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Re: [aroid-l] Synandrospadix

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Synandrospadix
  • From: "Randy Story" story@caltech.edu
  • Date: Tue, 03 Sep 2002 10:49:59 -0700

Hi Leo,

Did you bring the hellish temperatures here this weekend from Phoenix?  107
on Sunday, 104 yesterday (42 and 40 for most of the world).  Ugh!!!

Actually I was the one who found the Synandrospadix earlier this summer,
although I think I mentioned it in a private response to a different subject
on the other Aroid list.  At the earlier sale I saw two plants of
Synandrospadix, and I was pretty sure I remembered it was something
interesting, so I bought one. A quick search confirmed my suspicions:
Geoffrey Kibby had posted about a month earlier a link to a spectacular
photo of this plant, which he still has up:
http://members.aol.com/Geoffaroid/synandrospadix.jpg . So the next day I ran
back and picked up the other plant.  Quite a few people at the sale looked
at me (or even questioned me) with puzzled expressions as to why I was
buying just a "small leaf" that didn't even appear to be a succulent.  The
plants were just breaking dormancy and the larger of the two has since grown
so that (I'm guessing--I don't have it in front of me) its leaves are about
12 inches (30 cm ) including petioles.  I got them for $7.50 each, which I
assume is a good price, since I don't know of anyone who sells them

Leo, did you get the same reaction about buying the plant?  Or perhaps the
crowd was more sophisticated? I just checked the Huntington site and noticed
a $70 registration fee for that symposium--so it must have been a pretty
serious group.  Or were people too busy buying things to notice?

Thanks for all the info about this plant!

>From: "Leo A. Martin" <leo1010@attglobal.net>
>To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
>Subject: [aroid-l] Synandrospadix
>Date: Mon, Sep 2, 2002, 6:52 PM

> Hello,
> After this year's plant sale of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America
> (CSSA), held annually the 4th of July weekend at the Huntington Library and
> Botanical Gardens, somebody on this list posted that they found a
> Synandrospadix vermitoxicus for sale at the Huntington booth.
> I was at the Huntington on Saturday of this past weekend for the annual
> labor-day weekend Succulent Symposium, which this year covered succulent
> plants of Africa. After the daytime lectures and before dinner, Symposiasts
> are led to the plant sale growing area, fed chips, salsa, beer, and soft
> drinks to steel their resolve, and turned loose with boxes. The Huntington
> even has electric carts on hand to transport boxes to the parking area. I
> was forced to purchase several plants, among them the aforementioned
> Synandrospadix.
> The label says:
> Synandrospadix vermitoxicus
> ex HBG 60297 Kimnach et al. 2809
> Bolivia: Along Rio Mizque near Chujillas, 5700' in dry wash with
> Gymnocalycium pflanzii,
> Neocardenasia, etc.
> I saw at the symposium Myron Kimnach, editor of the CSSA Journal, former
> director of the Huntington Botanical Garden, and collector of the plant,
> and asked him about it. He had been on the trip with Seymour Linden, a
> well-known C&S collector, explorer, and personality, and board member of the
> He said the plant was in the middle of a dry, rocky and sandy wash, at the
> base of a large
> Neocardenasia herzogii cactus, with a Gymnocalycium pflanzii cactus right
> next to it. There was no shade and it was very hot and sunny. The tuber was
> around 18 inches in diameter. He said there is a lot of water there
> sporadically in the summer, with some rain year-round, but much more in the
> summer. It loses its leaves when dormant. The flower is without smell.
> Neocardenasia herzogii is a very fast-growing (3-4 feet per year here in
> Phoenix) and very large columnar cactus with only 6 ribs when younger,
> branching about 8' above the ground, and making 8" plus long spines up
> until it branches. Higher growth lacks spines. It is notable for forming
> short flowering branches at each upper areole (the felty pad from which
> come spines, flowers, and new growth on cacti) from which new flowers are
> produced each year, the flowering branches elongating with time in the
> manner of a Hoya. It tolerates frosts to the mid 20s F at least if the next
> day warms up over freezing a bit.
> Gymnocalycium is a very popular genus among cactus growers and G. pflanzii
> is a very popular species. It has large white blooms repeatedly during the
> summer if watered and fed well.
> Leo
> --
> Leo A. Martin
> Phoenix, Arizona, USA
> Like cactus and succulents?
> Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society
> http://www.centralarizonacactus.org

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