Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lobivia Grandiflora—Maybe?

When this unidentified cactus bloomed today, I was able to narrow down its identity to the Lobivia genus. I should more accurately say that maybe it is of the Lobivia genus. And maybe its species is grandiflora. I used my reference book—500 Cacti Species & Variations in Cultivation, to compare the cactus’ characteristics to the various species in the book. However, even with this reference, I can’t know for sure. It meets most of the characteristics called out for Lobivia grandiflora, but the only sure way to know is to have the original label from the grower or from the nursery that it came from, or find an expert who can tell just by looking at it. (Any experts reading this? Please help!)

Not knowing for sure the genus and species of a cactus takes away some of the fun for me. I just have a burning need to know the botanical and common names of all my specimens—perhaps Maybe I have a need to show off—or maybe by knowing the genus and species, I will know when to expect blooms and how to care for it. Different cacti, depending on their origin, have different care needs. Many maybes here!

Maybe I should actually call the Lobivia grandiflora Echinopsis grandiflora. Echinopsis, Lobivia, Soehrensia, and Trichocereus had always been classified separately, but now they are all grouped into the Echinopsis genus. However, many collectors still like to refer to the old genus. The genus, Echinopsis, is native to South America.

I think all this confusion points out to the need for accurate labeling. I label all my potted cacti, succulents, and even some of the specimens in the garden—no exceptions. (The cactus discussed above lost its label last year in a windstorm and look at the confusion!) By labeling, I know when I acquired the cactus, what genus and species it is, and how to care for it based on a code developed by the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society. I put the code right on the label with the rest of the information, and then group the specimens by code. It works well, satisfies my anal-retentive tendencies, and makes for good horticultural practice.

Regardless of what genus and species this specimen falls under, the flowers are gorgeous!


Jade said...

No expert here, but it looks like Lobivia or something similar to me.

I want to know all the names but I realise that some of them will evade identification even with the full description of the plant, spines, blooms, seed pods, seeds, etc. because some are undocumented hybrids. But I understand and share your burning need to know, and I may have many more books than you do in my quest to access as much information as possible.

When I next get around to updating my blog I would like to link your page. Despite my best efforts I can't even seem to maintain a weekly post although I really really want to get to a daily blog.

I'll be checking back to see what you are up to and how your plants are doing.

No Rain said...

Thanks, Jade.
I'm glad to have someone confirm the genus for me. Glad to have you as a reader of my blog. Feel free to add a link--cactus lovers unite!

Peter said...

Lobivia is no longer a genus. They've all been moved to Echinopsis. The bloom looks a lot like Echinopsis chamaecereus

No Rain said...

Peter, I checked out your photo and the flowers look identical, but the cactus itself looks different. I'll need to do some more research. Thanks for the info!