictures in "Small Opuntias" shows an alexanderi with rather recurved spines. So, there must be more to it than that...

Thanks

Ralph
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by Tony R » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:38 am

Hi Ralph,

For me, the segments of T. recurvatus are only ever about half the size, if that, of a typical T. alexanderi.
And T. recurvatus clumps far more than T. alexanderi.
And T. recurvatus grows much more slowly, is a 'sod' to grow well and loses its roots; equally, it is much more difficult to root down.
These are my (limited) experiences but the plants are instantly recognisable in the flesh.

By coincidence I chopped up an old plant of T. recurvatus recently and I was handling one of the sections not 5 minutes before I read your query.

This section is shown below (in 8cm pot) and further below in front of two plants of T. alexanderi for comparison.
Img_1651.jpg

Img_1650 cropped.jpg
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by ralphrmartin » Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:48 am

Thanks Tony. The plant in question does have small segments, and is well clumping, but the spines while recurved are not so long. And I was given it yesterday - so I am not sure how hard it is to grow yet! :smile:
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by fero » Sun Jun 20, 2021 8:41 pm

It didn't happen to look a bit like this one, :grin:






Not sure of the name, though for some reason I thought it might be a spiny form of glomeratus.
Doesn't seem difficult for me, it hasn't flowed for me so possibly a shy flowering clone.
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by Mike P » Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:31 am

Fero. Looks like T alexanderi. I find they are generally shy flowering.
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by jerryb23 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:17 am

First time in flower today, mine is labelled T Alexanderi v. Alexanderi (though seems to have recurvatus characteristics) and was obtained from Uhlig at ELK 2017. I repotted it last Autumn (it had been dormant since purchase) which has resulted in it going from 5 to 10 segments and I'm hoping this exponential growth doesn't result in it falling apart and turning to mush!
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by Tony R » Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:16 pm

That is an excellent example of T. alexanderi, Jerry, and well done with the flowers. (tu)
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by jerryb23 » Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:31 pm

Thanks Tony. I have another clone with slightly shorter less recurved spines which has put on similar growth but no flowers yet, fingers crossed.
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by ralphrmartin » Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:36 pm

It looks just like Fero's :grin: (tu) Thanks!

Here it is with my Tephro alexanderi (right) for comparison. So, are both alexanderi?
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Re: Tephrocactus alexanderi and recurvatus

Post by Tony R » Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:31 pm

I would favour your smaller segment plant to also be T. alexanderi - an interesting clone - but I would be happy to be corrected. Primarily, for the 'look and feel' of the spination, it has regularity and more or less straight central spine(s).
Tephrocactus recurvatus has 'more wayward' spination.
I fished out some more photos.
My plant in happier times first and then one of John Betteley's plant.
Tony - recurvatus.jpg
John B - recurvatus.jpg
John B - recurvatus.jpg (111.89 KiB) Viewed 212 times
There are a couple of Martin Lowry's photos on iNaturalist assigned as T. recurvatus and there is also a photo in NCL Photo 459.3 labelled as Cumulopuntia boliviana ...... which is also T. recurvatus.

I have one further Tephro expert I can ask too.

Hope all this helps? For such discussion was one of the original aims of the Tephro Study Group all those years ago!
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